Paper: Musical beauty and information compression: Complex to the ear but simple to the mind? (Nicholas J Hudson)

I was researching a different topic and came across this paper. I was rewatching the Everything is a remix series. Then i looked up som mor relevant links, and came across these videos. One of them mentioned this article.

Complex to the ear but simple to the mind (Nicholas J Hudson)


Background: The biological origin of music, its universal appeal across human cultures and the cause of its beauty
remain mysteries. For example, why is Ludwig Van Beethoven considered a musical genius but Kylie Minogue is
not? Possible answers to these questions will be framed in the context of Information Theory.
Presentation of the Hypothesis: The entire life-long sensory data stream of a human is enormous. The adaptive
solution to this problem of scale is information compression, thought to have evolved to better handle, interpret
and store sensory data. In modern humans highly sophisticated information compression is clearly manifest in
philosophical, mathematical and scientific insights. For example, the Laws of Physics explain apparently complex
observations with simple rules. Deep cognitive insights are reported as intrinsically satisfying, implying that at some
point in evolution, the practice of successful information compression became linked to the physiological reward
system. I hypothesise that the establishment of this “compression and pleasure” connection paved the way for
musical appreciation, which subsequently became free (perhaps even inevitable) to emerge once audio
compression had become intrinsically pleasurable in its own right.
Testing the Hypothesis: For a range of compositions, empirically determine the relationship between the
listener’s pleasure and “lossless” audio compression. I hypothesise that enduring musical masterpieces will possess
an interesting objective property: despite apparent complexity, they will also exhibit high compressibility.
Implications of the Hypothesis: Artistic masterpieces and deep Scientific insights share the common process of
data compression. Musical appreciation is a parasite on a much deeper information processing capacity. The
coalescence of mathematical and musical talent in exceptional individuals has a parsimonious explanation. Musical
geniuses are skilled in composing music that appears highly complex to the ear yet transpires to be highly simple
to the mind. The listener’s pleasure is influenced by the extent to which the auditory data can be resolved in the
simplest terms possible.

Interesting, but it is way too short on data. its not that difficult to acquire som data to test this hypothesis. varius open source lossless compressors ar freely available, im thinking particularly of FLAC compressors. then one needs a juge library of music, and som sort of ranking of the music related to the quality of it. if the hypothesis is correct, then the best music shud com out on top, at least relativly within genres, or within bands etc. i think i will test this myself.

List of films with one or very few lokations

IMO, thees ar interesting in the kreativity thru limitation kind of way. Som great films among them.


Inklusion kriteria:

  • Any film mention on a paj that kontains a list of such films.
  • A such film nown by me.

Exklusion kriteria:

  • If it is nown to me to not be at rufly one lokation.
  • If i kanot find/uniqly identify it on IMDb; bekus it isnt ther or ther ar too many films with the same name.


The list

I sorted the list after falling rating on IMDb.

Download the list: List of films with one or very few lokations

Name Year IMDb rating
12 Angry Men 1957 8.9
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975 8.8
Rear Window 1954 8.7
Reservoir Dogs 1992 8.4
La passion de Jeanne d’Arc 1928 8.3
Persona 1966 8.2
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1966 8.2
Rope 1948 8.1
Dial M for Murder 1954 8.1
Sleuth 1972 8.1
Dog Day Afternoon 1975 8.1
Dogville 2003 8.0
Såsom i en spegel 1961 8.0
The Night of the Living Dead 1968 8.0
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958 8.0
Lifeboat 1944 7.9
The Breakfast Club 1985 7.9
Clerks. 1994 7.9
Glengarry Glen Ross 1992 7.9
127 Hours 2010 7.8
Le locataire 1976 7.8
Wait Until Dark 1967 7.8
Saraband 2003 7.7
Der Totmacher 1995 7.6
Grand Hotel 1932 7.6
Shinjû: Ten no amijima 1969 7.6
The Evil Dead 1981 7.6
Cube 1997 7.5
My Dinner with Andre 1981 7.5
Donzoko 1957 7.5
Obsession 1949 7.5
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant 1972 7.4
Secret Honor 1984 7.4
Marat/Sade 1967 7.4
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 1982 7.3
The Descent 2005 7.3
Identity 2003 7.3
Tape 2001 7.2
Russkiy kovcheg 2002 7.2
Phone Booth 2002 7.2
Clue 1985 7.2
Vanya on 42nd Street 1994 7.2
Môjû 1969 7.2
Buried 2010 7.1
Hwal 2005 7.1
8 femmes 2002 7.0
2LDK 2003 7.0
Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes 2000 6.9
Interview 2007 6.9
Panic Room 2002 6.9
Deathtrap 1982 6.9
What Happened Was… 1994 6.9
Butterflies Are Free 1972 6.9
Closet Land 1991 6.8
1408 2007 6.8
House on Haunted Hill 1959 6.8
Exam 2009 6.8
Steamers 1983 6.7
Oleanna 1994 6.7
Aragami 2003 6.7
The Last Castle 2001 6.6
Paranormal Activity 2007 6.5
The Big Kahuna 1999 6.5
Devil 2010 6.4
Frozen 2010 6.3
Vacancy 2007 6.3
Inserts 1974 6.2
Gerry 2002 6.2
De Lift 1983 6.2
Lord of the Flies 1990 6.2
Bug 2006 6.0
P2 2007 5.9
Open Water 2003 5.9
Two girls and a guy 1997 5.6
Troll 1986 3.8
The Manipulator 1971 3.1

Video series: Everything is a remix

A very good series of videos that nicely demonstrate how creativ works/meems ar made from copys of parts of oldr creativ works/meems. Lots of exampls. Enjoy! :)

Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Everything is a Remix Part 3 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.


Everything Is A Remix: THE MATRIX from on Vimeo.

Protect IP Act Breaks the Internet from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.