Posts Tagged ‘memory’

I am interested in learning as a process of knowledge acquisition. The first requirement for learning is a place for knowledge storing and the ability to transfer this knowledge. Information storage is called memory. Memory for most of us means  storage room for information. Memory is associated with brain, computer memory, hard drive, flash cards, memory stick… I also remember old-fashioned books and another written material. However, the oldest, the most efficient, the most widespread method of information storing is the DNA molecule.

The DNA molecule contains genes that have more information about humans than a human can learn in his life. Those molecules can effectively transfer information. Moreover they can learn. They change, storing information corresponding to the changing environment.

There is a common opinion among DNA that life is only the equipment for their existence.

“Everyone complains of his memory,
and nobody complains of his judgment.”
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

            I do complain about my memory. It isn’t what I want it to be. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it was difficult to learn poems by heart in my school years and the second is that I forget contents of movies that I’ve watched or books that I’ve read. The last has its benefits (I can reread my favorite books with pleasure) but as a whole I would like a bigger and better memory. No, I don’t like memory training methods. I simply want some electronic device which would extend my memory. Those devices are already here. With the help of computers and the Internet we need to remember less. My doctor, for example, looks for diagnoses in Google. Maybe in the future..

I bought you some memory for our Wedding Anniversary


As a child my first sources of information were observations and experiments. For instance, after being burned by flame, I learned to be aware of it, and  I learned the importance of balance when I did my first steps. Next, I learned to speak (language) and that helped me to learn from my family, neighbours and friends. Then, upon the discovery of books, another wonderful source of information opened before me, with the wealth of knowledge and the experience of people from different countries ,some of whom lived many years before me. Next, just in a few decades, the computers became approachable to everybody, and with the appearance of internet, the knowledge of millions of people became reachable. Nowadays, I can learn from the people and the world around me, from newspapers and books, from the internet and all the tools it provides the users, from Wikipedia to blogs and YouTube.

Learning from mistakes, mine and of the people around me, is an essential part of my learning. Experiments in physics helped me understand the theory, and using try and error method with different computer programs taught me almost all I know of computers. I enjoy experimenting with my teaching methods, because  I feel it constantly improves my work. As a result of observing the people around me, and the mistakes they make, I avoided many unpleasant experiences and situations.

The printed word opened before me a new way to learn. When I was a student, I gained the necessary knowledge from the textbooks to pass my school and university exams, and when I became a teacher I continued to use their aid for improving myself. I learned about human interaction from fiction, and about human nature from Plutarch and Tacitus. Newton’s writings helped me to understand the scientific method, and Scientific American and newspapers keep me updated with new discoveries and events occurring all around the world.

With the years the internet became responsible for more than half of the knowledge that I gain. What I once read in print, today I can see across my screen. Form educational websites for physics teachers I can learn from my colleagues all around the world. News websites give me fast access to information and allow me to review different and often contrary points of view which help me formulate my own opinion. Thru Skype I can interact and converse with people from different palaces and get information straight from the source.

In our modern world all the sources I mentioned are interconnected. Many books and journals are available on the internet, along with videotaped experiments conducted in universities worldwide. Nowadays, information is much easier and faster to access. In one click of a mouse we can gain knowledge that our ancestors had to undergo long journeys to get. The ease with which I get information leads to a continuously increasing information flow, and I hope that this tendency will keep on in the future.

Do you try to construct CMAP diagram that shows the sources from which we learn thru life? While constructing the diagram, I saw the number of my information sources continuously expended, and  I needed to include the full  world around me. From this I concluded that there is no information shortage, but there is a problem of keeping all this knowledge inside.

in and out

If the information is separated into single disconnected units, it becomes hard to access and easily forgotten. In an imaginary library where the books, the pages and even the words themselves are laid in a great messy pile, it is quite impossible to find anything useful. However, if we put the words and the pages in order, connect them and, finally ,catalog the books by similar themes, this imaginary library would become much more approachable and valuable. It is much simpler to locate and remember separate parts of our knowledge when the information is interconnected as a giant web in our brain. Here comes to mind the internet, the World Wide Web, a constantly shifting database were all information is linked to each other . In both cases, the more information you have the larger the amount of links and connections thru which you can get to your desired destination.brathers of mind