Book Review and informationReview and Information
Which new information do they represent and how can they influence readers' practices?
Review - The Information - By James Gleick
" Gleick has such a prospect and signalizes it in the first part of the cover of his new book, "The Information", with the particular item we normally book for totals like the cosmos, the airwaves - and the web. Information is more than just the content of our overcrowded library and webserver.
Mankind' s awareness, the community, life on the planet, the universe - it's at the bottom. Shannon in the same year as the invention of the transistors, immediately established the area of information technology, with wide application in technology and computer sciences. In addition, she turned "information" from a word associated with inquiries to telephonists into an intelligent catchphrase so easily spread that Shannon was persuaded to create a soft warning named "The Bandwagon".
" However, unlike the vogue type disciplines of cybernetic, suggested in the same year by Norbert Wiener, who only had a useful preface, information science led to a transformation of areas from economy to philosphy and introduced a tragic rethink in the areas of ecology and phisic. But, unlike mayhem, information also has a personal story.
Gleick tells a variety of frequently narrated narratives about the invention of type and the composition of the Oxford English Dictionary together with the histories of lesser-known encoding and communications textures. However, Gleick's trend to ignore the societal contexts cast a deep veil over the last few chapter of the book, in which he turns from the explanation of information as a scholarly conception to its consideration as an ordinary matter of interest and changes the role from author of scholarly literature to onlooker.
To him, the "information" we are concerned about is just another expression of the primordial matter that forms the basis of all of our biologic existence and the physics world. We are "creatures of information", as he says, in more than just our genes or chemicals. Gleick points out in an essay entitled "The Return of Meaning" that in order to comprehend how information leads to faith and wisdom, we must forgo Shannon's "ruthless victim of meaning", which had to throw "the qualities that give value to information" overboard.
When one starts to regard information as something useful, one has to detach it from its mathematic meaning, which leave nothing else but the term itself. In normal use, "information" is a difficult term to use (even after a recent reworking, the Oxford English Dictionary still makes a digest of its history).
This indeterminacy is embodied in the formulation "information age", which became established in the 1970', about the same period when we began to call computer and the like "information technology". "When you think of information in the form of bit and bandwith, it' s clear that computer. However, the rhetoric gives us the licence to accept that the material that sits on our disks is the same as the material that overwhelms us, that everyone should have free use of.
Gleick, like most of those who are writing about the information era, cannot escape this semantical shift. Describing the information blast, he expects an increasing number of byte and quotes the unrelenting process of prefixing (kilo-, mega-, giga-, tera-, peta-, exa-, and now zetta-, with yotta- in the wings), which is reflected in the spread of smart phones, pills, game panels and casingless serversfarmen.
However, these are not the things we have in view when we are concerned about the widening gulf between those who have information and those who have nothing, or when we are insisting that the free sharing of information is indispensable for a sound democric. Information in the social important meaning - things that are memorable, transferrable and useful irrespective of concept - are neither ever-present.
However, it is not just information that has been checked and made understandable. "For example, medicinal information" causes the torrent of results that occurs in a Google query for "back pain" or "vitamin D". "On the other side, however, "medical knowledge" evoke the structure of institutes and societies that are in charge of establishing, curing and disseminating what is known.
He would not disavow all this, but his emphasis on information as a driving force and universe matter makes him present his empire as an independent place at a distance from the wider societal sphere, rather than as an expansion of it. In the Vatican tune that this theme evokes, "Human wisdom penetrates the web, the cloud" (more of those who summarize certain articles).
The last impressive passage depicts mankind as it travels through the passageways of Borges' imagined library of Babel, which contains the text of every possible book in every tongue, truth and falsity, and searches the shelf in quest of "lines of meanings between the rulers of the Cacophonie and incoherence". "But when it comes to that, we will have a lot of help to identify the books to read, not only from public media sites and blog posts, but also from library, publishing and other bastions of the old information order.
In spite of some difficulties, an astonishing brain poll like "The Information" merits being on all their list. One theorie. In a review on March 20 about "The Information", James Gleick's story of file organisation, the last name of the creator of the field of cybernetics was misrepresented.