Can we forget to remember?
The conversation of the internet as an alternate form of consciousness has, not ironically, hastily progressed from a contentious question of whether it is a possible evolution of the human race to whether it is the best evolution for the human being. Accepting the inevitable assistance of our personalized technology as machinable memory and moving up the intellectual hierarchy to become a being of pure executive function is the counter culture decision du jour.
As a post-human I seek to reconceive the human. Therefore, I accept the current digital transfer aforementioned as part of my emergent ontology. However, in congruence with this lack of singularity in being resides a lack of singularity in perspective and my critical examination of this existence wearily pulls against the separation of the primitive “memory brain” from the advanced “executive brain”.
Understanding the brain as an organ of geographically separate processing related in function by connectedness, it is a significant leap over an unknown knowledge gap to accept that severing the connections won’t have an effect on function. An academic grievance with my depiction of the memory transfer as a break as opposed to an extension is not unwarranted but not addressed in this discourse abandoned for a much more curious divergence.
Understanding the “growth” of the brain not as an increase in the number or power of areas of processing but as an increase in the number and power of connections the investigation again polarizes. Logically following this understanding, elimination of the burden of memory from the brain would not allow the areas designated to executive function to increase in size and power. The frontal cortex would remain intact, unchanged in function with the same localized limits. When it comes to processing elimination is loss without the chance for redistribution of means and this can’t be argued.
But what if this transference of memory is looked at not as an elimination but as a separation. Does the separation of the burden of memory free the brain of unnecessary and perhaps counterproductive neural loops, in essence allowing better distribution of working connections and therefore enhanced functioning? Furthermore, does this enucleation of the hippocampus out of the skull and into the ether dissociate the channel of connectedness into a field of exponential dimensions making extinct the vestigial cord of the neuron in exchange for the developed cloud of the internet?
Under this postulate function has improved. It has evolved. At this point in the discourse we have aligned ourselves with the present. The tension within our existence still coupling the human to the posthuman equal to the tension within our brains coupling the primitive to the advanced stems from the uncertainty as to whether the frontal cortex, limited in its nature, can keep up with the new demand of memory as an alternate consciousness, unlimited in its connectedness.