Memory.

Remember this?

(Apparently the video was taken down, so I must describe: Remember that Married…with Children episode where Al tries to get Kelly to enter a sports trivia game show and crams her head full of sports trivia until stuff she already knew started leaking out? Yeah. That.)

Yes.  Well.

Last week in class, I was showing my instructor some of my pictures and we were talking about them as a discussion exercise, and I happened across some pictures I took in Seattle this summer.  I pointed to the tall pointy thing in the Seattle city skyline, and said “…and this is the…the….um…”

“……”

Um.

I forgot the name.

I FORGOT THE NAME.

OF THE FREAKING SPACE NEEDLE.

Now either this is the early onset of senility (which is actually no laughing matter, as my brilliant and determined uncle who may have engineered a cure for certain types of cancer is now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease) or, like Kelly in the Married…with Children episode, my brain is full and has started dumping out unnecessary information in an attempt to continue learning portuguese.  Now that the mental version of faceplanting into an invisible wall when running which happened a couple weeks ago appears to have calmed down, I’m once again trying to cram as much information as I can in the last few weeks of class before I begin my volunteer period.

Before I left, I called my mom and she cautioned me to ‘not forget how to speak English’.  At the time I thought it was a silly thing to worry about.  The joke will be on me when I go to greet my friends when I return and it comes out as “Bom dia meus amigos! Estou muito feliz por estar de volta, eu faltei de vocês muito!!” and my friends stand there and blink at me in surprise.  Maybe I’ll just have to teach them all portuguese?

Maybe I’ll embrace The Cloud. Maybe.

Remember The Cloud post?  From last week?  Well, a friend of mine sent me a link to this article that totally hit the nail on the head.  Except, well, it was the opposite nail. 

See, I was slowly descending into this state of panic.  Panic brain was sending me visions of myself, a drooling, brainless idiot, useless without my interwebs connection.  But perhaps, if you believe the claims in that article, perhaps I’ve just found a bigger storage system?

I dunno.  I’m not sure I want to be dependent on a solid wifi signal.  But boy, am I brilliant when I do have one.

I lost my brain in The Cloud

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.