Friday, July 13, 2007

Four Random Hits Regarding Memory

Hit number 1:
Science Fiction writer Charles Stross recently wrote an article contemplating trends in the ability to record, store, and review human history. Nay! I meant to say an individual's personal history. No! Wait! I meant to say every detail of every individual's personal history. Yep... All 6,000,000,000+ of them... I mean US... He likens this ability to the end of the Dark Ages for future historians.

Hit number 2:
My father recently described meeting someone with photographic memory.

My work buddies were profoundly interesting. One of them had a photographic memory. I once asked him what that was like. I figured that having a photographic memory had to be a great advantage. He looked at me quiet seriously and with a little sadness.

“Think about it. You forget the little insignificant things. Not me,” he said. “I don’t forget anything. It’s a burden.”

Yeah. I remember that’s what he said: Remembering everything is a burden.

Hit number 3:
Here's a snippet from the Science Blog:

Emotional memories can be suppressed with practice

Depue speculated that memory suppression could be a positive evolutionary trait, using the example of a Stone Age hunter narrowly escaping from a lion while hunting antelope. “If the hunter became so beleaguered by memories of that incident that he stopped hunting, then he would have starved to death.”

Hit number 4:
Useful Void: The Art of Forgetting in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing
By Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger

From the abstract:

Today, with affordable storage, effortless retrieval and global access remembering has become the default, for us individually and for society as a whole... I propose a simple rule that reinstates the default of forgetting our societies have experienced for millennia, and I show how a combination of law and technology can achieve this shift.

Now if I could just Remember The Milk.

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