Saturday, December 18, 2010

Language is one of the best data-compression mechanisms we have. The information contained in literature or even email, encodes our identity as human beings. The entire literary canon may be smaller than what comes out of particle accelerators or models of the human brain, but the meaning coded into words can't be measured in bytes. It's deeply compressed. Twelve words from Voltaire can hold a lifetime of experience.
Martin Wattenberg, mathematician and computer scientist at IBM's Watson Research Center quoted in Visualizing Big Data. WIRED. July 2008.


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