When I was back in school, cramming for those pesty exams that never seem to end, I always imagined that someday I would be able to plug my brain into some machine and download all the information contained in the coursebook, instead of cramming it in for a couple of hours' just to regurgitate it for an exam that, 6-8 months from it's date, I wouldn't remember anyway!
What I just described sounds (and probably is) like something from within the realms of Science Fiction: Real-time data and sensory recording, cataloging and storage and retrieval-on-demand of said data via peripheral media. Back when I was in school, the nearest I found to this technology were those little bits of scribbling on my pencil case and ruler that i sneak into the exam room (just to remind me!!!)
Then, when i discovered Sci-Fi stories, fables and dreams, I found references to digital storage of human memory in the cheesy Hollywood adaptation of Flash Gordon, and lalter on, memory recollection and replication in series like Total Recall and it's predecessing Hollywood Movie starring the unignorable Arnold.
Here's the kicker: It's now possible!!
I just read an article about some Microsoft Scientist petting a project that would allow people someday to search through all their live's experiences, signt, sounds, images, etc..
While not exactly plugging in your brain a-la Johnny Mnemonic, but this techology does allow it's user to accumilate, store and catalogue a person's daily lives onto recordable media. This is the first step towards future retreival-on-demand. The next step is compresehsive storage, and that too is possible, thanks to the falling cost of high-storage media like Hard Drives, Optical Media, distributed storage systems, etc.. Soon enough, we would be able to store our entire day's experiences, including (or excluding, as per your personal preferences) our emotions, feelings and moods, onto some sort of relational database like what Gordon Bell is experimenting with (see article above) and...get this...it can be searched and filtered for download.
Imagine, if you will: You're in a class, the lecture's about genetically modifying brain cells to allow for superhuman strength. 6 months later, you're in an exam room being tested for your knowledge on the subject..what do you do?
You connect (wirelessly) via your portable handheld device and either a WIFI or WIMAX service, to your Home PC or to your rented storage server (depending on where you stored your information) which you have conveniently configured to retrieve and store your daily experiences by date and subject. Within minutes, you're calling up your classroom experiences from 6 months ago...and presto...You're a certified Genetic Engineer!!
Sounds too SciFi? Just ask today's school kids about how the Pocket PC is helping them get those high grades!
Waste of time? You decide...