Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Psychology, memory.  ---  .See also: History.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  .This section is about various thoughts on memory in general.  Topics include: ( ) Emotion and memory.  ( ) Thinking and memory.  ( ) Consciousness and memory.  ( ) Sense, perception and memory.  ( ) What is memory.  ---  1/24/2006

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) In the past, (150 years ago and before then) there was plenty of time, while one was watching the wheat grow, to stand around thinking and talking about one's past.  There was plenty of time to keep track of and sort out our memories.  (2) Today work keeps us busy.  Work keeps us apart from our significant others for many hours each day.  The media keeps us flooded with news and information.  Thus the effect is that everyone is memory-challenged today.  Everyone needs to give attention to their personal history today.  Memory helps us make sense of life.  We make sense of life after the fact.  ---  9/25/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) Memory is the temporal dimension of our mind.  PART TWO.  (1) We can remember to plan for the future.  That is, we can keep in mind that we need to set goals.  I.e., remember the future.  (2) We can plan to remember the past.  That is, we can make a goal of doing history.  I.e., plan for the past.  (3) So a new quip: "Remember the future and plan for the past".     PART THREE.  Sometimes memory is not temporal, like when we remember an abstract idea.  ---  6/14/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) Memory preserves our mental identity or self.  (2) DNA preserves our physical identity.  ---  10/30/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) To remember or to forget a fact, a skill (a mental or physical technique or method), an event, an experience, a feeling, or a person.  (2) Obsession means to be unable to forget.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) Trying not to think of (remember) something.  (2) Trying to forget something.  (3) These are things that people with addictions try to do, often futilely.  ---  09/01/1994

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) We forget, memorize, and remember different things at different rates depending on the interest, use, importance, etc., it has for us.  ---  10/15/1994

Psychology, memory.  ---  (1) We never experience the same thing twice because there is always a period of time spent living between the two times you experience something.   There are two ways to state this.  You can say that different you's experience the thing.  Or you can say the thing was different each time you experienced it and that you experienced two things.  (2) The above applies to the experience of external stimuli and it also applies to the experience of internal psychological stimuli.  (3) Thus, we can say that we never remember something the same way twice.  We are constantly recasting our memories.  We constantly re-interpret our memories.  And we can say that either two you's experience the same memory, or else the same you experiences two different memories.  ---  6/15/2002

Psychology, memory.  ---  Ability to remember and affinity for the past are two different things.  Some people have a strong memory but prefer to think about the future.  Some people have a weak memory but enjoy nostalgia.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  All the memories of a life, both the sensory memories of our environment and the psychological memories of our mental world of emotion and thought, how are they stored?  (1) As physical fixed things?  There would be far too many of them.  (2) As combination patterns of electrochemical nerve activity?  Yes.  ---  8/7/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Animal memory.  (1) If we say an animal behaves by instinct, is instinct a hard-wired memory?  (2) If we say an animal does not work by instinct, then does the animal have non-hard-wired memory?  (3) What is the difference between hard-wired memory and non-hard-wired memory?  Should we think of non-hard-wired memory as programmable memory?  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Animal memory.  Which animal species have which memory capabilities?  Is it true that elephants never forget?  Is recall ability related to the life span of the animal?  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  As individuals, other than with a shrink, we devote very little time to memorizing (studying) and remembering (our past).  This is bad.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  At some level, memory is a chemical phenomenon.  There are memory enhancing chemicals and memory inhibiting chemicals that the body produces naturally.  Sleep, diet and exercise affect the body's production of memory chemicals.  Various drugs also affect memory by either making memory more keen or by dulling memory.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  At some point, the number of times you experience something in a set period of time (frequency of reviewing), leads to points of decay, stagnation, and growth of memory.  ---  08/02/1993

Psychology, memory.  ---  At the extreme case:  The more new experiences, the less time for memory.  The fewer new experiences, the more time for memory.  Its a trade off.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Attention and memory.  Attention means keeping things in mind, which means constantly remembering.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Biology of memory.  Physical factors and memory.  Bio-chemistry.  What brain chemicals and their pharmaceutical equivalents increase memory?  What drugs are on the market to increase brain power?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Biology of memory.  What neurotransmitters, hormones, brain waves, areas of the brain, etc. are involved in storing and retrieving memories?  ---  5/15/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Biology of memory.  Which brain chemicals aid memory?  What foods help us produce those chemicals?  How can we naturally self produce memory-aiding chemicals to enter a reverie and trip down memory lane?  ---  5/15/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Body memory.  You don't walk everyday by thinking to walk.  You walk everyday by remembering how to walk.  Memory of movement is a major type of memory.  Humans remember physical skills as well as mental skills.  ---  5/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Changes in memory content.  Bigger vs. smaller.  Better (more practical) vs. worse (less practical).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Changes in what you want to memorize.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Computer memory and human memory.  Computer technology gives us more concepts to apply to a discussion of human memory.  On a computer, you can choose to backup a single file, or you can choose to backup the entire operating system.  It is possible that in the human mind there is the ability to commit to memory a small chunk of information or a large chunk of information.  Does it make sense to talk about making a memory of the entire mind?  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Create a website called "Memory Lane" where people relate stray memories, and where people work on developing their life memories.  ---  11/15/2003

Psychology, memory.  ---  Deflationary view of memory.  One could argue that planning and future thinking is as important as memory.  Memory may precede future thinking on the evolutionary ladder, but humans today do as much future thinking as memory.  Humans need as much future thinking as memory in order to be healthy.  ---  4/16/2006

Psychology, memory.  ---  Development of memory in the animal kingdom.  (1) Memory of individual instances.  Multi sensory.  (2) Sets of memories of individual instances.  (3) Memories of abstract thoughts.  Abstract thoughts are creations of imagination.  An abstract thought produces a memory of an abstract thought.  ---  11/14/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Development of memory: actual memory and potential memory.  (1) Your past memory.  What you actually remembered in past.  What you could have remembered (potential).  (2) Your memory now.  All you actually can remember now.  All you potentially could remember if you tried.  (3) Your memory in future: future actual and potential.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Effect of a memory on our mind and behavior.  Aversion to doing things vs. drawn to doing things (see conditional learning).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Emotion and memory.  (1) Strong emotions (pleasurable or painful) sear in memories and make them last longer.  (2) Optimists remember the good, pessimists remember the bad.  (3) Most people remember only the good, I remember only the bad.  (4) Painful life leaves painful memories.  Pleasureable life leaves pleasurable memories.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Emotion and memory.  Remembering emotions is as important as remembering thoughts.  ---  5/15/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Evaluating your memory.  What's your attitude toward memory?  How much time do you spend remembering?  How much can you remember?  Are there any large gaps (time or subject) in your memory?  Do you remember the important things?  Do you draw the right conclusions?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Experience and memory: strength of experience and lasting of memory.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  False memory.  How often does it occur?  How does it occur?  By suggestion?  ---  10/30/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  Given your memory capacity or limits, one must choose what one will decide to memorize.  One must choose their memory contents.  However, some memories we have no choice but to remember.  These are the memories we can't forget.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Goal setting and memory.  (1) Remembering the good things and bad things provides direction two ways.  (2) Remember goals (do's), and anti-goals (don'ts).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Good memories and bad memories.  (1) Bad memories are one of the main causes of psychological difficulties.  (2) One technique to deal with bad memories is to think of a more effective attitude to take toward a bad memory.  (3) Another technique to deal with bad memories is to take a more effective attitude toward life, so that you do not produce so many bad memories.  People with negative outlooks produce more bad memories, and bad memories are difficult to deal with.  (4) One reason that bad memories are difficult to deal with is because bad memories produce painful emotions, and painful emotions can be difficult to deal with.  (5) It is better to call it a painful memory than a bad memory.  Memory is not a bad thing.  A person can have a painful memory about an unethical event.  (6) Another technique for dealing with painful memories is to improve your skills for dealing with painful emotions.  (7) Bad things happen in life.  People commit unethical actions.  Nature itself is random and thus seemingly cruel and unjust.  Unjust actions produce painful memories.  Some people survive terrible events with little psychological trauma.  Other people are haunted by memories of unethical events.  Both psychological health and psychological problems have a memory component that needs to be explored and understood.  (8) Lack of good memories can be as big a problem as the presence of painful memories.  If a person does not let themselves remember the good times it can be a problem.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Having few experiences leads to having few memories.  Unless you have a vivid imagination, in which case you can have many memories of the various things you imagined.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  History and memory.  Memory is about the past.  History is about the past.  History can be defined as recorded memories.  Chronological memory is one type of memory.  Another type of memory is the memory of the logical structure of ideas.  Another type of memory is the memory of importance of ideas.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  How can we remember some things for a minute, and other things for a lifetime?  It is not just repetition that makes it sink in.  Do we unconsciously choose to commit these things to our memory for life?  How to do this best?  Techniques for instant, permanent memory.  ---  07/30/1993

Psychology, memory.  ---  How does the memory develop in humans?  How well do children remember?  How does memory decay in the aged?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  How easy a specific idea is to memorize, remember, and forget, in general, for personality types, and for a specific person.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  How important is memory in the functioning of animal minds (including humans)?  Inflationary views of memory hold that memory is the basis of thought and emotion.  Deflationary views of memory hold that memory is only as important as sensation, emotion and thinking, or perhaps even less so.  (2) How does memory function on a neurophysiological level?  (3) How is neuron-based memory different from computer memory?  (4) What if we forgot everything instantly?  What if we never forgot anything.  (5) Memory problems.  Memorizing slowly.  Forgetting quickly.  (6) Exceptional memory.  Photographic memory.  Memorizing instantly.  Memorizing massive amounts.  Recalling minute details after a long time.  ---  6/12/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  How much time do we spend thinking about our personal past, present and future?  How much time should we spend thinking about the past, present and future?  (1) To never think about the past and future is bad.  That is, to always be in the present is bad.  (2) To never be in present is also bad.  That is, to always think about only the past or the future is bad.  (3) To never think about the past and future beyond our lifespan is also bad.  ---  12/28/2003

Psychology, memory.  ---  How much you put into your brain, minus how much you forget, yields a remainder of memory.  ---  8/23/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Humans are remembering all the time.  We are awash in memories.  Humans are future-thinking all the time too.  ---  5/12/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  If all a person had was their memory, then the person would do the same things over and over.  Memory produces repetition.  Something more than memory is needed if an animal is to adapt, learn, and think.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  If one has too strong a memory, that is, if one's mind is monopolized by memory, then that person will have little room left for imagination and creativity.  That person will be locked into the rigid world of the unchangeable past.  However, a mind that is strong in all areas, and balanced among all areas, will make good use of a strong memory among all it's other strong abilities.  ---  9/25/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  If one neglects doing memory work then one may forget everything that happened to them.  (1) They will have no raw data with which to think.  (2) They will have nothing to hold them together.  They will be adrift.  They will be lost in the wilderness.  ---  9/25/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  If you remember better you will think better.  A better memory leads to better thoughts.  The phrase "better memory" meaning more memories.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  In every moment I am creating a memory.  Memory creation takes place in the present.  ---  2/8/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  In humans it does not make sense to talk about memory as distinct from thought.  To remember is to think.  To think is to remember.  Humans cannot remember without thinking.  Humans cannot think without remembering.  It may even be the case that the same neural pathways are used in thinking and remembering.  ---  6/12/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Information and memory.  We remember information.  Information can be recalled on any level of abstraction, from totally abstract to completely concrete.  For example, a mathematician can recall a math formula in the abstract, or she can recall the last time she wrote that formula on a chalkboard.  This notion implies that information is stored, or at least processed, at any level of abstraction.  We constantly re-process our memories and then re-commit them to memory, in order to survive, in order to be psychologically healthy, in order to learn.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Instant, willful, retrievable memory, versus random memories.  ---  8/23/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Interpretation of memories.  (1) There is no memory without interpretation of memories.  Each time we remember we re-interpret our memories.  (2) In this way, memory is like history.  History is an interpretive project.  (3) Memories and their interpretation is also analogous to sense data and perception.  Perception is the interpretation of sense data.  What do we call the interpretation of memory data?  ---  11/18/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Is a concept of time necessary for memory?  A concept of time is not necessary for memory because many animals have memory but are not wearing wristwatches.  What kinds of notions of time exist in which species of animals?  Temporal thinking, thinking based on time, is a basic type of thinking.  Now and then.  Before and after.  Now and later.  Once upon a time.  ---  5/12/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Is it possible to forget absolutely everything?  Is it possible to remember absolutely everything?  ---  12/15/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  It could be that, through memory, the mind is constantly rebuilding itself.  When we remember one thing it triggers a train or web of memories of other things.  And each time we remember these things it makes the memory of them even stronger.  Against the constant fading of memories we have the constant remembering of memories.  Memory rebuilds the mind.  ---  6/14/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Language and memory.  When we think using words, we remember the individual words, and we remember the grammar, but we think or create an entirely new idea.  Thus, thought is dependent on memory.  ---  6/14/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Life is constant forgetting.  What seems obvious and clear today, you will forget given enough time.  Writing helps you remember.  ---  7/31/2006

Psychology, memory.  ---  Life is like a car ride, if you keep looking in the rear view mirror, you crash.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Lists.  Ideas to remember and boot up with daily.  (1) Morning affirmations.  (2) Your to do list.  (3) Remember positive emotions, in order to re-experience positive emotions.  ---  12/1/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Lists.  Things to remember.  (1) Remember what is most important.  (2) Remember your principles and the reasons why you hold your principles.  (3) Remember your goals.  ---  12/1/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Long-term memory.  Many psychologists use the terms "short term memory" and "long term memory".  They have spawned a brood of late-night infomercials that try to sell books on how to improve your short-term memory.  As if items in your long-term memory were locked in place forever.  I say that most long term memories are not permanent.  If you wait long enough you will forget even your long-term memories.  There are only a few experiences that most of us lump into the "I will never forget that" category.     (2) If it is true that most long-term memories are not permanent, then what are the techniques that humans have developed to aid their long-term memory?  One technique is oral story-telling, which has been used for tens of thousands of years.  Another technique to aid long-term memory is writing.  A third technique is the computer.  The computer is not just the same thing as writing.  The computer extends the capabilities of writing, just like writing extends the capabilities of oral story telling.  Two ways that the computer extends the capabilities of writing are through the use of hypertext and databases.     (3) I would like to make a point about hypertext and databases.  Many people have extolled hypertext because they say it mirror how our minds really work by using a web of associations.  This may be true.  However, we should also appreciate the database because it lets us work in a way that our brains are not accustomed.  To use an analogy, people appreciated a style of painting known as "realism" because it looks the way we see the physical world.  However, many people appreciate other artistic styles such as Cubism because they do not look like the way we see the physical world.  Computers not only do what our brains do, but they do it faster.  They also do what we couldn't even think of doing, and in that way they help change the way we think about the world.  Having changed the way we think by expanding our conceptions of what can be, computers then influence our oral story telling and our writing styles.     (4)  To sum up.  Long term memory is important.  Long term memory is not automatic.  It takes conscious effort to maximize the utility of long-term memory.  And several techniques, such as oral story-telling, writing, and computers, can help us better use our long term memory.  ---  10/19/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Long-term memory.  Most of your long term memory does not work on demand.  Most of the things that you are capable of remembering you cannot remember at will, but rather these things will come to you when you least expect it.  If, at any given moment, your momentary "memory on demand" is x amount, then your dynamic "all things ever capable of remembering" is 100x.  (2) Long term memory is important because it provides the raw material with which we make sense of our lives.  We are constantly rewriting our personal histories in light of the new knowledge that we obtain as we grow.  (3) The look of someone who has forgotten most of their long term memories is painful to see.  Luckily, the memories may be "in there somewhere".  Some people say we never forget anything.  ---  10/19/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Me and memory.  (1) My memory: chronological memory, structural memory, and importance memory.  What kind of shape it is in at any moment, at any age, and in long term.  (2) I learn slow and forget fast.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memories of a life in which nothing happened.  What is that like?  ---  6/15/2002

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory as "trace".  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory capability in humans vs. other animals.  Humans have conscious memory in addition to non-conscious memory.  Conscious memory is to know that you are memorizing, recalling or forgetting.  Most other animals have non-conscious memory.  Non-conscious memory is to not know that you are memorizing, recalling and forgetting.  ---  6/2/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory does not always operate "as it should" or as we would like it to.  For example, we often remember (seemingly) insignificant facts and events, and we often fail to remember significant facts and events.  ---  2/6/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory experiment with various media to see how repetition affects the ability to remember information.  (1)(A) You have four sets of media, consisting of numbers, texts, tunes and images.  The four sets of media are the same in terms of length, but different in terms of specific details.  You look at the first set of media once a day for a year.  You look at the second set of media once a week for a year.  You look at the third set of media once a month for a year.  You look at the fourth set of media once a year.  (B) For example, you have four sets of 100 random five-digit numbers (like zip codes).  You have four list of random words, each list 100 words long.  You have four sets of random images, with 100 images in each set.  You have four musical tunes, each tune being 100 random notes long.  (2) (A) You look at the first set of media (number, text, tune and image) once a day, every day.  (B) You look at the second set of media (number, text, tune and image) once a week, every week for a year.  (C) You look at the third set of media (number, text, tune and image) once a month, every month for a year.  (D) You look at the fourth set of media (number, text, tune and image) once a year, on January first.  (3) At the end of year how much will you remember?  (A) With what degree will ability to remember increase given more exposures and degrade given fewer exposures?  (B) Will the ability to remember vary depending on the medium (words, numbers, images, music)?  (C) What if the words, numbers, images and music are not random but rather exhibit some pattern; how would that make it easier to memorize?  ---  9/4/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory helps the organism survive.  Contrast memory in non-conscious animals with memory in conscious animals.  In conscious animals, contrast sub-conscious memory with conscious memory.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory involves memorizing, remembering, and forgetting, and all three go on all the time.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory is a snapshot of the entire mind at any moment.  It includes senses, drives, emotions, thoughts, etc.  (2) And, in a similar way, we imagine about the future with our entire mind (sense, drives, emotion, thought, etc.).  (3) Memory and future thinking do not just involve thinking only.  ---  2/8/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory is about memorizing, remembering and forgetting.  Memorizing with or without conscious intent.  Remembering with or without conscious intent.  Forgetting with or without conscious intent.  ---  6/3/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory is the basis for learning.  Memory is the basis for thinking.  The amazing thing is not that humans can think, but that humans can remember.  Thinking may just be a process of selecting from a group of distorted memories.  That is, if we have memory, and we have distorted memories, and we can remember our distorted memories, then we have to choose or select from amongst our distorted memories, and that makes us think.  Memory is the big trick, thinking is the little trick.     PART TWO. "The past, brought to you by memory."  Memory makes possible the past.  The past then makes possible the present and the future.  Without memory there is no present, there is only raw data.     PART THREE.  How low on the evolutionary ladder do you have to go to find an animal with no memory ability at all.  Pretty low.  An animal needs memory in order to find food and avoid predators?  Unless they have a hard-wired, instinctual algorithm that lets them do so without memory.  ---  4/25/2002

Psychology, memory.  ---  Memory is very important.  Our minds could not work without memory.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Most of the time we memorize experiences and knowledge without consciously trying, and we remember experiences and knowledge without consciously trying.  Only occasionally, in school for example, do we memorize by consciously trying, and do we remember by consciously trying.  ---  11/20/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  One can contrast thinking about the past with thinking about the future.  It seems that thinking about the past (i.e., memory) is easier than thinking about the future.  It seems like hindsight is easier than foresight.  And thus, it seems memory could have evolved in animals much earlier than foresight.  (2) That is, if you define thinking as a form of consciously self-directed mental state, because if you define thinking as a non-conscious non-self-directed mental state then just about anything could be happening in the mind.  (3) Some people have many consciously self-directed mental states, and other people do not have many consciously self-directed mental states.  As a result, some people have many consciously self-directed memories, and other people do not have many consciously self-directed memories.  ---  5/12/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  One view is that everything gets memorized and then everything gets either quickly or slowly forgotten.  Another view is that everything gets memorized and stays memorized.  ---  6/14/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Pathological psychology and memory.  Abnormal psychology.  Optimal, health, sub-optimal, unhealthy.  (1) Psychological problems can reduce memory.  Repression destroys memory.  Depression destroys memory.  (2) Psychological health can increase memory.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  People good with numbers, words, music, images, etc.  Eight types of thinking (Howard Gardener) implies eight types of remembering.  ---  10/30/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  People have memories that they are conscious of, and people also have subconscious memories that they are not conscious of, that roil in their subconscious.  If one's subconscious memories are associated with the emotions of anxiety, depression and anger, that can cause many problems.  ---  6/14/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Pessimists forget the good.  Optimists forget the bad.  Both are dangerous ways to live.  You need to remember the good and the bad.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Problems.  Drawing the wrong conclusions from an event.  Learning the wrong lessons from an event.  ---  2/6/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Pros and cons of memory (see past, present, future thinking).  (1) Pro: those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes.  (2) Contra: people stuck in thinking about the past.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Pros and cons of memory.  (1) Pro: we need historians.  (2) Contra: some people are stuck in past.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Psychotherapy and memory.  What is psychotherapy but new ways of looking at old memories?  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Recall (remembering) and forgetting are reciprocals.  The less you recall the more you forget.  The more you forget the less you recall.  ---  6/2/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Related subjects.  (1) Sociology: collective memory.  (2) Technology: memory techniques.  (3) History: history as memory, and memory as history.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Remembering facts of your life vs. learning the right lessons, drawing the right conclusions.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Sensation and memory.  Sensations last a split second.  After a split second its all memory.  Memory is thus more important than sensation.  ---  6/13/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Sense and memory.  Are humans constantly sensing their environments?  Or, do humans merely remember their environment until there is a change in the environment that triggers new sensing or scanning of the environment?  It certainly seems like it takes less work, less energy, to hold a memory than to constantly re-scan or re-sense the environment every nanosecond.  Also, most of the time, most aspects of our environment are unchanging, and so thus it would seem more likely that humans rely on a memory of their environment.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Sense triggers to help remember: Old places.  Old songs.  Old scents.  Old newspapers and magazines.  Old clothes.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Significance of memories.  (1) Do we say particular events in our lives are intrinsically significant?  (2) Or do we imbue the events of our lives with significance by creating and attaching meanings to them?  I say the latter.  ---  2/6/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Some authors are rememberers, for example, Proust and Kerouac.  Other authors are imagineers who think about the future, for example, sci-fi and fantasy authors.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Some people have a weak memory, and they need to work on their memory.  Some people's memory is too strong, and they remain stuck in the past.  ---  9/25/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Some people have active minds, while other people have inactive minds.  Therefore, some people have active memories, while other people have inactive memories.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  Some thoughts on memory.  (1) A memory can be about anything we sense.  A memory can also be about any mental state, because we have memories of our thoughts and feelings about the things we sense.  We even have memories of memories.  We even have memories of our feelings about our memories.  Its a continual looping mechanism, with new layers added each time, like winding a spool of thread.  (2) Any memory can trigger any other memory.  You can get to anywhere from anywhere.  A web, mesh, net of memories.  Memory is fluid.  (3) Memory plus imagination leads to new mental states.  Memory is not like replaying a musical recording in that memory does not replay exactly the same way each time.  Is there any animal that replays its memories exactly the same way each time?  If not, then all animals have some form of imagination, which simply means altered memories.  (4) When we gain conscious self-directed control over our mental states, including our memories, thoughts, and emotions, then we can create even more new thoughts.  ---  5/12/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  The ability to remember something instantaneously, without trying, at the moment that the information is needed, is a fantastic, often under-appreciated ability.  Its is so fluid and effortless that we often call it "knowledge" or even "consciousness".  (2) Two examples of under-appreciated memory.  A worker who remembers how to do his task at the moment he attempts it is "just doing his job".  Likewise, a person who remembers how to do all the tasks of daily life at the moment he attempts them is "just living".  ---  6/25/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  The most important idea about memory is that people forget what is most important (if they ever figured out in the first place).  ---  8/15/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory: learning, deciding, planning, problem solving.  Memory and learning.  There is no learning without memory.  Memory and studying: studying is memorizing.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) Attempts to reduce memory to thought: When you remember you are just thinking about a past event.  (2) Attempts to reduce thought to memory: When you think, 99% of the time you are simply remembering.  (3) I think the latter is more accurate.  ---  3/1/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) In general, the tendency is to try to reduce thought to memory because memory seems a more simple process than thought.  (2) However, one argument for reducing memory to thought is this: Humans never remember a thing the same way twice.  This phenomenon is analogous to the Zen koan that one never steps into the same river twice because the water you step into the first time continues toward the ocean.  And since we never remember a thing the same way twice, that means that each time we remember a thing we have created a new mental construct, and that new mental construct can be called a thought.  Each occurence of memory is a new thought.  Now all one has to do is to get the scientific community to accept this argument based on an analogy to a Zen koan.  ---  6/2/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) Memorizing without understanding vs. understanding without memorizing.  If, and when to do either.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) Memory can be defined as thinking with images and sounds (audio/video) rather than thinking with text or numbers.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) Memory is equivalent to thinking (about the past).  Memory is a type of thinking.  (2) Forecasting and planning is equivalent to thinking (about the future).  Forecasting and planning are types of thinking.  ---  10/26/1999

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) Memory is just "thinking about the past".  Reduction of memory to thought.  (2) Goal planning is just "thinking about the future".  Reduction of drives/goals to thinking.  (3) It seems funny that we do not have a special word for the notion of "thinking about the present".  We just call it thinking.  ---  2/8/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) We know our memories.  I.e., We know what we remember.  (2) We remember what we know.  All our knowledge is remembered.  (3) So what is the difference between knowledge and memory?  There is no difference between knowledge and memory.  Knowledge (thinking?) and memory are the same.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) What is the relationship of memory and thought?  (2) What is the relationship of memory (past thinking) and goals (future thinking)?  ---  2/8/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  (1) You are either remembering or learning and creating.  (2) Everything we can think of is either a memory or a just formed new idea.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  Anything you think about you have to remember first.  You have to first load the data from memory and then you manipulate the data.  Thus, all thinking starts with memory.  ---  2/8/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  Deciding what you will learn and understand vs. memorize.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  How organized is your memory means how organized is your knowledge?  (1) Logical knowledge.  (2) Chronological memory.  (3) Priorities memories (goals memories, i.e. memories of future wants).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  In order to remember something, you have to know about it in the first place.  Which means you either have to figure it out or find out about it.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  Memory helps us figure stuff out.  We revisit an issue or topic over and over until a solution comes to us.  In this way memory and thinking work together.  ---  9/25/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  Memory is as important as IQ.  Genius has creative aspects vs. the memory aspects.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  Regarding thinking with images.  That is, audio/video thinking, like a movie in your mind.  The two ways of thinking with images are to remember or to imagine.  Memory can thus be considered a form of imagistic thinking.  ---  3/30/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  The opposite of memory or "thinking about the past" can be either "thinking about the present" or "thinking about the future".  ---  2/8/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  There are many types of thinking.  For example:  Future vs. past.  Abstract vs. concrete.  Imagined vs. real.  First hand vs. second hand.  Memory is real, concrete, first hand, past thinking.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  We remember past events and experiences.  However, we retrieve or recall facts (knowledge).  We say we "know" a fact, but don't we merely remember it?  Experience vs. booklearning, we can infer lessons from either.  ---  3/29/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  Thinking and memory.  What explains genius?  Its not that geniuses think about a subject constantly (thinking here defined as mental creativity).  Its that geniuses remember in a specific mode constantly.  Geniuses remember in numbers, or words, or images, or music constantly.  Genius is about a mode of memory.  Some people are more inclined than others to remember a certain way.  For example, there are people who remember mostly numbers but not words, and there are people who remember mostly images but not sounds.  ---  11/25/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Those who forget about their needs.  Forget to eat.  Forget to sleep.  Forget to find a lover.  ---  12/15/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  Three hypotheses about memory.  (1) We never forget anything.  (2) Whenever we think of something, we use all our memories of that thing in order to think.  (3) We don't learn from experience.  We learn from our memories of our experiences.  ---  1/16/2003

Psychology, memory.  ---  Time (past, present, future) and memory.  Memory = past thinking.  Planning = future thinking.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  To improve the brain one must improve the memory.  ---  5/15/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  To keep remembering something is to obsess on it?  Memory and its relationship to pathological obsession.  ---  10/30/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  To some degree we consciously decide what is worth remembering and forgetting.  On the other hand, to some degree we unconsciously determine what is worth remembering and forgetting.  ---  6/2/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  To what degree are memories arbitrary mental sparks caused by bio-chemical-electrical brain events like neurotransmitters, bio-electrical currents, etc.?  ---  2/6/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Triggers, cues and random memories.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  Two important memory skills.  (1) Immediate memory: To be able to remember something when it is needed.  (2) Constant memory: Background memory of who am I, where am I, and what am I doing.  This type of memory is the basis for consciousness, personality and self.  ---  7/20/2001

Psychology, memory.  ---  Two natural limitations on memory.  (1) We can't be remembering all the time.  If we were remembering all the time it would prevent us from processing ideas about the present and future.  (2) We can't remember everything at once.  It would be impossible to remember everything at once.  (3) How does the brain manage memory?  Firstly, how does the brain switch back and forth between remembering the past and thinking about the present and future?  Secondly, how does the brain determine what order we remember things?  Is there a memory prioritization module that determines which memories will come to mind, or, alternatively, is memory primarily a free association?  Do memories move from the unconscious to the conscious?  ---  5/15/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Two theories about memory.  (1) We never forget anything.  Everything we have ever experienced we have access to.  (2) You can remember something one day and yet not remember it the next day.  People forget things.  (3) Which of these theories is correct?  What explains the phenomena of forgetting something and then remembering it years later?  ---  5/15/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Two types of memory.  (1) Raw memory is like the uninterpreted numerical data of a science experiment.  (2) Processed memory is like the interpreted numerical data after an experiment is analyzed.  (3) We interpret everything.  ---  6/15/2002

Psychology, memory.  ---  Types of memory.  (1) Intentional recall.  Remembering through conscious effort.  (2) Unintentional recall.  Remembering without even trying.  ---  12/15/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  Types of memory.  (1) Memory of the input of the five physical senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell.  Sense memory.  (2) Memory of abstract concepts, especially as represented by individual words.  Word memory.  (3) Memory of the sentences you speak to yourself when you think.  Sentential thought memory.  (4) Memory of the pictures you imagine.  Imagination memory.  ---  5/22/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  We are constantly in the process of making memories.  Are we making good memories or bad memories?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  We need to remember different things at different times in our lives.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  What good is memory?  Memory helps provide cohesion for the personality.  Memory helps provide a structure or framework for the ego.  Memory helps provide an identity.  Without memory the person can spin apart into a nervous breakdown.  That is why it is important to record your history in addition to just doing your Notes.  Do them both.  ---  9/25/2000

Psychology, memory.  ---  What if one entered a state of non-stop cascading memories?  Does not part of our mind order our memories, classify our memories, and interpret our memories?  Thought, emotion, and memory are inextricably linked and go on at all times.  ---  3/22/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  What is memory?  Why improve memory?  How improve memory?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  What is the mechanism of memory?  That is, what is the mechanism of memorizing, remembering and forgetting?  (1) Memorizing.  The more one repeats or reminds the more one memorizes or commits to memory.  (2) Remembering or recall.  The further back in time the event the less we recall an event.  The more ordinary the event the less we recall the event.  (3) Forgetting.  The further back in time the event the more we forget the event.  Forgetting is not on/off, rather it dims gradually.  ---  6/2/2004

Psychology, memory.  ---  What kind of scientific experiments could one design to investigate memory?  (1) A simple experiment would be to see how much people can remember.  Test a bunch of people and see what the average is.  Test word memory, number memory, musical memory, geographic memory, and individual temporal historical memory.  (2) Measure the memory ability of animals.  Some animals, for some tasks, have better memory than humans.  ---  5/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  What to remember about X, should be "the most important ideas about X".  ---  1/25/1998

Psychology, memory.  ---  What.  Memory is a human capacity that is the basis of all knowledge.  Memory is very important.  Two points (present and past) are needed to form a line (to plot the future).  ---  04/12/1989

Psychology, memory.  ---  Why does Audrey remember only good (pleasure)?  She is an optimist.  Why do I remember only bad (pain)?  I am a pessimist.  ---  09/20/1993

Psychology, memory.  ---  Without memory we would be stuck in the present, like animals.  How well do animals remember?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, memory.  ---  You can think of memories as making copies.  Making copies.  Sort of like the Saturday Night Live skit about a photocopy machine clerk.  Sort of like the way you can copy a file on your computer.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, memory.  ---  You don't have a memory of an event, you have a memory of your perception of an event.  You have a memory of you attitudes about your perception of an event.  You can change your attitudes about your perception of an event.  You can improve your attitude about an event, in the direction of health, truth and justice.  Your attitude about an event can change for the worse, so don't let that happen.  ---  4/16/2006

Psychology, memory.  ---  You remember something one day but not the next day; what accounts for this phenomenon?  In the same way that we have thought trains, chains, webs, we also have memory trains, chains, webs.  That is, much like one thought triggers another, one memory triggers another.  Yet we also have seemingly random memories.  The subconscious brims with memories, emotions and thoughts.  ---  11/30/2005

Psychology, memory.  ---  Your total memory is everything you can remember.  ---  12/30/1992

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.