[ExI] Superior Autobiographical Memory

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Jun 26 20:12:09 UTC 2011



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Max More
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 11:49 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] Superior Autobiographical Memory


>. My autobiographical memory seems to be particulary weak. I've learned to
compensate by keeping written notes of events, because I know that I'm
likely to forget them otherwise -- unless they are extremely vivid. For
instance, Spike and others were recently talking about some eminent people
who attended an Extro conference, yet I have NO memory of that. I consider
this a major disability and it makes me sad.  Max


Max, before you go too far with that thought, do consider that these
detailed memories are not universal, but only apply to certain specific
event in one's life in which there was a particularly profound emotional or
intellectual impact.  For instance, consider your wedding day and the level
of detail you remember of that day.  OK, what were you doing exactly four
weeks later?  You don't know, ja?  Neither do I.  Guys, ask your wives the
same thought experiment.  Or if you are not married, think of the level of
detail you remember about the morning of 28 January 1986.  For you younger
guys, 11 September 2001.  What happened on 11 October 2001?  You don't know?
Neither do I.


There are certain events in my own life that completely blew my mind, like a
ten year old baseball fan being invited to sit in the Yankee's dugout during
the world series.  I don't care a damn about Hollyweird stars, political
leaders or professional athletes: my heroes are all philosophers, inventors,
mathematicians, physicists, scientists, thinkers and writers.  There were so
many of them there all at the same time, people whose books and writings I
had read but never thought in my wildest imagination I would ever get to


You, being one of those people, get to hang out with those types often.
University campus environment, philosophy department, interesting cool
people likely swing by every other day, come knocking on your office door.
How cool is that?  {8^D  So for you, the Extrocons wouldn't be so different
from the usual four weeks after your wedding day.


At the Extrocons, I get to meet those whose comments I read every day,
largely including the dozen or so regulars here whose commentary has so
enriched my life.


Several of the bright stars seemed to have dropped by the ExtroCons for a
short while, then gone on.  I am surprised you don't recall talking to
Stephen Wolfram.  That was a mind-blower for me.  At that time I was just
getting into Mathematica, and was more impressed with it all the time.  Just
before you and he spoke, someone had commented to him about Mathematica's
clumsy user interface, which was understandably an annoying comment (true,
but annoying just the same.)  Then you and he spoke for several minutes in
which you were trying to explain transhumanism.  I would describe that
exchange as "strained," for his disposition was "impatient."  I wanted to
tell him afterwards I thought Mathematica was wicked cool, but he split the
scene before I had a chance.  {8-[  Dayum.


Ed Regis was there, nice guy, wouldn't stand out in a crowd, smart.  Sasha
Chislenko, Damien, Amara Graps, Greg Burch, Anders, Eliezer, the rest of the
usual suspects known for posting smart interesting stuff.


At one of the extrocons, I was carrying a collection of studies compiled by
a Lockheed team about solar sails.  K. Eric Drexler saw me with it, came up
and started a conversation.  THE K. Eric, came up and started talking to
microscopic me(!) as if I am HIS equal!  All these smart guys treating me as
if I was one of them, whoooooo!  I was so in awe of myself!  In that crowd I
kept worrying that the IQ police would spot me (YOU!  OUT!)  Oddly enough, I
never got that feeling at any of the MENSA meetings I attended.  I don't
even remember them that well.  They had none of the wicked coolness or sheer
awesomeness of the ExtroCons.  Of course I would remember every detail of
those occasions, like a kid in the Yankees dugout.  Then that all-day
blowout party we had at my house right after Extro5, oh my.  That was my
life's high tide, pal.  I couldn't tell you one thing about what happened
four weeks later, or anything else that happened around that time.


Max if your life is so interesting that the extrocons do not etch indelible
images in your mind's retinas, you are indeed a man to be envied.  {8^D


See that, you guys are the Yankees.  So, do hit homers by posting smart
interesting stuff.





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