There are 20 quadrillion ants on Earth. How do we make sense of a number like that?
Scientists estimate that there are 20 quadrillion ants on Earth. But. How do we make sense of a number like that, like 20,000,000,000,000,000?
This hour, how we relate to unimaginable numbers, both large and small.
Plus: why our inability to conceptualize large numbers might have a real-world impact during times like a pandemic.
- Shabnam Mousavi: A scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and a senior scientist at the Center for Artificial Intelligence
- Sabine Nooten: An insect ecologist and a temporary principal investigator at the University of Würzburg
- Elizabeth Toomarian: Director of the Brainwave Learning Center at Synapse School and an educational neuroscience Researcher at Stanford University
- Edward Tufte: The author of five books on information design and data visualization
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Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired January 12, 2023.