Tip of My Tongue: Find that word you've been thinking about all day but just can't seem to remember.
Mark Richardson muses about memory, personal history and YouTube. Specifically, he uncovered a storied 1970 Steel Mill gig (with Bruce Springsteen on guitar, audio only) that his wife's uncle MC'ed. And then the 15-year old Boss' garage band, The Castiles. And verified dim memories of seeing Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger and Steven Spielberg discuss radios in your teeth on TV, and John Cale on a TV game show. And an old Highland Appliances TV ad. That kind of thing.
AJ has come forward. Last year ericb told us about Hyperthymesia, a condition where the affected individual has a superior autobiographical memory. AJ is Jill Price, author of The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science—A Memoir.
Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory : spotless minds might be closer than we think.
Fatal Distraction. The lead story in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine. "Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?". By Gene Weingarten. [more inside]
Computer data storage through the ages. From the punch card to the cassette drive to the Jaz, and much more.
Ecstasy's long-term effects revealed. "Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe." [Via]
The Agrippa Files presents a fairly expansive overview of the original and very rare 1992 art book Agrippa (a book of the dead), a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and award-winning journalist Kevin Begos, Jr. that presciently explored the ephemeral nature of and decay of memories and information. [more inside]
The recent passing of Studs Terkel sparked a renewed interest in his interview projects, like Working, Race, and Hard Times. But Studs was not just a broadcaster who liked people; he was a practitioner of oral history, a method of gathering information about the past through preserving individual recollections. It's a subfield of history, with its own ethics, techniques, professional literature, uses, and limitations. Learn how to collect and share oral histories yourself, from interviewing to recording and getting clearances to preserving and disseminating. Oral histories have been preserved as text transcripts for decades; now digital media isreinvigorating the form, bringing new ease to recording and wider opportunities for the public to see and hear the content. Explore oral history projects on the web with stories of veterans, suffragists, Tibetans, jazz cats, Nevada nuclear test site witnesses, Basque Americans, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, musicians, Katrina survivors, ACT UP activists, Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge, Native Americans, women whose lives were affected by the Pill, survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire,women in World War II, Hawai'ians, workers in Paterson, NJ....
Henry G. Molaison, known to psychology and neurology students worldwide as "H.M.", dies. Previously.
Dr. Joe Z. Tsien has previously created a strain of mice unable to form memories, one with much improved memory - "Doogie" mice - and can now erase single mouse memories. "Our work reveals a molecular mechanism of how that can be done quickly and without doing damage to brain cells." Remembering to forget....
So, you watched the movie Tron, and now you want to run your computerized guy off of the game grid and into the rest of the computer system? That's exactly what Daniel Wellman did on his Apple IIgs.
Memory remembered. Does writing seek out words the better to stir and un-numb us to life—or does writing provide surrogate pleasures the better to numb us to experience? [more inside]
levelHead is a spacial memory game by artist Julian Oliver, using a hand-held solid-plastic cube as its only interface. On-screen each face of the cube contains a little room, each of which are logically connected by doors through which you guide your character. Take a look at a demonstration or build your own levelHead setup.
Humorist and candidate for the US Senate for Minnesota Al Franken draws a map of the United States from memory.
You know the feeling that something is on the tip of your tongue? It offers deep insights into the nature of the mind. [Via The Frontal Cortex]
Exercising your brain makes you smarter, and there is no better gym for it than the MentatWiki. [more inside]
Modelling Human Memory. Or, really, predicting the point of forgetting.
51-year-old Brad Williams, a radio anchor in La Crosse, Wisconsin, can “recall the most trifling dates and details about his life….[n]ame a date from the last 40 years and, after a few moments, he can typically tell you what he did that day and what was in the news.” Brad has Hyperthymesia, a condition where the affected person has incredible recall of the most trivial events in his/her life. Neuroscientist James McGaugh and others at the University of California, Irvine, are studying Williams for clues as to his remarkable abilities [video]. Williams (aka 'Google Man' | video) vs. The Internet [video]. His brother, Eric, is working on a documentary about Brad – Unforgettable [trailer].
Voice Thread Now the online world can lend support in your family argument about what really happened on your fifth birthday.
Mapping Memory. "Turn the human brain upside down and all around to see how memories are saved (or lost)." National Geographic has a great interactive 3D map of the brain as part of an excellent feature on memory. [more inside]
The Abyss. Oliver Sacks writes about Clive Wearing (recently discussed here). [Via MindHacks.] [more inside]
Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach. "The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies (PDFs) show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths." [Via Firedoglake, more at MindHacks.]
Researchers have found they can use drugs to wipe away single, specific memories while leaving other memories intact. By injecting an amnesia drug at the right time, when a subject was recalling a particular thought, neuro-scientists discovered they could disrupt the way the memory is stored and even make it disappear.
Useful Void: The Art of Forgetting in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing. Like they said in Strange Days, "Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason." What happens when there's a record online of every site you've ever visited, every flippant comment you've ever made, every embarrassing question you've ever asked? Maybe computers, like people, should be designed to forget.
When a Brain Forgets Where Memory Is. Interesting article on dissociative fugue, the poorly understood memory disorder where people seem to forget who they are. [Via MindHacks.]
The Monumental is My Sickness: a newly translated 1979 interview with German sculptor Arno Breker. Extremely revealing about art, memory, Nazism, and the troubling life story of "Hitler's Favourite Sculptor". For context, read this critical review of a recent exhibition of Breker's work. More Arno Breker resources, including many photos: (in French); the museum of Arno Breker (in German); Wikipedia entry. via
"Every man for himself. I was irrationally convinced that if one particle of that sinister cloud managed to touch me I would die."
The Magical Number Seven Psychologist George A. Miller on the human limits for processing and remembering data. It is a little dramatic to watch a person memorize 40 binary digits in a row without error.
Sad -- such a sweet-looking kid, the smile on the face of a future suicide. Sad -- "If she only knew then how things would turn out…" Sad -- "I chose to kill her." Sad -- "You could see her personality break through the coma." Life is dukkha, said the Buddha -- a Pali term that means something like "suffering" or "the incapability of satisfaction." (Or as Mick Jagger put it, "I can't get no...") Here's the tangible evidence.
Lacoste. No, Lacoste. Lacoste. Austrian art collective Monochrom asked 25 people to draw famous corporate marks from memory.
No meisterwerk, but in aggregate, they have a certain kind of poetry.
No meisterwerk, but in aggregate, they have a certain kind of poetry.
$1000 reward to anyone who can produce a published case of “repressed memory” (in fiction or non-fiction) prior to 1800. I figure this is something someone here on MetaFilter could dig up.
Remembrance on the Island: The enduring legacy of the Jewish-Cuban diaspora, and the existence of the 1,500 Jews that still remain in Cuba.
17 Minutes is a performance and video blog project by new media artist Chris Barr. It's about suicide. [MI]
Memory - 36 cards. Turn two over. If the pictures match, both get eliminated. Else turn them back and select another two. Repeat till field is cleared. Post the number of moves you took. [via]
On my 19th birthday in 1917, we were in the trenches at Passchendaele... Haig put a three-day barrage on the Germans, and thought, "Well, there can't be much left of them." I think it was the Yorkshires and Lancashires that went over. I watched them as they came out of their dugouts and the German machine guns just mowed them down. I doubt whether any of them reached the front line. Harry Patch, Private, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Born June 17 1898. Of the millions who fought in WWI, only a handful are still alive today -- and all are now well over 100 years old. With the horror of the trenches about to slip from living memory, Max Arthur has tracked down and interviewed these last survivors of the 'carnage incomparable'.
Hope and Memory, 1801 - 2004. "This is an archive of 163 US interventions, a multi-faceted catalogue of coups, humanitarian incursions, covert actions, proxy armies, freedom fighters/terrorists and multilateral offensives. Out of this legacy, a complex picture emerges." [Via wood s lot.]
Sexuality, politics, and memory in Twentieth-Century Germany. The introductory chapter of Dagmar Herzog's brilliant, deeply researched, and beautifully written book, and an informative review by Thomas Laqueur. (via nextbook)
Why can't I pay attention anymore? Maybe I have ADT or NADD. Did we already discuss this? I can't remember. I need to be more mindful.
"... Giordano Bruno might have been a pantheist. A pantheist believes that God is everywhere, even in that speck of a fly you see there. You can imagine how satisfying that is—being everywhere is like being nowhere. Well, for Hegel it wasn’t God but the State that had to be everywhere; therefore, he was a Fascist.” “But didn’t he live more than a hundred years ago?” “So? Joan of Arc, also a Fascist of the highest order. Fascists have always existed. Since the age of . . . since the age of God. Take God—a Fascist.” Umberto Eco in the New Yorker