July 16, 2009

Memory loss

The Chinese character for alcohol [jiu], photographed from an Osaka restaurant sign and cleaned up on a computer, with the face and bottle added to make it mine

Was walking in Himeji and managed to lose a small folder of index cards full of notes. I retraced my steps, but no luck, and then the only thing I wanted was for it to be found by someone with no English abilities and / or immediately trashed.

I bought a notebook and tried to remember what I'd written, but there was too much and it was gone. Before writing there were oral traditions, and at other times people worked on complex mnemonic systems and memory palaces, but I've always been too lazy to try any of these methods, and, like nearly all skills, have worked on the assumption that just knowing how something is done is good enough. I have plenty of theories, but little practical experience, which explains a lot about who I am and how I came to be.

I bought a notebook and began writing again. Pen and paper are an extension of my brain, as much an augmentation as a memory chip, regardless of how little visible progress is actually made.

Related: To the brain, tools are temporary body parts [Discover]

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