Gems from John R. Pierce

InfoTheory
"I have read a good deal more about information theory and psychology that I can or care to remember. Much of it was a mere association of new terms with old and vague ideas. Presumably the hope was that a stirring in of new terms would clarify the old ideas by a sort of sympathetic magic." [pg. 229]

"Mathematically, white Gaussian noise, which contains all frequencies equally, is the epitome of the various and unexpected. It is the least predictable, the most original of sounds. To a human being, however, all white Gaussian noise sounds alike. It's subtleties are hidden from him, and he says that it is dull and monotonous. If a human being finds monotonous that which is mathematically most various and unpredictable, what does he find fresh and interesting? To be able to call a thing new, he must be able to distinguish it from that which is old. To be distinguishable, sounds must be to a degree familiar. … We can be surprised repeatedly only by contrast with that which is familiar, not by chaos." [pg. 251, 267]


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