Digestability of information

This page is a work in progress as I try to wrap my head around it. It was however important to write something down and start structuring it, because it was taking up a lot of space. Now I can leave it here and build on it when I am ready.

For the purposes of this blogpost I will be using the term "idea" as the knowledge of something. It could be a simple fact, such as my name (Anders Gerlev Hansen) or the understanding of a concept such as gravity. Here it does not matter what it is - we only care about spreading the idea and specifically which barriers there might be and how these are mitigated.

The path of least resistance

Our brains like to conserve energy and seem to prefer ideas that are easier to understand.

Our brains like to acquire more energy and seem to prefer food which is easier to digest.

Consuming sugar causes dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens – an area of the brain associated with motivation and reward.

Methods for increasing digestability of ideas

This section attempts to outline how to make an idea easy to spread.


Virality is not necessarily related to how digestable an idea, but virality can impact how many times an idea is repeated by a number of senders to the same receiver. Example:

Idea X requires 2 repetitions to be understood. Bob and Mark both know Idea X, Alice does not. Bob wants Alice to know about Idea X. Bob can either tell Alice about Idea X twice, OR Bob and Mark can both tell Alice about Idea X once. In both cases Alice now knows Idea X through repetition.

Pandemic, the boardgame

Pandemic is a boardgame where you as the player fight infections across the globe. The interesting part being how they spread; proximity.

In the game viruses spread to their neighbours, but one point that is important to make here as well is that ideas are not limited by physical boundaries such as proximity, but can instead spread via the internet, for example. This here page that you are reading right now is a great example of an idea spreading via the internet. I don't know who or where you are, but you got here and you are reading this. You too can spread ideas this way.