Posted by: lisetta | September 4, 2008

Invisibility

Uh oh. Learned once again that when you don’t share context with someone, the likelihood of hurt feelings increases exponentially. Mi dispiace! I wonder if I could commission the xkcd guy to draw me a cartoon. I can connect with something in most of the guy’s work (except when it’s all math stuff, which I still want to learn more about). Tonight, his dark “House of Pancakes” has a line that resonates with today’s communications (and only loosely connects with food):

My life is feeding, fleeing, fighting and forgetting. 

Anyone out there have any tips on how to forget?  I’d like to forget much of this past week, and start it all over again, erasing my mistakes. Instead, I’ll move along in the way that I approach cooking, or as I used to tell my ESL students: understand your mistakes, recognize them as an integral part of the learning process, and know that you’ll get better with time and attention. Why is applying this same principle to emotional well-being so much more difficult?

And another thing: why do we relive memories so vividly, even if we don’t want to? (And I’m talking about the GOOD memories here.) Fascinating article in the NYT today explains some of the biology behind just why, for the brain, remembering is a lot like doing. While the research doesn’t speak to the specific biological mechanisms working in long term memory, I bet researchers will have no trouble finding volunteers willing to help them test hypotheses on how the brain relives long term memories. I’d sign up in a second, asking, “Why does my brain keep recalling that first kiss? or that perfect pizza?” 🙂 If we understood the underlying biology, could we empower it towards our desired outcomes? or would we need to develop social organizations like “Intellectuals Anonymous” to help people get the hell out of their brains and back into the real world?

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