Is there such a thing as a national memory, a memory shared between many people and not specific to any person? Once I would be skeptical, but now I would argue, there is and we can become a part of it.
Identity defined by the memory
Our identity is often defined by our experiences. If people caused us to mistrust them or fear them, we would not be naive. When we are given every chance to see no obstacle is too big for us, we are confident and independent. Our memories are frozen experiences, available for revisiting every time we like.
Since groups of people often share an identity, doesn’t that mean they share memories? Often this involves some sort of a language, certain cultural things, maybe food, and certain historical events. Some of these memories are reflected in great literature and some other things in humor. When we think of ancient Israel we think of the bible, and modern Jews cannot be understood without the catastrophe commemorated in the Yad Vashem museum.
My experience at work
On most jobs that I had, I was treated like a knowledge center. I learn very fast, remember a lot, and I am also very creative. This is not just my personal disposition, and everybody can triple his learning parameters using the methods we sell.
The strange thing: in more complex jobs I never have all the answers. Neither does any of my coworkers. We kind of have all the required knowledge shared between us, distributed in such a way that one person can start an explanation and another person will finish. It’s not that I do not know the required disciplines, simply I do not have enough time and focus to go into all the relevant details. Nobody can.
The knowledge is shared. Nobody can build a modern computer without the help of hundreds of others. Too much information is involved.
Google does not have all the answers.
We could program a lot of our declarative knowledge into a computer. Maybe we already did and called it Google. But not everybody participated. Some things are subliminal and we could not formulate it in a searchable form. Certain information remained secret since people involved did not want to disclose. Visual stuff is harder to search, so it may be on Google but not readily available for recall.
Recently I put on Google an internal Matalb function I had some trouble with and got zero results. Not three pages of stuff about something else, pure zero. That does not mean that the relevant information is unavailable. If we find the right people with good intentions, the information is there…
How can we use the shared memory?
We can tap into the shared memory in a way similar to adding a server to a distributed network. First, someone needs to vouch for us simply to give us access. Then we need to do some work to acquire unique information. Once we trade this information for some other knowledge we are a part of the network. The more knowledge we trade, the faster we can get further knowledge, the more important we are for the network. Once we share a large part of the distributed knowledge we are very important and we will get extraordinary resources simply to stay active. It is a very rewarding position.
What happens when we go?
Talmud argues that saving a life is like saving the entire world. In more mystical aspects, each person is a crucial part of something immensely bigger, and losing it we all become less powerful. The problem: we do not know what we lose. Since the knowledge of each person is entangled with the knowledge of others, we do not really understand the effects of that person leaving the network.
For comparison, if we take down one of the huge data centers that are a part of Google with all the knowledge within, there will be a huge effect, but we will not be able to quantify it. We could judge the value by the amount of traffic handled by the datacenter.
Every officer in the intelligence community has a panic fear about the information that got lost due to system malfunction even a short one. The chances are nothing interesting happened, but what if something of immense importance got lost?
Even one person can have multiple knowledge centers. Suppose you know three languages. Do you think that all the information you can recall in one language you will be able to recall using the other two? Think again! My personal knowledge is strongly linked to the language I currently use. Do you think I have all of my data science and psychology knowledge encoded in any language but English? Do you think I can successfully translate my jokes from Russian? I am not sure what part of my knowledge is exclusively Hebrew, but my everyday communication is almost entirely in this language. Not sure what information I encoded in other languages I know: I do not use them that often.
There are languages with different words for kinds of snow or kinds of green. When a language is lost, we should all grief it. Not because we know what we lost, but because we have no idea.
1:1 with Anna
My wife and I are a team working on accelerated learning. If you read my texts or see my videos, you access only some part of the knowledge we share. To get a fuller understanding, you should get the other part. Currently, the only way you can access Anna’s wisdom is via 1:1 and I suggest that you use it.