Monday, January 24, 2011

The head hard drive

I recently heard someone liken the human brain to a computer hard drive. There are similarities. At times there is something you are trying to remember and you can't, just like with your computer hard drive when you can't find something. Of course if you have a good filing system on your hard drive, you should be able to find what you want. This does not work for the brain. But there are some little things you can do to help your brain, such as the one I have written about before for spelling Woolloomooloo. These are called mnemonics and I need a new one to remember how to spell mnemonic.

Another is word association. At my work there is a chap and let me call him Troy, as that is his name. For some reason I had a mental block about his name and I just could never remember it until I started thinking of him as Helen, Helen of Troy. It was better than calling him darls, as I had started to do. I don't know him that well and it seemed a little too informal. Lucky that I never called him Helen.

I find it just so annoying that of maybe a dozen telephone numbers I know, half are redundant. Why does our brain hold this useless stuff? Why can't it dump such stuff in the recycle bin and make space for new things we need to remember. While not many of us now remember phone numbers, because we don't need to, I suppose passwords and other numbers have taken up the space.

A few months ago I changed my card that I use to log into online banking. I had used the old card for a long time and I knew the 16 digits on my card and never had to check. Now with the new card, I cannot remember the numbers and have to drag it out of my wallet every time I want to use online banking. Worse, I don't think I will ever learn the numbers. Maybe my brain is too old now?

I would like the good bits of a young person's brain, like the brains of young people in shops who can look the umpteen numbers on a product's barcode, look away and enter them without a pause into the cash register. I hate them.

I see young people texting and they can do it at such speed. Kiddo, I was texting back when you were in nappies, I feel like saying to them. They would be justified in replying, well grandpa, how come you can only text at half the speed I can.

I think I do know what my brain's problem is. I have filled it up with a tiny bits of, and incomplete knowledge about too many things. There is not one thing I know a lot about. I have read too much and absorbed too little. If I had my time over, I might just change my brain a bit to make sure it became an expert at a few things, rather than its present state of being a jack of all trades and master of none. But then I am not too bad as an all rounder in a trivia comp. I has me uses.


  1. My brain has too many crevices full of lyrics to Roy Orbison songs. Is there a cleanser for that?

  2. my head is chock full of useless information. Random facts. Ah well.

  3. Anonymous8:43 pm

    Isnt it funny how it works? I too can remember my 16 digit card number for online banking and have no problems with it on the number pad on the keyboard, but if I have to use the numbers above the letters then I hesitate. Although my job is numbers....and most I do remember that are relevant and some mental blocks happen .

    I also have a word association thing happening, I do it a lot when I hear a name and I start singing an old song with that name, my kids kinda then look at me strange lol

    great post.


  4. Sorry Julie, I don't know of a cleanser. I expect it is only a problem for only the lonely.

    Fen, cleanse yourself of the dude on the work phone who got up your skin a year ago. What he had for breakfast needs to be excised.

    Michelle, I only do top keyboard numbers. R uses the right hand numbers. For mine, they should be removed from the keyboard. I would have to look to see what I pressing on the right hand numbers. I like your song association method, but I just ain't gonna work for Troy. Michelle, my belle.