Quotes: On Information, Language and Talking Drums

Excerpt from the New York Books Review of The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, by James Gleick.

Information is independent of the meaning that it expresses, and of the language used to express it. Information is an abstract concept, which can be embodied equally well in human speech or in writing or in drumbeats. All that is needed to transfer information from one language to another is a coding system. A coding system may be simple or complicated.

If the code is simple, as it is for the drum language with its two tones, a given amount of information requires a longer message. If the code is complicated, as it is for spoken language, the same amount of information can be conveyed in a shorter message.

Link to another article on African Drum Language:
Science: Drum Telegraphy (Times, 1942!)
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2 Responses to Quotes: On Information, Language and Talking Drums

  1. Pingback: Editing Part V: The Dead Grammar Rules Freedom Manifesto | Chazz Writes

  2. Pingback: The UN-Grammafication of America continues | Lilywhitewash's Blog

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