The next time you recall a vivid memory, try to remember this as well: our brains are making it up.
It turns out that in their zeal to be efficient users of memory, our brains compress an experience by reducing it “to a few critical threads, such as a summary phrase,” according to Dan Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness. “Later, when we want to remember our experience, our brains quickly reweave the tapestry by fabricating – not actually retrieving – the bulk of the information.” And it all happens so fast that we don’t know the difference between the actual memory and the made-up stuff.
You now have all the justification you need to cede your knowledge to Google. It’s more accurate than you are anyway. Also, male readers are advised to get a GPS unit for driving directions. Pronto. Women are tired of hearing that you know you’re going the right way because you ‘remember this from before.’