Here’s a new article about memory techniques from the Guardian:
Thanks for sharing @Josh.
Thanks for posting this. I’m going to mention this and pass it on to a youth group organizer I know.
“One may argue that the more we become reliant on memory aids and technology as reminders, the less efficient our memory processes become. It will be interesting, in years to come, to examine children who grew up with such available technology, to see the effect it has upon memory and cognition.”
That’s the oldest argument… well, before the book. Socrates said this about writing (all records of his life were recorded by his student Plato), it was said about mass production of books, television, and so on.
I liked a quote later in the article about how students should not just be taught when a battle happened, but why it is important. The same with why we should use our memories. The best thing about what Josh Foer did is that he didn’t just write an article about mnemonists and mnemonics, he actually used them himself, and lots of us are here thanks to his book or TED talk.
I think we can lay to rest the answer to this in the article:
“If we no longer need to keep a mental note of facts, figures or dates, might we lose our ability to retain information?” The answer is a resounding no
Memory is used continuously for daily living as is obvious in that you remember people’s faces, the way to work, vacations you’ve had, reading and writing, what foods you like or dislike, etc., all require memory. Relying on Google for the things that people rely on Google for, will not cause us to lose our ability to retain information. For this to be accomplished, memory itself would have to be eliminated. If that were to happen, our lives would be very short.
Perhaps more problematic, the article does not define what is meant by “efficiency” with regard to memory; the very thing that technology is supposed to be taking away.