The Problem of Recollection

Nobody asked but …

A few days ago, I posted a blog entry about time, The Problem of Prediction.  Our perceptions are formed in a multi-part domain of past, present, and future.  Further, the past is divided into the part we experienced directly versus the part that was relayed to us from others.  The latter part is composed of genetics or memetics.  Genetic information is passed to each of us from all of our natural ancestors in converging but linear fashion (multiple but separate lines).  Memetic information is all other inputs, both sensory and persuasive.  You do not have to recall genetic code because you have it at conception.

But all influences on you, after conception, are memetic.  Whether or not you remember their fact situations or not.  The first problem with recollection is that no human being can know everything.  It is impossible since there are no organized repositories for such knowledge.  The natural sources for knowledge of the past are sensations, perceptions, cognitions, and recountings — and these are nowhere fully known.  Sensations are poor channels because no two people are likely to have the same sets of 5 senses, in the same degree.  Perceptions are faulty because where, when, and how do perceptions arise?  Cognitions are formulations from compositions of facts, such as books, and none of us is exposed to exactly the same mixtures of fact and fantasy, time and space.  Recountings, from others, are variable and secondhand (and beyond) versions of the above inputs.

And the efficiency with which each individual learns and remembers the lessons of the past, even though of life-and-death consequence, is oxymoronic.

— Kilgore Forelle


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