memories

I found an interesting contrast between two op-ed pieces published in the past week. Both related to the advancing wave of technology that we humans (specifically middle to upper class with appropriate technology access) have been riding and drowning in. With the advent of ubiquitous computing and search technologies like Google, we are in a unique position in human history to redefine what it means to “know” something. I, for one, could not do a lot of what I do (personally and professionally) without Google or Wikipedia’s constant input. The first article from the NY Times last week bemoans the loss of memorization and the learning discipline of rhetoric from our culture. The writer recommends that we add some level of rote memorization back into our education system. On the flip side the piece from the Boston Globe this weekend recommends that, given the preponderance of information we are subjected too and create we need to find new ways to forget! While the subject of memories has long fascinated me (down to the mathematical models used to simulate biological memory systems), this is the first time that I have started to think about it from the level of our cultural and anthropological connection to what we remember and what we consider our own personal knowledge. This seems an avenue for some further investigation…maybe I should do a search…

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