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The Ascent of Information: How Data Rules the World

Rs. 4,190.00

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Caleb Scharf


“Full of fascinating insights drawn from an impressive range of disciplines, The Ascent of Information casts the familiar and the foreign in a dramatic new light.” —Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe


Your information has a life of its own, and its using you to get what it wants.


One of the most peculiar and possibly unique features of humans is the vast amount of information we carry outside our biological selves. But in our rush to build the infrastructure for the 20 quintillion bits we create every day, we’ve failed to ask exactly why we’re expending ever-increasing amounts of energy, resources, and human effort to maintain all this data.


Drawing on deep ideas and frontier thinking in evolutionary biology, computer science, information theory, and astrobiology, Caleb Scharf argues that information is, in a very real sense, alive. All the data we create—all of our emails, tweets, selfies, A.I.-generated text and funny cat videos—amounts to an aggregate lifeform. It has goals and needs. It can control our behavior and influence our well-being. And it’s an organism that has evolved right alongside us.


This symbiotic relationship with information offers a startling new lens for looking at the world. Data isn’t just something we produce; it’s the reason we exist. This powerful idea has the potential to upend the way we think about our technology, our role as humans, and the fundamental nature of life.


The Ascent of Information offers a humbling vision of a universe built of and for information. Scharf explores how our relationship with data will affect our ongoing evolution as a species. Understanding this relationship will be crucial to preventing our data from becoming more of a burden than an asset, and to preserving the possibility of a human future.

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About the Author

Caleb Scharf is the award-winning author of The Zoomable UniverseThe Copernicus Complex, and Gravitys Engines, and the director of the Columbia Astrobiology Center. He has written for The New YorkerThe New York TimesScientific AmericanNautilus, and Nature, among other publications. He lives in New York City.


Book Specifications

Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Published Year: 2022
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780593087251


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