Re: Forgotten memory

From: my inner geek (
Date: Tue Dec 18 2001 - 20:10:20 MST

From: <>:

> I rented the movie Memento over the weekend...

I identified strongly with the lead character in Memento. Due to my mental
illness, drug abuse, and past history of trial-and-error with prescription
drugs, my memory has gone through the wringer.

I make a deliberate effort these days to imagine a return to the context
(environments) where my memories were formed in order to refresh the
memories. For example, I often have a pretty noisy mind that's filled with
circuitous thoughts and senseless chatter. From the outside, it looks like
I'm preoccupied with something. People have mistaken me for an abstracted
genius. Little do they know how little signal there is in the noise.

Anyway, in the past the workplace was a terrifying place for me, because I
would have to re-introduce myself to my coworkers every day. One day I'd be
introduced to someone, have an authentic and sincerely enjoyable
conversation, then go home. Unfortunately, I wouldn't think about them
again until the next time I ran into them at work. That moment would be
subjectively experience with horror and anxiety, because I'd only have a
faint recognition of having met them before, but I wouldn't know their name
or remember what we had talked about.

I guess people who have better noise filtering systems might reflect upon
their day's social encounters several times later in the day, refreshing and
solidifying long-term memories.

Now I compensate by writing down names and personal facts after my initial
encounter is finished but it's still fresh in my mind. Then I go through a
little rehersal in the morning before entering the social environment,
having visualized crossing paths and greeting the various names and faces.


About once a year I get back to my home town (Lompoc, CA) to visit my
father, who lives in the house I grew up in from birth to 6, then 13 to 18.

Last time, I took my camcorder and walked from the mailbox on the street
slowly up to the house, inside and around every nook and cranny, then out in
the backyard and around. I recorded as much as I could, from the little
button on the doorbell, to the doorbell itself, to the telephone pole in the
backyard where we used to shoot crows with the pellet gun.

Now, at home in Seattle, when I'm out of touch with my inner children, I
take a little nonlinear cruise on my hard drive to little fragments of
memories. The electrical outlet I stuck a paper-clip into when I was 3, the
swallow's nest in the crest of the roof in the backyard, the kitchen sink.
It's like a kind of "refresher" of entire networks of memories.

In terms of "identity", wouldn't my initial memories of the objects of this
environment (the angles of the ceiling, walls, door knobs, water faucets,
sound of the shower door opening, bathtub filling) be some of the
foundations of my "society of mind"?

I wonder why each and every cryonics enrollee doesn't have cdroms filled
with hundreds of thousands of images, millions of images, that can be used
in the future reconstruction of memories? I think it's a good idea. It
helps me, and I'm not even undead yet. :)

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