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I want maximal variation in life, so I looked at JPG compression and how it works

by kbrecordzz May 19, 2023 general thoughts

This post's cover image is a mix of these 2 images (the Youtube thumbnail for "Wonderful World" by Ano, and "Holiday" by Girls' Generation):

A while ago when I went through all K-pop music videos ever in the history of the entire world, I saved the videos I liked in my own bookmark system, which is a system that takes the link to a Youtube video, downloads its thumbnail image and presents the videos in a nice list. So, now I have a library of 5 000 Youtube video thumbnails. They're all in JPG format, which is a "compressed" image file format, which means the image file will be made as small as possible to save disk space on the computer. One way compression works is by replacing all repetitive patterns with something shorter, 9 white pixels in the same area could for example be described as "9x white" instead of "white white white white white white white white white" (not literally, but basically), which is less information to store on the harddrive which means we get a smaller file. A solid-color background with a simple logo on it can be much compressed, but an image with lots of variation in it will not. And since I love variation and maximalism, I sorted all the video thumbnails in my huge folder after file size and watched them go from simple to complex by just scrolling down:

I think it's interesting to see what variation and complexity actually is, and this is my study material. A simple black background is the least varied thing and also very boring. Completely random chaos is also boring because it's just white noise. Randomness may feel unpredictable, but it eventually creates a predictable pattern of randomness. In the end, it's when the randomness is random in multiple random ways that it gets interesting, when the variation itself is varied. I don't want to propose any last true answers here, but I really think the thumbnails in my folder get more and more interesting the bigger the JPG files are, the more different things are in them. But a perfectly varied image would of course also have a piece of something very simple in it to make it even more unpredictable, so why choose between simplicity and complexity?

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