How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age

14th July 2017

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Month (Yes, we’ve got another great one!)

Authors Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman have written a masterpiece with A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age. (Audio version here—two free audiobooks may be possible through this link)  As Shannon himself noted, the great intellectual breakthroughs of science would be meaningless if it weren’t for the intermediate effects of engineers and inventors.  Soni and Goodman have written a not-to-be-missed biography in league with Walter Isaacson’s seminal Einstein: His Life and Universe. Claude Shannon is the father of today’s information age—as quirky, endearing, and yes, as important as Einstein, (although the humble Shannon himself would have denied it).

Incidentally, we know that many Learning How to Learners are interested in creativity and productivity tips. In our opinion, Shannon’s tips on how to attack and solve difficult problems in many different disciplines (page 219 in our early version), are alone worth the price of the book. Soni and Goodman have done an extraordinary job of demystifying Shannon’s work, making it understandable and fascinating for the layperson with no background in science.  Plus—what’s not to love about a juggling unicyclist?   

A Late Blooming Mathematician

Learning How to Learner Kelly Papavlou, a biologist-ecologist in Athens, Greece, has recommended this inspiring story of a late-blooming mathematician. “June Huh thought he had no talent for math until a chance meeting with a legendary mind. A decade later, his unorthodox approach to mathematical thinking has led to major breakthroughs….” We love this inspirational article!

How to Get Excited About Topics That Bore You

Ever struggle with learning subject matter that just doesn’t excite you?  Here’s an article by Barb in the Harvard Business Review on how to overcome your boredom and generate real enthusiasm for what you want or need to learn.  

A Great Synthesis of the Key Ideas of Learning How to Learn

Here is a wonderful “crunch” by Authur Worsley of the key ideas of Learning How to Learn and our course recommended text, A Mind for Numbers.  This is one of the best summaries of the key ideas that we’ve ever seen.

Incidentally, you haven’t already read A Mind for Numbers, take a look or a listen on Audible to discover why it’s become, as Publisher’s Weekly says, “a sleeper best-seller.”

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
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