Picture yourself sitting across from someone.

You see them.

You hear them.

You smell them.

You taste the food in your mouth.

You sense the temperature of the room.

Every one of these sensations is processed by a different organ, and in a different area of your brain.

What is a memory?

A memory is the reconstruction of all these sense experiences into a single package.

Literally - in the correct meaning of the word "literally" - a memory is re-living the moment.

The Difference.

The difference is that every time you reconstruct those sense experiences an re-live that memory, YOU are the person doing it. The YOU that is you today. Now. With all of your life experience that has happened between the memory and now.

And that filter colors the memory.

Which then gets re-stored in the place where those different sense memories go.

In the end, every single time you remember your favorite moment, you alter it irrevocably forever.

I was bothered by that for a long time. But I find it kind of comforting now, that the act of remembering adds a little bit of the "now me" to the "past me" of my memory, and creates a kind of continuum.

How does it make you feel...?

(None of what I wrote above is original or hard to find sources for. I am mostly interested in engaging on these ideas with my fellow Huskites...)


I enjoy saying " Literally, in the literal sense of the word"

I'm reading this book right now called The Self Illusion and just finished the part about memory. It mentions Elizabeth Loftus who is this expert on false memory. When she was 14 her mother drown in a swimming pool and 30 years later her uncle mentioned that she found her mom. Even though it was actually her aunt who found her she had lucid memories of finding her mothers drown in a swimming pool for days until she found out.

Edit: I have more too say, reading this book made me feel weird about it, mainly because they mention how our memories contribute to our "self" but also aren't even all that accurate. That is the bit that messed with me.

posted by goobster: 406 days ago