I’m getting old. Show me some pictures of Yankee Stadium two blocks from where I lived as an infant in 1951. Or remind me about those kids I knew in High School. Whatever ever happened to my office mate from grad school? Where could I get a copy of my college yearbook? The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles were great (I went everyday for two weeks), how about some pictures? What does the home I grew up in look like now (apparently almost exactly like it did after my parents’ deaths, although the guy who bought it from us obviously does not know how to take care of shrub beds). Neighborhood looks almost identical, just the trees are bigger.
Don’t have photos or descriptions of some place or event you went to. The Internet does. Want to make sure the tales you have told for 30 years about freezing your ass off in Minnesota in ’76-77 were grounded in reality. Yup, the stat charts clearly indicate that was the case.
Look up something you seem to have forgotten. Browse information about events and places and you may find that you (with or without the help of the hyperlinks in Wikipedia) can remember even more things.
Are you a caregiver or healthcare provider for an individual with cognitive decline? It’s pretty easy to use the Internet as a big box of memories and pictures and even context to help the patient retrieve memories or relive parts of the past.
Given how I typically feel about the billionaire Darth Vader Juniors over at Google who trample individual privacy in the unending search for more liquid currencies, it’s going to be tough to say, but …
Just Google it.
Find out about your life or your parents’ or retrieve memories or recreate associations.
[Just remember that the world's memory will also record what you just asked about so as to try to sell you yearbooks, genealogy services, or New York Yankee collectibles.]
Having a fairly accurate, very comprehensive collective world memory will potentially help many who are losing their own biological cognitive functions. It could very well help in caregiving and helping patients maintain or even increase their quality of life. Darth Vader Junior might even make it back from the Dark Side by providing funds and other resources to use the accumulated information of the Internet to help those with aging memory banks and CPUs.
Click on the image to expand it and see how these ideas go together. Form some new associations. The mind map in which the information is presented will help you do that.
Click here for Part 2 of this discussion.