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Win James Gleick’s The Information Audiobook!

Information Audiobook by James Gleick

It’s the latest from James Gleick, The Information, out on unabridged audiobook CD from Random House Audio. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

The Information is a magisterial chronicle of how humans first began to communicate, transmit, store and preserve what they need to know begins prior to the creation of an alphabet or set of symbols, with the African talking drums that first made communication over distance possible. It then moves to the invention of writing (across all phonetic languages, there is only one word for alphabet), which allows information to be stored, collected, re-used and recollected, whether on tablets, urns, in almanacs and dictionaries, to the invention of other symbolic codes that would make possible navigational charts, logarithm tables, train schedules. He gives us stories of seminal figures in the understanding of information: Charles Babbage, whose unfulfilled dream of an Analytic Machine was the forerunner of the modern computer; Samuel Morse’s successful efforts to transmit information electronically, and most crucially, insight into Bell Labs scientist Claude Shannon, who was the first to envision information as something that could be measured, now familiarly known as a “bit”–an element that modern science more and more sees as constitutive of the world we live in from our understanding of the biological cell as a system of encoded messages, to financial transactions where currency is stored on magnetic strips.

The Information is a chronicle of the information and the many technologies that we have developed–from abaci to iPads–for manipulating, communicating, storing and organizing what we know, and how those devices change how we think. The Information is Jim Gleick’s most important audiobook since Chaos and Genius. Together the three form a remarkable trilogy. Chaos was the story of an emerging science. Genius was the biography of the great American physicist and how his contribution changed the face of 20th century physics. And, now with The Information, Gleick offers us the history of an idea that is coeval with human history, underlies the very possibility of that history and how our understanding of information is not only transforming how we look at the world, but how we live. This book fulfills the promise exhibited in those earlier books, and will provide an occasion that will confirm Gleick’s great ability for exploring and explaining our age’s defining idea.

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