The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

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From the bestselling author of the acclaimed Chaos and Genius comes a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the big ideas of the modern era: Information, communication, and information theory. 
 
Acclaimed science writer James Gleick presents an eye-opening vision of how our relationship to information has transformed the very nature of human consciousness. A fascinating intellectual journey through the history of communication and information, from the language of Africa’s talking drums to the invention of written alphabets; from the electronic transmission of code to the origins of information theory, into the new information age and the current deluge of news, tweets, images, and blogs. Along the way, Gleick profiles key innovators, including Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Samuel Morse, and Claude Shannon, and reveals how our understanding of information is transforming not only how we look at the world, but how we live.

New York Times Notable Book
Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year
Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Mar 1, 2011
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Pages
544
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ISBN
9780307379573
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / History
Social Science / Research
Technology & Engineering / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Networks of communication evolve in terms of reflexive exchanges. The codification of these reflections in language, that is, at the social level, can be considered as the operating system of society. Under sociologically specifiable conditions, the discursive reconstructions can be expected to make the systems under reflection increasingly knowledge-intensive. This sociological theory of communication is founded in a tradition that includes Giddens' (1979) structuration theory, Habermas' (1981) theory of communicative action, and Luhmann's (1984) proposal to consider social systems as self-organizing. The study also elaborates on Shannon's (1948) mathematical theory of communication for the formalization and operationalization of the non-linear dynamics. The development of scientific communications can be studied using citation analysis. The exchange media at the interfaces of knowledge production provide us with the evolutionary model of a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations. The construction of the European Information Society can then be analyzed in terms of interacting networks of communication. The issues of sustainable development and the expectation of social change are discussed in relation to the possibility of a general theory of communication. REVIEW In this book, LoetLeydesdorff sets out to answer the question, "Can society be considered as a self-organizing (autopoietic) system. In the process, Leydesdorff, develops a general sociological theory of communication, as well as a special theory of scientific communication designed to analyze complex systems such as the Euroean Information Society. (from review in JASIST 53[1], 2002, 62-63)
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