John R. Pierce, 1980 
Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver, 1949 
One of these books is a very dense, technical work, heavy on the jargon and academic prose and littered with equations and diagrams that are very difficult for the layperson to get their head around. And the other is worse.
So I finally committed to reading the damn things. The Pierce book seems to be widely regarded as the standard overview and obviously the Weaver/Shannon volume is the Patient Zero of the whole sorry mess.
The maths started off as just about barely comprehensible and then very quickly accelerated away from my grasp. Conceptually the learning curve was initially less steep. The first few chapters of Pierce were testing but interesting and manageable; then he starts talking about multi-dimensional hyperspheres and writing perfectly cromulent sentences like the one below. Suddenly that learning curve turns into a cliff; the ground disappears and you’re left momentarily hovering in mid-air with your conceptual legs whirring away before realisation hits, leaving your intellect with barely enough time to look to camera and hold up a handpainted ‘Help!’ sign before the plummet commences.
“The noise figure is the ratio of the total output noise, including noise due to Johnson noise for a temperature of 293° Kelvin at the input and noise produced in the receiver, to the amplified Johnson noise alone.”
This is a quantum sentence. Dealing as Information Theory does with ideas of binary encoding and the extraction of meaning and order from chaos and entropy, it’s entirely appropriate that we should end up with sentences like this; a sentence that flips wholly between complete lucidity and utter incomprehensibility with each successive rereading without passing through any intermediate states in between. Clearly the only sensible thing to do is to shut it in a box with a radioactive trigger and some poison and never open the lid again. Or at least until you’re sure it’s dead…
I shall, in due course, be putting up some more constructive thoughts over at the other place, but it’ll take a while to boil them all down into anything even approaching coherence or applicability. Like the cat, I wouldn’t hold your breath.