Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Filing System for Your Memory

In "Algorithms to Live By", by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths, they relate the Noguchi Filing System to how we store and retrieve memories.

The Noguchi filing system is very simple.  Keep a box of files.  Add all files to the left side of the box, even if it is a file that you just pulled out.  Search for all files starting from the left.  The result is that all of the most commonly accessed files are kept on the left side of the box and are therefore found more quickly.

How does this relate to memory?  Research shows that your memory fades over time.  This usually is thought to be due to our imperfect brains while it might actually be due to newer memories "pushing" older memories to the right in our Noguchi Filing System box.

What's the trick for remembering something?  Pull it out and put it back on the left side.  

- Do you want to remember important information?  Then make it something you "look at" regularly.
- Do you want to remember meaningless drivel?  If not, then stop adding it to your file.

For me, I make sure to get a daily dose of scripture.

Final Thought:

Is it possible when we meditate we stop adding new files and give God a chance to sort our memories in an order that is better than the order that results from our random meandering through information?

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