Our past views on information and forgetfulness have undergone a reset due to modern research in the areas of psychology and artificial intelligence.
The evolutionary process has enhanced human capabilities to efficiently manage information sensed from the environment. To this end, our brain undertakes the key functions of storage and retrieval, as well as conversion of data to its generalised form through the process of learning. Additionally, our mental faculties continuously retrieve content from the memory, and we effectively bring it to bear to achieve our objectives. Hence, as information in all its form is critical for our sustenance, we have historically regarded it as the most powerful possession.
Whereas our senses and the brain add information to our mental repository, forgetfulness does the opposite by suppressing content in our memory. We are therefore understandably disappointed at not being able to recall expunged knowledge, especially when it could have helped us achieve our goals. Hence, as forgetting results in information loss, it has traditionally been referred negatively.
Paradoxically however, our past views on information and forgetfulness have undergone a reset due to modern research in the areas of psychology and artificial intelligence. Firstly, although information is generally valuable, however, it is only useful up to a threshold and then it starts to become detrimental. Secondly, forgetfulness improves our intellect as it prevents our mind from becoming overloaded with complex data. In short, if the content in our mind were to expand unchecked, it could get overly congested and cause degradation of our cognitive functions. However, forgetting halts the uncontrolled growth of information, and this prevents the brain from getting overwhelmed from the continuous flow of data through the environment.[…]