[ExI] ok geezer, was: RE: Meta question again

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Aug 27 15:11:11 UTC 2016



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2016 7:09 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] ok geezer, was: RE: Meta question again


 I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility for the
cloud service to respond with "you've told me this story before" or "the
last time you told me that anecdote, this detail was different".


>…I may have some possible solutions to the problem of listening to a story for the 10th time in an hour.  But I have never been around a person with serious cognitive decline.


>…So, let me ask?  Are they distractible?  That is, are they easily led into a different line of thought or conversation?   bill w 



Well sure, but that might go exactly in the wrong direction.  We might instead want to help the story-teller exercise the mind by telling his story his way.  Whenever we recall something, the brain rewrites the event, preferably similarly to how it was to start with, but we all know that memories drift.  


Memory drift can be a good thing, for my memories of my own youth have gotten more pleasant over the years by natural selection: we remember and reinforce the good times, and gradually forget the bad times by not thinking on them.  A notion evolves that we were happier than we really were.  I know for a fact that I was way happier after I met my bride at age 20 than I was ever before that time: I was lonely before.  For the last 35 years, I was not.  I had fun before, but more fun since then.  Memories are distorted over time, which is good in this case: I don’t want to remember loneliness.  I want to remember happiness.


Note the stories Alzheimer’s patients tell: a lot of it is happy family years when their spouse was living.  So… we WRITE SOFTWARE to help them recall and retell those stories, and retell and retell and retell until any human would run out screaming but the software will get better and better at finding ways to get to those happy stories from their still-fun 70s.  


If we do this right, a memory care unit (PAY ATTENTION TO THIS POINT! (my apologies for raising my case)) will not feel like a prison, but rather a little more like a pleasant family reunion except that no one is quarrelling or watching rasslin on the tube or drinking beer.


BillW, you are our resident psychologist so you might be our MVP in gaining insights on how to get AD patients to recite pleasant family stories.  Now you say you have never been around anyone in serious cognitive decline?  Post me your address offline and I will post you directions to the nearest opportunity to collect data and firsthand insights sir.



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