A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jul 18, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 366 pages
Winner of the Neumann Prize for the History of Mathematics

**Named a best book of the year by Bloomberg and Nature**

**'Best of 2017' by The Morning Sun**

"We owe Claude Shannon a lot, and Soni & Goodman’s book takes a big first step in paying that debt." —San Francisco Review of Books

"Soni and Goodman are at their best when they invoke the wonder an idea can instill. They summon the right level of awe while stopping short of hyperbole." —Financial Times

"Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman make a convincing case for their subtitle while reminding us that Shannon never made this claim himself." —The Wall Street Journal

"Soni and Goodman have done their research...A Mind at Play reveals the remarkable human behind some of the most important theoretical and practical contributions to the information age." —Nature

"A Mind at Play shows us that you don't need to be a genius to learn from a genius. Claude Shannon's inventive, vibrant life demonstrates how vital the act of play can be to making the most of work." —Inc.

“A charming account of one of the twentieth century’s most distinguished scientists…Readers will enjoy this portrait of a modern-day Da Vinci.” —Fortune

In their second collaboration, biographers Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman present the story of Claude Shannon—one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century and the architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. Claude Shannon was a groundbreaking polymath, a brilliant tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed the first wearable computer, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Soni and Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time. With unique access to Shannon’s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and always playful genius to life.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tgraettinger - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this biography of the life of Claude Shannon, and in the process, I learned more about his lesser-known accomplishments: the first wearable computer, his works on chess (including a chess ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DavidWineberg - LibraryThing

For years, I have been reading references to Claude Shannon because of his involvement in so many critical developments in science, communications, Bell Labs, and even the stock market. About his ... Read full review

Contents

Ann Arbor
13
The RoomSized Brain
21
Cold Spring Harbor
50
The Labs
61
Princeton
74
Fire Control
83
A SixDay Workweek
91
The Unspeakable System
96
Professor Shannon
223
Inside Information
238
A Gadgeteers Paradise
243
Peculiar Motions
247
Kyoto
257
The Illness
268
32
273
Acknowledgments
283

Turing
103
Manhattan 2
110
The Utter Dark
119
From Intelligence to Information
125
The Bomb
138
Building a Bandwagon
165
Mathematical Intentions Honorable and Otherwise
170
Wiener
175
A Transformative Year
181
21
186
We Urgently Need the Assistance of Dr Claude E Shannon
193
The ManMachines
199
The Game of Kings
210
Constructive Dissatisfaction
217
Notes
289
45
295
50
298
61
299
74
301
83
302
91
303
Bibliography
329
Illustration Credits
347
Index
349
103
350
119
352
138
355
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Jimmy Soni has served as an editor at The New York Observer and the Washington Examiner and as managing editor of Huffington Post. He is a former speechwriter, and his written work and commentary have appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, and CNN, among other outlets. He is a graduate of Duke University. With Rob Goodman, he is the coauthor of Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar, and A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age.

Rob Goodman is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University and a former congressional speechwriter. He has written for Slate, The Atlantic, Politico, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. His scholarly work has appeared in History of Political Thought, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. With Jimmy Soni, he is the coauthor of Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar, and A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age.

Bibliographic information