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Cover art for The Information: A Theory, a History, a Flood

The Information: A Theory, a History, a Flood

Written by James Gleick
Non-Fiction

Gleick’s book is broad in scope -- providing a global history of information technology and its effects on the world today. The book is a blend of science, history, and biography that covers everything from the talking drums of Africa to the creation of the dictionary; from the development of computing to the discovery of DNA. More than just a history of information science, Gleick takes us through a history of communication and how radical inventions, such as the telegraph and telephone (not to mention the computer) completely remade cultural norms and had far-reaching, worldwide impacts. Most importantly, Gleick shows that “hardly any information technology goes obsolete” and understanding where we came from helps us get a handle on current technology and inventions.

At more than 500 pages this book covers a lot of ground, but Gleick has a way of explaining difficult and complex concepts in an easy to understand, and often humorous, manner. His mini-biographies on the various scientists and inventors who have pushed along information science are not to be missed, especially those of Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, and Claude Shannon. Highly recommended!

Recommended by Andi

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