The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood



Information is a vague concept at best and a meaningless one at worst. (By the way, this is made clear in the first week of graduate programs in information science.) James Gleick has come up with as good a book about “the information” as I think it’s possible to write, conducting the reader on a tour of the history of communication and information technology from the earliest alphabet systems up through the internet age. This is punctuated and enlivened by biographical sketches of key characters in the emergence of information science, like Samuel Morse and Claude Shannon. It is all enveloped in a grand narrative argument about information’s role in human development that makes a lot of sense, even if it isn’t entirely convincing.

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