I don’t mind

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I'm writing from my dad's living room in Falls City, Nebr. Needless to say, with the Gator Bowl victory on New Year's Day, all is well in the Cornhusker State. I didn't actually watch the game, as I was taking a nap, recovering from a late New Year's Eve celebration at the Would Eye.

I've thought a lot about the nature of memory while I've been here. It's kind of strange, but totally normal, I suppose. There are so many things that I know exist in my mind, but I don't really know how to access them. For example, I remember my house at 1204 Dundy St., which was the primary house we lived in until I was in third grade, but it wasn't til I drove by it that the cascade of memories began. For example, I could name every family that lived within blocks.

It'll take brains far better equipped than mine to explain, but I'd sure like to understand where those memories exist. I mean, at their most basic, memories are things, right? They're made of chemicals and tissue. But the brain is like 78 percent water. How are those connections maintained without accessing them occasionally? Maybe it's all there, somewhere, all the time. It must be.

I've often said that it won't be long until technology allows us to move our memories, maybe even our consciousnesses, to some kind of external drive, which may make the whole question of artificial intelligence moot. I guess it's a race. As long as the procedure isn't destructive, I'll be among the first in line. I might have to think pretty hard if the process is destructive.

To push it a step further, if scientists eventually allow us to move our minds to some kind of external storage—to exist within the storage—I wonder if those memories that require a stimulating memory will be suddenly completely accessible. That would be a whole new idea of hell, wouldn't it? All those memories that we suppress for lots of different reasons, suddenly at the forefront of our thinking, and as important as that memory of first love or a great song.