I remember this from my cogsci lessons. I also remember that we can remember more concepts by “chunking”. For example, remembering 7 more than random letters in order is hard, but remembering 7 words in order is easier (and so you remember maybe 35 letters in total if the average word length is 5). So we can extend the amount of things we remember by grouping (or “chunking”) them together.
Good abstraction, consistent naming and few but powerful (language) constructs/keywords is important here if we want to leverage this concept in programming. Guess why I like Scheme :)
I thought I would be reading something about a programmer’s mind, this is just a rant about the AbstractFactory pattern. I like the quotes best.
Another rule of thumb I’ve heard is that humans have a lot of trouble keeping track of more than two quantifiers in a sentence. This was to introduce the Pumping Lemma, which uses three :P
The number of things we can remember is not even as high as 7; it’s just 3. But we can chunk them. 7 = 3 + 2 + 2.