Friday, October 5, 2007

Forget This

How would you define memory? My favorite dictionary in this ethereal medium,, says "Memory is the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences." In human speak, that translates to "being able to remember stuff." I guess I can safely say that this definition, if I may call this that, refers to humans. Now, I very vaguely remember having heard, somewhere in my very distant past, something on the lines of metals remembering their shapes! Yes, I know, it sounds a little 'Terminator-2'ish but the ethereal medium does have an answer to this too. A quick google (verb) then threw up a name for such metals. They are called Shape Memory Alloys or SMA (Duh! Really!) and seem to 'remember' their original shape even after they have been bent out of it. So what 'Memory' are we talking of here? Does this have the same definition as the one I gave above?

If anyone is actually pondering that highly philosophical/intellectual question, please don't. My idea behind all that talk about memory was to just say that I think this memory thing is way overrated! To save you from scratching your heads wondering how and why I am saying this based on the above, let me clarify. This is not based on what I said above. That was just to introduce 'Memory'. The basis for my 'memory is overrated' thought is what is below.

We have a memory that helps in remembering facts, events, experiences and such. So what? The presence of these so called SMAs is proof that leave alone being a unique human trait, it is not even a unique living-being trait. Having memory is like saying I exist. How unique can that be?! Ok, let's leave the fact that it is just another common property for stuff on earth. It's not like our memory is something that leaves a good taste in the mouth either. Yes I remember the good days, the old days and the good old days. At the same time, as if to temper my happy feeling, I also remember facts that I wish weren't, events that I wish hadn't happened and experiences I could have lived without. This is the main reason I think memory is overrated. It's not unique to us and it's just a thought retrieval agent that blindly brings back everything, good or bad.

Instead there is something else that, according to me, deserves far more recognition than it currently gets. It is called 'Forgetfulness'. I wouldn't go so far as to call it the greatest gift man-kind has been given but it definitely is up there with the other contenders like jalapeno peppers, bubble wrap, chocolate chip cookies and certain other things. Without being blessed with this divine gift, imagine the amount of stuff you would be carrying around in your head. We would have started using the other major organs like the liver, pancreas and the colon to store our thoughts. Given what those organs are intended for, I can only imagine the contamination our thoughts will have to go through, literally. And that one reason is enough reason for us to be thankful for being forgetful.

So here is me, doffing my hat to this wonderful ability of ours. And.....................................................................................ok, so I forgot what comes next, but rest assured it wasn't anything important.

No comments: