August 5, 2012
(was 09.04.2011)

We’ve all heard we live in “the information age,” but what does this mean?  We’ll give you a short history of information – from talking drums onward.  But do we now have too much information?  We’ll hear how information overload is actually re-wiring our brains.  Also, the new theory in physics that information may be the basic fabric of the universe.

  1. James Gleick on the History of Information

    James Gleick's "The Information" is a sweeping history of information, going back to the invention of writing and the African tradition of talking drums.  He tells Steve Paulson that the invention of information technologies has changed the very nature of consciousness.

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    Average: 4.2 (49 votes)
  2. Borges' "Library of Babel" reading

    Borges' "The Library of Babel" has inspired generations of writers and now, many scientists.  Here, we read several excerpts from the story. 

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    Average: 4.7 (25 votes)
  3. Nicholas Carr on Internet and the Brain

    Nicholas Carr believes the Internet is rewiring the human brain with its instant access to all sorts of information.  Are we losing our ability to focus on one thing for any length of time?

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    Average: 4.3 (35 votes)
  4. Ann Blair on Information Overload

    Information overload seems to be the quintessential 21st century problem.  Actually, people have worried about this for centuries, going back to the ancient Romans.  Ann Blair provides a short history of information-gathering.

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    Average: 4.1 (34 votes)
  5. Paul Davies on Physics of Information

    What are the basic buildings blocks of the universe?  Some physicists now say they're not subatomic particles or even the laws of physics, but information itself.  Physicist Paul Davies explains.

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    Average: 4.4 (37 votes)