Comment 1C1 Difficult to test


Programming ruining my memory?


Difficult to test (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-05-04 16:32 (#1C1)

Your hypothesis is interesting, but I suspect it would be difficult to test with control groups, is the change permanent, how much time need to see an effect, mitigating factors, etc. so we can only offer anecdotal impressions which may not be unbiased. That said...

In my experience, programming is a very specific type of mental activity that requires holding functional goals (what am I trying to achieve in a given function and how does it relate to an overall picture) and logical relationships (how is the division of labour distributed between my code, used libraries, class frameworks, design patterns and so on) in your head as you work away on locally very mundane building blocks. The memory of specific facts is useful at different moments, but usually you have dedicated your memory to how everything works together and you lean heavily on being able to look up the specific facts as needed in terms of function calls and so on. Your access and interaction with your memory is absolutely modified by this emphasis. And, the research on neuroplasticity suggests that this must lead to actualy brain changes if repeated in your life over continual periods of time.

In my experience, I HATE/STRUGGLE EXTREMELY trying to get into the "programmer's mindset" when I am switching from needing/wanting to garden, play sports, and so on; and I HATE/STRUGGLE EXTREMELY trying to get out of "programmer's mindset" when I need to brush up on mathematical background, learning in general, playing music, relaxing, and more analogue style activities. It suggests that we are using our mental resources very differently across different tasks.


Time Reason Points Voter
2014-05-06 03:36 Normal 0
2014-05-04 17:38 Interesting +1

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