Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Read, Read, and Read Some More: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

Here's a great book that sheds some light on Edward O. Thorp's roulette wheel-predicting buddy, the genius Claude Shannon. I smile when I recall William Poundstone's opening description about Shannon in Fortune's Formula, something along the lines of, "It would be unfair to Claude Shannon to Albert Einstein. Unfair to Shannon because he was so much smarter."

This hefty tome is touted on Amazon as, "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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