How Life Would Change if We All Had a Better Memory

Perhaps we have a tendency to forget things as a way of working with people around us without going totally postal on them. At the same time, we wouldn’t need to sit up all night cramming for tests since a simple read-through the notes would give us the information we need to pass the test. Of course, then tests might be restructured to test whether we can actually think or just regurgitate information we’ve been fed. But maybe that would be a good thing, too. Memory actually turns out to be a fascinating subject when one stops to consider the possibilities.
If everyone had a better memory, the entire structure of school would need to be changed. We wouldn’t need to take US history in middle school, then high school and then college, we could spend that extra time working on other subjects or investigating different things to a greater degree. As I’ve mentioned, the structure of tests would necessarily be different, not focusing so much on whether we can remember the right dates for a particularly important battle, since that would be too easy, but instead testing whether or not we can analyze the significance of that battle, why it was decisive (not what we read about why it was important but actually coming up with our own ideas about it) and then relating the lessons learned through that battle to events occurring in the present. If Americans actually began thinking instead of just trying to repeat what they’ve heard, we might have an entirely better country.