Forgetfulness in the information age has its usefulnessAlmost everyone, I know, claims to forget. They say that it isn’t only us old folk.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Almost everyone, I know, claims to forget. They say that it isn’t only us old folk.
I thank them, especially the younger ones, for trying to make me feel less lousy for having forgotten something as important as their name; however, that doesn’t eliminate my conscience rebuke.
I know there are beaucoup techniques to improve memory and have tried some. Maybe, I didn’t try hard enough or long enough, but they didn’t make substantial improvement possible for me.
There are some experiences in life almost everyone they would like to forget. Those seem to be imprinted on our very souls and come back repetitively — again and again — haunting us. Those usually include the loss of loved ones or a miserable mistake we made or something wrong we said or did. Maybe it was something said in a humor attempt at the wrong place, at the wrong time, to the wrong individual, taken the wrong way.
Those would be nice to forget forever and ever!
Why not forgive and forget for your own benefit; it works for everyone else. I hope you have not yet reached the age, or mental health impairment, where forgetting seems to overtake a good many of us.
On the other hand, I hope you, luckily, live a long life. If you do, chances are you will at some time face this frustrating and embarrassing predicament.
I won’t go through the phases of this memory field, sensory, short-term and long-term or the oddities in the field such ashyperthymesia where the individual recalls every detail that occurred on a specific past date in their lives.
Speaking, humorously, of my forgetting problem recently with a member friend at the Y, we concluded there might be value in forgetting.
The more I thought about that and potential for a forgetting grading scale, I could be working up to an A grade. Google helped me with the following:
There is another side to this forgetting issue. Joshua Fohr made the point in the early ’20s when he said: “It is a Sisyphean task to try and stay on top of the ever growing mountain of words loosed on the world each day.”
Forgetting has always been important with the most personal negative data in our minds; now with the inundation of data from the use of the data manipulating electronic equipment available today, it is becoming imperative.
Victor Mayor Schonberger, professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, says we used to have a system where we forgot things easily and had to invest extra effort in remembering. Now we’re switching to a system in which we remember too much and have to invest energy in ways to forget. He argues the “data ecology,” a combination of law and software would apply and expiration date to certain surveillance-camera services, which would be operated under a legal obligation to wipe out data after a certain span of time.
Wouldn’t that have been great with the information necessary to make nuclear weapons?
So maybe it isn’t all bad that my memory has deteriorated. Maybe I’m really just ahead of my time — wishful thinking or pleasant dream?
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.