Humans are good at a lot of things. We have, in a relatively short period of time, come to dominate the planet.

Our cleverness has allowed us to outcompete virtually every other multicellular organism on Earth. We can overcome physically superior beasts by our intelligence and ability to cooperate in groups. We overcome natural forces and harsh environments through ingenuity, adaptability and perseverance.

We have overcome time and distance through inventions such as mail, telephones, airplanes and the Internet. We really are remarkable.  But there are some things we don’t do so well.

For instance, try recalling sequence of random numbers or words (or anything else) that is more than seven items long. Or, try to remember where you were at 1:47 p.m. two weeks ago on Thursday – and don’t cheat!

Now picture a five-dimensional graph. Try doing calculus problems for a week without sleeping (better yet – try doing calculus problems!). Read more from…

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