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Information: The New Language of Science

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  16 reviews

Confronting us at every turn, flowing from every imaginable source, information defines our era--and yet what we don't know about it could--and does--fill a book. In this indispensable volume, a primer for the information age, Hans Christian von Baeyer presents a clear description of what information is, how concepts of its measurement, meaning, and transmission evolved,

Published April 28th 2004 by Harvard University Press (first published October 9th 2003)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Data are everywhere, forcefully and incessantly cascading down on us in an invisible, impalpable electric rain. But how much do we know about data? Data will indeed flow faster and more copiously through the pipelines of the future, but the information carried by the zeros and ones will inevitably suffer degradation through human error. The problem is already beginning to become apparent, probably be set by human frailty — for both our propensity to make mistakes and the limitations of our puny ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a layman's book about the possibility of information being quantifiable and scientifically useful in a Quantum Bayesianist world. It was written before the term 'QBism' was even coined, so if you're interested in this topic (basically the leading non-realist foundation of quantum mechanics) and want a more up-to-date introduction, von Baeyer has a newer book which looks pretty swell.

My dad is a disciple of Everett, so this was a fun lil foray from the multiverse interpretation. QBism st
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: talebesque
Elementary philosophy of science focussing on Wheeler's "Really Big Questions" about the foundations of physics, in particular the 'digital physics'. (The Questions are ‘How come existence?’, ‘Why the quantum?’, ‘It from bit?’, ‘What makes meaning?’)

Which wasn't what I was expecting from an out-of-print hardback tome by a serious physicist - particularly with that grand title - but still: nice. In fact it's hard to imagine anyone writing out these first steps any friendlier (ok, maybe Ben Orlin
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent introduction to the history and recent position of various areas concerned with "Information". Thorough and precise.
I was glad to see the 'Marilyn Vos Savant problem' explained in a correct and clear manner as well as other counter intuitive probability outcomes.
I don't agree with his belief that the history of physics gives us hope that what information 'Is' will be explained. Tell that to those concerned with " What is consciousness ? "
It is for this reason that it gets 4 stars
Luis Omar
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reflexiones y conceptos acerca de lo que es la información. Porque es tan importante esta idea en nuestro día a día.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
an interesting and well written book, it takes the reader chronologically through the history of the concept of information.[return]the pace is quite quick and hans christian von baeyer skillfully puts the necessary scientific insights and backgrounds into theories without making it a heavy tome. for each classical figure in scientific history who has given us a step change, we also get a brief overview of their character and how their efforts have formalised 'information' as we see it today. [r ...more
Josh Stewart
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Overall it was a good book but it waned near the end as it became more technical and focused on technology and the advancements that are yet to be had. The first few chapters were of most value to me as I selected the book with the aim of better understanding what information is, how to interpret it, and how to effectively process it.
Bobby Lin
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A starting place to get an overview of Information theory and its implications to Sciences. The book introduced some topics such as Bayesian Probability. Useful as a stepping stone to a specific area of Information Theory.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It was certainly interesting enough, in spots, but overall it seemed to have trouble maintaining cohesiveness and holding its shape.
Touko Tahkokallio
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Book about the concept of information - how we should think about it, why it is important and what are the problems in defining it. Good stuff.
Nov 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally they are admitting it...
Brendan  McAuliffe
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Interesting , but sort of all over the road. ( you could just skip to Ch 15 if you're already familiar with any of this )
Aug 14, 2012 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
You know how SAT reading passages are really hard to concentrate on? It was like that, but for an entire book. Ack. I lasted about 10 pages, some of which I read to Taylor for comedic effect.
Jack Gidding
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
A cross of information theory, bioinformatics, quantum physics, and mathematics. Quite interesting
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Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, 3.5 stars. Charles Seife's book is better.
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