Alex Wright


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GLUT: Mastering Information Through the Ages

by Alex Wright | National Academies Press, July 2007

What do primordial bacteria, medieval alchemists, and the World Wide Web have to do with each other? This fascinating exploration of how information systems emerge takes readers on a provocative journey through the history of the information age.

Spanning disciplines from evolutionary theory and cultural anthropology to the history of books, libraries, and computer science, writer and information architect Alex Wright weaves an intriguing narrative that connects such seemingly far-flung topics as insect colonies, Stone Age jewelry, medieval monasteries, Renaissance encyclopedias, early computer networks, and the World Wide Web. Finally, he pulls these threads together to reach a surprising conclusion, suggesting that the future of the information age may lie deep in our cultural past.


"A fascinating tour of the many ways that humans have collected, organized and shared information"

- Publishers' Weekly

"A penetrating and highly entertaining meditation on the information age and its historical roots"

- Los Angeles Times

"A lucid, exciting book full of flashes of surprise ... I wish I’d written it!"

- James Burke

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