Gleick interview on information

less than 1 minute read

The Guardian has an interview with James Gleick about his new book, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. The book focuses in part on Claude Shannon and his development of information theory, which leads to one of the most interesting passages in the interview:

But as you note, information is not knowledge. We are more painfully aware of that now than ever. In explaining Shannon's work I kept having to emphasise his point about the irrelevance of meaning; yet we know full well that meaning is what we really care about. This loomed larger and larger. There's a hilarious moment in 1950 in a New York hotel meeting room when Shannon tries to explain "information" to anthropologists and psychologists such as Margaret Mead and Lawrence Frank, and they're a little outraged. Where are the humans in this picture? Where are our brains? If it's just wires and transistors, who cares?

Oh, if I were a companion of the Doctor, this is the second place I’d like to see.