A History, A Theory, A FloodBook - 2011
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.
Baker & Taylor
Analyzes how information has become a defining quality of the modern era, tracing the evolution of pivotal information technologies while profiling key contributors from Charles Babbage and Ada Byron to Samuel Morse and Claude Shannon.
The well-known biographer of Richard Feynman and Isaac Newton, Gleick takes on the history of information, examining the increasingly complex methods and technologies that humans have used to create, transmit, store, analyze, and retrieve it. Beginning with the invention of language and mathematics, the author takes readers through the development of dictionaries, the telegraph and telephone, the 19th century "difference engine" and modern computers, information theory, and the Internet and Wikipedia, each of which built on and extended earlier knowledge and technologies. Gleick also introduces the people most closely associated with each new development, including Ada Babbage (the world's first computer programmer), mathematician Alan Turing, and Claude Shannon (the inventor of information theory). An entertaining book that rewards close reading and re-reading, The Information will appeal to science geeks and non-geeks alike. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long misunderstood "talking drums" of Africa, James Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He also provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information, including Charles Babbage, Ada Byron, Samuel Morse, Alan Turing, and Claude Shannon.
The best-selling author of Chaos analyzes how information has become a defining quality of the modern era, tracing the evolutions of pivotal information technologies while profiling key contributors from Charles Babbage and Ada Byron to Samuel Morse and Claude Shannon.