Informatica: Mastering information Through the Ages

Published 06/15/2023

Cornell University Press

Available From

The second edition of my first book Glut, this revised and expanded version continues the to explore the deep history of the information age. Today’s “information explosion” may seem like a modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation―or even the first species―to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information. Informatica looks for common threads among topics as seemingly far-flung as insect colonies, Stone Age jewelry, ancient libraries, medieval monasteries, Renaissance encyclopedias, early computer networks, and the World Wide Web, exploring whether clues to the future of our present-day information age may lie deep in our cultural past.

“An astonishingly wide-ranging book… In a series of engaging, chronologically organized tales, Alex Wright synthesizes evolutionary biology, archaeology, history of science, history of the book, intellectual history, and information studies.”
– Shannon Mattern, The New School