The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

4.0 68
by James Gleick
     
 

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

See more details below

Overview

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 utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself.
 
And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375423727
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
1,307,096
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue 3

1 Drums That Talk 13

2 The Persistence of the Word 28

3 Two Wordbooks 51

4 To Throw the Powers of Thought into Wheel-Work 78

5 A Nervous System for the Earth 125

6 New Wires, New Logic 168

7 Information Theory 204

8 The Informational Turn 233

9 Entropy and Its Demons 269

10 Life's Own Code 287

11 Into the Meme Pool 310

12 The Sense of Randomness 324

13 Information Is Physical 355

14 After the Flood 373

15 New News Every Day 398

Epilogue 413

Acknowledgments 427

Notes 429

Bibliography 477

Index 505

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >