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  1. #1
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Default Memory: its faultiness, and how it defines your identity.

    I have an odd fascination with, and fear of, the faculties of recollection.

    When I look back at books I've read over, it amazes me all of the details I had completely forgotten. Entire chapters, entire concepts. And this is with books I love and have read over multiple times. I confess it causes me some anxiety and dismay, seeing all of this information my mind simply failed to retain. And you have no control over it. You present your mind with information, and it either retains it or does not, with seemingly no rhyme or reason.

    In fact, science bears this out. The hippocampus is responsible for long-term memory retention, and its functions are entirely subconscious. And what we remember is who we are. Our identities are the collection of our memories, and what our hippocampus filters for. This has a correlation with the typology we discuss on these forums: an Fi-dominant will be someone whose hippocampus filters for "introverted feeling" information. A Te user will be someone whose memory filters for Te information. And so on. All of this completely beyond our control.

    It fascinates and mortifies me. I'm curious to know how other forum members experience their faculties of recollection.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #2
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    I always thought traditional Typologists generally connect memory or a rote focus on the past with Si - but perhaps other functions can help you to see the past differently; like maybe Ni helps you to see it in relation to how it could effect the future, or maybe a Ti user could benefit from it to gain another angle into the dimensions of a present problem.

  3. #3
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    I don't put much stock in memory. I use it as a tool to help me occasionally, but do not see it as an end of itself. It is, after all, in the past.
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
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    ~Torah observant, Christ inspired~
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  4. #4
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    I always thought traditional Typologists generally connect memory or a rote focus on the past with Si - but perhaps other functions can help you to see the past differently; like maybe Ni helps you to see it in relation to how it could effect the future, or maybe a Ti user could benefit from it to gain another angle into the dimensions of a present problem.
    I've grown to disagree with this model. Rather, any given person is born with an innate capacity for memory. However, what our hippocampus has to select from is what's been passed before the mind's eye. At any given time, there are two "layers", if you will, to human thought and perception. The concrete layer, and the abstract layer which is abstracted away from the concrete. We call these Ni / Ne in the parlance of typology, depending upon their internal or external orientation. (In fact, when most people talk about "the mind's eye", what they're referring to is iNtuition as it's conceived of by MBTI.) For some people, the hippocampus will select from the concrete "layer" more often; for others it will select from the abstract "layer" more frequently, with the expected impact on the formation of one's identity.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  5. #5
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Memory is the definer of an individual. Without memories you cease to be the person you are, in fact as an individual you cease to be at all.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  6. #6
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Hmm. I dont' really live in my memories like that.
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
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    ~Torah observant, Christ inspired~
    Life Path 11

    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  7. #7
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Hmm. I dont' really live in my memories like that.
    Is that directed at me? I apologise I cannot tell. If it is, when I talk of memories I don't mean an adherence to a specific one or using them to define the present or future. I mean it in the sense of how a human brain works.

    Soaking up information and experiences from the first early brain formations in the womb without the individual even being aware of it, through this a person acquires a series of traits and routines of identity that end up defining the person who we are.

    Without these our minds would be empty and our sense of self would be nothing. Not all memories are conscious after all.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  8. #8
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think whatsername made a movie about it.

    That's extreme though.

    I'm just sayin I'm not that nostalgic.
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
    4w5 5w4 1w9
    ~Torah observant, Christ inspired~
    Life Path 11

    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  9. #9
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    Good ol' memory and identity. Here, check out a bit about a guy with Korsakoff's syndrome:
    He remembered nothing for more than a few seconds. He was continually disoriented. Abysses of amnesia continually opened beneath him, but he would bridge them, nimbly, by fluent confabulations and fictions of all kinds. For him they were not fictions, but how he suddenly saw, or interpreted, the world. Its radical flux and incoherence could not be tolerated, acknowledged, for an instant—there was, instead, this strange, delirious, quasi-coherence, as Mr Thompson, with his ceaseless, unconscious, quick-fire inventions, continually improvised a world around him—an Arabian Nights world, a phantasmagoria, a dream, of ever-changing people, figures, situations—continual, kaleidoscopic mutations and transformations. For Mr Thompson, however, it was not a tissue of ever-changing, evanescent fancies and illusion, but a wholly normal, stable and factual world. So far as he was concerned, there was nothing the matter.

    On one occasion, Mr Thompson went for a trip, identifying himself at the front desk as ‘the Revd. William Thompson’, ordering a taxi, and taking off for the day. The taxi-driver, whom we later spoke to, said he had never had so fascinating a passenger, for Mr Thompson told him one story after another, amazing personal stories full of fantastic adventures. ‘He seemed to have been everywhere, done everything, met everyone. I could hardly believe so much was possible in a single life,’ he said. ‘It is not exactly a single life,’ we answered. ‘It is all very curious—a matter of identity.’

    [...]

    But Mr Thompson, only just out of hospital—his Korsakov’s had exploded just three weeks before, when he developed a high fever, raved, and ceased to recognise all his family—was still on the boil, was still in an almost frenzied confabulatory delirium (of the sort sometimes called ‘Korsakov’s psychosis’, though it is not really a psychosis at all), continually creating a world and self, to replace what was continually being forgotten and lost. Such a frenzy may call forth quite brilliant powers of invention and fancy—a veritable confabulatory genius—for such a patient must literally make himself (and his world) up every moment. We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative—whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a ‘narrative’, and that this narrative is us, our identities.

    [...]

    To be ourselves we must have ourselves—possess, if need be re-possess, our life-stories. We must ‘recollect’ ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.

    Sacks, Oliver (2010-07-21). The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and other Clinical Tales (p. 111). Odyssey Editions LLC. Kindle Edition.
    _____

    My memory is, personally, absolutely terrible. I've kinda despaired from time to time about not being able to retain what I've read or learned. It'd also be nice to keep a file cabinet of facts kicking around in the ol' noodle.

    Turns out that this post is an example. I've read ^this book, and I knew that there was something in the book related to memory and identity, but I had to do some work to figure out exactly what the connection was so that I could contribute something.

    It also turned out that I'd led a discussion on this very chapter and the disorder in question just a few months ago. So, I should probably have recalled it.

    Then again, I've taught myself time and time again that what I read and learn has its utility in reinforcing or molding general concepts and principles within me, rather than in recalling specifics. The thing that this chapter reinforced in me, for example, is the general idea of letting the whole "identity" thing go--that it's mostly just a construct, useful at times but too limiting at others.

  10. #10
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    But Korsakoff's Syndrom is due to either extreme abuse of alcohol or malnutrition. One of the Vietnam vets where I worked was diagnosed with it. I think they tried to claim it was from extreme alcohol abuse when the guy was younger, but I suspect he was exposed to some chemical agent in Vietnam. I just don't think he would have had time to imbibe the amount of alcohol necessary to get that in such a short period of time. He was a helicopter pilot and evidently saved many lives with his bravery. Now he walks around talking to himself, laughing, and chain-drinking Coke.



    Amnesia can be caused by many different things and is not normal.
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
    4w5 5w4 1w9
    ~Torah observant, Christ inspired~
    Life Path 11

    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


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