History of Information Science

People have been interested in information as a means of communication for a long time.

Read these two chapters and be ready to discuss them in class


Gleick, J. (2011). The information: A history, a theory, a flood.
New York, NY: Pantheon Books.

  1. read chapter chapter 5, A nervous system for the Earth. As you read it, think about:
    ⇒ the concept of creating meaning from nothing more than the position of a switch (p. 143)
    ⇒ the concept of a common sense of time (p. 148)
    ⇒ the concept of a common sense of encoding (p. 152)
  2. read chapter chapter 6, New wires, new logic. As you read it, think about:
    ⇒ Vannevar Bush's comment about the value not of being able to manipulate figures, but rather to be skilled in the use of symbolic logic (p. 172)
    ⇒ the idea that language is just the symbolic coding of meaning (pp. 177-178)
    ⇒ the concept that numbers may be used to encode all reasoning (p. 185)

If the item on the Napoleonic semaphore in chapter 5 piqued your interest ...

Napoleon's semaphore from the BBC article about it

Look at the video that precedes Hugh Schofield 16 June 2013 article on BBC news, How Napoleon's semaphore telegraph changed the world.