all 3 comments

[–]Theo_Fridall 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I read a great paper once about human information reception of about 7 "units". If you put units together as in letters in a word, or words in a sentence), then you can still only digest about 7 "units" at a time.

I have a hard copy of the paper. I can't think if the title, but I'll try to find a digital copy and link later.

[–]Theo_Fridall 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

" No matter how fast or slow, how simple or complex, each language gravitated toward an average rate of 39.15 bits per second..."

Well, yeah, that's exactly how averages work.

[–]magnora7[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The final sentence struck me:

“It really seems that the bottleneck is in putting the ideas together.”

Also thinking about how low a bitrate 39 bits per second is... it's maybe no wonder most animals haven't developed speech. It's a very subtle information gain.

I wonder how many bits per second come from body language and other non-verbal cues.

Also I wonder if it'd be possible to come up with a cell-phone encryption method that only uses 39 bits per second, if that's actually capable of representing human speech.