zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word

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It's pretty amazing what our brains can do. I've been thinking a lot about memory lately. I've read a lot about the brain, but I don't really know all that much, technically speaking. I am just really glad that it can keep so much straight! So many important details that we have constant and instant access to: personal info, contact info, memories. Just the fact that we have so much information on tap inside our heads at all times, without even the help of Google, is mind-blowing (ha!).

On top of the important things we need to remember and keep in mind (I swear, it's not on purpose), we also have a virtual database of things like: the plots and characters of the shows we're watching and have watched; the plots and characters of the books we're reading and have read; the to-do lists that we're currently working through; important dates and times of appointments; phone numbers, social security numbers, addresses; the name, history and personal information of the people we interact with, talk to and write to every day; work projects including procedures, guidelines, measurements, storage systems, etc. It's AMAZING.

The word "amazing" is defined by Merriam-Webster as "causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise". It was first used in print in 1593, the same year that "astonishing", "flashy" and "respectful" showed up, among others. According to OUPblog, the word "amaze" came before the word "maze", and "maze denoted a place of utter confusion, which proves that amaze came into being with the sense “confuse, perplex” rather than “surprise.” So, amazing isn't necessary a GOOD thing, which is interesting, too. It meant something that struck you with wonder. My mind and its capabilities certainly does that. "Mind-blowing" is a relative baby, showing up first in print in 1955, although "boggle" has been around since 1598; in print, at least.

When I'm working, I have mental access to so many things: shortcuts, functions and capabilities of the design programs I work with. The naming convention we use for files. Where to save said files. How to find them again. What the codes for our color values are (though I tend to use a cheatsheet for those, because why clutter up your brain with unnecessary info like that, when you can just glance at a list on the side of your computer when needed). How our brand and graphic guidelines work in practically. How to spell words...in several languages. And by extension, the meaning of all the hundreds of thousands of words we use. Along with the grammar that glues them together, and the pronunciation of them, to boot. It's MIND-BOGGLING!

When I'm typing, I have mental access to the keyboard in my head. I don't have to actually look at it to type with accuracy. Even if it's hand-eye coordination, it's still my brain directing things.

When I'm driving, I have mental access to mental maps, locations, directions, compass points (don't you almost always know which way is north?), as well as all the mental info actually involved with driving itself.

I can, like I'm sure you can, rattle off the birthday and anniversary dates of my entire family, plus many of my friends. I know how many members there are in the AWC and if you name an American in this area, I can tell you if they are, or have ever been, a member.

We hold so much in our heads at any given time, is it any wonder that sometimes we walk into a room and can't remember what we went into it for? I think it's almost more amazing that simply retracing our steps almost immediately brings to mind what it was! What a breathtakingly cool thing a mind is. Thanks, brain!

*I swear, it was actually playing. I didn't purposely pick a song with "head" in the title! :D
Tags: blogalicious, goodthings, puttingwordstogether


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