A quick recap on Memory Management
Information is only stored for a short period of time in our STM. Seldom does it stay there for longer than 30 seconds. What, or how much is taken in depends on your attention span, but whatever that is, the information is mostly forgotten when new information comes along. On the other hand, your long term memory space is infinite and can never be filled: information can be held within LTM for the rest of your life.
Studying through a screen predominantly involves the STM, we skim material and flit between areas of interest. Strategies to help us send what we need to know into LTM would be useful.
We file information into LTM by manipulating it, creating meaning, establishing identity and relationships, sending it backwards and forwards from the forefront of our minds to longer term storage - recalling it. Interestingly, and this probably comes as no mystery to you - where we involve others in the manipulating process, the interaction seems to substantially aid retention. Keep this relationship between information and memory running in the background when working from a screen, or very little stays with you.
Ecologies - the damp ones full of creepy things and…
A metaphor: Imagine walking through a natural break in a rainforest, all around you is a massively rich bio-diverse jungle populated with countless varieties of flora and fauna, insects, animals and at the macro level, bacteria and other microbiology. The environment teems with life fuelled by moisture, sunlight and suffusing heat. From the light-admitting canopy, down through the trees and vegetation to the forest-floor through to the very forest’s root structures below, this is an ecosystem - an ecology. A mass of biological components intricately connected and inter-dependant for their protection and nutrition.
Now consider the invisible, ever expanding information structures surrounding us starting with your ‘bounded’ company intranet (itself being continually fed from without by other systems). Beyond the intranet, the Web, a colossal expanding physical and information architecture moving by the day towards ‘The Internet of Everything’ where physical components of our daily lives (cars, kitchenware, medical machinery etc) are being connected via microchip to the internet to communicate with us, and each other.
As an aside - see what Intel says about ’an Internet Minute?
What we have hopefully done here is used a metaphor to describe an information ecology, one within which we exist as users, contributors or even components. We cannot Possibly deal with the whole thing, merely work within the ‘jungle clearing’ that relates directly to us. We must manage our work within this space, bring what we need to the fore quickly in a form that enables us to stay on top of the constant flow of information directed at us. We may never master all within our reach, but we will benefit from being able to explore, record and retain access to the knowledge we gain - quickly, without fuss, and in a form we can use.
Next: TEL4A-03 Text Automation & Note-taking
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