Is it easier to remember things these days? Comparing 2006 to 1906, the daily items we take for granted never existed. My desk here at home and at work is covered with a forest of self-adhesive messages; one-liners, shopping lists and phone numbers that I know I don’t need to remember because the little yellow bits of paper are doing it for me. Instead of a multitude individual insignificant things I just have to remember one: “Look at your desk.” Add to this the fact that I can walk into almost any room in the house and find a pen. I don’t have to worry about running out of ink or leaving my fountain pen somewhere, in fact the biro is so ubiquitous that I suspect that the house is build on top of an untapped ballpoint mine.
Even if I’m out and about I still have my cell phone on me most of the time so I can make notes and reminders to myself on the fly. I only have three phone numbers committed to my biological memory (my home, work and mobile numbers – even then that’s only because annoying forms keep on asking me for them) because I tend to speed dial everything else thus removing the need to remember any other numbers. I’m not saying that this is all a new thing but compared to tying a piece of string around one of your fingers, it’s certainly a lot easier to take notes in today’s society. The modern man has the equivalent of an external hard drive. All these notes, reminders and memos allow us to use the freed up space for important tasks such as pondering the point of the bagpipes and wondering why Hurley hasn’t lost any weight?