The 60,000 Times Faster Claim Gets Dialed Back to 1982

Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, Apr 09, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Have you heard this? "We can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text?" In my own mind I would question it right away because of its overt employment of a computer metaphor to talk about cognition, which to me is prima facie questionable. But Alan Levine actually looks for the source of the quote. He traces it back to an unreferenced claim made in a Business Week advertising section in 1982, attributing it to Philip Cooper, president of Computer Pictures Corporation. Philip Cooper is still around, but hasn't responded yet to Levine's enquiries. And me, what I wonder is, just how much mythology was created over the years by the business and advertising press? Possibly the bulk of what people today call 'common sense' was at one time or another someone's ad copy.

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