Saturday, July 16, 2016

On Gleick's "The Information"

This book is a wide-ranging take on information from before Babbage to today’s computers with a side trip through theories and practices of information.

Once I was done, it made me pick the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus I had laying around from the last time I read a book like this (Logicomix, a graphic novel about Russell and Whitehead and Ludwig). This time I got through Russell’s introduction - but even now I know that the project was a failure, I can’t see why he failed - it takes a Godel for that. (For that matter, I need to go back to and try Douglas Hofstadter again).

This is an accessible work that makes you want to go deeper in your understanding of how signs and signifiers work in the world, and boolean logic too. I must have missed all that in school, thinking that the philosophers were just guys that hung out wearing togas while corrupting the youth. This is a good introduction that should well-thumbed.