Exponential growth

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Tue Jan 8 10:09:40 CST 2013


Recently, I heard of a new theory that is emerging about the so-called 
forgetfulness of older people.
(I am not referring to mental illnesses, such as whatever we mean by 
some symptoms lobbed together as Alzheimer's disease).

Firstly, it would seem that we might want to consider our short-term 
memory as a one-bit memory location. Hence any newer input displaces the 
previous one.
For instance, you decide to get up to do X. On your way to do X, someone 
asks you to fetch Z.
After having done Z, you then ask yourself, /"what else was I supposed 
to do?"/
That, some people now say, is because X was placed in that one-bit, 
short-term memory, then was replaced by the thought of Z.
X is now somewhere else, disconnected from its context.  It will take 
additional effort to retrieve that information.

(on a hard disk, if a pointer is destroyed, finding that data may not be 
easy to recover either...:-)

Secondly, that has nothing to do with your wandering in the supermarket 
parking lot, mumbling to yourself : "/where is my car/".
That one happens because you never consciously memorized, the 
emplacement of your car in the first place.
Apparently, American (native) Indians, when they moved in group, would 
task one of theirs to look backwards from time to time, in order to 
memorize the view that they would to need to see to be able to return to 
their village.

Thirdly, it would seem to depend on our personal level of interest in a 
given subject. Reading a police thriller may be  entertaining but I 
rarely remember any detail, because I have no active interest in the 
On the other hand, I have been, for a while now, knee-deep in some 
chapters of the Summa, and have no problem recalling the various 
arguments of Thomas Aquinas.

My 5 cents worth
André N4ICK


On 1/8/2013 10:14 AM, Richard O'Neill wrote:
> On 1/8/2013 6:43 AM, Phil wrote:
>> It is a VERY long time since I got an "Out Of Memory" or "Out Of Disk 
>> Space" error message.
>   Same thing applies to the human brain. In my case it isn't a problem 
> of insufficient memory but one of where did I store the info I'm 
> trying to recall.
> Sorta like a vast library with a random access operating system.

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