I was in the batch with dillonforrest. Like him, I was a beginner. The only code I had written was in MATLAB. I am not sure if I am a rare exception or not, but your level of programming knowledge should not deter you from applying. If you can code FizzBuzz and want to improve, you should apply!
I may be misunderstanding you, but you may want to opt for a noise-canceling headset or IEM + white noise rather than complete silence. The reason is that if you have just quiet, any noise that makes it through is guaranteed to be a distraction (fragile). With white noise, almost all outside interference will just blend into the white noise (robust). (By white noise, I mean any sound that you find easy to ignore. This could be certain songs, ambient sound, or white noise.)
Could you please explain your reasoning? It seems to me that a bubble implies that there is a surplus of available capital, so that good and bad companies alike are funded. I'm not sure how a company would only be able to raise capital in a not-bubble.
The cost is negligible with respect to the total carrying capacity of your brain. I don't have a source, but I've seen this stated in a few books.
It is often mentioned that there is a cost in that an additional association seems like more work. (To disclose my bias, I find visual memory techniques to be a boon to my apparently concept-driven mind.) Consider, however, that work must be done both when constructing the memory and also when repeating it. Visual memory, mnemonics, and the like, all work, I believe, because they increases the strength of the encoding, decreasing the need for repetition later. So, there may be more work upfront, but there is much less over the lifetime of the memory.
Interestingly, Godel gave a presentation somewhere within 5 - 7th September at Koningsberg presenting the first incompleteness theorem. At this time, he did not have the second. 
Von Neumann was in attendance and he wrote a letter to Godel on November 20th announcing his discovery of the second incompleteness theorem. As it turns out, Godel had just sent a paper for publication on November 17th with the proof of the second incompleteness theorem. In reply to Godel, finding out he had just been scooped, von Neumann wrote:
"As you have established the theorem on the unprovability of consistency as a natural continuation and deepening of your earlier results, I clearly won't publish on this subject."