To memorize or not to memorize that is the question…

There are customers I visit that ask you nicely (with an armed guard) to leave your cellular phone by the front desk before you enter the building. I say ask only in the broadest sense of they won’t let you in if you say no.

I have customers that let vendors bring cell phones in. In either case I wonder if either is effective security. If someone wants to record or access information during a meeting that is helpful (from the vendor to the customer) you force communication to be disjointed. Now you have to rely on email or faxing to share information.

When you think about information it has a time to live. A time when that information is relevant to solving a specific problem. That is the problem generated by connection.

When (yes we had lights, no we weren’t out of caves yet) I was young we memorized many more facts than students do today. Why? Because the relevance of what they need to remember how to operate versus the things they have to remember is significantly different. A dinner conversation at our house not to long ago was around did you ever think you would be at a meal, ask a question and someone would give you the answer, from a hand held device. You see what you have to operate now, is much different.

Information is at your fingertips. So now you memorize how to operate different systems. I started out my computer use as a Macintosh user. Actually I started out with a TRS-80, then moved to a commodore and finally an Apple IIc. My first however, professional use of a computer came on the Macintosh. I worked for Microsoft for many years and learned the nuances of windows both server and desktop. Since then I have spent a lot of time working with Linux and Unix. Why would I mention this? Because I carry the knowledge in my head of how to operate within the different systems.

My Dish network receiver runs an operating system loosely based on Linux (embedded). My Chrome book and Macintosh run a loosely based GUI over a Linux or Unix kernel. Windows 10 runs on the Windows Server kernel and so on. My iPhone runs iOS. My Android tablet runs android. Each a unique operating system, I operate in each and whenever I try a new OS, my first goal is can I publish my blog on that operating system. I haven’t published a blog from a dish receiver yet, but I am sure someone is working on that.

The argument right away to this part of the post is that I am an IT consultant I have to know OS’s. But the thing is, my kids float between most of those systems as well. All my kids can operate a Mac, Tablet running either Android or iOS and a windows computer. They operate the Dish system as well. In the modern age a portion of our memory is spent operating devices.

Plus, if you can Google the answer why memorize it? As a teacher I always told my class know how to get the answer. With the modern devices you can easily get it, and you don’t in the end have to spend a lot of time. Simply unlock your device, type in or hold the microphone button and talk, and whammo you know the answer. That leaves more human memory power for things that are important like birthdays and cute stories about the time you put someone on your shoulder and they barfed on your head.


Memorize nothing, look it up!