Monday, March 19, 2012

So Much Information: the facts as we know them

It's often said we live in an information age.

Last year, author and journalist James Gleick gave readers what is fast becoming hailed as the book for understanding the history and importance of information. At over 500 pages, The Information : a history, a theory, a flood (M) seems at first glance (or first heft) an unlikely candidate for popular attention, but it has received both that and a heap of critical praise.

If you enjoyed The Information, or if information theory is a topic that catches your interest, you may also enjoy one of these books:

Too Big to Know: rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren't the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room (M)
by David Weinberger

Gleick's book is filled with stories of individuals, and their contributions to the technologies that allowed our information age to develop. Biographies of these individuals abound, including:

Lightning Man: the accursed life of Samuel F.B. Morse (M)
by Kenneth Silverman
- about the creator of the Morse Code system.

The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the invention of the computer (M)
by David Leavitt
- about the man whose work on cracking the Nazi Enigma Code foreshadowed computers as we know them today.

And for many of us, any conversation about information and society inevitably leads us to wonder about what all these great changes mean for us, and what we might be losing. The authors of the following books are also asking these questions:


  1. Hey Kristina!

    I want to read every one of these. Argh!


  2. That's great! Although sorry if we've added a little too much to your reading plate! :)