The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
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
Scintillating conversation partner who is preferably a math, physics, or logic major with strong knowledge of Quantum Physics and Information theory (of today and yesterday)and concepts including, but not limited to, the Babbage/Lovelace Difference Machine, Claude Shannon's math and entropy and cryptology, Turing's machine, logcal paradoxes, Maxwell's demon,The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Schro ...more
For starters, Gleick keeps the read enjoyable with his strong prose style. The author controls the pace and tone of his writing to carry readers along almost cinematically. Indeed, many passages read like the voice-over of a History Channel program, while simultaneously conjuring for readers the images that would play under the voice-over. It is a strong effect, engrossing and enjoyable.
The other big strong point of The In ...more
Perhaps the best chapter was the one on ...more
What the telegraph accomplished in years the telephone has done in months. One year it was a scientific toy, without infinite possibilities of practical use; the next it was the basis of a system of communication....
This is a fascinating science book written in a historical narrative format about the topic “information”. Today information theory is a practical and vital study spread across three disciplines: m ...more
I'm sure that for those who are well-versed in information theory, some of his omissions were glaring and seemingly arbitrary, but there is nothing wrong with a book that leaves you wanting more and feeling sufficie ...more
In The Information, Gleick speaks to the interplay between mathematical progress with science, culture, information theory, and really the development of society. It is an incredible overview of topics ranging from logic to communication to memes. ...more
distances via a tonal drum language with built in redundancy. I loved reading about Babbage and his calculating machine, and to think abou ...more
In my doctorate I read and enjoyed many of the original 1950s papers applying information theory to psychology. I read Gleick's Chaos: Making a New Science many years ago and loved it, so his history of information was a natural second book for me to read.
Although his writing style is good, the book was quite disappointing. The book simply covers too many different topics with little to connect them (African drums; the telegraph; encyclopedias and dictionaries; codes; Babbage ...more
Gleick pulls all the right ingredients together - Charles Babbage, L ...more
Gleick is especially got at illustrating how wide-ranging this subject is, and how innovations from people like Claude Shannon or Alan Turing rippled out into fields as diverse as linguistics, genetics, and psychology. It's rare that an introductory book c ...more
I once had a job (1977) as a night janitor at a telephone switching office - back in the day when there were real live operators on duty for directory assistance, etc.
After finishing up my duties - cleaning ash trays, emptying wastebaskets, I would go to the basement, pull up a chair by the huge array of batteries that (still) provide backup power for the wired telephone system and read Asimov explaining the structure of the atom and ...more
In The Information, Gleick gives us a full bore account of the defining feature of our age. We explore the nature of information, how it has been communicated from the written word and jungle drums through to the internet, and, perhaps most fascinating of all, Gleick takes us through the social historical impact of a burgeon ...more
I would like to have given it 4.5 stars. ...more
I've been interested in information theory as it pertains to g ...more
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Born in New York City, USA, Gleick attended Harvard College, graduating in 1976 with a degree in ...more