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Author Topic: Why webmasters are responsible for my failing memory  (Read 2448 times)
perkiset
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« on: April 01, 2011, 10:07:01 AM »

I had an interesting observation this morning.

Working through several websites and accounting processes I do monthly, I needed to repair a couple things. The auto finance company has lost their record of how they pull money off the bank account every month. The high school website (which is the only way we can see our kids' report cards) is spontaneously not allowing us in. The bank is having difficulties with transfers, please call for assistance. So many complain that life seems to be getting more complex and challenging. Why do (the macro We) need drugs like Xanax to cope, when our parents did not? Are we simply more fragile, less hard working and/or lazy?

No.

Here's my thought: As we all get more connected and use more online services, we are subject to the ever so slight, but hardly trivial, complexities, intricacies and idiosyncrasies of each system. Therefore, I am subject to those complexities at a growing, perhaps even exponential rate, since I am affected by them directly and indirectly through every site/service I touch and every site/service that my family touches. Where our agrarian days had the complexity load of How Do We Eat Today, we endure the combined complexity of every shitty, slipshod, lazy or poorly trained programmer and systems architect in the world. See what I mean? As we connect more, we are more affected by BOTH the positive and negative capabilities of an ever growing and expanding interaction framework. Add to this, the subtle differences of ethnicity, cultural input, age ... I could go on forever.

PinkHat and I regularly seem to think that facts just drop out of our brains. I am beginning to recognize that no, I have an incredible memory. But the gross complexity of interacting with everyone else in the world in THEIR idiom takes it's toll on my gross capability.

Whew! And here I though I was just getting old Wink
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 11:53:36 AM »

Quote
I am beginning to recognize that no, I have an incredible memory. But the gross complexity of interacting with everyone else in the world in THEIR idiom takes it's toll on my gross capability.

Please take a minute to reminisce of a time when we had all our mental faculties allocated for our own purposes, rather than climbing through everyone else's mental obstacle course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt_OS54FFFE.  Think about it  Nerd
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 04:34:52 PM »

There was a book on the subject perks. But I forgot its title Smiley
Another book which I never read, I just read the summary was that this will be the era for women.
Men's brains and women's brains are very different in some areas.
Generally speaking men have been hunters, so they had to put high concentration / focus for short periods of time on a certain task.
Classic example is hunting an animal with a spear.
While women where back in the cave. They watched the kids, prepared food, possibly some limited agriculture etc.

You see this especially in 3rd world countries.
A woman can wash clothes by hand, and meanwhile be talking a mile a minute.
Or same thing with food preparation. They can be chopping a way with sharp knives. And talking a mile a minute.
A man would be doing this he will have no fingers.

Certain tasks like programming,complex mathematics, men have the upper hand.
Hence IT was ruled by men for the longest time.
But as IT switches from "developers" to "power users" women are gaining the upper hand.
In some parts of India where traditionally female children had little value, families are starting to see the value of women workers.
They can get high paying jobs in call centers etc. Which they are much better at doing then men.
As a result they are spending more money educating female children etc.
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 06:06:02 PM »

I believe this transcends gender or virtually anything about (me). The cliche is that "the world is getting more complicated." I was just struck today that it is. Not because any single task is more than we're used to, but because the capability for not just our family, not just our town or church to introduce their own complexities into my life, it's literally anyone anywhere at anytime. The world is getting more complex and difficult BECAUSE of global interaction, not in spite of it. Whether you're a moron or Einstein, you'll engage at your own level. Therefore, no matter whom you are, as you have more capability and bandwidth for communication and interaction, the level of complexity will rise above your capability to deal with it.
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 06:37:57 AM »

Well it might be folks who didn't grow up handling "all that data" are having problems. I don't believe that younger people who have grown up surrounded by all those systems are suffering from your problem. The brain isn't something until it's shaped that way. Did you know that you don't even "see" properly until you are 7 or 9 depending the researcher you ask. The complexity of surrounding systems is irrelevant unless you need to couple the systems yourself. If you are a user of something, it either works or it doesn't. You don't see the complexity of the system when you are interacting with whatever consists of that system's UI. Unless of course you are developer which very few people are. Hunting can be very complex system because it involves many actors you have to predict and know. There's the territory, the animal(s), you and maybe the tool you are using to hunt. Compared to juggling all this in your mind, even using Android seems quite trivial task.

The modern day problem is that while people are trying to be more efficient via technology, they are poisoning their body by eating lot's of carbohydrates, even more sugar and then wonder why they don't seem to perform. I'm pretty sure that majority of the people don't even know what it's like to "feel healthy" when your chemicals are in balance. Especially you americans when most of you (60% if I remember correctly) have that unfortunate gene defect from Romans that makes your body really crappy at dealing with all the stuff your basic junk food consists. That gene defect combined with your mainstream culinary habits is why you are the most obese nation in the world.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2011, 03:55:58 PM »

Technology is outpacing evolution.
The human brain is still the same model as when we where a bunch of primates running around.
Well it might be folks who didn't grow up handling "all that data" are having problems. I don't believe that younger people who have grown up surrounded by all those systems are suffering from your problem. The brain isn't something until it's shaped that way. Did you know that you don't even "see" properly until you are 7 or 9 depending the researcher you ask.
You are partially right kurdt.
But there is 2 parts of the brain. The "hardware part" and "software part".
So basically we are now running Windows 7 on an 8080 chip.
We never "see" properly, because the hardware in our brains takes computational shortcuts.
Younger people are having the same problem, they just do not realize it.
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2011, 08:51:30 PM »

But there is 2 parts of the brain. The "hardware part" and "software part".
So basically we are now running Windows 7 on an 8080 chip.
We never "see" properly, because the hardware in our brains takes computational shortcuts.
Younger people are having the same problem, they just do not realize it.
You should study brains more. Brains are still in totally different universe compared to computers. Signal between synapses takes about 5ms. Sounds slow right? However brain is able to deliver everything you need under 100 "hops". Now if you compare that to computer, it's a whole different type of computing. You could say that brain is elegant hacker and computer is a script kiddie with bruteforcing. Memristors and quantum computing may change this but right now computers are just too primitive to compete. There's no software or hardware. Brain is more like a memristor than traditional processor. There's a reason why we still don't have AI. IBM's Watson doesn't count because it's not AI, it's Wikipedia + Speech recognition + Text-to-Speech. Watson is a perfect demonstration of how the future of fact knowledge will shift from experts to computers. However applying those facts to real-life situations will be still a job for human brain.

However the brain is a problematic apparatus when it's been adapted to something else and then it needs to do a radical change. This is what's happening today. Suddenly we have to think like logical computer programs. This isn't the way our brains are used to handle information if the brain was shaped in a world that was more of an experience based like it used to be. However, my brain is probably a bit of a hybrid because I only got my first computer when I was 12. I envy today's kids who start with iPad in their hands. They are really going to be something else and my hope for human kind lies in them. You could say that today's world is more like holding lot's of pieces in your memory and making connections between things and yesterday's world was more like having a correct reaction to thing that's happening right now. I'm not saying this in a negative sense, it's just a different type of world to deal with. Personally I think people would be happier in the old world because the stress our bodies are currently going thru from completely twisted and wrong food doesn't leave us much room to survive. This is why depression is the world's 2nd biggest work preventing disease.
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2011, 09:32:10 PM »

The analogy of a brain compared to a computer (as in a binary computer) is a poor one.
We don't really know if the brain works like a neural network, it is just a theory (granted the best we have so far)
I am saying optical illusions are a prime example of how our brains "malfunction" in a modern world.
Also contrary to popular belief we come "hard wired" with certain biases or fears built in.
An example of this is snakes.
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