I am fascinated by Steven Pinker’s example of how humans remember things1.
Our brain can hold only about six bits of information in our working memory at once.
M D P H D R S V P C E O I H O P
How many of those letters can you remember immediately after reading them?
If we compress the random letters above into familiar groups, we’re able to remember them all easily:
MD PHD RSVP CEO IHOP
It’s easier to remember them all when they’re condensed into five chunks. But we can do even better:
The MD and the PhD RSVP'd to the CEO of IHOP.
Stories are our competitive advantage as a species. The great storytellers among us can wield outsize power2.
“It never gets easier, you just get faster.” There is something inspirational in knowing that Greg LeMond also sweats his face off when he bikes