Monday, October 1, 2012

My Thoughts and Reflections on James Gleick’s, The Information: A History, A Theory, a Flood. Chapters 7-9

     I have always found codes to be fascinating but sadly have never been that great at figuring them out.  I had known to a small extent that math was involved. Now that I know what a huge part math and numbers play in cryptography, it makes sense that it has never been a talent of mine.  It’s rather funny; I have always said I am much better at words than numbers.  For the first time I am realizing just how closely related the two are!

     In chapter 8 when the author told us about different speakers at a conference, I thought what Margaret Mead brought up was interesting; that the meaning in a message, like anger, needs to be considered as well.  That is an issue we are still confronted with today, in our emails, posts, and instant messages. It is difficult to convey emotion, and difficult to read a message without inferring emotion.  Society sought to solve this dilemma with emoticons, a small picture that demonstrates an emotion.  It started with using punctuation and letters on the keyboard, but as technology has advance, has evolved into little pictures in most programs.  Some applications, like AIM, have a variety of themed emoticons to choose from.  I have to say I use them, and LOL, a lot to make sure that I get my point across, or to not accidentally offend someone.

     I think it is very interesting how people like to use the supernatural to explain processes or phenomenon that we don’t fully understand on is difficult to understand.  Like Maxwell’s demon in chapter 9, or like the Greek god Zeus to explain lightening. Actually, Greek mythology is another example of people sorting and putting things in order. People did this by sorting out nature, emotions, states or being, etc. and assigning them to different gods and goddesses.  It is really is amazing how much order dominates our lives.  Even the way we process and retain information utilizes categories and orders, by using schemas.  It’s amazing how math, engineering, physics, psychology, and communication are all linked!

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