Reluctant Father Of The Digital Age

from the information-theory dept

An interesting article about Claude Shannon, who basically created information theory from scratch. The article pretty clearly explains the basics of his theories, but talks more about the guy and his eccentricities. For instance, most of his colleagus at Bell Labs didn’t even know that he was working on information theory – and it took him five years after he’d worked most of the theory out to actually getting around to publishing it. Then, when it became “popular” he wanted nothing at all to do with it any more. He also seemed to like creating odd machines, such as the “Perfect Machine” – which was a box with a switch. When you flipped the switch, a mechanical hand reached out, and flipped the switch back to the off position, and the hand then went back into the box, leaving you where you started.

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