Glut -- Mastering Information through the Ages by Alex Wright
Mastering Text throughout history, Wright means. Absolutely no mention of statistics, or how brains work with data beyond mentioning hierarchies....
Information is the juxtaposition of data to create meaning.I'd argue for: Information comes from excluding some data to reveal a pattern.
The key to cultural innovation, it seems, has something to do with population density. Van Schaik hypothesizes that "populations in which individuals had more chances to observe others in action would show a great diversity of learned skills than would populations offering fewer learning opportunities. And indeed, we were able to confirm that sites (of orangutans) in which individuals spend more time with others have greater repertoires of learned innovations."
It (art) seems to have arised as an attempt to cope with some very difficult circumstances. Art corresponds to periods of stress much more than it corresponds to periods of well-being and leisure. There is no question that art is not being produced as a result of people having more spare time; it is being produced when all hell is breaking loose and people don't have enough to eat.
Executing the king's (Ashurbanipal) decree, Shadanu traveled the countryside impounding every written tablet he could find. He confiscated every single document from every temple and private home in the kingdom. Eventually, he returned with a vast collection of poems, proverbs, hymns, fables, omens, horoscopes, incantations, prayers, and more than 500 drug recipes. From this act of imperial confiscation the world's first library emerged.Imagine the economic devastation, if people were not allowed to make copies?
Soldiers (of Shi Huangdi) demolished the old royal library, a priceless trove of early Confucian and Taoist texts known as the Heavenly Archive...
When the conquistadors arrived, Bishop Diego de Landa ordered them to burn every one of the bark-clothed books (in the Aztec libraries)...
When empires fall, they usually take their libraries with them.
The Great Library at Alexandria was the first library with a truly comprehensive ambition to gather all the world's knowledge under one roof. Established around 300 BC (by Ptolemy I), the library marked an achievement of vast intellectual proportions, ultimately growing to house more than 700,000 items. Unlike the royal libraries that preceded it, the Alexandria library was open to the public.
Throughout his reign he (Charlemagne) devoted enormous resources to building a library fit for an emperor.