According to my academic performance, my memory is decent, if not better than decent. But even so, I forget so much of what I take in — it gets wiped clean. And because of this lack of retention, we as individuals, and as a society, are not able to grow beyond superficial levels.
Why can’t we just write it down in a notebook? It would likely get too large to consume — we’d forget the beginning before reaching the end. Without a collective memory, individuals and society suffer the same ills across every generation — yet why does technology advance so rapidly?
Technology is able to advance significantly because of black box systems. When something is figured out, it’s compartmentalized — these known-to-work components can be plugged-in without understanding their implementation details. Complex components can be combined to create something even more complex — and so on.
So for significant individual and societal growth, we would need something similar to black box systems. Without trusted components, we have to keep figuring out everything from scratch at every step along the way — which is tedious. But of course, one has to wonder, is the concept of trusted components applicable to individuals/society?