Have you ever thought about why you can’t see stars during the day? Do they somehow know when to dim themselves? How about why car headlights are so much brighter at night? Or why you can only hear a pin drop in a silent room? Does the pin make less noise just because somebody is talking? All of our body senses are like this. The brighter, or heavier, or louder, or sweeter, or smellier something is, then the more difficult it becomes to distinguish small changes. When a room is very quiet, then we can pick out the small sound that the pin makes. But a loud room needs a louder pin or we just won’t hear it. Our body is logarithmic.

This episode will prepare you for the next several episodes where we’re going to start talking about how to store information and which approach to take. Logarithms will help you understand how fast certain operations can be.

This is not a math lesson even though you might remember logarithms from a high school math course. I’m not going to make you memorize a bunch of formulas. Just one simple concept. It’s a concept so simple that it matches every one of our body senses. If you can understand that headlights are brighter at night, then you can understand this concept.

What’s the one concept you need to know? The logarithm of a number increases much slower than the number itself as the number gets bigger. That’s it. The audio goes into more details about this and gives you some examples. There’s a little multiplication involved but it’s trivial.