Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium

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9780226066233: Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium

Holding On to Reality is a brilliant history of information, from its inception in the natural world to its role in the transformation of culture to the current Internet mania and is attendant assets and liabilities. Drawing on the history of ideas, the details of information technology, and the boundaries of the human condition, Borgmann illuminates the relationship between things and signs, between reality and information.

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Review:

It's remarkable how far we've traveled into the Information Age without coming up with a very good idea of what information actually is. Technologists define information as bits and bytes, but that seems too precise somehow to get at the heart of the idea. Everyday speech defines it as just about any interesting piece of news, but that seems equally vague. Holding On to Reality is a philosopher's ruminative attempt to find the sweet spot between those two understandings, feeling for an idea of information that does justice both to its deep roots in human history and its broad implications for human culture at the edge of the 21st century.

For Borgmann, information is defined as much by the mind and cultural context of the people who behold it as by the physical traces (notches on a bone, voltages on a wire) that embody it. Fleshing out that notion, he tracks the changing nature of information across the face of history--from the natural signs that mattered most to prehistoric people to the alphabets and maps that shaped ancient and medieval culture to the mechanically logical forms of information that began to emerge in modern times.

Borgmann's observations suffer somewhat when he turns his sights on present-day information technologies and the cultural changes they have wrought. His cultural conservatism shows most strongly here and, at times, comes out sounding more cranky than critical. But on the whole, his insights are supple and thought-provoking. If we are ever going to really understand where the Information Age has come from and what it's about, we'll need more books like this one. --Julian Dibbell

About the Author:

Albert Borgmann is the Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana. His books include Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life and Crossing the Postmodern Divide, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Albert Borgmann
Editorial: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0226066231 ISBN 13: 9780226066233
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the late-1990s people hear constantly about the information revolution . The 24-hour news channels and dizzying Internet technologies bombard people with facts and pictures from around the globe. But what kind of a revolution is this? How has information really changed from what it was ten years or ten centuries ago? This work offers some answers to these questions. Albert Borgmann has written a history of information, from its inception in the natural world to its role in the transformation of culture - in writing and printing, in music and architecture - to the late-1990s Internet mania and its attendant assets and liabilities. Drawing on the history of ideas, the details of information technology, and the boundaries of the human condition, Borgmann explains the relationship between things and signs, between reality and information. His history ranges from Plato to Boeing and from the alphabet to virtual reality, all the while being conscious of the enthusiasm, apprehension, and uncertainty that have greeted every stage of the development of information.The book is underscored by the humanist s fundamental belief in human excellence and by the conviction that excellence is jeopardized unless we achieve a balance of information and the things and practices that have served us well and we continue to depend on for our material and spiritual well-being - the grandeur of nature, the splendour of cities, competence of work, fidelity to loved ones, and devotion to art or religion . Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780226066233

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Borgmann, Albert
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ISBN 10: 0226066231 ISBN 13: 9780226066233
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Descripción University Of Chicago Press, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería INGM9780226066233

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Albert Borgmann
Editorial: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2001)
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the late-1990s people hear constantly about the information revolution . The 24-hour news channels and dizzying Internet technologies bombard people with facts and pictures from around the globe. But what kind of a revolution is this? How has information really changed from what it was ten years or ten centuries ago? This work offers some answers to these questions. Albert Borgmann has written a history of information, from its inception in the natural world to its role in the transformation of culture - in writing and printing, in music and architecture - to the late-1990s Internet mania and its attendant assets and liabilities. Drawing on the history of ideas, the details of information technology, and the boundaries of the human condition, Borgmann explains the relationship between things and signs, between reality and information. His history ranges from Plato to Boeing and from the alphabet to virtual reality, all the while being conscious of the enthusiasm, apprehension, and uncertainty that have greeted every stage of the development of information.The book is underscored by the humanist s fundamental belief in human excellence and by the conviction that excellence is jeopardized unless we achieve a balance of information and the things and practices that have served us well and we continue to depend on for our material and spiritual well-being - the grandeur of nature, the splendour of cities, competence of work, fidelity to loved ones, and devotion to art or religion . Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780226066233

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Descripción Univ of Chicago. Estado de conservación: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Nº de ref. de la librería 2548554

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, Holding on to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium (2nd), Albert Borgmann, In the late-1990s people hear constantly about the "information revolution". The 24-hour news channels and dizzying Internet technologies bombard people with facts and pictures from around the globe. But what kind of a "revolution" is this? How has information really changed from what it was ten years or ten centuries ago? This work offers some answers to these questions. Albert Borgmann has written a history of information, from its inception in the natural world to its role in the transformation of culture - in writing and printing, in music and architecture - to the late-1990s Internet mania and its attendant assets and liabilities. Drawing on the history of ideas, the details of information technology, and the boundaries of the human condition, Borgmann explains the relationship between things and signs, between reality and information. His history ranges from Plato to Boeing and from the alphabet to virtual reality, all the while being conscious of the enthusiasm, apprehension, and uncertainty that have greeted every stage of the development of information. The book is underscored by the humanist's fundamental belief in human excellence and by the conviction that excellence is jeopardized unless we achieve a balance of information and "the things and practices that have served us well and we continue to depend on for our material and spiritual well-being - the grandeur of nature, the splendour of cities, competence of work, fidelity to loved ones, and devotion to art or religion". Nº de ref. de la librería B9780226066233

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Descripción University of Chicago Press, 2001. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería WG-9780226066233

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Albert Borgmann
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the late-1990s people hear constantly about the information revolution . The 24-hour news channels and dizzying Internet technologies bombard people with facts and pictures from around the globe. But what kind of a revolution is this? How has information really changed from what it was ten years or ten centuries ago? This work offers some answers to these questions. Albert Borgmann has written a history of information, from its inception in the natural world to its role in the transformation of culture - in writing and printing, in music and architecture - to the late-1990s Internet mania and its attendant assets and liabilities. Drawing on the history of ideas, the details of information technology, and the boundaries of the human condition, Borgmann explains the relationship between things and signs, between reality and information. His history ranges from Plato to Boeing and from the alphabet to virtual reality, all the while being conscious of the enthusiasm, apprehension, and uncertainty that have greeted every stage of the development of information.The book is underscored by the humanist s fundamental belief in human excellence and by the conviction that excellence is jeopardized unless we achieve a balance of information and the things and practices that have served us well and we continue to depend on for our material and spiritual well-being - the grandeur of nature, the splendour of cities, competence of work, fidelity to loved ones, and devotion to art or religion . Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780226066233

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