The Surprising Benefits of Forgetting and the Evolution of Macintosh: Exploring Memory and Innovation


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 19, 2023

4 min read


The Surprising Benefits of Forgetting and the Evolution of Macintosh: Exploring Memory and Innovation


In this article, we will delve into the fascinating concept of forgetting and its unexpected benefits. We will explore how forgetting allows for creative thinking, better decision-making, and the ability to generalize information. Additionally, we will take a trip down memory lane and examine the evolution of Macintosh computers, highlighting their impact on knowledge-workers and students. Let's uncover the connections between memory, innovation, and the Macintosh revolution.

The Mechanics of Memory:

Our memories are distributed across the cortex of our brains, but there are central regions known as hubs that play a crucial role in memory processes. The hippocampus, nestled deep in our brains, serves as the hub for saving information. On the other hand, the prefrontal cortex, located behind our foreheads, is responsible for retrieving memories. The hard drive, another hub, is situated at the top of the skull and stores most of our memories.

Remembering and Forgetting:

When we remember something, the tips of our neurons in the posterior area grow, strengthening the connections associated with that memory. Forgetting, however, works in the opposite way. The tips of neurons wilt back down, leading to the weakening or complete loss of a memory. Interestingly, both remembering and forgetting occur primarily in the posterior area of the brain.

The Role of Forgetting in Generalization and Abstraction:

Our ability to generalize and sort information is fundamental to cognitive functioning. However, this ability requires forgetting. Imagine a life where everything is novel, even familiar people and places. The constant novelty would lead to an anxious state. Forgetting allows us to categorize information, recognize patterns, and avoid being overwhelmed by novelty. It is the mechanism that enables us to find commonalities and make sense of the world around us.

Forgetting, Emotional Memories, and Moving On:

Forgetting also plays a crucial role in managing emotional memories. Perseverating over emotional memories can be disabling, making it difficult to move on from traumatic experiences. Engaging in a socially active network after a trauma accelerates emotional forgetting. Socializing helps balance and let go of the emotional component, promoting healing and resilience.

Exposure Therapy and Balancing Memory:

Exposure therapy, a technique used to treat anxiety disorders, taps into our forgetting mechanisms. By associating a previously traumatic event with something benign, exposure therapy helps re-balance our memory. This highlights the importance of normal forgetting at the molecular level. Forgetting allows us to break free from the loop of intense emotional memories, reducing suffering and promoting well-being.

Creativity and Forgetting:

The connection between creativity and forgetting is fascinating. Researchers have found that creative individuals tend to function best in the morning when forgetting mechanisms are at play. Creativity thrives on unexpected associations, which necessitate forgetting. If our memories were rigid and fixed, devoid of any looseness or play, we would never experience those eureka moments that define creativity.

Macintosh: Revolutionizing Innovation:

Now, let's shift our focus to the Macintosh computers by Apple and their impact on knowledge-workers and students. When introduced, the Macintosh targeted these two primary markets. Its revolutionary design and user-friendly interface captured people's imaginations, creating a new standard in personal computing. As Bill Gates noted, true innovation requires something truly new that captures people's imaginations, and the Macintosh delivered precisely that.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of forgetting: Recognize that forgetting is not a flaw but a natural and beneficial process. Allow yourself to let go of emotional memories and engage in activities that promote socialization to accelerate emotional forgetting after traumatic experiences.
  • 2. Cultivate creativity through forgetting: Embrace the idea that forgetting is essential for creativity. Don't be afraid to let go of rigid associations and explore unexpected connections. Engage in activities that promote mental playfulness and looseness to foster creativity.
  • 3. Make deliberate decisions: Avoid over-relying on your memory when making decisions. Remember that even if you have a good memory, it is crucial to double-check information, situations, and results. Take the tortoise's approach, ensuring you have all the necessary information before making a decision.


In conclusion, the surprising benefits of forgetting are evident in various aspects of our lives. From creativity to decision-making and emotional well-being, remembering everything would hinder our ability to generalize, abstract, and filter information effectively. Forgetting allows us to forge unexpected connections, move on from emotional memories, and make better decisions. As we reflect on the evolution of Macintosh computers, we witness how innovation captures our imaginations, shaping the way we work and learn. Embracing the power of forgetting and appreciating the impact of innovation can lead to a more fulfilling and creative life.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)