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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

TOO COMPLEX! --by Nickz

It’s another week and we’ve resumed our schools, businesses and jobs with the same mind frame we had last week and last month, and probably have been having all our lives. Hello Mr. Employer, why are you ransacking your files for that four-digit number you had written down somewhere? Hi undergraduate, don’t you see you need to do something about it? Why do you keep browsing your phone contacts for those ten digits to fill the deposit slip in the bank? Wait a minute business man; don’t tell me you want to open the calculator to determine four times fifteen! What happened to that precious memory card in your cranium?

Looking back in time and making a quick comparison with the present, the transformation in technology in terms of data processing and storage has been a resounding wow—thanks to handy electronic devices and gadgets. Unfortunately, most of us have decided to slowly kill our mental abilities, ignorantly dwindling in cognitive domain into complacency evolved from digitalization. All our details—phone numbers, e-mail passwords, internet banking details, account numbers, simple schedules and others have been embedded into these digital devices with memory cards, thereby not just making a mockery but starving our gray matter.

Don’t get me wrong by thinking this is intended to drag you into an archaic era. Phones, tablets, laptops and gadgets are good, that’s why I have them and store details too. No one is expecting you to be a walking Wikipedia. However, this should not be an excuse to let cobwebs into your brain. It doesn’t mean you should forget or neglect proper spelling of words because there’s word suggestion feature in your android device. It doesn’t mean you should reach for the calculator app when someone asks you what 20 percent of five hundred is. In some modern day places of work, bosses bear the names while their secretaries and assistants bear the brains.

Students in school most times don’t do well in examination because they cannot commit certain points to memory. Everything appears too complex.  For those in engineering and related fields, you’ll agree with me there’s a whole lot of abstract and outrageous formulas one has to commit to memory, ranging from those of Fourier Series, Laplace Transforms, Trigonometrical Calculus to Castigliano’s equation. The same applies to law, medicine, accounting etc where there’s need to commit certain names, years, quotations and procedures to the brain. We often find out that such tasks, though not quite easy, appear totally unrealistic for most people of this age because they’ve sacrificed their brains to inertia.
I once watched a movie which you probably have too; Walk of Shame. I couldn’t help feeling pity for Meghan when her series of frustrations began in the morning after her vehicle was towed away with her wallet and cell phone. The only three phone numbers she carried in her head were her dad’s, her mom’s and her ex’s which at that moment, were not relevant to her. If she had the contact of a close friend in her head too, it could have saved her day.

To cut the long story short, there’s a huge demand on our memory daily but we often prefer to become lazy. If I write: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 0, you’ll barely notice I didn’t include the number 6 because you probably didn’t pay attention. Imagine if I mixed them up and asked you to memorize the combination! This lackadaisical attitude is not the best. There’s so much capacity in your brain you’ll hate yourself to know you’re barely using it. I don’t want to sound like the motivational speakers that’ll tell you an average human uses less than 5% of the brain during his lifetime.

You don’t have to be the next Aristotle or Albert Einstein to maximize your memory abilities. There are easy ways you can store up to 16 digit numbers and even more in your head, remembering it for a very long time. You can decide to break it into small groups, you can check out for a pattern or way of arrangement, I mean, there are several mnemonics to help us on these kinds of issues.

I’ll encourage you to dust your brain and put it to work again. You can use your digital gadgets to your own favor by downloading materials, puzzles and logic games. Say goodbye to Angry Birds, Temple Run and Real Football. I’m tempted to add Candy Crush but some people will fire missiles at me! The point is; keep your brain alive!

Check out this book in portable document format (PDF). Make sure you read it:

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