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Monday, July 7, 2014

That Missing Article

Of late, upon hearing or reading something unfamiliar I've begun saying "If I ever knew that, I don't recall." It may be a dubious distinction but given how much I've taken in over 64 years, that statement often seems more accurate than saying "I never knew that".  More significant, it's less self-deprecating than that "...senior moment..." nonsense.

I've also harmlessly fantasized how cool it would be to be able to store everything important I read, see or hear from here on in. I'm not greedy - I'll gladly re-read all the seminal books, re-watch all the documentaries, re-listen to all the worthwhile music provided it all sticks with me this second time. Even better, I'll trade in all the garbage I do remember - old phone numbers, 1958 batting order of the NY Yankees, who recorded "Expressway To Your Heart" - if the stuff I really want to remember would just stay put so I could retrieve it at will.

Didn't I read somewhere that the brain is capable of doing this?


  1. I've never had a good memory, so the "senior moment nonsense" will never apply to me anyway. For instance, when people try to pick up a recent conversation, I often have trouble retrieving the necessary information in order to appear lucid. While studying, however, I am able to commit information to memory, if, and only if, I write it down.

    In reflecting on this post, I was imagining what I would most like to be able to recall on command. Not sure there is anything in particular, though it might be nice to not need to write everything down in a journal in order to remember it later. My son has the type of mind that can memorize lists and facts easily. At an early age, he had memorized the states and capitals. He knows the presidents in order as well as the order of succession into the Union of all fifty states. Is this necessary information to retain? Probably not, but it is the way his mind is gifted, and it has certainly helped him to enjoy learning to play the piano and trombone. And for him, the more he exercises this gift, the stronger it seems to grow.

    I'm curious if there is something in particular that were you feeling you were wishing to be able to retrieve? d.

  2. d; There are many "particular" things - salient information about climate change, important historical events and the impact on subsequent events, the taxonomy of the animal and plant kingdom, etc. I want this (and much more) at my fingertips.

  3. Sounds like an advertisement for a Smartphone. Ha ha! I think I know where you stand on that issue, nonetheless, that is the thought your reply brought to my mind. As ubiquitous as the Smartphone is today, perhaps it stands as evidence that your desires are not all that unique to mankind. Thank you for answering. d.