Information Theory with Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman


We write code in a language that looks like English. Whether it is JavaScript, Fortran, or assembly language, that code is an abstraction on top of layers of intermediate languages, binary, transistors, and physics. 100 years ago, this would have seemed like magic.

Most of us know about Alan Turing, who described the vision of a multipurpose computer with the concept of the Turing machine. Less well known is the scientist Claude Shannon, who laid the groundwork of information theory. With information theory, we can compress data and communicate it efficiently.

Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman are the authors of “A Mind at Play,” a biography of Claude Shannon. Claude’s unique insights about information were made possible by his willingness to involve himself in lots of different areas–science, art, juggling, warfare. This interview gives insights for how we can think of new ideas by synthesizing disparate subjects.

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