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Neuropsychological constraints to human data production on a global scale

By Claudius Gros, Gregor Kaczor and Dimtrijé Marković


Which are the factors underlying human information production on a global level? In order to gain an insight into this question we study a corpus of 252–633 mil. publicly available data files on the Internet corresponding to an overall storage volume of 284–675 Terabytes. Analyzing the file size distribution for several distinct data types we find indications that the neuropsychological capacity of the human brain to process and record information may constitute the dominant limiting factor for the overall growth of globally stored information, with real-world economic constraints having only a negligible influence. This supposition draws support from the observation that the files size distributions follow a power law for data without a time component, like images, and a log-normal distribution for multimedia files, for which time is a defining qualia.\ud \ud Author summary: The generation of new information is limited by two key factors, by the incurring economic costs and by the capacity of the human brain to process and store data and information; the controlling agent needs to retain an overall understanding even when data is generated by semiautomatic processes. These processes are reflected in the statistical properties of the data files publicly available on the Internet. Collecting a corpus of 252–633 mil. files we find that the statistics of the file size distribution are consistent with the supposition that data production on a global level is shaped and limited by the neuropsychological information processing capacity of the brain, with economic and hardware constraints having a negligible influence

Topics: ddc:530
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:publikationen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de:30094

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