Quick: What's the fattiest system in your body that has two halves and weighs between 2 and 4 pounds?
It's your brain - you know, that thing that remembers stuff. But because of rapidly evolving information technology, your first impulse was probably to search for the answer on the Internet.
As we become ever more dependent on external sources of memory - using GPS to guide our driving, smartphones to keep our schedules - it's time to rethink our ideas about what "memory" actually is.
Reminds me of a section of Carl Sagan's Dragons of Eden (an interesting if outdated work on brain evolution) where he describes history in terms of information management, and attributes the explosion of humanity to increases in external information storage – beginning with language, then writing, then libraries, then computers, then the internet...
My first reading of that cast human evolution in a whole new light.
Prepare to be assimilated by the Borg. And the way things are going, this may be an improvement for mankind!
Light Years strives to tell the stories of science research, discovery, space and education. This is your go-to place on CNN.com for today’s stories, but also for a scientific perspective on the news and everyday wonders. Come indulge your curiosity in all things space and science related, brought to you by the entire CNN family.
July 19thAtlas V launch of US DOD MUOS-2 satellite, notable for large "551" config of Atlas
Aug 3rdJapanese HTV-4 flight to ISS on cargo supply mission
Aug 14thSpaceX launch of Canadian satellite in the first launch from their new Vandenberg facility, and first launch of upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle
Aug 28thDelta IV Heavy launch of NROL-65 spy satellite
SeptemberSoyuz TMA-08M flight returning Expedition 36 crew from ISS to Earth (Kazakhstan)
Sept 12thOrbital Sciences maiden flight of Cygnus cargo vehicle on Antares rocket to ISS
Sept 25thSoyuz TMA-10M flight launching Expedition 38 crew to ISS
Dec 9thSpaceX Dragon launch by Falcon 9 v1.1 on CRS-3 cargo supply mission to ISS
recurringfirst powered test flights of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo commercial vehicle, to be used by Virgin Galactic for sub-orbital tourism