I was just thinking…
If we don’t have to remember anything any more, because we can just google it, how much space does that free up in our brains for more important, patent-producing work? Like, I don’t know: nutting out all the calculations required to make a chaotic event predictable; or working out the gravitational force required to make the Universe stop expanding (actually, someone very smart, who doesn’t need google for anything except movie times, has probably already done that)?
You know the theories – we only use a measly tiny fraction of our brain as it is. But now that we don’t have to remember useless facts, like the year Napoleon was exiled to Elba (1814, and I spelt his name wrong the first time), or the distance to the nearest Solar system with an Earth-like planet (4.37 light years, although there is still nothing definitive), then let’s imagine what we might be able to turn our minds to? Not only us, but just think of the space saved in kids’ brains who have not even started the long, boring road of fact memorising; who will eventually only be tested on a far more useful power in the wireless world, of how quickly they can google an answer rather than laboriously and limitedly recall it?
The interweb is clearly the latest in a long list of how technology is supposed to have given us more leisure time (the washing machine beats banging clothes on rocks). But rather than give us more leisure time, it’s given us the leisure brain.
That’s right: I don’t think we’ll be using our additional brain capacity to find a cure for cancer. But we will get to use it to do a bit more mental lazing around. You know – day-dreaming, gossiping, rumour-mongering, and all round, time-doodling.
I have this picture in my own leisure brain, of a line of grey matter balls, reclining on li-lo’s, along the rim of a pool, idly staring at the grub on the inside of their beach umbrella, and wondering if someone is going to come and ask them if they want another pina colada, or of they are going to have to roll over to get it themselves.
I’m not criticising. I think it’s a nice thing. I wish my brain would turn its newfound additional leg-room to good, like harbouring the latest great ideas for eco-friendly, space-saving devices. But it won’t. And nor will yours, so there’s no point in looking like that. Here, have another pina colada. I used Coco Lopez coconut cream (drinksmixer.com), which will turn it from mediocre to awesome.