Chapter 1: What’s the Question?

Hello! I’ve created a simple model of how the brain processes information. It’s very approximative but seems useful. I’ve never seen anything that looks similar to it. It makes me feel uncertain about if it’s new or I missed something in my education. There won’t be a lot of math formulas or tricky theorems. There won’t be any complicated neuroscience. Of course, this model is strongly coupling with both. But one of the things I’ve learned working on it: starting from complex formulas—won’t work in most cases. And I bet that at the end of this sequence you will better understand why.

As it usually happens, my path started from the Question. More precisely, from a set of questions:

  • Why can I remember Lego, that my parents gifted me on my 6th birthday, but can’t remember that theorem of that guy, that I was learning for exams?

  • Why do I learn texts of songs and poems so smoothly? What differs from prose? And how does this difference helps me keep poetry in mind?

  • Why Feynman Lectures on Physics are enjoyable for me but a physics book from the university library—not?

  • Why can I read the HPMoR in two evenings, without any breaks?

Some of them were more meaningful:

  • How to learn something effectively?

  • How should I do my job? (I am an Android Software Engineer)

  • How to communicate with other people?

And a bunch of other questions that had simple wording, but unfortunately hadn’t got an Answer.

Ok, there were a couple of answers. Some of them were like circle-dependent. Some were not complete:

  • How to learn something effectively? - Study hard.

  • How should I do my job? - You should write a clean code.

  • How to communicate with other people? - Interest them, listen to them, use your empathy.

I tried to ask more questions to clarify what do those answers mean. To understand, how should a “hard study” work. Or how to interest people. Where is the switch that enables “Interested mode”?

That switch should be somewhere in the brain. I had pretty strong evidence that people I was talking to had them. And they have been using brains to answer their questions.

If so, I can use mine to answer my Question!

I’ve decided that my little research should start with memory. I thought: “Working with information—is about operations with memory. If you don’t know how does data store—how could you describe what happens with it? And that seems like that’s not a numerous problem. I’ve heard about memory models.”

I’ve opened Google to explore the world of memory models and find an answer.