So far we’ve learned how quantum mechanics and probability impact the metaphysics of the world around us. We’ve learned how interconnectedness and entanglement allow us to connect on a much deeper level, to the people, places, and products we love. The one thing necessary now to create anything is memory.
Memory is crucial to human survivability. Being able to encode, store and retrieve information is the difference between (literally) being memorable, and being forgotten. Naturally, we want to be remembered. On a smaller scale, we use our memory to store information, concepts, heuristics, skills, passions, and everything else we think will be useful in the shorter and longer term.
Some things in our memory came before we were even conscious. For example, when a baby is born, it has an innate ability to suckle. Breathing isn’t something we have to remember how to do. Making sounds isn’t either. However, combining sounds into words and sentences is through learning and memory, take effort. What I want to focus on is how to encode information to remember more, thus learning more.
Human memory and computer memory are extremely similar. In a computer, we have something called RAM (random-access memory), which is a data that can be stored in one session, and ROM (read-only memory), which is data that can be stored indefinitely. In the human brain, we have short-term memory (roughly 7 chunks of information at a time), and long-term memory (why we still have memories of our childhood).
Without memory, everything would be new, we’d fail every test, your family would be strangers, and even yourself would be alien. This is why it’s extremely important to learn how memory works, and how we can use it to our advantage.
Memory occurs in three phases. Encoding, storage, and retrieval. Using the computer as an example, we encode with our keyboard, store in is RAM or ROM, and retrieve through our monitors.
This post won’t go too in-depth (I’m already at 500 words) but I want to focus on how we encode. Being able to semantically encode information would allow us to store this information for the long-haul. Encoding with meaning.
Knowing that a peg is square is pretty shallow. Knowing that I won’t fit in a round or triangle hole is giving that knowledge meaning. Broadly speaking, the application of this knowledge in scenarios is important. A professor in my college called this experiential learning which is now taught in schools as much.
To be able to store mass amounts of information, it must be given meaning. A hack to this, is to begin with meaning. What is meaningful to you right now. At this moment for me, it’s learning the technical analysis of trading stocks and cryptocurrency. Because it meant something to me, I’m applying and semantically encoding it in my brain. This for sure will be useful to me forever (as stocks and crypto will never cease to exist), thus increasing the probability of me remembering it.