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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Save to the Hard Drive for the Archive...


One of my favorite pieces of hardware, besides a landphone... is a Hard Drive. Why such a seemingly nondescript piece of equipment? I don't know, there's just something very cool, and interesting about the idea of a device that replicates memory. I mean the human brain, which itself is a pretty poor hard drive, pales in comparsion to harddrives today. While human memory and computer memory aren't seemingly comparable, I beg to differ. The thoughts and memories that we have as humans, are stored but in general this is a very loose storage system. Especially if an event wasn't very memorable. What happened on a random Sunday afternoon 3 years ago? Hell if I can remember... Human memory is much more..organic, it comes and goes, some of it sticking with us to the day we die, and others become chipped, faded, and disappear entirely. We humans are obviously also suseptable to diseases that destroy the lucidity of memory, leaving it fragmented, and useless.



Replacing the familiar Hard drive disk, is the newer, faster, and more coherent, Solid State Drive. Which instead of the spinning platters that HDD's are composed of, these SSD's are, as I'm sure most of you already know, computer chips. Like larger USB drives. While its nothing so groundbreaking, but this leap from the platteres to chips, is just another step, that I think brings us closer to a goal that would be truly awe inspiring. I've mentioned it before in this blog, but inventing the ability to store human memory onto these chips would be such an idea that if and when created, it would really change our world. Think about it, we could sell piano lessons, or go to the grocery store, and pick up a memory of last year's World Cup. Someone could witness, a murder, be able to download the memory onto a chip and replay it to the police. The possibilities are endless. Granted this may not be a good thing.. Instead of me going out and taking Taekwon do lessons, I can have them uploaded to my brain, while I sit on the couch...

Sound familiar? In the matrix movies, its characters often find themselves in need of a set of skills that they don't posses. Do from an uplink from their central system, they have instructions uploaded to this. And in a manner of seconds, they're professionals at whatever task needed doing. Now I'm not saying that we'll be able to download kung fu lessons just yet, if you look up a project called BrainGate, it explains why I brought this up. The idea that human memory can be recorded and later used and viewed isn't new but it hasn't been anything but, at best science fiction.  Think this idea would take off? Buying and selling experiences, and memories. You could program it to save the early years of your child hood, and you can play it back when your older and recall events that normally would have been lost to time. 

Human memory, ( a concept that I admittedly don't fully understand) is a very spread out and 'organic' process. When I was in grade school, my teachers would refer to memory as a big filing cabinet locked away in our cranium. But now, as my reading of the matter continues, it's come out that it doesn't work in such a 'solid state' sort of way. Many area's of the brain contribute to your remembering. If you think about a dog, you think of many different senses that make up what a dog is. Its feel, its sound, its shape, and form.

Anyway I hope this all made sense and gave you some reason to think about what the future of recording from experience, or RFE (I may be the first to coin this, so you heard it hear first folks) has to offer. I'm calling it, if anyone at there would be able to do something like this, I'd leave it to Google. They will launch GoogleLife  in the mid 2020's, in which google will allow you to use there servers to upload all your memories!

44 comments:

  1. I don't think uploading memories is that far away, to be honest! I'm with you on the hard drives, I've got a stack of em as testament.

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  2. The human brain is obsolete when it comes to retaining memory.

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  3. The hard drive is probably one of the best pieces of equipment ...

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  4. I really hope it becomes possible within my life timeframe and my mind can live forever

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  5. I don't know. Uploading your memories to a chip? I'm kind of skeptical to be honest.

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  7. lol at GoogleLife great post though

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  8. Memories don't even record every event, even if you want them too. And like regular hard drives, you can write over information, essentially removing the old memory. I know I am hard pressed to remember stuff that I knew I remembered vividly years ago, it gets fragmented though. The brain is a wonderful, weird computer. But before we make the step to brain to chip, I think computers need to take one more step to being more organic. Silicon is nice, but there are tons of research projects on organic computers. When those come out, your RFE will be possible, so I would give them similar release dates. After that, the quantum computer that brings us to the singularity.

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  9. That was a very interesting read indeed. All very Total Recall lol. And I totally agree, the possibilities are endless, and HDDs interest me too ^_^

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  10. i hope this will be possible during our lifetime.

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  11. hmmmmm....gotta think about this one.

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  12. memory in the brain is much more powerful than hd. It just works differently. It prioritizes, and blocks based on electrical signals for the well being of your body and mental states. Just because you cant remember it does not mean its not there.

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  13. Excellent post. Research if making headway in this direction. As you have stated, it is indeed believed that we shall be able to save memories by 2020. The implications are boundless

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  14. This is one of those things that makes u wonder how evolved we are and how much more we will be soon

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  15. Very interesting. You obviously know your stuff xD

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  16. Interesting, but skeptical.. Would be cool if possible though. Also, nice blog :D One of the many blogs I've found today relevant to my interests. ^^

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  17. Fascinating stuff - and timely too, because I need a new hard-drive!

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  18. we're actually learning about this :D

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  19. Very interesting info, thanks

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  20. @RkSummer glad you caught that!

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  21. great read!
    indeed hard drive are fascinating!

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  22. its really amazing how close to recreating a mind we have come

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  23. Where would we be with out them?

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  24. Never looked at it that way.

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  25. I am taking a course in science and philosophy and I just wanted to stop by again and tell you that the class made me think of your blog post. Just figured I'd share this with you while I have my daily coffee for the morning =).

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  26. @t xGamerGuyx:
    Yea. Really interestiong post! :)

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  27. very interesting and a lot to think and wonder about

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  28. Very interesting. I'm going to follow you. This kind of stuff just fascinates me.

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  29. Very good post.. thanks for the info

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  30. Human memory is distributive and associative. One thing makes you think about another and another, that's how creativity happens. Multiple areas of the brain work to formulate concepts about experiences that have never occured. I don't think that human like AI is close until some major hurdles are overcome and I don't think direct download of information into the brain is going to happen until we fully and completely understand the human brain from a quantum level (as in the smallest measurable unit not The Secret's bullshit quantum references) to how the structure of the brain influences thought and memory. I'd say maybe In another 50 years we'll be closer but I don't foresee it or cyberbrains in the next 5 years.

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  31. i think photographs are good enough rather than microchips filled with your personal memories

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  32. Very interesting. You obviously know your stuff :)

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  33. Upload my memories?!

    Can I live in mr Sheens uploaded memories?!

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  34. I think its gonna stay science fiction for a long time :)

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  35. "Think this idea would take off? Buying and selling experiences, and memories. You could program it to save the early years of your child hood, and you can play it back when your older and recall events that normally would have been lost to time."

    I believe this has been portrayed in a movie that I can't recall right now. Very interesting read though. I like your posts.

    I wonder what the impact of such technology could be in the future, not too far future I hope.

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