May 2013 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
by James Gleick
In his latest work, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, James Gleick discusses the recognition and role of information, as well as its communication and storage, culminating with its seemingly endless and inescapable modern appearance. Gleick guides us through the long-developing chain of understanding and technological progress from the earliest writing, to the supercomputer, to the current devices we carry in our pockets. Gleick continues until arriving at our stage on the continuum of developments in the communication and accessibility of information, and what’s more, of the very idea and understanding of what “information” entails.
The Information tells of the human endeavor to transmit, compile, and store data on all matters deemed necessary and those which only later find importance and usefulness. Communication systems, beginning with written language, foster the means through which we transmit information across distances and ever-widening audiences. Each communication type in turn spawns peripheral developments to standardize, regulate, “fool-proof” (and sometimes encode), and increase efficiency.
The Information is highly recommended for anyone interested in seeing how dictionaries, logarithms, telegraphs, supercomputers, and smart phones share a common bond, compounding centuries of work and desires for progress in the field of information transmission, storage, accessibility, and the unending desire to do all things faster.
This book can be found in the First Floor Book Shelves in the South Wing on the first floor of the Library.