By James Gleick
A New York Times remarkable Book
A Los Angeles instances and Cleveland undeniable Dealer top booklet of the Year
Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary technological know-how Writing Award
From the bestselling writer of the acclaimed Chaos and Genius comes a considerate and provocative exploration of the massive rules of the trendy period: info, communique, and knowledge theory.
Acclaimed technological know-how author James Gleick offers an eye-opening imaginative and prescient of ways our courting to details has reworked the very nature of human attention. a desirable highbrow trip during the background of verbal exchange and knowledge, from the language of Africa’s conversing drums to the discovery of written alphabets; from the digital transmission of code to the origins of knowledge concept, into the hot details age and the present deluge of stories, tweets, photographs, and blogs. alongside the way in which, Gleick profiles key innovators, together with Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Samuel Morse, and Claude Shannon, and divulges how our realizing of knowledge is reworking not just how we glance on the international, yet how we live.
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Additional resources for The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
How may they remember? Hartley Nyquist in arguing that the continual curve will be regarded as the restrict approached by way of a succession of discrete steps, and that the stairs can be recovered, in influence, by means of sampling the waveform at periods. That manner telephony may be made topic to a similar mathematical therapy as telegraphy. by way of a crude yet convincing research, he confirmed that during either situations the complete volume of knowledge might depend upon elements: the time on hand for transmission and the bandwidth of the channel. Phonograph documents and films might be analyzed a similar manner. those unusual papers by means of Nyquist and Hartley attracted little instant realization. They have been infrequently compatible for any prestigious magazine of arithmetic or physics, yet Bell Labs had its personal, The Bell method Technical magazine, and Claude Shannon learn them there. He absorbed the mathematical insights, sketchy even though they were—first awkward steps towards a shadowy objective. He famous additionally the problems either males had in defining their phrases. “By the rate of transmission of intelligence is intended the variety of characters, representing diverse letters, figures, and so forth. , which might be transmitted in a given size of time. ” Characters, letters, figures: not easy to count number. there have been ideas, too, for which phrases had but to be invented: “the skill of a approach to transmit a selected series of symbols …” THE BAUDOT CODE Shannon felt the promise of unification. The communications engineers have been speaking not only approximately wires but additionally the air, the “ether,” or even punched tape. They have been considering not only phrases but in addition sounds and photographs. They have been representing the total global as symbols, in electrical energy. * * * * In an overview 40 years later the geneticist James F. Crow wrote: “It turns out to were written in whole isolation from the inhabitants genetics neighborhood. …[Shannon] came across ideas that have been rediscovered later. … My remorse is that [it] didn't turn into widely recognized in 1940. it will have replaced the heritage of the topic considerably, i believe. ” * In commonplace English, as Russell famous, it really is 100 and 11 thousand seven-hundred and seventy-seven. 7 | details idea (All I’m After is simply a secular mind) probably arising with a idea of knowledge and its processing is rather like construction a transcontinental railway. you can begin within the east, attempting to know how brokers can technique something, and head west. otherwise you can begin within the west, with attempting to comprehend what details is, after which head east. One hopes that those tracks will meet. —Jon Barwise (1986) on the peak OF THE battle, in early 1943, like-minded thinkers, Claude Shannon and Alan Turing, met day-by-day at teatime within the Bell Labs cafeteria and stated not anything to one another approximately their paintings, since it used to be mystery. either males had turn into cryptanalysts. Even Turing’s presence at Bell Labs used to be a type of mystery. He had come over at the Queen Elizabeth, zigzagging to elude U-boats, after a clandestine triumph at Bletchley Park in decoding Enigma, the code utilized by the German army for its serious verbal exchange (including signs to the U-boats).