The Information

The Information

A History, A Theory, A Flood

Book - 2011
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James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era's defining quality--the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.
 
The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself.
 
And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, ©2011
ISBN: 9780375423727
9781400096237
Branch Call Number: 020.9 GLE 2011
Characteristics: 526 p. : ill

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CatherineLibrarian
Sep 22, 2013

“History is the story of information becoming aware of itself,” writes James Gleick (author of Chaos and Faster) in the prologue of his most recent book. The Information is a history of how information mediums (drums, printing press, telegraph, bits, and bytes) evolved and transformed human thought. The Information is in part, a theory of information itself and the history of information theory’s creator Claude Shannon and central characters Charles Babbage, Samuel Morse, Ada Byron, and others. The Information is a flood, a deluge of bits and bytes, of information. From the space between two drum beats, to a line in Wikipedia, to the replicating fragments of nucleic acid in our DNA, Gleick argues convincingly that the story of information is the story of us. It is how we got here, and where we, humans; the organizers, the creators, and most importantly, the creations of Information, may be going within this vast “library of the universe”. Reader, take the time to digest and ponder through this book. It is transformative, accessible, and surprising. “Information is uncertainty, surprise, difficulty, and entropy”. Gleick’s The Information is all of these.

jopalek Jun 30, 2011

Finished chapters 1=6

debwalker Mar 06, 2011

Gleick's latest on the implications of the age of Information.

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