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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Saint Patrick & Total Recall

The condition known as hyperthymesia - highly superior autobiographical memory is purportedly found in less than twenty people worldwide. Today's opening question - How would you feel about being able to remember every single day of your life in detail?

For me, having just a good memory presents its own set of issues. Now, were I more emotionally evolved, I could envision hyperthymesia coming in handy, selectively. But given my already well-developed ability to readily recall perceived slights and dismissive remarks directed at me, I suspect hyperthymesia would render me a walking grudge machine. Worse - again, this is not Saint Patrick speaking, just regular Patrick - I could see myself spending days plotting how to get back at anyone who'd ever rubbed me the wrong way.

Also, I already have trouble enough given my current ability to recall instances of my own bad behavior. Until those Buddhist credentials are in hand, any more remembering of past bad behavior could disable me.

Now, if having hyperthymesia limited any instance of my bad behavior to one - provided I were smart enough to recognize the behavior in question as bad - that could be terrific. That leads me to the concluding head-bending question: If more people had this condition, would the world be better or worse? Before answering, think of many people. And, don't limit your thinking to people you know personally.             

1 comment:

  1. If we were able to recall every day of our lives, we would would have less time and brain capacity to ruminate over single memories by rerunning them over and over. Net-net, the world might be a better place!

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