The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick — A roadmap to the evolution of the information age we live in and the information inventions that got us here.
This is an information and content dense book. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the discussions on how inventors and the public struggle with how to describe truly novel inventions, how hard it is to find the vocabulary to explain what the "telegraph" is to people who used the Pony Express to send their messages. How inventors at Bell Labs were troubled by the lack of order in how to describe their science. The discussions of the Babbage mechanical computer and Alan Turing's views on his own inventions create an inventive continuum of the information age. From drum based message systems to the internet, Mr. Gleick explains where it all came from and where it's going. It is a very nice catalog of prior art for those who think sending data across the wire for the purpose of conducting business is new.
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