The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was provided in "A Table Alphabeticall"?

2. How many years ago was the first language established?

3. What were the interests of Charles Babbage, a brilliant Englishman who lived in the 19th century?

4. How was "A Table Alphabeticall" intended to help people?

5. How many words were contained in "A Table Alphabeticall?"

Short Essay Questions

1. While Shannon worked on secret cryptography projects for the US government during World War II, what theory about information did he conceive?

2. Who first at the concept of "bandwith" and in what context was it first conceived?

3. Who invented the telegraph and what is its fundamental functionality?

4. How did the development of the written language assist Greek philosophers in advancing mankind?

5. What culture developed the earliest known method of writing language with the use of pictures to represent things?

6. Who first conceived the idea of a machine that could think and under what circumstances?

7. What was the purpose behind the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary?

8. Who was Claude Shannon?

9. What technological breakthrough resulted from Claude Shannon's theories and work?

10. What are the two "wordbooks" that Gleick refers to in this chapter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain in detail the drum communications methods of the sub-Saharan African tribes and how it relates to the Morse Code. What analysis was made of the Kele language and why was it important in understanding the transferring of information?

Essay Topic 2

What are some of the highlights of Claude Shannon's work on what he termed "information theory"? How did Shannon come to the conclusion that information needed to be separated into "bits" for the most effective transfer of information?

Essay Topic 3

What is a meme? What is the role of a meme? What are some examples of memes?

(see the answer keys)

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