The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Information.
This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Study Guide

Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 4 is called "To Throw the Powers of Thought Into Wheel-Work (Lo, the Raptured Arithmatician)." In this chapter, Gleick looks at the career and inventions of Charles Babbage, a brilliant Englishman who lived in the 19th century. Babbage had wide interests, including mathematics, engineering, cryptography, railroads, and industrial machinery.

Babbage was fascinated with compiling information into tables. From his own research, he created statistical lists about livestock, fabric, letter combinations in various languages and other facts. He was also fascinated with machinery.

In the 17th century, a Scotch mathematician named John Napier devised a way to multiply and divide numbers by adding or subtracting their logarithms. Tables were calculated and printed so that a person could easily look up the logarithm of any number. At the time, calculations were performed manually, with ample opportunity for error especially in the more complex...

(read more from the Chapter 4 Summary)

This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.