Meandering Monday about Compensating for My Memory and My CPU

My memory has never been good. Well, maybe that’s not the right description. I could remember things fine, given enough time.

When I was in grade school and junior high, we still had these things called film strips in classes. During some lessons, the teacher would bring in a film projector, darken the room and play an educational piece related to our current studies. In biology, I remember these animated scenes showing the outline of the human body with all these little people running around inside, delivering messages, acting as muscles, grinding up the food we ate, etc. When I try to remember something – an actor’s name, for example, I picture one of these little file clerks going back into my memory to retrieve the information. It takes longer than it should, but they eventually return with the answer – sometimes so much later that I don’t remember why and have to send out another file clerk to retrieve the question.  

I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember (there I am, remembering about remembering, a subset of intellection = thinking about thinking) sometimes amaze people with what I can remember, but it’s too random to be reliable. I wonder though, if the scattering of my memories and being recombined and oddly associated is why I’m such an outside the box thinker and has something to do with how my stories unspool.

Anyway, while my memory has often been prohibitively unreliable, I spent the earlier parts of my life with a very quick brain. My CPU was so fast that if I couldn’t remember something, I’d just rediscover it. I remember taking a math test in college, and I couldn’t remember the formulas I needed, so I derived them while taking the test. And aced it.

As late as my 50’s, I was doing my DAY JOB that way. I couldn’t remember how I solved an IT problem the previous week (sometimes the previous day), so when it happened again I had to rediscover the solution – reinventing the wheel along the way. But my CPU has slowed down over the years, and I’m not as good at compensating as I used to be.

While I’ve been slowing down, computers have been gaining memory in leaps and bounds. I had an Apple computer with an amazing 128k! Now we get computers with terabytes for far less money.

Their CPU’s have been speeding up, too. I’m not the fastest typist by far, but I remember when I used to type a command, hit enter, and type the next command while I was waiting for the computer to respond. Now I get the feeling that the computer is sitting there, waiting impatiently for me to do my part.

“Come on, come on – I don’t have all day!”

Despite the machine’s rudeness, I consider it fortunate that as I slow down, computers are speeding up (someone should do a graph of that – my decline against technology’s improvement and see what the net loss/gain is), and are able to do some of the heavy lifting and tedious tasks so I can focus on the overall project. As I’m having more trouble compensating, the computers are able to take over.

Should we let them?

No. I don’t think it’s a good idea to let them get to the point of being a “do it all for you AI.” There was an advantage to not having them there to “help” me as I was growing up – it forced my mind to develop in ways that made me smarter and more capable of long-term survival.

Think about kids who are growing up now, and all the things they’re not learning to do because “Why bother? Computers can do that for us.” Math. Spelling. Grammar. They don’t have to train their minds to remember things because they just need to know how to google.

I could make a joke here about how hard it will be on them when the zombie apocalypse comes and civilization collapses. But there are serious consequences to letting the machines do too much for them.

One of the things that supposedly staves off Alzheimer’s is keeping your mind working – sudoku, crossword puzzles, anything that helps you keep your CPU active, keep the connections warm.

If young’uns aren’t building enough connections because they don’t have to – what happens to them later in life? Just saying…

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025For information on my current promotions (including the FREE Presale and reduced price preorders for Cats of War III, my participating books in the 14th Annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, as well as FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Want to help me make a go of this writing gig WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY? I’m in the Amazon Affiliates program, so any time you click one of the links I provide here to my books on Amazon, and then make a purchase of something like, say, a TV, I get a small percentage of Amazon’s profit. So PLEASE consider using one of my links to get to Amazon before you make that next purchase. Thanx!


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