“We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved. I mean, we’re constantly taking things.”
- Steve Jobs
Our digital information culture didn't just spring up in the last few decades. It is the product of innovations reaching back for thousands of years, going back to Edison, to Gutenberg, to the ancient people who invented letters and numbers, to the early humans who spoke the first words and formed the first gestures.
The Making of Sense tells the stories of those innovations. It tells of how modern forms of information—from language to the Internet—came to be shaped as they are. The stories shed light on how people think, how people create, and how ideas are adopted by culture.
The book answers questions that most people never think to ask. Why do clocks go clockwise? Who put the alphabet in alphabetical order? Why is north up? Why is the twelfth month of the year named after the word for "ten"? Why is the letter H shaped like a fence? Why do keyboards say QWERTY? And who came up with the dumb idea of mapping the seven-note musical scale onto a staff of five lines?
The Making of Sense is for the intellectually curious. It is for geeks, and I mean that in the most endearing sense of the word.
I’m still working on completing the manuscript. In the meantime, you can read some excerpts here and follow The Making of Sense on Twitter. I’d love to hear your thoughts. So feel free to contact me on Twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.