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Monday, June 08, 2015

The Fifth Hole

Sometime in the early 1980s Mom and Dad took us to Calway Park in Calgary. We played mini golf. And yet, even though I'm right there in the picture with my brother and father, I have no memory of it. I remember the roller coaster...but that's about it. It astounds me that we forget most of what we've done and where we've been. It seems a crippling disability to me, and yet we just live with it. 

1 comment:

Jeff Shyluk said...

You could have an eidetic memory. Then you'd have near perfect recall. You'd also likely flirt with autism. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long: the curse of a mind that remembers movie trivia but not birthdays and wedding anniversaries.

There are many theories as to why we don't have total recall. I'll go with the one that links memory to the quality of sleep. Dreaming acts as both a filter and reinforcer of accumulated knowledge. It's a form of recap of recent events, while the brain tries to assign relevance to the things it has learned. The more things are repeated, the more you recall them. As well, the higher you assign relevance, the more likely they will repeat or be retained.

That's why dreaming about wandering your high school halls or work corridors means you want sexual gratification. Your brain links repetition and the endless search for a suitable resting position with the possibility that you could link up with your highschool sweetheart or that flirty co-worker. There are few things that interest an idle brain more than shacking up with someone lovely and finding a good, familiar, yet out-of-the-way place to Do It.

Things that don't get repeated get shelved. Some theorists believe that they are forgotten. Others believe that these lost memories could be re-established using stimulation. Certainly that's the case of a unique scent bringing back the memory of a lost relative or a forgotten but unusual meal ("The entree consists of boiled dog stuffed with rice"). Yet, I'm not a big supporter of the memory-stimulation theories that delve into true cognition, for personal reasons that should be obvious but remain unmentioned. I'll go so far as to say those stimuli work for some types of memory, but not all of them.

Finally, there are parapsychological theorists that believe that our memories are not just catalogued within ourselves but are also stored in copies of ourselves living in parallel dimensions (!). The foundation of this theory lies in the thought that one could re-live every moment of their life at the moment of their death, something that often gets reported by people who die and are revived. The suggestion is that particular deaths will trigger rippling interference bands between our dimensions and those that are slightly out of phase but otherwise perfectly congruent to ours. We experience these ripples as seeing our lives replayed, sometimes from beginning to end, and sometimes end to beginning. DISCLAIMER: KIDS - DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!

So, depending on how you die and what happens to Mirror. Mirror Earl, you could experience The Fifth Hole again. The level of importance your conscience, your soul and/or your non-corporeal self attaches to minigolf will then be up for grabs.