background preloader

Illegal Numbers - Numberphile

Illegal Numbers - Numberphile

Your brain can only count to four | Strings of Words I made this little demonstration to show how your brain counts low numbers. The brain can only count to four on its own — to count anything higher, it needs to be taught a trick — which we call “counting.” If you don’t have time to count, you will have a hard time counting numbers higher than 4. So, try to count how many red dots appear below. The dots show up in a grid, so if you play long enough you’ll notice patterns and be able to guess better, but you’ll get the idea. Credit goes to reddit user SurfKTizzle for bringing this to my attention in response to the thread “If someone asks me ‘how many apples are on the table’, and I say ‘five’, am I counting them quickly in my head or do I remember what five apples look like?” His answer is as follows: The human mind has two systems for representing numbers: a subitizing system for numbers up to four[1] , and an approximate ratio estimation system for larger numbers.

National Energy Mix National Energy Mix (Percentages of Total Energy Consumption) This graphic shows a breakdown of the percent of total energy used per country from 1990 to 2009. Energy consumption is divided into three categories; alternative and nuclear energy (includes: hydropower and nuclear, geothermal, and solar power, among others), fossil fuel energy (includes: coal, oil, petroleum, and natural gas products), and biomass and waste energy (includes: solid biomass, liquid biomass, industrial waste, and municipal waste). Sources: World Bank. World Bank. World Bank. Links: Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption: click here for more information Alternative and Nuclear Energy: click here for more information Combustible Renewables and Waste: click here for more information

Motherboard TV: Free the Network You’re on the Internet. What does that mean? Most likely, it means one of a handful of telecommunications providers is middlemanning your information from Point A to Point B. It’s an infrastructure largely out of sight and mind. Wilder is the 21-year-old co-founder of the Free Network Foundation. It all sounded lofty and arcane and way, way over our heads. If the argument for mesh networking, a sort of pirate radio Internet scheme that allows people to talk to one another online through no middle man, is that a centralized ‘Net lends itself to the sort of surveillance and censorship that, however futile, strokes the Internet kill switch of science fiction, is there a way to circumvent that system altogether? We even broke a story that popped off on the Internet in the immediate wake of the New York Police Department’s Nov. 17 raid on Zuccotti Park. What he found next to a wet heap of clothing and tents were a number of laptops splayed in rows.