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Fortunately or unfortunately

Last year was "disaster special" for our lab. One fine morning the -80 degree centigrade freezer was found to be at 0 degrees. The stuff normally kept under frozen condition had thawed. Another fine evening we noticed that there was no liquid nitrogen in the liquid nitrogen storage cylinder. So, another set of cell lines, bacterial stocks, yeast stocks, DNA stocks of the lab were destroyed. The best was yet to come. A part of the hard disk of the most used computer of our lab was found erased. That left my lab mates data-less as well as devoid of experimental material (not completely!)

I had an interesting conversation with my brother regarding the lost data. He tried to explain in simple words. He said that the data deleted from the hard-disk was still there though it was not accessible through the normal route. There are special softwares using which deleted data can be retrieved. I asked my brother if the data has been deleted how can it be retrieved. And i found that such deleted files stay in the hard-disk just like floating kites whose string has been cut. They exist, but you cannot pull them back as the string has been lost. Interesting!

Another thing which he pointed out that there is one way by which the data will be lost forever- if "new stuff" is saved on the same disk area. So, he asked us to disconnect the computer from internet and not to save any new files on it. Hmmm....but what if somebody wants to erase the old files and save new files?

That's how a computer works. Human memory has only a few parallels with it. Fortunately or unfortunately one memory is not replaceable with another. Our memory has indefinite "disk-space". And it is not possible to delete specific memories and leave others.

Comments

Princess Fiona said…
it would've indeed been marvelous to be able to erase specific parts of our memories. Would've made life much easier, and much less painful.
But then life is not supposed to be that easy, right? Simple things tend to get boring and unexciting.. its all a package deal, i suppose. And we are strong enough to deal with all the good and bad parts of the package.. aren't we? :)
Amit said…
I liked your flaoting kites and strings imagination. Try reading Yaad ki Raahguzar by Faiz which underlines similar idea in a more abstract fashion.

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