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"A people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

Knowledge, both of self and of the outside world, is key to anything we do that could be considered intelligent. Reasoning is what we do with knowledge and learning is what happens when our knowledge changes, hopefully for the better.

Discussion of the capability in individuals

Memory actually has two critical and strongly linked functions: encoding and retrieving. While scientists and other professionals believe that there are dozens of types of memory, we often think about procedural memory — how to do things — and declarative memory — knowing facts or general knowledge about the world. We also think about differences between short-term and long-term memory. We have external memories as well! And sometimes these are other people.

And what is the role of forgetting? Is it important and, if so, why? Also is forgetting merely running out of storage space or are there actually processes whose job is un-remembering things?

The ability to remember is an inherent capability that humans are hard-wired to utilize, both consciously as well as subconsciously.

Discussion of the capability in society

Memory is not necessary for survival in all mammals. The evolution of the memory system, which is known as the posterior neocortex. This allows us to predict the future. Neocortex simply means "new layer". According to Jeff Hawkins, internal prediction is the output of the neocortex, therefore, prediction leads to intelligent behavior.

How it currently works

The resources that enable memory of a whole society, rather than the individual persons, include but are not limited to:

  • The educational systems put into place
  • The media/internet
  • Governing force(s)
  • Religion(s)
  • Libraries
  • Language


  • secondary schools (public and private), trade schools, universities, etc
  • The information that is available for citizens to absorb dictates the ways in which a single person or a society will remember an event or sequence of events.
  • Depending on your beliefs, your perception of reality in the context of remembering may alter from that of another society, or even citizens within the same society.
  • Libraries hold keys, so to speak, to door ways of memories. Our history, culturally as well as globally. Eventual, cultural, and factual history plays a governing role in the ability of a society to make intelligent decisions for the greater good of that society. In regards to literature, we possess the capabilities to manipulate the memories that are portrayed as fact in the books that we read.
  • Human language is stored within the brain.

Potential deficiencies

Memory and the ability to remember can be easily altered or reconstructed, both by outside sources as well as within the self.

Idealized version of how the capability would work in society

The term memory presupposes the ability to predict future behaviors based on past behavior(s). In an idealized society, this said society would be able to predict what patterns of behavior to input, of which would output a successful society in both the present society as well as the future society.


Could "Remebering" be a defect when attempting to find a civic ends through civic means? I think that we could all agree that when it comes to an event, issues, or history, etc. if we asked multiple individuals about a particular event or story we would probably get mutliple interpretations of what each indiviual remembers. Since it is the individuals who make up a society could this be a "hick-up" when trying to obtain "Civic Intelligence?"


Jeff Hawkins: Brain science is about to fundamentally change computing