The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

There's An App For That

    With every advance in technology there is something lost as well. Often it is something that is not needed. Other times it may be something of value. There is always a trade. For example, Facebook allows us to keep in touch with one another and to find people that we had lost. In exchange we lose a measure of our privacy and we tend to neglect longer forms of communication. Cell phones allow us to never miss a call. They also make it hard to avoid the unwanted ones. They do something else that most of us never think about. They weaken our memory. I once had at least twenty phone numbers committed to memory. I now have three. I have only a basic phone. Those of you with high end phones are probably incapable of remembering an appointment without your calendar reminder. Come on now. Tell the truth.

    It has always been this way. The mariners of 500 years ago could navigate by finding the position of Sirius by day or night. They could see it by day. Now no one can. While this may be due in part to the presence of air pollution even on the high seas, it may also be because we no longer need to see it. The star has almost certainly not gotten dimmer.

    What if our reliance on electronic aids has weakened our ability to remember? Don't scoff. No one really understands how memory works. We aren't even sure all of it involves the brain. There are intriguing hints that some of it may be stored in the blood.

    What brings all of this to mind is that Alzheimers seems to be more common than it was twenty years ago. Perhaps this is in part due to the memory not being used.

     In any case, I wanted to write this down before I forgot it.

     Be seeing you.

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