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Quantifying Humankind's Ability To Handle Information.

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posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:56 AM
Think you're overloaded with information? Not even close.

A study appearing on Feb. 10 in Science Express, an electronic journal that provides select Science articles ahead of print, calculates the world's total technological capacity -- how much information humankind is able to store, communicate and compute.

"We live in a world where economies, political freedom and cultural growth increasingly depend on our technological capabilities," said lead author Martin Hilbert of the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. "This is the first time-series study to quantify humankind's ability to handle information."

The mind is truly an amazing thing. I think even with this study, that we could study, learn, and hold much more information than this if we could learn how to further open our minds.

So how much information is there in the world? How much has it grown?

Prepare for some big numbers:
Looking at both digital memory and analog devices, the researchers calculate that humankind is able to store at least 295 exabytes of information. (Yes, that's a number with 20 zeroes in it.)

Put another way, if a single star is a bit of information, that's a galaxy of information for every person in the world. That's 315 times the number of grains of sand in the world. But it's still less than one percent of the information that is stored in all the DNA molecules of a human being.

2002 could be considered the beginning of the digital age, the first year worldwide digital storage capacity overtook total analog capacity. As of 2007, almost 94 percent of our memory is in digital form.
In 2007, humankind successfully sent 1.9 zettabytes of information through broadcast technology such as televisions and GPS. That's equivalent to every person in the world reading 174 newspapers every day.
On two-way communications technology, such as cell phones, humankind shared 65 exabytes of information through telecommunications in 2007, the equivalent of every person in the world communicating the contents of six newspapers every day.

In 2007, all the general-purpose computers in the world computed 6.4 x 10^18 instructions per second, in the same general order of magnitude as the number of nerve impulses executed by a single human brain. Doing these instructions by hand would take 2,200 times the period since the Big Bang.
From 1986 to 2007, the period of time examined in the study, worldwide computing capacity grew 58 percent a year, ten times faster than the United States' GDP.

Telecommunications grew 28 percent annually, and storage capacity grew 23 percent a year.

"These numbers are impressive, but still miniscule compared to the order of magnitude at which nature handles information" Hilbert said. "Compared to nature, we are but humble apprentices. However, while the natural world is mind-boggling in its size, it remains fairly constant. In contrast, the world's technological information processing capacities are growing at exponential rates."

The numbers actually do boggle the mind.

I often wonder what we could achieve if we unlocked our FULL potential.
edit on 2/11/2011 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 08:11 AM
That is amazing! Thanks OP. I think this article really illustrates what
a magnificent species the human race really is. I think we constantly
underestimate ourselves. And that may be because we are programmed
to do just that. Maybe someone out there has a vested interested in
keeping us that way.

The numbers actually do boggle the mind. I often wonder what we could
achieve if we unlocked our FULL potential.

I wonder how all of this would play out with all twelve strands of our
DNA activated. Coupled with the ability to store all of that information.
Humanity is a brilliant, amazing, magnificent species. I think someday
we will realize it. Maybe not in my lifetime. But someday.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 11:59 AM
Staying happy&healthy would probably be the best start to unlocking your full recall. Stress tends to distract us and make us schizoid. And then on top of that to enjoy what you are doing, and do it with a lot of genuine emotional energy, would help you remember it that much better.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 01:29 PM
Ah yes, it really is a pertinent question for certain types of minds to ask!

I had my own ideas on it, posted them somewhere... link here I was even thinking of copying and pasting, until this one realized how much he babbles

anyway, figuring out how to further quantification abilities for direct observation led me to some pretty interesting discoveries! its fun, exploring! really, whether or not it is within our observation/perspective, such things are still happening with us as a part. leads one to think, as you have, that perhaps the problem isnt "out there" but much more likely to be ones own perspective on "X." and yet, the perspective itself is contained within the same system.. boggles the "mind," as you say, and perhaps that is a good thing

edit on 11-2-2011 by sinohptik because: link

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:13 PM
reply to post by orbitbaby

I tend to agree with you.

I would assume if we could unlock our mind/body potential we would be all powerful. Maybe it will occur when humanity has the knowledge to use it right instead of abusing it.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:17 PM
reply to post by bsbray11

That could certainly be beneficial in all that we do.

There are a ton of distractions and stresses that are harming our entire existance. Finding respite from that can only be helpful.

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