185 billion events to be enjoyed over our mortal days

At this point in our scientific knowledge we are on the verge of being able to estimate how much information the central nervous system is capable of processing. It seems we can manage at most seven bits of information— such as differentiated sounds, or visual stimuli, or recognizable nuances of emotion or thought— at any one time, and that the shortest time it takes to discriminate between one set of bits and another is about 1/ 18 of a second. By using these figures one concludes that it is possible to process at most 126 bits of information per second, or 7,560 per minute, or almost half a million per hour. Over a lifetime of seventy years, and counting sixteen hours of waking time each day, this amounts to about 185 billion bits of information. It is out of this total that everything in our life must come— every thought, memory, feeling, or action.

From the wonderful book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

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