We’re all cyborgs now

Yesterday I had lunch with Neville Hobson of For Immediate Release fame. By an amusing (but maybe not surprising) coincidence we’d each had the idea of interviewing each other after the meal. I brought my iRiver and he brought his Microtrack.

We settled for him recording on behalf of both of us. One or other, or maybe both, of us may create a podcast from it next week.

The reason for this blog post is to note that I have got into the habit over many years of not trying to remember stuff when I know I can easily lay my hands on it. But, these days, this laying on of hands requires a computer, probably one which is connected to the internet.

When I’m away from the connection there’s a chance that a subject will crop up on which I can wax lyrical, but completely forget company, product or people names. It’s not the end of the world, but it can sound fairly dreadful in the middle of a podcast, conversational or not.

Here are my three failures from yesterday:

I couldn’t remember the band O-Zone or their song "Dragostea Din Tei" when I was talking about the funny fat Dutchman‘s (he turned out not to be Dutch)  lipsynch video. If you haven’t seen it, play it at least until you see the dancing eyebrow.

Then I had a feeling that the RIAA was going after him for illicit use of O-Zone’s soundtrack. Took me a while to figure out why I thought that. It was mentioned as a possibility only in this report on June 22.

Then I couldn’t remember the name of the software I use to create screencasts. I remembered it was published by Blueberry Consultants. Well, they’ve changed their name to Blueberry Software and the product is called BB FlashBack.

The point here is that when we’re researching and writing stuff, we assemble all the material. Our grey matter changes as we learn but it would be pointless to try and remember every detail. It’s when we’re stranded, away from our informational umbilical cord that we can get into trouble.

This links to something I was writing about a couple of weeks ago. I’d been to a "moving learning" seminar. Crudely-stated, the idea is that it’s pointless getting people on a course to learn about how to do their job because much of the course material would never be needed, it would likely be out of date anyway but the time you needed it and, anyway, that’s not how we learn most of what we do. Better for a sort of just-in-time learning at the workplace itself.

In this case, if you remove the computer connection then the memory, however dim, doesn’t even exist.

It strikes me that we’re already turning into cyborgs.