Retained Knowledge & the Brain

It’s amazing what the brain picks up and retains. For example, I was looking through some manuals for information I needed related to the secret project and came across an L-shaped tool. It wasn’t labelled, and I had yet to spot its name in the manual. However, brain threw up “socket wrench with socket”. Of course, turn the page and the name is there. Same again with the wrench / spanner. The page turn brought the full name, “ring spanner”. Yet, how many years has it been since I’ve seen or used either? Far longer than I care to disclose.

Another example involves V6 engines, pistons, and the mechanics of how oil travels through the engine. If the oil contains impurities, the engine’s internal surfaces are scratched and a coating of dirt accumulates in various areas, thus decreasing the engine’s efficiency and power.

The above two examples aren’t unusual. But, for me, why do I still remember my secondary school’s postcode? It’s not a mailing address you need to recall on the spot. Unless you work there, perhaps. But I was a student there.

And then there’s the Bunsen burner. Or the tickertape timers. How about the 486s? Let’s not mention papier mache and… for some reason: thumbscrews. How are these objects related? They’re not. Unless you consider the neural pathways that lit up to bring these items to the fore of the conscious mind.

However, scientists are still deciphering how the brain works, so who really knows? The brain processes so much information every day, and deals with (or dishes out) everything you experience. It’s the ultimate deific computer. From one viewpoint, the brain is the greatest, most complex “computer” humans know of, thus computers are far behind, primitive in comparison even. From the other side, you could say that the brain is far inferior to any type of modern computer, simply because you don’t fully understand its working methods and why.

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Retained Knowledge & the Brain

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