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.
A New York Times Notable Book
A Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year
Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Can you imagine not being able to imagine writing?
I was quite happy with the review that I painstakingly typed into my iPad over the last half hour.
iBooks was also impressed.
I know this because it immediately crashed and erased everything I wrote.
(it devoured my review. beep beep beep beep. it's kind of… a bummer)
So, I suppose you'll have to take my (abbreviated) word for it - the book is very good. read it.
The gist of my original review is this:
Most history books, especially history of science, can't escape the condescension implicit to hindsight.
Gleick avoids it by thoroughly describing thought and perception in a world where the telephone (the dictionary. logic. the written word), is not missing, it's just… unimaginable.
Well written, a great book on a complex subject...
Philosophical version of Gleick
Not typical Gleick. Some interesting history, but too much philosophical waxing. Those who are into this style will appreciate this work as it's expressed as a full symphony on information. Those who want something more concise, will find the work long albeit punctuated with some fascinating history. Because I belong to the latter category, I'm not sure I can recommend this to the fan of Gleick's previous work embodied by his books on chaos, and Feynman.