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Mnemonic Choices

DynagripDynagrip Break me a million heartsHoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
edited January 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
You have two options.

Option One) You have Total Recall. Everything you have said and done and that has been said and done to you, lodges in your brain. You will be able to recall anything if you ruminate long enough. Think Severian from the Book of the New Sun novels by Gene Wolfe

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Option Two) You forget virtually everything from day to day. You know who you are as a person. You have long term memories. And yet you cannot attach names and dates to any of these things that made you the person you are. Basically Memento dude or Latro from yet another fine series of novels by Gene Wolfe.

memento.jpg

Which type of memory would you choose and why? No intermediate choices. Feel free to add in details about your own memory to justify your choice.

I would fucking pounce on Option Two. I remember too much shit as is. My fucking memory might even be eidetic or perhaps hyperthymestic. Crap, I wish I could forget so bad sometimes. I would love to at least get to experience it for a time.

To be able to write a new path for myself each day, unburdened by collosal mental baggage.

I guess I could just start up with the heavy drinking.

Dynagrip on
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Posts

  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited January 2007
    I'd do #1. I mean - being able to remember everything doesn't necessarily mean that you're psychologically obsessed with reliving it every moment, does it? My memory is about average, and I remember all sorts of unpleasant things, but I don't necessarily dwell on them.

    Irond Will on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    I was kind of under the impression that Option 1 was how the human brain worked, anyway.

    ElJeffe on
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  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    #1 for sure. I already have a very good memory, especially for images...having a better one would be quite useful, and I'd enjoy the ability to remember everything important that has happened to me.

    In particular, I have a vague memory from when I was 4, and I was in a preschool run by some churchy types. I cannot recall how or why, but I ended up stuck outside in the snow, by myself, forced to shovel the walkway while all the other kids played inside. I *think* I didn't want to do whatever creativity-sapping project they had for us (for some reason, they felt it was good to constrain our imagination on projects and wouldn't let us draw monsters and stuff, which were my favorite things to draw), but I've always wondered, what exactly did I do to get sent outside, and what kind of asshole sends a four year old outside by himself to shovel snow?

    Vincent Grayson on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    #2 is one of my very worst fears. I cannot...I cannot even fathom how horrible such a life would be.

    So, definitely #1. Actually, I think #1 is pretty much how I am. I often scare people with my acute memory of situations, people, details. I'm not a savant or anything, and recall is not always immediate, but I can usually remember things I've said or that have been said to me.

    It's actually kind of troublesome and creepy sometimes, because I don't understand how people CANNOT remember some details. Plus, I have a habit of remembering people that don't remember me, and it gets kind of depressing sometimes.

    Drez on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    I was kind of under the impression that Option 1 was how the human brain worked, anyway.

    I think it is. I think it's really about recall, and the ability to recall - how much and how quickly - differs from person to person. I think the data is always there, somewhere, not really lost unless your brain becomes damaged, but the ability to pull up the data when needed and utilize it is what defines intelligence, to some degree.

    Drez on
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  • TankHammerTankHammer Atlanta Ghostbuster Atlanta, GARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Since my brain kind of works like a combination of both, I don't think options are necessary. I would like option #1 though, but I suspect it will gimp my creativity.

    TankHammer on
  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    Irond Will wrote:
    I'd do #1. I mean - being able to remember everything doesn't necessarily mean that you're psychologically obsessed with reliving it every moment, does it? My memory is about average, and I remember all sorts of unpleasant things, but I don't necessarily dwell on them.
    I am of the obsessive type, so maybe it is just me. My memory is, ugh. My earliest memory might be from when I was one. My parents keep changing their story about the date of the event, so I don't know.

    Dynagrip on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    ElJeffe wrote:
    I was kind of under the impression that Option 1 was how the human brain worked, anyway.

    I think it is. I think it's really about recall, and the ability to recall - how much and how quickly - differs from person to person. I think the data is always there, somewhere, not really lost unless your brain becomes damaged, but the ability to pull up the data when needed and utilize it is what defines intelligence, to some degree.

    It requires, most of the time, some assocaitive experience. Like you see someone you haven't talked to in years you're likely to remember alot of things about your experiences with that person. Even much smaller things like a smell or color can trigger a mental association that brings old memories to the surface. I always find it bizarre the things I remember from obscure relationships between things. then I realize there's like entire years of my life I barely remember a damn thing from unless I really think about it.

    nexuscrawler on
  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    Bitches, quit _J_'ing up my thread. I won't forget it!

    Dynagrip on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    1 would be rather nice. I'm closer to 2.

    I have enough trouble placing a face with a name. Or something with a date. Or how to spell stuff. It makes things had. Things like school. And... expressing thoughts verbally, interpertive dance is hard over the internet or on the phone.

    there is stuff that just isn't there anymore. Like, math stuff. Lots of math stuff. Physics stuff too. I think think for a really long time, and trig subsitution is just gone. It is just a name. Regardless of how long I think about it.

    Events, I can mostly rember.

    redx on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    Okay, I'd definitely choose option 1. The only way I could see 2 as preferable would be if the alternative were something where, my memories were coming back in such a way that I couldn't sift through them, and they were impeding my ability to function.

    Forgetting everything and everyone at the end of each day would totally suck.

    1 would sound like a marked improvement over my current memory, which kinda sucks, except in the case of useless trivia.

    ElJeffe on
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  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    I have edited the initial post.

    Total Recall

    vs

    redxrangers

    Dynagrip on
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I already have a terrible memory as is. I never remember anything for very long, which is why when I study I have to read the text several times to commit anything for a longer period of time.

    So, I'd go with #1 - it'd be a nice change of pace.

    MegaMan001 on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    #2 is definitely tempting...it'd definitely be a carefree existence compared to what I have now. On the other hand, it'd probably be an incredibly shallow existence...so I have to go with option #1. The bad memories would be well worth it in order to keep the good around and be able to grow as a person.

    But seriously, tough choice.

    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    mcdermott on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    #1. 1 by a mile.

    With #2 you might as well be dead, you're just a puppet going through the motions. You'll never grow, never learn, never do anything that take more than 10 minutes to accomplish. Trying not to judge, but I'm more than a little creeped out that there are people that would prefer that existence.

    werehippy on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    mcdermott wrote:
    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    the short story wasn't awful, and it gave a bit of insight into molly's past.

    redx on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'd say that whether or not #1 or #2 represents a more carefree experience for you depends on your personality. Someone with no ability to retain memory might do nothing else but obsess over the why, never resigning to his or her fate. I would. It would be unfathomable to me. Likewise, as some are saying, being shackled forever to one's failures, foibles, and faux pas make it very difficult to have a carefree experience in that respect to.

    I don't think existence can ever really be carefree.

    Also, "the grass is always greener." Cliché, but true, even with memory. Those who don't remember anything can enjoy the same movie over and over and over and over again. And then someone with memory can see it once and remember it repeatedly, perhaps evolving their opinion of it as they acquire new knowledge and memories. The amount of utility potential either scenario provides is equal, but meeting that potential really depends on the kind of person you are and how you deal with your situation.

    Drez on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    redx wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    the short story wasn't awful, and it gave a bit of insight into molly's past.

    Holy shit...my mind is blown. I'm a major Gibson fan but I never got around to reading Johnny Mnemonic, and until just now, I had no idea that the girl in it was the same girl in Neuromancer.

    Drez on
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  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    werehippy wrote:
    With #2 you might as well be dead.
    I've often seen memory loss as a form of death. Maybe it's not a healthy viewpoint - but "I" am not just myself but the collective memories of past experiences. Without the later I'm not whole.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    werehippy wrote:
    With #2 you might as well be dead.
    I've often seen memory loss as a form of death. Maybe it's not a healthy viewpoint - but "I" am not just myself but the collective memories of past experiences. Without the later I'm not whole.
    It's the one thing I fear about aging: senility.

    Drez on
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  • JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Research I've read about but haven't studied in class suggests the brain doesn't 'store' memories, so much as it stores a few key points and your imagination fills in the blanks.

    That's why witness testimony is so terrible.

    Also:

    King Philip Came Over For Great Sex

    Jinnigan on
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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    redx wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    the short story wasn't awful, and it gave a bit of insight into molly's past.

    Holy shit...my mind is blown. I'm a major Gibson fan but I never got around to reading Johnny Mnemonic, and until just now, I had no idea that the girl in it was the same girl in Neuromancer.

    Man, she talks about Johnny getting offed, when refering to the cloned samuri.

    With all the effort to not say what colour eyes she has, and saying she worked with Bobby Quine, and thinks he is a douche, in nuromance, she is probably the chick from burning crome as well.

    redx on
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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Option 1.

    I've heard about people like in Memento or 50 First Dates, who can't remember anything from day to day (or minute to minute). Sounds horrible to me. Every day you wake up, and realise that there's a hole years or decades long in your life that you can't remember. That everyone you remember seeing yesterday has moved on long ago. That all the deams you had for the future when you went to sleep are now impossible. And that tomorrow morning, you'll go through the same thing all over again.

    Richy on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    Richy wrote:
    Option 1.

    I've heard about people like in Memento or 50 First Dates, who can't remember anything from day to day (or minute to minute). Sounds horrible to me. Every day you wake up, and realise that there's a hole years or decades long in your life that you can't remember. That everyone you remember seeing yesterday has moved on long ago. That all the deams you had for the future when you went to sleep are now impossible. And that tomorrow morning, you'll go through the same thing all over again.

    *cue Beach Boys*

    ElJeffe on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    redx wrote:
    Drez wrote:
    redx wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    the short story wasn't awful, and it gave a bit of insight into molly's past.

    Holy shit...my mind is blown. I'm a major Gibson fan but I never got around to reading Johnny Mnemonic, and until just now, I had no idea that the girl in it was the same girl in Neuromancer.

    Man, she talks about Johnny getting offed, when refering to the cloned samuri.

    With all the effort to not say what colour eyes she has, and saying she worked with Bobby Quine, and thinks he is a douche, in nuromance, she is probably the chick from burning crome as well.

    Wow. What the fuck. I feel utterly dumb now.

    Drez on
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  • IloroKamouIloroKamou Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Option 1, without a doubt. I have a pretty good memory, but I know it's cause I've trained myself to use mnemonic devices unconsciously. I can remember the names and drinks of 30-40 regulars at starbucks, I can recognize the face of almost anyone I've ever met, and if I ruminate on it for awhile, where I met them. I do agree with the above poster though, it is a little depressing remembering so many people when they don't remember you. But then I dye and change my hair a lot, so...

    IloroKamou on
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  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    werehippy wrote:
    With #2 you might as well be dead, you're just a puppet going through the motions. You'll never grow, never learn, never do anything that take more than 10 minutes to accomplish. Trying not to judge, but I'm more than a little creeped out that there are people that would prefer that existence.
    You can write stuff down. You can be a puppet but you hold your own strings.

    Dynagrip on
  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    redx wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    the short story wasn't awful, and it gave a bit of insight into molly's past.

    Holy shit...my mind is blown. I'm a major Gibson fan but I never got around to reading Johnny Mnemonic, and until just now, I had no idea that the girl in it was the same girl in Neuromancer.
    She...has the same name and everything and the same enhancements. Man, now I know my Recall is Totally better than yours.

    Dynagrip on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Dynagrip wrote:
    werehippy wrote:
    With #2 you might as well be dead, you're just a puppet going through the motions. You'll never grow, never learn, never do anything that take more than 10 minutes to accomplish. Trying not to judge, but I'm more than a little creeped out that there are people that would prefer that existence.
    You can write stuff down. You can be a puppet but you hold your own strings.

    we alsaw how great that worked out in Memento.

    You'd still be able to learn new skils via conidtioning bu it'd be a bitch and a half(plus you'd have to leave notes telling yourself to practice)

    nexuscrawler on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Dynagrip wrote:
    Drez wrote:
    redx wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Also, I can't hear or see the word "mnemonic" without thinking of Johnny Mnemonic...yet another reason option two sounds kinda nice sometimes.

    the short story wasn't awful, and it gave a bit of insight into molly's past.

    Holy shit...my mind is blown. I'm a major Gibson fan but I never got around to reading Johnny Mnemonic, and until just now, I had no idea that the girl in it was the same girl in Neuromancer.
    She...has the same name and everything and the same enhancements. Man, now I know my Recall is Totally better than yours.
    I don't think I ever knew her name was even Molly. I was just like "Ohh Dina Meyer fap fap fap fappity fapfapfap" and that was it. I'm sure if I read the short story, I would have made the association.

    Drez on
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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Is this a trick question? How is it difficult to choose between an awesome memory and not being able to drive anywhere, do anything slightly complicated or remember anyone or anything about your life?

    Want to be free of obligations? Go rob a convenience store and enjoy an carefree life in jail. I also really doubt that no long term memory = carefree life. You'd spend most of your time being confused or bored or trying to figure out what you were doing, and taking notes to help you do the stuff you could do easily with a functioning memory.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    RandomEngy wrote:
    Is this a trick question? How is it difficult to choose between an awesome memory and not being able to drive anywhere, do anything slightly complicated or remember anyone or anything about your life?

    Want to be free of obligations? Go rob a convenience store and enjoy an carefree life in jail. I also really doubt that no long term memory = carefree life. You'd spend most of your time being confused or bored or trying to figure out what you were doing, and taking notes to help you do the stuff you could do easily with a functioning memory.

    Actually learned skills are stored differently from regular memory. someone with short term memory loss might not remember what they ate for lunch yesterday but they'd still remember how to drive provided they knew it beforehand. It's even possible to learn new skills by conditioning yourself. Things that require you to remember facts and stuff would be very hard though.

    nexuscrawler on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Dynagrip wrote:
    werehippy wrote:
    With #2 you might as well be dead, you're just a puppet going through the motions. You'll never grow, never learn, never do anything that take more than 10 minutes to accomplish. Trying not to judge, but I'm more than a little creeped out that there are people that would prefer that existence.
    You can write stuff down. You can be a puppet but you hold your own strings.

    We all so how well that works in Momento. You don't control your own strings, at best you can occasionally poke at a random string. That still has nothing at all to do with the fact you're still a puppet acting mechanically and unchangingly, it just changes the landscape a little bit.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for people who've had fucked up experiences, but embracing (or wishing for) this kind of inward turning nihilism is self destructive and suicide in all but finality.

    werehippy on
  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    As somebody with an already spotty memory, I'll take #1. Fuck not being able to remember shit. Fuck that noise straight to hell.

    Hacksaw on
  • BlueDestinyBlueDestiny Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    My worst nightmare is the same as Drez's. You might as well be dead if you cannot learn or grow from past experiences, and without a memory you could do everything or nothing at all and it wouldn't make much of a difference.

    BlueDestiny on
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    edited January 2007
    Richy wrote:
    Option 1.

    I've heard about people like in Memento or 50 First Dates, who can't remember anything from day to day (or minute to minute). Sounds horrible to me. Every day you wake up, and realise that there's a hole years or decades long in your life that you can't remember. That everyone you remember seeing yesterday has moved on long ago. That all the deams you had for the future when you went to sleep are now impossible. And that tomorrow morning, you'll go through the same thing all over again.

    It's called "anterograde amnesia." What's really interesting is that people with anterograde amnesia sometimes can create new memories. They'll develop positive associations with friendly people, for instance - the nurse that comes in and gives them their breakfast every morning isn't a stranger. They might not be able to remember the nurse's name or know that this nurse has been giving them food every day for ten years, but they'll find the nurse's face familiar and comforting.

    Also, there was an Oliver Sacks book with a guy with anterograde amnesia who could learn new songs. Prior to developing the brain damage he learned how to play guitar, and even after he couldn't form new memories he could still learn new chords and riffs. He couldn't remember the words to the songs or where he heard the songs before, though, just the rhythm and melodies. The implication is that musical memory inhabits a different part of the brain than all other memory.

    Feral on
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    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    RandomEngy wrote:
    Is this a trick question? How is it difficult to choose between an awesome memory and not being able to drive anywhere, do anything slightly complicated or remember anyone or anything about your life?

    Want to be free of obligations? Go rob a convenience store and enjoy an carefree life in jail. I also really doubt that no long term memory = carefree life. You'd spend most of your time being confused or bored or trying to figure out what you were doing, and taking notes to help you do the stuff you could do easily with a functioning memory.
    You suck at fun hypotheticals. I'll make a thread for you called, Pedantic Dipshit v. Mr. Cool Guy. I know which one you'll choose.

    Dynagrip on
  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    You'd still be able to learn new skils via conidtioning bu it'd be a bitch and a half(plus you'd have to leave notes telling yourself to practice)
    Right them on your fucking bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. Get a damn Planner. I got one and it is helping me out so much with my focus.

    Like tomorrow I am going to investigate the feasibility of lawyering up as part of Operation Hellstorm.

    Dynagrip on
  • ProtoProto Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Dyna, are you seriously saying that you would want what is basically the first few stages of Alzheimer's? Because that is fucked man.

    You would be in the constant state of doubting yourself. And you can forget about relationships with anyone. Without someone to selflessly care for you you'd probably end up on the street and die.

    That's a bloody nightmare.

    Proto on
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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    It seems like a pretty cut and dry choice. Would anyone here (other than Dyna) pick number two?

    On a somewhat related note: I remember things in third person. Is this normal?

    Aroused Bull on
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