Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thankful To Be Apart Of The Spoiled Generation

Like Raquel, at times reading Gleick's Information definitely felt like trying to concentrate on a whole bunch of meaningless words. But, I would have to say that chapters 4-6 caught my attention more than the previous chapters. I'm definitely thankful to not have been around while all of this was going on. It's very enlightening to know how much hard work and dedication went into making communication easier and faster. We have all these gadgets and whether they be old or new, it's hard to really pay attention to the mechanics and mathematics that actually make them function properly. We just use them and could care less about the specifics (until it malfunctions). Gleick's in-depth description of the telegraph, telephone, computer and the people that dedicated their minds and time to the cause definitely make me thankful!

Also, the small details about the lives of Charles Babbage, Claude Chappe, and Claude Shannon, etc. that Gleick uses definitely makes the chapters more personal and interesting. Through external readings I found out that Charles Babbage's youngest son Henry was able to design six new engines based on plans his father created. Cool!

Lastly, I found the title 'a nervous system for the earth' very clever. At first glance, chapter 5 was definitely the one I wanted to read the most. In that chapter it was noted by Michael Faraday that, "Electricity is the poetry of science". I appreciate the play on words. I've never thought of electricity in that kind of way but when you think about it, it's pretty accurate. As fancy and interesting as the title and some components of the reading were, I still find the telegraph difficult to understand. It seemed useless. It's so hard to believe that at one point it was preferred over the telephone! In my opinion, the whole process is quite complicated and silly. But, in an attempt to learn more about the telegraph, I found this video of a lady demonstrating how to build one (for a science fair, etc.). She offers some interesting background information regarding the dangers that people faced when building telegraphs too.

1 comment:

  1. That video is really neat! I never thought of the telegraph as dangerous to the person building it.