Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Information

My boy Tyler Cowen links this morning to an article about the last telegram, which will be sent in India next month. We used to use them for formal communications in Macedonia two decades ago, and they seemed like a relic then. One wonders what future generations will think of email, blogs and social media, or if they will at all.

On this topic, I recommend The Information, from last month's reading list, a survey of communication from talking drums to dna. Long, but interesting throughout.

6 comments:

  1. I think I read the Kindle Sample for The Information. The part about the African talking drums was really cool; turns out they are a brilliant long-distance communications technology.

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  2. I think there wasn't a better way until the telegraph. That's a pretty good run.

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  3. Loved The Information. I hadn't really given much thought to the science of information and the extent to which the level of redundancy is adjusted almost evolutionarily in society depending on the level required to account to for transmission and reception errors.

    BTW - did you see that they are now planning to shot down India's national telegraph system? It is still in use by a large number of people for some reason. I have received 4 or 5 telegrams in my day - e.g., congratulations on wedding, birth of child etc. But I can't imagine why even the most remote village that does have a telegraph station isn't served by a cell phone

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  4. I thought I had posted an entry on that article, but I can't locate it. I've never received one, but we used them to schedule interviews for staff in Macedonia. I've also never received a talking drum.

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  5. Never mind, the link to the article about the last telegram is in the selfsame post. The existence of the information is one thing, the sharing is another.

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  6. Funny - I must have breezed right past that first sentence and on to The Information.

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