I have outsourced entire chunks of my brain to the Cloud.
I’m not exactly sure how that happened.
I mean, I used to know lots of stuff. Lots. I used to be a walking dictionary of Roman, Greek and a touch of Norse mythology. I once won a Trivial Pursuit game because I knew what Hadrian’s Wall was, at the age of 12. I knew the entire geneology of 80’s pop/alternative/new wave music. (Yeah, I’ll CLAIM THAT SUCKA!) I could’ve taught classes on the impressionist and dada art movement. I wanted to be an aerospace engineer, or at least a physicist.
Ok whoa. This was not intended to be a ‘look at all the stuff I know, I’m so smart.’ I mean, I am, and I do…or at least I did…know lotsa stuff. But not anymore. Because, you see, I’ve outsourced.
Perhaps I just reached a critical mass of information, and I needed to let some stuff go. Perhaps I’m getting more selective about the stuff I keep in my head. No, it’s not because I’m getting old. No way. Nuh uh.
Although, now I realize what older folks mean when they tell those young’uns “I’ve forgotten more stuff then you’ve ever known!”.
Whatever the reason, the effect is a bit disturbing, and usually the same. Someone will ask, or the situation will call for, some random/obscure/cool/pertinent piece of data/trivia/factoid. And my brain will go “ZOMG I KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT !!!!!” And will then proceed to flip through my (extremely scattered) Intellect-O-Matic filing system, only to find that instead of the little tidbit of data/triva/factoid, there’s a sign.
That sign says:
“OUTSOURCED TO TEH INTERWEBS”
Crap. Fortunately, I have an iPhone, which means I have surgically implanted my phone into my hand or pocket at any given moment. But what happens if I leave my phone at home? (ok haha, that was a joke.) But really, what if I lose it? Or, I have no service? Or…armeggedon? How will I entertain, amuse, enlighten and educate my friends and aquaintances should the apocolypse arrive?
You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?
Are we becoming too reliant on the internet for information? Where, and more importantly, how do you draw the line? Is there a limit to how much information one brain can hold?
I tend to think there isn’t. Or at least, I think I’m not living up to my potential. (Oh, how often I’ve heard those words growing up.)
So I’m thinking of declaring war on Wikipedia. Rejecting Roget’s. I think I will attempt to relegate them to a more appropriate place in my data aquisition model.
But first, I just have to figure out how. And if I should.
I know exactly what you mean. I go into interviews and think… yea I know that… uh… just a sec, or I’ll be talking with friends and go, yea, I know that… now just wait while I look that up. I think it’s a lot about knowing how to get the information rather than knowing the information itself now. I know the start of the thread, the google keywords, the website where I saw a link to something, the person who told me something that reminded me of where to get that piece of information. These things I know and able to trace the bit of information down the tree. This lets me “know” so much more things, or at least the start of the tree of things. It’s hard to interrupt a conversation though and say “wait one sec while I look that up”.
I don’t remember who’s been saying this besides manimal (oops, there’s an example right there), but I’ve read somewhere else on the internet that it no longer matters whether you know stuff, it matters whether you know how to find out.
I don’t think that’s a good thing, though. It IS important to know how to find out, especially since many people won’t even bother, but I think you’ve got to be able to do both.
You’re right though…things in the brain do get harder to find.
I blame my head bonks. My mom tells me I used to be a walking encyclopedia; since the bonking events, like you, I struggle to recall names and facts.
(Bonking as in getting a falling barn door on my head; ramming head into rock overhang while hiking; skiing accident. If only I knew back then that head injuries are not fashionable…)