Happiness ruled and unabashed joy was the order of the day this week, when we at OP read research published in Science Daily showing that continued learning delays mental deterioration. Who knew?
To think it’s that easy.
So I set about assessing how I was doing and I’m happy to report that I’m in great shape.
For example, this week I learned that the gloriously life affirming phrase, “The dude abides”, is actually the last line in the cinematic masterpiece, The Big Lebowski. (Okay, technically that’s not true as the Stranger delivers a summation, but let’s not be too precious.)
Also learned that it was Bart Simpson who finally established that the word ‘Pork’ is not a verb.
Those two titbits alone should extend my mental life by a couple of days minimum.
Better you don’t ask how I come by such gems. Suffice to say that I do – on occasion – traverse some rather odd informational pathways.
When I reflect on it, I’ve been at this learning lark forever. More than four decades ago, the great Roger Miller taught me that you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd. There’s a week’s extension of my intellectual capacity right there.
Many years later, George Lucas taught me about The Force. It’s been with me ever since. It doesn’t do much, but I’m sure I can feel it when I hold tight.
And only today, reporters taught me that our federal parliament has become less kind. Well, I didn’t know that.
One concern I do have about all this is that the reverse doesn’t appear to hold true.
For example, I have a friend who discovered toking and Rastafarianism in 1968 and hasn’t learned a thing since, yet he seems to be functioning okay. Well, more or less okay.
At the rate I’m learning, my mind should remain active forever. Which leaves me with the problem of what I shall put it in when this, er, mortal coil buggers off.
I’m working on that.
There’s this guy in India who’s building a computer with a Petabyte (that’s a thousand terabytes for those of you who aren’t into extending the life of your mind), of memory.
Turns out that’s how much is needed to store one human brain.
If Moore’s law holds true, (you know the one, every eighteen months computers halve in price and double in power), that much memory ought to be worth about three and sixpence within a few years.
So if, in a couple of decades, you find that your new PC simply insists on doing its own thing.
That’ll probably be me.