h a l f b a k e r y
This is what happens when one confuses "random" with "profound."
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"Entity" can be anything that processes information.
Examples can include an ipad, a human child, a
chicken, or a calculator.
"information" can be
data in any quality, quantity, or form. Examples can
include the actual sight of the grand canyon, a paper
on paper, the visual of a nude of Lucy
Liu on a computer screen, or an .mp3 on rotating
"k" means a thousand of something.
here it refers to a thousand bits
For a given
and a given set of information it should be possible to
describe approximate information absorption ability the
entity will have in a given time and the likely
absorption activity the entity will exhibit under the
For example under any
circumstances the usable information a chicken would
from each of the examples above are, respectively:"big
space there","squiggles that probably aren't
bugs","surface",and (no information obtainable).
propose describing that quantity of information as a
minimum and maximum number of bits. Since a chicken
can process dimensions more poorly as distance
the view of the grand canyon would represent only a few
bits. In contrast a digital camera, while being less
intelligent than a chicken could store magabits of
information from the same input. The paper on
would represent between the number of squiggles a
chicken can remember and the number of squiggles a
dumb chicken can remember. The nude would represent
about the same amount of information for any chicken
since it's not going to process it as a picture. The .mp3
could not tell a chicken anything.
So for a chicken for
those data quantities may be 10 bits, 150-400 bits, 40
bits, 0 bits.
This measurement would be more
useful when the approximate amount of usable
a person can receive is considered. While there are
of magnitude of difference in the abilities of different
people to process different information, describing the
person more closely gives a closer approximation of the
amount of information she can get from a given input.
At an extreme end of the analysis one may say that
20 year old intelligent plumber who has a high school
education and little other work experience probably can
use 2k-8k, 10k-20k, 1k-4k, and 0k from the inputs
||What if I tattoo a chicken with the complete works of Shakespear? Suddenly your chicken has increased its bit-potential.
||Also, are you only referring to visual inputs here?
||Also, you're measuring 'absorbtion' what about recall? e.g. a camera on the top of an orbiting spaceship can absorb the light and position from a billion stars, and retain that information indefinitely. A human might absorb just as much, but be unable to retain it in detail say one month later. Meanwhile, a camera could record a page from Moby Dick, while a human would be able to read it, recall from it, and make a connection between it, and the Starbuck character from Battlestar Galactica, both the original Dirk Benedict, and the re-imagined, Kara Thrace character played by Katee Sackhoff, and the Starbucks coffee chain based in Seattle Washington, birthplace of Jimmi Hendrix, who released "The Wind Cries Mary", the name Mary being the name of Starbuck's wife in Moby Dick, and a hundred other connections, both circular and otherwise. How do you measure that? (And indeed, do you want to?)
||What does this measurement tell you, and how can you tell the difference between useful data and noise? And how do you account for data that's encoded in a way that the receiving object isn't sensitive to (e.g. the mpg thing encoded in a series of microscopic magnetic polarities)
||Wait, I'm still wondering about the chicken. And that Jimi Hendrix song holds a special significance for me.
||I would be interested to see a conversion factor for
different types of data entering a human mind. For
instance, the brain stores memories completly different
from a computer, so how much "storage space" does a view
of the grand canyon use in a human, and how much space
on a computer would be required to store the same
amount of information?
||Sometimes A cannot be quantified in terms of B. This would be one of those cases.