A search of apoplectic.me for the word “memory” comes up with 50 hits – almost a quarter of the posts on the blog. Hardly surprising, when one thinks that in the weeks following The Event, I couldn’t remember my age, where I was, who the person in the chair next to my hospital bed was, or whether or not I was the Vice President of the United States.
Eventually, memories come back. Even now, Beth notices that my memories of thirty or more years ago seem to be more readily accessible than those from this week. Maybe you find the same thing.
For example, you probably remember being lost in a large store or a mall as a child. I recently discovered that over 80% of people in Britain share this memory. For me, the store was John Menzies on Princes Street. Menzies’ had a great toy department, and I was lost in contemplation – probably of some Batman-related item – as my mother tried to hurry me along.
Then, something like this little vignette involving Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes ensued.
What was your experience like? Were you lost in a toy department like me? A supermarket, like Joe Strummer and The Clash? Or at a zoo, like Calvin, and presumably his creator, Bill Watterson?
And like my daughter.
When she was little, my daughter and I were on a trip to the zoo with a bunch of other parents and kids. I turned around to talk to another parent for, like ten seconds, and when I turned back again in a dark aquarium, she had disappeared.
Maybe your experience was more like hers – with no idea that you were even lost until a parent materialised at your shoulder chiding you for “wandering off”.
Whatever the exact form of your experience – drop me a line in the comments and let me know the details that made yours specific – it’ll make next week’s post more fun.
Last week, I wrote to readers of the Apoplexy Tiny Letter that Mrs Stroke Bloke and I had recently been to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut.
In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – the novel that loosely inspired Blade Runner – manufacturers of androids implant them with human memories to make them pass more convincingly as humans.
Me at Blade Runner: The Final Cut today – “I didn’t care for it.”
But “…Electric Sheep” going pretty awesomely. pic.twitter.com/uSQaC99sAd
— Ricky Brown (@ricky_ballboy) May 7, 2016
Pass more convincingly, that is, both to humans and to themselves. In Philip K. Dick’s world, if an android believes it is a human, it will act more like a human, and as a side effect is more likely to pass the tests to which it may be subjected by bounty hunters assigned to “retire” replicants who make it to Earth from Mars.
‘Does she know?’ Sometimes they didn’t; false memories had been tried various times, generally in the mistaken idea that through them reactions to testing would be altered.
Eldon Rosen said, ‘No. We programmed her completely. But I think towards the end she suspected.’
But that’s science fiction, of course…
Next week – Back in The Real World