The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Mar 1, 2011 - Science - 544 pages

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed Chaos and Genius comes a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the big ideas of the modern era: Information, communication, and information theory. 
Acclaimed science writer James Gleick presents an eye-opening vision of how our relationship to information has transformed the very nature of human consciousness. A fascinating intellectual journey through the history of communication and information, from the language of Africa’s talking drums to the invention of written alphabets; from the electronic transmission of code to the origins of information theory, into the new information age and the current deluge of news, tweets, images, and blogs. Along the way, Gleick profiles key innovators, including Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Samuel Morse, and Claude Shannon, and reveals how our understanding of information is transforming not only how we look at the world, but how we live.

New York Times Notable Book
Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year
Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award


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I really enjoyed Gleick's latest book. I was familiar with information theory but didn't understand it too well. It makes a lot more sense to me now. Very interesting history about telegraphs, Shannon, and Turing as well.

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This book was a fantastic read. Gleick provides a perspective on information that is historical, theoretical and social. OK, that much you could find out from anywhere. But what's worth knowing is that it's an engaging read, almost a page turner! And Gleick delivers interesting insights into the lives many important characters who advanced the information age (Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Claude Shannon, Alan Turing, Norbert Weiner, and more). He sums up by addressing the topic of "information glut", which I suspect concerns most readers, and offers an optimistic outlook based on how society has managed with previous leaps-forward in information availability & load. 


Drums That Talk
The Persistence of the Word
Two Wordbooks
To Throw the Powers of Thought into WheelWork
A Nervous System for the Earth
New Wires New Logic
Information Theory
The Sense of Randomness
Information Is Physical
After the Flood
New News Every

The Informational Turn
Entropy and Its Demons
Lifes Own Code
Into the Meme Pool
A Note About The Author Illustration Credits

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About the author (2011)

JAMES GLEICK is our leading chronicler of science and technology, and the author of Chaos and Genius, both nominated for the National Book Award, and Isaac Newton, which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. His books have been translated into thirty languages.

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