Has Google Made your Memory Redundant?
These days it seems as though all the information we could ever need is available at the drop of a hat, with a huge wealth of the world’s collective knowledge just a Google or Bing click away.
So we might wonder, with all this information at our fingertips, does our memory still matter?
Does Memory Still Matter?
In reality, there’s no question. Yes, a computer will allow you to extract endless streams of information in new and exciting combinations, but what your brain does – which computers cannot – is derive patterns in that information and thereby locate and relocate it within on your store of previous memories.
Without memory we have no way of forming the patterns to make sense of information. The famous case of H.M. – a young man who developed a memory disorder after surgery to repair his epilepsy, made into the film, H.M. by Kerry Tribe – showed that if we are unable to commit information to memory, we can’t make sense of it, we . Even if the relevant information was to hand,.
Muscle of the Mind
The French have long called memory the muscle of the mind – build it and you will build the power of your mind. This is because each piece of new information we receive is immediately linked into a vast web in our minds made up of everything else we know, mostly without our even being conscious of the process. The less there is in your memory, the less there will be for new experience and knowledge to link to, the thinner and the less rich will be that web of associations and, everything else being equal, the less productive will be your thinking.
Einstein once claimed that the more you knew the less you could learn, and attributed his success to forgetting information he considered useless. But he was wrong. Everything Einstein ever learnt and thought he had forgotten still had an impact on the way he assessed information, patterns and behaviour. The same is true for all of us.
It’s this ability which allows humans to be creative and think in new ways. A file, even a flat file, can’t offer anything approaching the perceptions and insight which your mind can. As I mentioned when discussing AI, it’s exactly this human creativity which computers are nowhere near emulating.
So the important thing is to take care of your mind and not neglect to exercise your memory, no matter how much computers may tempt you to.
Of course, if you’d like to discuss your broadband and take advantage of the learning opportunities good connectivity affords, feel free to give James or Linda a call on 01228 217171 or email me.