Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages / Edition 1

Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages / Edition 1

by Alex Wright
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801475090

ISBN-13: 9780801475092

Pub. Date: 10/28/2008

Publisher: Cornell University Press

The "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation—or even the first species—to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian archives, Greek libraries

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Overview

The "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation—or even the first species—to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian archives, Greek libraries to Dark Age monasteries.

Spanning disciplines from evolutionary theory and cultural anthropology to the history of books, libraries, and computer science, Alex Wright weaves an intriguing narrative that connects such seemingly far-flung topics as insect colonies, Stone Age jewelry, medieval monasteries, Renaissance encyclopedias, early computer networks, and the Internet. Finally, he pulls these threads together to reach a surprising conclusion, suggesting that the future of the information age may lie deep in our past.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801475092
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Networks and Hierarchies 5

2 Family Trees and the Tree of Life 22

3 The Ice Age Information Explosion 39

4 The Age of Alphabets 48

5 Illuminating the Dark Age 78

6 A Steam Engine of the Mind 99

7 The Astral Power Station 122

8 The Encyclopedic Revolution 143

9 The Moose That Roared 152

10 The Industrial Library 165

11 The Web That Wasn't 183

12 Memories of the Future 230

Appendixes

A John Wilkins's Universal Categories 239

B Thomas Jefferson's 1783 Catalog of Books 242

C The Dewey Decimal System 245

D S. R. Ranganathan's Colon Classification 247

Acknowledgments 251

Notes 253

Index 271

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