The Information is so ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it. 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. The Information has ratings and reviews. James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing.


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Share via Email Cuneiform is as much a part of the story of our the information james gleick mastery of information as computers and smartphones.

Laptops and smartphones wing uncountable amounts of information between us, across the airwaves and down wires and optical fibres.

Bank transactions, weather reports, news stories, love stories and break-ups are being communicated through the ubiquitous ability of the machines around us to process information. But why should we call this the information age rather than, say, the decades after Johannes Gutenberg the information james gleick the printing press in and began the publishing revolution?

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

What about when the first fragments of paper were made more than 2, years ago, allowing relatively easy sharing of stories or administrative records? Or how about the earliest known records of writing, Sumerian clay tablets etched with cuneiform script?

Or the invention of language some time in the prehistory of our species? At each stage, humans wanted to communicate something. At each stage there has been information, and information has propelled the evolution of our the information james gleick.

Later on, Gleick gives a treatment of both genes and memes that is strangely uninspired. The fact that the book's wide scope requires the treatment of any particular topic to be fairly shallow does not combine well with the fact that almost everyone these days has a passing familiarity with both genes and memes: Gleick says no more than "the educated layperson" already knows.

In a book on The Information, it seems genes and memes must be discussed as a matter the information james gleick course -- but these sections don't add value to the book.

Moreover, the section on genes was even more deeply flawed.

The Information

This is analogous to saying that the first person who figured out that a charred stick could be used to make marks on slate was the person who figured out writing. Or, it is analogous to saying that the information content of enigma-encrypted The information james gleick transmissions was retrieved not by the codebreakers at Bletchly Park but by the radio operators who determined what radio frequency the messages were broadcast on.

This is a rather profound mistake, considering the subject of The Information. And this the information james gleick mistake cropped up again and again, in different contexts. Despite his attentiveness to the the information james gleick of information theory, Shannon, Gleick never got around to explicitly saying what makes something information, nor did Gleick implicitly follow any solid definition of information.

This becomes problematic toward the end, where Gleick wants to unify everything under quantum information -- "it from bit" -- with the entire universe as a collection of physical-informational states.

That is an interesting concept, but it actually has little to do with "information" as treated in the rest of the book: In all these contexts, something is informational when one physical object stands in for something else -- say, AAG for lysine, or dot-dot-dot for s.

Gleick seems aware of this special relationship that defines information per Shannonbut never pursues it and eventually abandons it. The sense of "information" he ends with is simply the notion that at certain levels, such as the level of quarks, the objects of study are indistinguishable from the formalisms by which we know them.

That's a deep topic, but it isn't really pursued for its own sake; it is deployed as a rhetorical way to make "everything" informational I found it intriguing that, in the final chapter, Gleick mentions in passing a perfect 1: Carroll was quite witty and this map is, of course, absurd.

: The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood : James Gleick: Books

Gleick transitions from the information implications the information james gleick such drum signaling to the impact of the arrival of long distance telegraph and then telephone communication to the commercial and social prospects of the industrial age west.

Research to improve these technologies ultimately led to our understanding the essentially digital nature of informationquantized down to the unit of the bit or qubit.


the information james gleick Starting with the development of symbolic written language and the eventual perceived need for a dictionaryGleick examines the history of intellectual insights central to information theorydetailing the key figures responsible such as Claude ShannonCharles BabbageAda ByronSamuel MorseAlan TuringStephen HawkingRichard Dawkins and John Archibald Wheeler.

The author also delves into how digital information is now being understood in relation to physics and genetics.