The Ascent of Information offers a humbling vision of a universe built of and for information. Scharf explores how our relationship with data will affect our ongoing evolution as a species. Understanding this relationship will be crucial to preventing our data from becoming more of a burden than an asset, and to preserving the possibility of a human future.
With his book, Scharf (astrobiology, Columbia Univ.; The Copernicus Complex) has put together an elaborate view of 'information' ... Scharf’s book lacks a truly unifying argument, especially with regard to moral rights and wrongs, but it is a fascinating study of information and its types.
Scharf’s argument, [...] inspired by Richard Dawkins’ 'selfish gene,' is that data want to ensure their own propagation. While there is clearly an evolutionary advantage to this symbiotic relationship with data, Scharf suggests that information may alternately determine life’s function and trajectory. One is reminded of T. S. Eliot’s prescient line, 'Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?' For readers of James Gleick and George Dyson.