As we progress in science, the time is going to come when we can transfer memories from one person to another. They exist in some material form (as proteins I believe), and thus should be measurable, copyable, etc.
One interesting thing however that was captured both in an excellent Radiolab show, and in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, is the destructive power of recalling a memory.
It’s interesting. As McCarthy states, “…each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins.” According to Radiolab, McCarthy is right on the money. In their show, they explain that as we think about a memory, really we are constructing it from fragments of that memory, recreating how we imagine it was. Unfortunately though, the next time that we recall that memory, we lose some accuracy because we can’t quite keep track of which parts we constructed the last time, and which parts were there from the beginning.
This is why people who dwell on a memory, or are repeatedly asked to recall the same thing, will quickly forget what was fact, and what they constructed. It’s not that they are making things up, per se, it’s just that what they believe, and what they constructed have merged.
So, what’s the best way to remember your first kiss, or your the face of a loved one lost? Don’t think about it - unless, of course, you’re sure you want to.
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