The Information

The Information

[a History, A Theory, A Flood]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2011 | Library ed. Unabridged.
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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.

Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2011.
Edition: Library ed. Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780307914996
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital.
Additional Contributors: Shapiro, Rob
OverDrive, Inc

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Nov 28, 2011

The book's subtitle ("A History, A Theory, A Flood") is apt as Gleick covers first the history of information technologies, then the mathematical theories around information and finally the flood of non-stop information we now have. He does an excellent job of linking information to so much more than what you'd normally expect from the term.

The theory portion is especially challenging to absorb in an audio format. I think I am approaching the "bandwidth" limit of my brain's aural channel. Be prepared to listen closely and occasionally rewind.

Jul 16, 2011

This book is *long* (16.5 hours), but is worth the time to listen to. It covers a wide range of info, from talking drums to the cloud, and I learned a lot from listening to it. It combines info in unexpected ways and made me think. It also caused me to appreciate the chain of people building on the ideas of those who came before them, so that you can actually see how knowledge is created and used over centuries. Highly recommended

Jun 20, 2011

This book is simply stunning. Gleick manages to build an incredibly compelling narative while flitting amongst inventors, periods, inventions and theories while also imparting so much information, history, science, math and beauty. For anyone who loves information, technology and information science, it's a total experience. It is to be savored and enjoyed over weeks if not years. I strongly recommend the audio version as the reader is wonderful, and it makes a rather dense and heady book easily accessible the first go-around. I am already looking up references and adding new, related books and topics to my to-read list. I expect to re-read and re-enjoy this book many, many times in the future.


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