Slight change of plans. OK, let’s face it: GIGANTIC change of plans. I now intend to write on memory and technology. More specifically, I want to discuss the importance of humans’ memorizing that which computers and other technologies can store more predictably and effectively. This will not likely result in a black-and-white answer. Particularly, the importance of humans’ memorizing a certain thing clearly depends on which thing is to be memorized. Hence, a more nuanced view must be pursued.
After doing some research into the area, I’ve found such a nuanced view to be justified. There was little disagreement that technology (mostly computers and books) could be extremely useful in the field of memory. However, most of the authors I read emphasize the importance of humans’ memorizing at least certain things. These authors can be split broadly into two groups: those who emphasize the importance of human memory for the sake of humans, and those who emphasize the importance of human memory for the sake of the things to be memorized (and hence for the sake of the humans). Thus, at root, the good of humans (or humanity at large) affects the importance of humans’ memorizing things. Clearly, it is important that humans memorize certain things. The next question, then, must be “Which things?”