# The Bit Player: Claude Shannon Documentary (Summary)

Claude Elwood Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, computer scientist, and cryptographer known as the "father of information theory".

Claude Elwood Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, computer scientist, and cryptographer known as the "father of information theory".

**All information can be converted to binary: 0s and 1s. **These are 'bits', a term Shannon coined.

There are redundancies in information. You can compress information. What's the smallest compression possible? It's almost identical to the entropy equation in physics. **Entropy is the minimum you can compress information without any loss.**

Noise can mess up the order of 0s and 1s between the transmitter and the receiver. Is there a speed limit to how fast information can move through the channel to minimize noise? **Yes, it's called the Shannon Limit – it's like the 'speed of light' for sending information.**

Shannon also found that you could use mathematical codes to reduce or eliminate noise. **This would theoretically allow information to be sent at the speed of the Shannon Limit without any noise.**

**Shannon developed principles for verbal communication too: **

- Don't shout.
- Repeat your ideas, but use different words (rephrase it – don't just repeat the same words).
- Use an error-correcting phrase at the end like "I love you."

Claude Shannon married a woman who was a skilled mathematics PhD. They met when Shannon started working at Bell Labs. She was a mathematician at Bell Labs. She helped with his work. (This is similar to the author Robert Caro and the businessman Alex Hormozi – their wives help with their work.)

**You can apply information theory to the stock market.** (The investor Ed Thorpe says you must if you want to be a good investor.) "Stocks are like channel capacity in a noisy channel." – Claude Shannon

Shannon was interested in con men. He thought they were clever and admired that cleverness.

**In 1993, 3 guys solved the mathematical codes for the Shannon Limit, making Shannon's theory a reality. **

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