, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 97-101
Date: 28 Jan 2011

Luciano Floridi: Information: A Very Short Introduction

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Pedagogical introductions do not lend themselves to a critical review of concepts, especially if they are very short. Such texts can, however, be assessed on the basis of how well they present the scope of a research area. When that area is as broad as information itself, the task is tremendous. Thus, we know upfront, before opening the book, that it will have to be dense in places, and it is. Nonetheless, it represents a good and much needed cross-section of conceptions to get someone started in the area.

The text begins with preliminary comments on the information revolution, during which the author acknowledges the sudden escalation in the sheer quantity of information (comprehended in historical time) as we approach the “Zettabyte Era.” Though the roots of this revolution certainly go back to the invention of writing and were helped by the arrival of the printing press, the rather sudden development of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in the twentieth and twenty-fir ...