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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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