Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Fragmented Mind

Have you ever asked yourself what exactly the defragmentation function in computer does?

To understand it we should know how the computer keeps information on the memory storage. Memory storage consists of clusters, little parts, which keep some amount of information.

Let’s imagine that our disk consists of 30 clusters (actual number is much bigger). We decide to save some files on it. Little files use fewer places (fewer clusters) on it. In fact we have something like cluster 1 and 2 for one file, 3-17 for another, 18-21 for third, 22-30 other. We decide to delete first and third files. We will get free blank space on disk. This means that later when we try to write a new file, computer will try to fill these blank spaces. And we will have parts of one file located in different places of our disk.

Why should it be a problem? When computer will try to read the file, it will move to different locations on disk trying to gather together all parts of the file we want to read. It will take more time, and more recourse. Like any mechanism, a lot of actions will cause brokenness of the disk.

So what defragmentation exactly does? It reads the whole information, and puts parts of files together. And now, computer doesn’t need to read the whole disk in a panic, trying to find necessary part. It just reads the file, cluster by cluster, part by part. It takes less time, and less recourse.

Why brain? Can you imagine how much information during the day we get? Our eyes are like cameras, ears – microphone, skin – multi-touch device. Every picture, every sound, everything is being written into our brain. In order to find the necessary information our brain needs some time to put new information we got during the day into the right place.

So, when? The best time to sleep is night. Because at night we move less, and only at night our brain produces the special hormone Melatonin, which helps our brain to produce other useful hormones. And some scholars1 say that while we sleep our brain is doing the defragmentation of information we got during the day, and puts it in the right order.

Take care of your brain and let it does its job.