- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
‘An audacious book which offers remarkable insight. Gleick takes us, with verve and fizz, on a journey from African drums to computers, liberally sprinkling delightful factoids along the way. This is a book we need to give us a fresh perspective on how we communicate and how that shapes our world.’ The Royal Society Winton Prize Judges
‘Mind-stretching but enlightening … the power and breadth of the ideas involved cannot but make you marvel.’ Daily Mail
‘Magisterial…It is not merely a history of information, but also a theory and a prospectus. To describe it as ambitious is to engage in almost comical understatement.’ Matthew Syed, The Times
‘A deeply impressive and rather beautiful book.’ Philip Ball, Observer
‘The fascinating story of how humans have transmitted knowledge…broad and occasionally brilliant.’ Sunday Times
‘This is a work of rare penetration, a true history of ideas whose witty and determined treatment of its material brings clarity to a complex subject.’ Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph
About the Author
James Gleick was born in New York in 1954. He worked for ten years as an editor and reporter for The New York Times. He is the bestselling author of Chaos, Genius, Faster, What Just Happened and a biography of Isaac Newton.
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The other thing that keeps the reader's attention is Gleick's entertaining, assured writing style (already familiar to those of us who've read his excellent biography of Richard Feynman). For example, here is his stimulating comment on a letter from Lovelace to Babbage (p119):
"She was programming the machine. She programmed it in her mind, because the machine did not yet exist. The complexities she encountered for the first time became familiar to programmers of the next century."
His description (p231) of the first attempt by Shannon (or indeed anyone) to construct a scale of information content - ranging from the digit wheel in an adding machine (3 bit), through the human genome (estimated conservatively at 100 Mbit), up to the Library of Congress (100 Tbit) - is similarly arresting; the fact that Shannon did this in 1949, just before his book on information theory appeared, and was the first person to suggest that a genome was an information store, is extraordinary.
I greatly enjoyed this book. The concepts and technologies it discusses are complicated, but Gleick explains them cleverly, and brings out the excitement in the pursuit of an understanding of the way we use, transmit and keep what we know, and the effect it has on our lives.
This is an interesting overview that brings together both the history and theory of information and shows how we came to be living in the "Information Age". Well worth a read.
I'm really sorry. Gleick is a really good writer, does a service to the sciences, was fully on form for most the book - but just spent to much space and, no doubt, time, on the wrong stuff in over a third of the book.
One of the most enjoyable pop science books I have read in sometime.