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Todays "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generationnor even the first speciesto wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian archives, Greek libraries to Dark Age monasteries.
Today, we stand at a precipice, as our old systems struggle to cope with what designer Richard Saul Wurman called a "tsunami of data." With some historical perspective, however, we can begin to understand our predicament not just as the result of technological change, but as the latest chapter in an ancient story that we are only beginning to understand.
Spanning disciplines from evolutionary theory and cultural anthropology to the history of books, libraries, and computer science, writer and information architect Alex Wright weaves an intriguing narrative that connects such seemingly far-flung topics as insect colonies, Stone Age jewelry, medieval monasteries, Renaissance encyclopedias, early computer networks, and the World Wide Web. Finally, he pulls these threads together to reach a surprising conclusion, suggesting that the future of the information age may lie deep in our cultural past.
This book might be good for people with a vague interest in the topic or for a coffee table book. I bought it thinking that it coming from Cornell would mean that it was academic... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alexander Monea
A good history of the internet and information science - the sections covering Xanadu and the pre-PARC days of computing are extremely well written and filled in some gaps for me... Read morePublished 3 months ago by David R Woodbury
An incredible read and insight into information processing. Studied as part of a Masters program in information communication. Read morePublished 5 months ago by John F
I bought this book in preparation for a conference in which the author was the keynote speaker. I enjoyed this book; it gave me a lot to think about. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Rebecca Mugridge
The style is reasonably light for topic this has potential to be very dry.
The author does a good job making his point. Read more
First, I have not read this book. I probably will; in fact, it's on my wish list. But, in searching through the index of this book, I see no mention of Alan Turing whatsoever. Read morePublished on September 29, 2011 by Martin A. Miller
Alex Wright explains that in this volume, he approaches the story of the information age "by squarely looking backward" and along the way, he (and his reader) will "traverse a... Read morePublished on August 5, 2011 by Robert Morris