I loved this article form this months Wired - Your Outboard Brain Knows All. The main thrust was our growing reliance on technology to supplement our memory. Here's as simple test
- do you know your own mobile phone number?
many of you will of course but in the research conducted by neuroscientist Ian Robertson with 3000 people, over a third of under 30's couldn't remember and whipped out their mobile to check. I know my own mobile number but know several friends who don't. Equally, when I'm asked a question I'm not sure of I'm likely these days to check on Wikipedia using my mobile device. That tells me two things
- I trust Wikiepdia a lot (scary)
- I have an outboard brain mentality
Clive Thompson's point is well made
"...the cyborg future is here. Almost without noticing it, we've outsourced important peripheral brain functions to the silicon around us"
Is it a good thing or bad? I agree with Clive, I like it in the main. I think some of my family think it's weird but I've grown up with the Internet over the last 20 years and it's been the lifeblood of my career so maybe I'm just giving it something back. My peripheral memory! Like Clive, my blog has become my external data archive. Many things I mention in conversation appear on my blog so I can just refer people there and in 5 years time it'll be a biography or sorts. At what point does the overlap happen though, when my outboard brain stores more than my personal one. Hmm, probably in about 10 years time...or less. Eeek