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The Information

A History, a Theory, a Flood

By

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

4.2
(114)

Language:English | Number of Pages: 544 | Format: Softcover and Stapled | In other languages: (other languages) Chi traditional , Spanish , Italian , German

Isbn-10: 000742311X | Isbn-13: 9780007423118 | Publish date: 

Also available as: Hardcover , Audio CD , eBook , Paperback

Category: Computer & Technology , History , Science & Nature

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Book Description
Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2012, the world's leading prize for popular science writing. We live in the information age. But every era of history has had its own information revolution: the invention of writing, the composition of dictionaries, the creation of the charts that made navigation possible, the discovery of the electronic signal, the cracking of the genetic code. In 'The Information' James Gleick tells the story of how human beings use, transmit and keep what they know. From African talking drums to Wikipedia, from Morse code to the 'bit', it is a fascinating account of the modern age's defining idea and a brilliant exploration of how information has revolutionised our lives.
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  • 5

    資訊的歷史、理論、洪流

    《資訊:一段歷史、一個理論、一股洪流》(The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)是本很有趣的科學史好書。

    《資訊》作者詹姆斯.葛雷易克(James Gleick)的處女作《混沌》(Chaos: Making a New Science)入圍美國國家書卷獎及普立茲獎決選,也是不可多得的好書, 「蝴蝶效應」也成了大家啷啷上口的流行用語,《混沌》把一個 ...continue

    《資訊:一段歷史、一個理論、一股洪流》(The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)是本很有趣的科學史好書。

    《資訊》作者詹姆斯.葛雷易克(James Gleick)的處女作《混沌》(Chaos: Making a New Science)入圍美國國家書卷獎及普立茲獎決選,也是不可多得的好書, 「蝴蝶效應」也成了大家啷啷上口的流行用語,《混沌》把一個複雜的科學理論解釋得極為生動有趣,科技驚悚小說之父麥可.克萊頓(Michael Crichton)為了還趕流行把混沌理論寫進《侏羅紀公園》(Jurassic Park)裡,雖然劇情顯然不需要用混沌理論來解釋。《混沌》也是天下文化的第一本科普書,是「科學人文」系列的天字一號,開啟了科普書在台灣書市的黃金年代!

    閱讀全文:
    http://skygene.blogspot.tw/2014/06/the-information-history-theory-flood.html

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  • 4

    Demasiado ambicioso

    El intentar abarcar casi 30 siglos de historia de la información hace que el interés de los capítulos sea desigual. Los primeros y últimos capítulos son un tanto prescindibles: los primeros por la lej ...continue

    El intentar abarcar casi 30 siglos de historia de la información hace que el interés de los capítulos sea desigual. Los primeros y últimos capítulos son un tanto prescindibles: los primeros por la lejanía y los últimos por la obviedad de lo que nos es cotidiano.
    Otros capítulos son bastante oscuros y mal resueltos como el de la computación cuántica o el de la Genética.
    Sin embargo hay tres capítulos: el dedicado a Shannon, el que trata sobre la entropía y el que versa sobre la aleatoriedad son tan claros, amenos y sugerentes que justifican un notable para este libro.

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  • 5

    資訊與透明的社會

      葛雷易克繼《混沌》之後,將本書重心聚焦於「資訊」上,儘管探討的範圍縮小不少,但開天闢地般的旁徵博引、流暢幽默的行文卻仍一如往昔。作者從文字的史前史(非洲人如何用鼓聲傳遞訊息)談起,以及文字發明之後人類又如何將其與意義連結(進而字典的誕生)。之後隨著商業的發達,人類生活範圍逐漸外擴,資訊理論的探討便從「意義」的命題上轉移至「傳輸」(套句「位元」〔bits〕發明者夏農〔Shannon〕的話:「如何 ...continue

      葛雷易克繼《混沌》之後,將本書重心聚焦於「資訊」上,儘管探討的範圍縮小不少,但開天闢地般的旁徵博引、流暢幽默的行文卻仍一如往昔。作者從文字的史前史(非洲人如何用鼓聲傳遞訊息)談起,以及文字發明之後人類又如何將其與意義連結(進而字典的誕生)。之後隨著商業的發達,人類生活範圍逐漸外擴,資訊理論的探討便從「意義」的命題上轉移至「傳輸」(套句「位元」〔bits〕發明者夏農〔Shannon〕的話:「如何將某一點的訊息在另一點完全或近乎精確的重製」)。到了20世紀中,不少學者抱怨先前的資訊理論過於「數學」,因此紛紛提出新的理論補充,造成資訊研究的轉向:將「資訊」與「意義」放入宇宙秩序中觀察。此種宏觀的研究取向,從此「資訊」再也不僅僅是「訊息的傳遞」,取而代之「資訊即是熵(entropy)」(「沒有人知道熵是什麼,這麼說有一點誇張,但相去不遠」),若其與粒子結合則便和「纏結」(entanglement)、量子力學、蝴蝶效應(Butterfly Effect)等密切關聯,若與生物學結合則又成為人類的生命密碼(DNA、RNA)。

      因此,就現代(最廣義的)意義而言,幾乎可說「資訊即是萬物」(「萬有源自位元」)。在這個由量子位元(qubit)編織的綿密網裡,萬物總是牽連者萬物,毫無秩序的隨機糾結在一團;在這種渾沌的世界圖像中,物理學家將重心放至「隨機/秩序」(差別即在於「意義」的有無)之上,而我們則就在這片資訊之海中浮沉,每天都有大量新的資訊產生,如洪水般地襲來充斥著我們的生活。儘管資訊使生活更為便捷,但日復一日資訊取代著資訊,「意義」也在這資訊的浪潮中逐漸稀釋成浪沫。然而,改變我們的卻不僅止於此,資訊同時也變得更公開、更透明、更容易取得,每個人的資訊片段散落於各處,在大量的資訊掩護之下個人的隱私雖未有直接的揭露,但只要有心收集並拼湊,則這些資料也就成為具有識別性的資訊,我們的生活也就存在於更隱密卻也更透明的悖論之中。

      但若考量到,先前報導美國國安局(NSA)及聯邦調查局(FBI)所採取的「菱鏡」(PRISM)監控計畫(透過Microsoft、Google、Facebook、YouTube、Skype、Apple等社交平台取得使用者資訊),以及如火如荼進行的「海量資訊」(Big Data)計畫,無疑每個人的私生活將只會越趨近透明;此種公/私領域界線的泯滅,也不再只是歐威爾(Orwell)《1984》中的「老大哥」(Big Brother)如此單純的隱喻,取而代之的是村上春樹在《1Q84》中無所不在且難以捉摸的「Little People」(亦有學者以卡夫卡〔Kafka〕的《審判》〔Der Process〕比喻)。

      大量的資訊是把雙面刃,在這把刃下早已有不少人產生「接觸過量資訊所致的無感、冷漠與心理倦怠等」資訊疲勞的症狀,這一點也不讓人意外,畢竟詩人艾略特(Eliot)早已於1934年針對資訊氾濫的現象如此表達了:「言語的知識,但不是沉默的知識;/文字(word)的知識,無知於道(the Word)。/知識讓我們更接近無知,/無知讓我們更接近死亡,/但接近死亡不代表接近神」;只可惜他的忠告不過是從資訊之海中打在岸上的一朵白浪,逐漸的離我們遠去。

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  • 4

    Interessantissima storia su come l'informazione (nel senso ingegneristico del termine) è stata trattata e studiata nel corso della storia.
    Non troppo accademico e affascinante.

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  • 4

    This book ruined my weekend plan and stole the priority of another book thatI have started reading.

    Starting right from the prologue, I can't stop reading. When it hinted that there was an equally ...continue

    This book ruined my weekend plan and stole the priority of another book thatI have started reading.

    Starting right from the prologue, I can't stop reading. When it hinted that there was an equally important creation/concept developed in the same year as the first transistor was invented, I closed the book and tried to recall. I failed and when I found the answer, I just smiled and said 'of course'.

    It is also interesting to note that at one point in the history, there was fear that telegraph would jeopadize newspaper and yet newspaper has taken advantage of the technology and made itself more relevant and survived from the competition of newer technology such as radio and television. On the other hand, it is fun to find out when the term "cyvernetics" is coined. Year 2000 ? 1990 ? 1970 ? It is actually way earlier than that... It is always difficult to predict where and when technology and the social culture will cross each other. And it is where the fun is.

    I agree with some of the other reviewers that this book may not give you too much new insights (especially comparing with Chaos), but you will find the journey a pleasant one. It is a fruitful experience.

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  • 4

    「歷史」和「理論」的部份都很引人入勝,不過「洪流」的部份卻有點不明不白。本來一直在期待一本申農的傳記,可是讀過這本後才發覺我想看的其實是《財富公式》裡那個玩牌和投資的申農。

    讀這書期間,我發現了巴菲特、芒格、Henry Singleton 和申農之間的「秘密關係」。Henry Singleton 在六十年代創立了 Tedelyne,他運用升值的自家股票四出收購,又在股價下跌之際進行股票回購,在多年 ...continue

    「歷史」和「理論」的部份都很引人入勝,不過「洪流」的部份卻有點不明不白。本來一直在期待一本申農的傳記,可是讀過這本後才發覺我想看的其實是《財富公式》裡那個玩牌和投資的申農。

    讀這書期間,我發現了巴菲特、芒格、Henry Singleton 和申農之間的「秘密關係」。Henry Singleton 在六十年代創立了 Tedelyne,他運用升值的自家股票四出收購,又在股價下跌之際進行股票回購,在多年間造就豐厚的回報,巴菲特稱之為資本配置之王。巴菲特的拍檔芒格讀過《財富公式》後,讚嘆申農集中的投資風格和自己很相像。那麼資本家 Singleton 和科學家申農有甚麼關係?原來 Singleton 大手筆投資科技股,所以邀請了申農為董事會一員。而再翻閱《財富公式》最後一章,申農的投資組合中,最為集中而回報也最豐厚的,赫然就是 Tedelyne。

    原來在商業、投資、科學裡頭,我喜歡的來來去去都是那些東西。

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  • 4

    其實很喜歡這種拉拉雜雜的書,大概是完全沒有理論背景的原故,每一章對我來說都像是全新的世界。
    不過後面提到量子物理的章節完全看不懂OTZ

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  • 0

    una prima breve riflessione

    Ho appena superato la meta` del voluminoso libro di J.Gleick The Information, acquistato nel luglio scorso.
    Sino a poche pagine fa ancora non riuscivo a capire quale fosse il tema nascosto che una na ...continue

    Ho appena superato la meta` del voluminoso libro di J.Gleick The Information, acquistato nel luglio scorso.
    Sino a poche pagine fa ancora non riuscivo a capire quale fosse il tema nascosto che una narrazione cosi` dettagliata dell’evoluzione del trattamento della informazione nascondesse.
    Quale fosse il messaggio, insomma.
    Ho provato dunque a fare una prima breve riflessione, che qui vi propongo:

    Come razza umana, mediamente non abbiamo poteri telepatici (non escludo a priori che qualcuno li abbia, ma non ho mai letto di prove che abbiano soddisfatto i criteri scientifici). Altrimenti non avremmo dovuto sviluppare così tanti e diversi linguaggi e così articolati.
    Essi, i linguaggi, così come le scritture e i vari simbolismi, rappresentano il tentativo di concentrare in simboli esterni a sè quanto elaborato nella propria mente. Con lo scopo ultimo di comunicare agli altri il proprio pensiero.
    CI si deve mettere d’accordo sul significato da dare ai simboli, tuttavia.
    Il processo prevede che usando concetti universalmente accettati ( una tacca per indicare l’uno, due tacche per il due, una mano aperta per il cinque -da cui il V romano - e cosi` via) si iniziano a codificare concetti che fanno da base per comunicazioni via via piu` complesse e ricche.
    Questo meccanismo richiede quindi che per una comunicazione sempre piu` complessa ci si attrezzi di competenze ed esperienze sempre piu` complete.
    La storia della comunicazione ( dell’informazione) e` la storia di una ininterrotta codifica.

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