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Grammatical Man

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Grammatical Man is the first book to tell the story of information theory, how it arose with the development of radar during WW2, and how it evolved. It describes how the laws and discoveries of information theory now support controversial revisions to Darwinian evolution, begin to unravel the mysteries of language, memory and dreams, and stimulate provocative ideas in psy ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1973 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1973)
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Aug 10, 2008 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Karen by: Dennis Stovall
Shelves: non-fiction
Here is a book of intelligence and substance. Its ideas on information, communication, entropy, development, and structure surprised and satisfied me.

I find that the book demands continuous reading. I haven’t had much time this summer, so I read Grammatical Man whenever I could snatch some time. Days would pass without my picking up the book. As a result, I sometimes forgot where the author was going and had to go back to earlier points made. Also, the ideas are so complex that I feel I should r
Ryan Russell
fundamentally deconstructed my worldview in the best possible way..
George Mills
This book may very well change your ways of perceiving all forms of communication. Based on the theories of Shannon, it demonstrates how our means of communicating are affected by the laws of thermodynamics (especial entropy). Reading this book made me radically rethink the way I worked and the ways in which I managed my communication with: upper management; managers of other areas of the corporation; my direct and indirect reports; affiliate companies; the medical community; and patients being ...more
Thomas Yount
This book was recommended to me by one of my favorite teachers ever: Kathleen Saunders.
This book gets into information theory, the human brain, capacity for varying levels of consciousness and a lot of other mind-f*cking ideas.
Some keywords you might learn...entropy, chaos, neotony...
Barbara Lorei

A good read. Opens doors to new thinking. It may be out-dated by now, but for a beginner on information, it is a great help.

Steven Williams
I thought that the book was not argued very well. It was like, oh this person said this and that person said that. No support offered except that of the person referred to. It sytle seem like, da da da. Overall the book was okay because it did present some interesting ideas. But if your interested in a popular book covvering informtion theory, I would suggest James Glieck's The Information. It's more interesting and much better written.
Tom Statton
One of my favorite books, Campbell brings together communication on the technical level of sending and receiving messages to communication on the human level and draws parallels describing noise, coding, the difficulties on each step of the process.
Celia Claase
A very well written and interesting work that opened up my mind to all the possibilities in information theory. Ever since I read the book, I've been applying the concepts presented in this book in my thoughts, to different aspects of this world.
Jul 22, 2008 Trevor marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually re-reading this book - the first time I read it years and years ago I thought it was totally inspired. His premise is that the universe is made up of three fundamental materials - Energy, matter and information. But I need to read this again to not make this sound like religious rubbish.
Interesting and new (to me) ideas about information theory and how it applies to evolution, genetics, and language. It is not overly technical, which is both a plus and a minus: It is easy to read and isn't overwhelming for a layperson, but it lacks depth and clarity in some areas.
Probably outdated by now, but when I read it, it was all a revelation to me. My introduction to information theory. I imagine it might still be a good place to start.
Nick Black
Jan 14, 2010 Nick Black marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
"MyFleshSingsOut", I really despise having such a ridiculous appellation in fields like "who recommended this". I'm not sure what to do about it, though.
information theory, genetic rules, language and society generate knowledge. some straw men are knocked over, but it is a generally acceptable book.
A little dense, convoluted, and rambling, but chocked full of fascinating expositions into the importance of information theory in biologic systems.
Karen Chung
If you are interested in both language and information theory, which I am, you really shouldn't miss this book!
This book introduced me to information theory, and changed the way I look at the world.
Interesting examination of language, entropy, and information theory.
just listing my faves at this point.
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“Energy was the ruling theme of Victorian science, as machines increasingly harnessed the forces of nature to do man's work. The concept is also present in the art and literature of the age, notably in the poems of William Blake. The Romantic movement was much interested in energy and its various transformations.” 2 likes
“Von Neumann told Shannon to call his measure entropy, since "no one knows what entropy is, so in a debate you will always have the advantage.” 1 likes
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