I totally agree with this article and it's the reason why I will always prefer to learn by reading rather than video.

Text is the most efficient communication technology. By orders of magnitude. This blog post is likely to take perhaps 5000 bytes of storage, and could compress down to maybe 2000; by comparison the following 20-pixel-square image of the silhouette of a tweeting bird takes 4000 bytes:

graydon2 | always bet on text

@ScottMortimer Maybe one can find text better suited to learn than video (and, to some extend, I kind of agree with such position), but I think that justifying this position by counting bytes is pointless and irrelevant.

I agree to disagree. There is no better way to measure information efficiency than size. Information needs to be stored and transmitted and size has major implications for both.

@ScottMortimer Yes, but with size, you measure the efficiency to store/transmit/etc, not to learn from. Typically, if you compress some text, it is much more efficiently stored, but much less easy to learn from (and the twitter bird example is not fair: a vectorised version of the bird is probably just a few thenth of bytes long).

That being said, I agree that, often, videos contains useless information (e.g. we do not care about the background, but it has to be stored). However, the post shows no evidence that such useless information significantly decreases the ability to learn. IMO, I have the feeling that such the effect of such useless info is quite small compared to the inability of person who present the subject to teach.

@ScottMortimer Text is more efficient to input as well. One can read and understand at 200-400 wpm, but typical speech is 150 wpm.

That said, video/images can sometimes achieve superior learning for information that would be hard to learn via text. "A picture is worth a thousand words" isn't always true, but it can be.

Also, one can multitask while listening to audio. Plus, both audio and video can be sped up. At 2x speed, it's around reading speed.

They're all valuable tools

@ScottMortimer I'm sorry but you do seem to be a few years late for that. Meanwhile, information stored in images is being replaced by information within video data.
However, I second your opinion: text is king when you think about it.

@ScottMortimer totally on board with the premise, but what kind of decadent image format uses 10 bytes per pixel?

(20x20=400px, they claim 4000 bytes)

(my web browser claims the very file embedded in that page is "0.71KB", fwiw)

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