For the last couple of months I’ve been sort of obsessed with Freeman Dyson. It all started with this fabulous quote I read I don’t know where. Those words describe the way I feel about my work.
After that I started reading some of his interviews and book reviews. Today I stumbled into another quote in Caterina Fake‘s blog.
Claude Shannon, father of information theory, separated information from meaning. His central dogma, “meaning is irrelevant” declared that information could be handled as a mathematical abstraction independent of meaning. The consequence of this freedom is the flood of information in which we are drowning. The immense size of modern databases gives us a feeling of meaninglessness…It is our task as humans to bring meaning back into this wasteland. As finite creatures who think and feel, we can create islands of meaning in the sea of information.
This is from Dyson’s review of James Gleick‘s book “The Information”, and now I guess this obsession is going to stay for while.
If you’re new to information theory I highly recommend David Weinberger‘s “Small pieces loosely joined” and ” Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder”. Those are a good start.
After finishing Gleick’s book I’m gonna start my quest on Dyson by The Scientist as a Rebel.
The photograph on this post is from Startup Chile BBQ, last saturday. All of them are seeking satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use