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The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (Vintage)

by

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (Vintage) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"So ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it...The Information is to the nature, history and significance of data what the beach is to sand." New York Times

Review:

"[A] tour de force....This is intellectual history of tremendous verve, insight, and significance. Unfailingly spirited, often poetic, Gleick recharges our astonishment over the complexity and resonance of the digital sphere and ponders our hunger for connectedness....Destined to be a science classic, best-seller Gleick's dynamic history of information will be one of the biggest nonfiction books of the year." Booklist, starred review

Review:

"With his brilliant ability to synthesize mounds of details and to tell rich stories, Gleick leads us on a journey from one form of communication information to another....Gleick's exceptional history of culture concludes that information is indeed the blood, the fuel, and the vital principle on which our world runs." Publishers Weekly, starred review

Review:

"No author is better equipped for such a wide-ranging tour than Mr. Gleick. Some writers excel at crafting a historical narrative, others at elucidating esoteric theories, still others at humanizing scientists. Mr. Gleick is a master of all these skills." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Gleick presses rousing tales from the history of human communication into the service of one Very Big Idea...he does what only the best science writers can: take a subject of which most of us are only peripherally aware and put it at the center of the universe." Time

Review:

"A wide-ranging, deeply researched and delightfully engaging history." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The gifted science writer James Gleick explains how we've progressed from seeing information as the expression of human thought and emotion to looking at it as a commodity that can be processed, like wheat or plutonium. It's a long, complicated, and important story, and in Gleick's hands it's also a mesmerizing one....As a celebration of human ingenuity, The Information is a deeply hopeful book." Nicholas Carr, Daily Beast

Review:

"A grand narrative if ever there was one...Gleick provides lucid expositions for readers who are up to following the science and suggestive analogies for those who are just reading for the plot. And there are anecdotes that every reader can enjoy....A prodigious intellectual survey." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A highly ambitious and generally brilliant effort to tie together centuries of disparate scientific efforts to understand information as a meaningful concept....By the close of the book you cannot think of information as you might have before. It has become, quite palpably, something different than almost anything we encounter: resistant to decay and capable of perfect self-reproduction. It outlasts the organic beings who create it, and, by replication, the inorganic mediums used to store it. The Information — not unlike other science books that tackle big human quests for understanding — at times bears more than a passing resemblance to a spiritual text." Slate

Review:

"The author's skills as an interpreter of science shine...for completist cybergeeks and infojunkies, the book delivers a solid summary of a dense, complex subject." Kirkus

Review:

"A powerful and rigorous and at times very moving history of information....You can dip into The Information at just about any point and emerge with a magnificent detail." Time, Top 10 of Everything 2011

Review:

"Imaginatively conceived and staggeringly researched...a transformative work." The Phoenix.com

Review:

"Expertly draws out neglected names and stories from history...Gleick's skill as an expicator of counterintuitive concepts makes the chapters on logic, the stuff even most philosophy majors slept through in class, brim with tension." Oregonlive.com

Synopsis:

A New York Times Notable Book

A Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year

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.

Synopsis:

A 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

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.

About the Author

James Gleick is our leading chronicler of science and modern technology. His first book, Chaos, a National Book Award finalist, has been translated into twenty-five languages. His best-selling biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and Isaac Newton, were short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400096237
Author:
Gleick, James
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
History
Subject:
Reference-Bibliography and Library Science
Subject:
science;information;history;information theory;non-fiction;information science;technology;computers;mathematics;history of science;communication;computer science;culture;information technology;history of technology;language;libraries;library science;inter
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
8 x 5.14 x 1.1 in 1.125 lb

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The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 544 pages Vintage Books - English 9781400096237 Reviews:
"Review" by , "So ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it...The Information is to the nature, history and significance of data what the beach is to sand."
"Review" by , "[A] tour de force....This is intellectual history of tremendous verve, insight, and significance. Unfailingly spirited, often poetic, Gleick recharges our astonishment over the complexity and resonance of the digital sphere and ponders our hunger for connectedness....Destined to be a science classic, best-seller Gleick's dynamic history of information will be one of the biggest nonfiction books of the year."
"Review" by , "With his brilliant ability to synthesize mounds of details and to tell rich stories, Gleick leads us on a journey from one form of communication information to another....Gleick's exceptional history of culture concludes that information is indeed the blood, the fuel, and the vital principle on which our world runs."
"Review" by , "No author is better equipped for such a wide-ranging tour than Mr. Gleick. Some writers excel at crafting a historical narrative, others at elucidating esoteric theories, still others at humanizing scientists. Mr. Gleick is a master of all these skills."
"Review" by , "Gleick presses rousing tales from the history of human communication into the service of one Very Big Idea...he does what only the best science writers can: take a subject of which most of us are only peripherally aware and put it at the center of the universe."
"Review" by , "A wide-ranging, deeply researched and delightfully engaging history."
"Review" by , "The gifted science writer James Gleick explains how we've progressed from seeing information as the expression of human thought and emotion to looking at it as a commodity that can be processed, like wheat or plutonium. It's a long, complicated, and important story, and in Gleick's hands it's also a mesmerizing one....As a celebration of human ingenuity, The Information is a deeply hopeful book."
"Review" by , "A grand narrative if ever there was one...Gleick provides lucid expositions for readers who are up to following the science and suggestive analogies for those who are just reading for the plot. And there are anecdotes that every reader can enjoy....A prodigious intellectual survey."
"Review" by , "A highly ambitious and generally brilliant effort to tie together centuries of disparate scientific efforts to understand information as a meaningful concept....By the close of the book you cannot think of information as you might have before. It has become, quite palpably, something different than almost anything we encounter: resistant to decay and capable of perfect self-reproduction. It outlasts the organic beings who create it, and, by replication, the inorganic mediums used to store it. The Information — not unlike other science books that tackle big human quests for understanding — at times bears more than a passing resemblance to a spiritual text."
"Review" by , "The author's skills as an interpreter of science shine...for completist cybergeeks and infojunkies, the book delivers a solid summary of a dense, complex subject."
"Review" by , "A powerful and rigorous and at times very moving history of information....You can dip into The Information at just about any point and emerge with a magnificent detail."
"Review" by , "Imaginatively conceived and staggeringly researched...a transformative work."
"Review" by , "Expertly draws out neglected names and stories from history...Gleick's skill as an expicator of counterintuitive concepts makes the chapters on logic, the stuff even most philosophy majors slept through in class, brim with tension."
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times Notable Book

A Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year

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.

"Synopsis" by , A 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

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.

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