Liam's Reviews > The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

The Information by James Gleick
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M 50x66
's review
May 10, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 03 to 10, 2012

"To go by your words -- in that phrase, a level is crossed. The information has been detached from any person, detached from the speaker's experience. Now it lives in the words, little life-support modules. Spoken words also transport information, but not with the self-consciousness that writing brings." (39)

"The Norman conquest was more like a deluge, linguistically. English peasants of the lower classes continued to breed cows, pigs, and oxen (Germanic words), but in the second millennium the upper classes dined on beef, pork, and mutton (French)." (55)

"If for event we substitute symbol, then a natural written language like English or Chinese is a stochastic process." (225)

"Most of the biosphere cannot see the infosphere; it is invisible, a parallel universe humming with ghostly inhabitants. But they are not ghosts to us -- not anymore. We humans, alone among the earth's organic creatures, live in both worlds at once." (323)

"The network has a structure, and that structure stands upon a paradox. Everything is close, and everything is far, at the same time. This is why cyberspace can feel not just crowded but lonely. You can drop a stone into a well and never hear a splash." (425)

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