For the past 10 (?) years I've noticed a strange phenomemon. I forget things. Not simple things like where I put my keys but more important things like birthdays and names of people. I can remember numbers and theoretical constants (gravity = 32ft/second squared) but names, faces, birthdates, my lunch, just don't seem to stay in the memory stack.
I used to think there was something wrong with me. But in chatting with my peers, it seems that each one of us has a story. For example: one cannot, to save his life, keep track of time. "I'll be leaving in 10 minutes" could mean 20 minutes or 4 hours. Another has on occassion forgotten who he's talking to on the phone - to the point where his last words to a client before he hung up were "love you bye" - I kid you not. So I got to thinking (a dangerous thing).
After we've developed into adults, our brain cell count is as high as it will ever be - yes? So it stands that the brain power available to us is finite as well.
Also consider that none of us are able to completely use our full brain power - humans simply haven't figured it out yet. So the storage area is that much smaller though we don't really know how much space is taken up remembering where we put our lunch.
But assuming the storage area is finite I theorize that we each decide what's important for us to remember, keep track of and otherwise expend our brain power on. The rest of it wanders off into the short term memory stack where it waits. This stack, however, is volatile.
If more input is added to the short term memory stack (I pick up a book on RDF/RSS and think I should read it) SOMEthing has to fall out the other end - like my wife's birthday (just kidding honey).
Now if you're wondering if you might be a victim of this phenomenon I have concluded how to determine if you're at risk:
Using my vast knowledge of medical science (zilch) I've developed this equation for the storage area (sa in megabytes) of our brain:
sa = (mass of our brain * volume)/ (age * alcohol consumed). Alcohol in beer is about 5%, in wine about 14%, etc. so the total amount would have to be calculated. The mass of the average human brain about 1360g and the volume about 1500cc.
So for example: 1360g * 1500cc / 40 * 76 = 671.54MB. 76 comes from a guess at the variety of alcoholic beverages I've consumed in my life time.
In the perfect example of no alcohol my sa should be 51,000MB. Some alcohol is ok so I theorize a safe SA to be about 10,000MB for someone of my age (because it's a nice round number).
So there you have it.