The human brain doesn't really have a dedicated storage space, like a hard drive. We're all RAM. Literally, we're a billion switches working in parallel, very little working in sequence (because we cant hold more than seven digits or so at a time). Memory lasts only so long as we keep re-enforcing the network associations (by accessing and processing it for example), it decays steadily otherwise, yet re-enforcing the network changes the information being stored.
So, to answer the OP- most Western school systems are designed to fulfill a goal that the human brain isn't really designed to do- memorize large amounts of factual data accurately. That's why school systems impress so many people as being really poorly designed. Students who want to do well there are literally forced to find another solution- learn how to continually process the information over and over, until it isn't needed anymore. That's where learning skills like scaffolding and creative elaboration come in. That isnt measurable in bytes, but it might be in hertz
This site provides one (rough) estimate: http://library.thinkquest.org/C001501/the_saga/compare.htm
Impressive: 16,800,000 hertz.
provides a different estimate (scroll down to Joey Blades
post): "...Technically, the clock speed of the human brain is about 500Hz. Where the brain recoops it's processing speed is in the architecture - it's highly parallel. So where your PC only has one monolithic processor churning away at several hundred megahertz, the brain has effective billions of tiny processors churning away at only 500Hz..."
edited 2nd Mar '11 10:37:55 AM by DeMarquis