The Eddie Stobart Principle
I can remember every single lorry that I've ever seen on the motorway.
Quite a claim, isn't it? You're probably thinking, now how is Mike going to
back this one up? Or is he just going to ply me with a load of old drivel?
Well, read on and be amazed.
Eddie Stobart is a major road haulage company in the UK.
I know this because of the number of Eddie Stobart lorries I see when
driving on the motorway.
In fact the only reason I know this is because of the number of Eddie
Stobart lorries I see on the motorway.
But how do I know that I've seen a lot of Eddie Stobart lorries?
I only ever see them one at a time, "Oo, look! Another Eddie Stobart
Consider what is involved in seeing the second Eddie Stobart lorry
you've ever seen.
In order to notice that this is "another" Eddie Stobart lorry, you must
have remembered the first one.
If you didn't, then when you see your third lorry or your fourth lorry
or your six hundred and forty ninth lorry, it may as well have been
your first in that you will not recall the previous lorries and so
you will not identify it as "another" Eddie Stobart lorry.
Consequently you have a memory of the very first Eddie Stobart lorry
that you ever saw, which means that you have a memory of EVERY lorry
that you ever saw. The fact that you don't notice Arnie Spigot lorries
is because you haven't seen them frequently enough for them to make
it into your conscious memory, but if you have ever seen an Arnie
Spigot lorry then it will be there in your subconcious memory.
Each time you see a new type of lorry it is stored in some remote
branch of your deep memory. But the more times you see that lorry,
the further up your memory it is stored and the more retrievable
it is made to your conscious processes.
However, for this memory to be re-inforced in this manner, a
subconscious process must be able to access the very first
remotely-held memory, otherwise your second sighting of the lorry
would not move up into easier-to-recall memory, nor would any
Notice that I have switched to the second person because I am not
just claiming that I have remembered every single lorry I've ever seen
on the motorway but that you have too.
In fact I am claiming rather more than that.
The Eddie Stobart Principle is more than just observing lorries on the
It states that everything you ever see in your life remains in your
Your conscious thoughts do not access most of your memory - they can't
otherwise your head would be a babble of everything you've ever
But your subconcious thoughts access this memory all the time.
Every time you see something your subconciousness scans your memory
to see if you've encountered it before and if you have, that memory
gets re-inforced and if it's important enough or has been reinforced
enough times it makes its way up into conscious-accessible memory
and you think, "There's another Eddie Stobart lorry".
Human memory is not like computer memory that once you've crammed every
last megabyte into it you need to stick in another memory card or you're
Human memory is infinitely large.
If you're not prepared to accept that, because there can only be a finite
number of neurons in a brain, then accept that it is extremely large.
It is so large that no one has ever been able to fill one up.
And it's got a lot of lorries in it.
You can't make this stuff up, you know