Founders

#95 A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age

Episode Summary

What I learned from reading A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman

Episode Notes

What I learned from reading A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman 

[0:25] Claude Shannon trained a powerful intellect on topics of deep interest, and continued to do so beyond the point of short term practicality

[5:50] Insulated from opinion of all kinds

[9:09] A simple way to describe the impact of information theory

[10:39] Resourceful at a young age

[11:50] An ordinary childhood

[12:41] Follow your natural drift

[14:40] Too many facts; too few principles

[16:10] His indecisive nature inadvertently helps him

[17:00] An important turning point in Shannon’s life

[18:30] Vannevar Bush: The first person to see Claude Shannon for who he was 

[21:00] The results of Claude Shannon’s thesis

[23:20] How Claude Shannon worked in his 20s

[25:30] The main takeaway from the book: The world isn’t there to be used, but to be played with, manipulated by hand and mind

[30:00] Succeeding with no prior knowledge in the specific field

[31:20] Working on what naturally interests you is time well spent

[32:45] Working at Bell Labs / The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

[36:49] Fire Control / What he worked on during the war

[38:15] Claude Shannon’s work on cryptography

[40:05] Take many different ideas from unrelated fields

[43:35] Leaving Bell Labs for MIT

[48:52] Claude Shannon on investing

[1:01:15] Shannon’s design for his own funeral

I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast