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  1. #61
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post

    I think we are discounting all of the positives that negatives give to our lives. I sincerely doubt that life would be as difficult if we could just snap our fingers and forget unpleasant events. Maybe it starts with rape/war memories, and then the next thing it's the new cosmetic surgery. Break up with your boyfriend? No big deal! Just pay $20 bucks and forget him! And then on your way home run into him and do it all over again. Or something like that.
    I hear what you're saying, but the thing is, there also seem to be a lot of people who don't learn anything at all from those experiences/memories. Ok, maybe I shouldn't judge. Maybe internally they've learned something. But externally, from what anyone can see, you wouldn't think so. They haven't *literally* forgotten (like, a memory wipe) their boyfriend after breaking up with them...but maybe they do then get back together with him like nothing ever happened. (although probably not on the way home!). Maybe they even do that repeatedly, even if the relationship was a total car crash. Or they repeat the same harmful pattern again and again and again even if it's with different people. I wonder if I do this, too, although not as dramatically as some people I know...

    I just think that the idea that keeping hurtful memories is something that leads to personal growth is...in some cases true, but then there are the cases where either it hurts you needlessly, or you seem to have learned nothing useful at all. But I guess without the bad memories there would be no opportunity for that kind of personal growth. It just often doesn't seem to work out that way.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I hear what you're saying, but the thing is, there also seem to be a lot of people who don't learn anything at all from those experiences/memories. Ok, maybe I shouldn't judge. Maybe internally they've learned something. But externally, from what anyone can see, you wouldn't think so. They haven't *literally* forgotten (like, a memory wipe) their boyfriend after breaking up with them...but maybe they do then get back together with him like nothing ever happened. (although probably not on the way home!). Maybe they even do that repeatedly, even if the relationship was a total car crash. Or they repeat the same harmful pattern again and again and again even if it's with different people. I wonder if I do this, too, although not as dramatically as some people I know...

    I just think that the idea that keeping hurtful memories is something that leads to personal growth is...in some cases true, but then there are the cases where either it hurts you needlessly, or you seem to have learned nothing useful at all. But I guess without the bad memories there would be no opportunity for that kind of personal growth. It just often doesn't seem to work out that way.
    Well, if you erase something that hasn't been learned from, then you erase the opportunity to learn from it at some point in time.

    The reason a lot of people don't address these issues is because we are animals who are trained by instinct to shy away from pain. When instead we should embrace the pain so that we can work through it.

  3. #63
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    How many memories will you erase?
    All of them.

    Yes, ALL of them!







    Quote Originally Posted by salome
    Because I believe I am more than the sum of my experiences. I am the book. And I am also the author. Memories are just fragments of chapters. I can edit them at will. I do edit them at will - we all do. Our memory is not a repository of truth. It's a bunch of distorted, fragmented perceptions, phrases at best.
    Okay, if you start with that as the basis, then your logic follows.

    As one who writes, I do understand how narratives are shaped and edited. Yes, there is some degree of filtering occurring regardless, so you're suggesting that since the story is already filtered, what does this kind of filtering matter? There is some validity to that approach.

    For me personally, I still feel a burden to adhere to the things that actually occurred, if they are meaningful events; and I guess I just feel that any event that is traumatic enough to create a desire for removing it is also the kind of pertinent fact that changes the course of a life, and to remove it is more control than I care to express in scripting my own life narrative. This goes back to my approach to life in general: I don't really like to impose myself on the data, at least impose myself as little as possible, and I tend to get into conflicts with those who impose more. It's still a subjective experience overall, but I hope to filter out as much of my own bias as possible and let the story shape itself rather than me controlling it.

    This is different. It's directly, chemically altering (permanently) your personality. As is taking anti-depressants. I don't see these things as in any way equivalent. Removing a memory is like excising a tumour. Happy pills are just palliatives.
    I'm not sure it's that different in the way I'm considering. Editing memories is actively changing your narrative to conform to your expectations, regardless of what your narrative would have naturally been otherwise. The same comes from choosing to make a radical change to self; it's just another form of controlling your story, isn't it? Like you expressed above? I'm still making the choice to change my story, so I'm ultimately in charge, rather than the narrative driving me.

    It took me a long time to accept ADs as part of my mental health regimen, btw. I just didn't like the idea of chemically changing anything, I felt like I was imposing on myself again.

    Again, different. Amnesia is a loss of identity not just isolated memories. We all forget stuff over time without jeopardising our identities (Alzheimer's aside).
    I think we forget things that seem irrelevant to us. Alzheimer's aside, we don't forget information that is crucial to our sense of identity and life narrative, do we? Only the "garbage." Only the trivial details. It's a form of mental house-cleaning.

    If a memory is important enough to jeopardize one's own narrative unless it is removed, then I also think now it has risen above the status of trivial detail; in fact, it seems very important.. which means that to not remove it would be expected to make someone a different person, a person they don't necessarily want to be anymore.

    So I guess we have kind of pintpointed it's not just the removal of trivial memories, it's the removal of crucial memories -- ones that impact the narrative stream -- that is the issue at hand.

    Anaesthetists routinely give patients drugs which prevent memory formation - so that if the patient feels anything during surgery, they won't be able to remember it - i.e. it never really happened. Would you consider that a lie too?
    Probably on a cosmetic level, but not in actuality. For me personally, I don't LIKE it per se... it's kind of creepy, to just be missing a large block of time... but it's not like an alcoholic blackout in which you might have done things that now you can't recall, instead you would have just recalled being strapped to a bed and feeling lots of pain for 6 hours. So those memories don't really seem as crucial to me, and it's not really a sign of character to tough them out, it's just a show of endurance that means little ultimately.

    Like I said above, it seems like irrelevant details, not ones relevant to identity (as opposed to being dumped by someone you loved, or losing a sibling in a car accident, or ... whatever.)

    This appeals to me. I hate that they do this to animals experimentally. But I would be cool with having my memory "backed up", then wiped. What would that feel like? I'd love to know. As long as I could get back to "myself", if I chose. What if you could choose to be somebody else for a weekend? That would be cool. Especially if you could integrate those experiences. You'd learn self-awareness exponentially.
    I find that part intriguing. Slightly reminiscent of scenes from Strange Days or Minority Report, but even deeper in immersion and impact. (Total Recall visits the theme but there's not really a good platform for integration of the old and new as you're not supposed to be conscious of the implant.) I mean, it would be cool -- like taking empathizing/intuiting ability to a whole new level, since it would now literally be experiential and not JUST conjecture.

    You could also easily find ways to abuse such a system of course - guilt-free transgression, for example.
    True. Crime syndicates would have a field day. And people would honestly believe whatever lies they might be telling, so you couldn't really get them to spill the beans on their illicit wiped activities.

    Memories are anchoring. And being anchored to anything has never really been a priority for me. It's the freedom offered by this technology that appeals to me, I suppose. Because I believe everything that happens is random and arbitrary, I see no reason not to randomly interfere with my past at least as much as my future. It's a way, the only way, to subvert the unidirectional arrow of time.
    That makes sense to me and gives me a better idea where you're coming from.

    I find myself more anchored to things, if only to the time flow -- there's a fatalism to my outlook, some things I feel are determined and my goal is to rearrange the pieces and figure out what they all mean rather than in picking and choosing what pieces I include. There is a sense in which I feel like there is truth that exists out of me, so my job is to perceive and study it and then see how it all fits together. This leaves me very uncomfortable just picking and choose what truth to include; for the pattern to be inherent and thus independent, it has to exist in the data regardless of my preferences.
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  4. #64
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Also I was just thinking that it's ironic that people who can't remember something often want to remember it.

    Dissociative amnesia, for example. Where your brain pretty much decides to not let you have access to memories even if you want them.

    Not being able to remember something is very dissonant. It's being incomplete, for good or ill.


    Also, what if you had all your bad memories erased, and somebody gives you the old "What do you know? Nothing bad ever happened to you!"
    What are you gonna say to that? Maybe something did happen to you, but you don't even feel it or recognize it, and you chose to throw it away, so they would be right in a sense.

  5. #65
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Recently there was concern about if we deleted people's posting accounts that we would have swiss cheesed threads. Now we are considering swiss cheesing our brains. It's mildly alarming.
    This is a good way of looking at it, since things happen within a context. You aren't an island - all things are dependently arising. So if you start deleting stuff, you end up with swiss cheese, and certain events take on a senseless context.

    This is why memory gaps are problematic and can lead to functional problems. For example, if a person does something to you, and you erase the memory of it, you still haven't erased the person or the event. People might be sympathetic to you and you won't know why. Or worse - people will say that this is a bad person, and you won't know why.

    Even worse yet you won't have a cause to testify or avoid this person or similar people in the future.

    Also any possible real life effects that were caused by this will be out of context. Certain real aspects of your life that are just hanging question marks.

  6. #66
    Glycerine
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    To be honest, yes. I seem to have some psychological trauma that I really don't know the root cause of and never will. It is more annoying than anything so it would be awesome to get rid of it from my subconscious. Hahaha

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