March 29, 2011

When we look back through history, we can see that a lot of different stories all turn out to be stories about information

Kevin Kelly interviews James Gleick about his new book The Information.

Gleick: Shannon said that the notion of information has nothing to do with meaning. A string of bits has a quantity, whether it represents something that’s true, something that’s utterly false, or something that’s just meaningless nonsense. If you were a scientist or an engineer, that idea was very liberating; it enabled you to treat information as a manipulable thing.

Kelly: And how would you define this thing?

Gleick: Scientifically, information is a choice—a yes-or-no choice. In a broader sense, information is everything that informs our world—writing, painting, music, money.

Kelly: And as we came to understand how information works, that impacted our understanding of how our bodies and minds operate, too, right?

comments

  1. Derek White on March 29th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’m really looking forward to this book, if i can get my hands on a copy. There’s another good review of it here.