Weekend Reading: Brains and Language, Hillshading in Blender, and Antifragility

April 13, 2019 • #

🧠 Your Brain Needs 1.5 MB of Storage to Master Your Native Language

“It may seem surprising but, in terms of digital media storage, our knowledge of language almost fits compactly on a floppy disk,” the authors wrote in the study. In this case, that would be a floppy disk that holds about 1.5 megabytes of information, or the equivalent of about a minute-long song as an Mp3 file. [3D Images: Exploring the Human Brain] The researchers estimate that in the best-case scenario, in a single day, an adult remembers 1,000 to 2,000 bits of their native language. In the worst-case scenario, we remember around 120 bits per day.

🗺 Yet Another Blender Hillshade Tutorial

My friend and co-worker Joe Larson has been doing some cool experiments with Blender for generating hillshades, jumping off of work from Andy Woodruff, Daniel Huffman, and Scott Reinhard. I’ve seen a few different hillshade / topo composites that look super cool.

📜 10 Principles to Live an Antifragile Life

Nassim Taleb’s concept of “antifragility is a fascinating philosophical framework; one which I’ve linked to and mentioned here before. This Farnam Street post summarizes 10 thinking concepts to help orient your own life and decision making toward antifragility:

In short, stop optimizing for today or tomorrow and start playing the long game. That means being less efficient in the short term but more effective in the long term. It’s easy to optimize for today, simply spend more money than you make or eat food that’s food designed in a lab to make you eat more and more. But if you play the long game you stop optimizing and start thinking ahead to the second order consequences of your decisions.