Brain Storage Systems-- Illustrated

One of my favorite things to do has always been to imagine how brains work.... only instead of imagining how they work in a very scientific way, imagining it in a... well, let's just say in un-scientific ways. I talked about this on my personal blog a couple of years ago, but it's still one of my favorite ways to imagine the insides of our brains. Let me illustrate. Literally.

As you are going throughout your day, everything you experience and learn goes right in here:

It's not a huge container-- it fits exactly a day's worth of stuff. If there is anything you learned during the day, or any memories you really want to keep, you've got to pull them out of this bin and stick them into your brain storage system. Because while you are sleeping at night, the night clean-up crew comes along, preparing for the next day, and dumps it all into this:

This is a much larger container. It can fit a LOT of days' worth of memories. So if you forget to put something into your brain storage system that you really wanted to keep, you can go dumpster-diving in here and get it back.

But beware: your memory of that-blog-post-that-filled-in-the-missing-piece-to-the-scene-you-were-working-on might have gotten the memory of the-one-piece-jumper-suit-you-saw-someone-wearing-and-made-you-fear-they-might-be-coming-back-in-style spilled all over it. Plus, if you wait too long, that memory will get pushed down to the bottom, and will eventually get shoved through that tube, and fall right out of your brain. So you don't want to wait too long to go dumpster diving or it'll be lost forever.

Once you pull out a memory you want to keep, you need to store it. Different people have different ways of storing this information. There are shelves lining the entire perimeter of your brain that you can store stuff on. Some people put all their memories into nice, organized boxes, with labels on the front so that when they need to pull out a memory of, say, when is the correct time to use laid, lain, or lay, they can go right to the correct box and pull it out.

When some people have memories they want to save, they sometimes grab the nearest container and stick it in there. Most of the time, that's perfectly fine, too. Other people don't use containers at all-- they just stick the memories all willy-nilly on the shelves themselves, and their brains resemble a hoarder's house. AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS. Seriously, people. Using a plastic grocery bag is a million times better than just shoving the memories on the shelf.

Some memory containers are better than others. Take the laundry basket, for instance.

Sure, you can put lots of stuff in it, but when you're not looking, memories can slip out through those giant holes and fall right to the floor.

Even the nice, neat, cardboard boxes can be an issue.

If you're not paying much attention to what's in that box, it can get water damaged. Or nibbled on by mice. Or torn. And memories can fall right out. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, rotted Trigonometry box.)

And if you don't notice that the memories have fallen out, the night crew sweeps them up and dumps them right back into here.

So make sure you label your boxes well, and keep checking on those ones that are really important! Otherwise you have to rely on being perceptive enough to know when to go dumpster diving, or those things you learned / experienced / loved might just be pushed out, and that would be sad, indeed.

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