Mnemotechnics

4 Apr

The topic for this week’s blog is mnemotechnics and quite suitably the word that needs to be included is ‘experience’. I was fascinated with the amount of thinking that surrounds the subject of memory. Although at first I was confused in terms of perception and the ‘present being the past’ or the ‘present is anticipating the future’, I feel I have been able to wrap my head around it thanks to the allocated readings.

I’m not certain if this is absolutely correct but in terms of this type of thinking; what I’m doing at any given moment in time is in fact making sense of what had just happened. What I think is the present is actually what Andrew referred to as ‘the very recent past’. Although this type of thinking about the present leaves me feeling tangled and confused I agree with it somewhat. To further complicate things, while I’m living this whole ‘past/present’ type of experience, I’m simultaneously anticipating what’s about to happen. So while I’m writing this sentence, I’m making sense of what I’ve written (not even seconds prior) while also, almost simultaneously, proceeding towards its completion. My present is actually spent (very rapidly) reflecting and anticipating. Does my present really exist? Hmmm.

I also found the notion of what Steigler called ‘tertiary memory’ extremely interesting. What was fascinating was the idea that technical supports can trigger ‘natural memories’, that the nervous system and the physical environment, the world, work together and prompt neurological processes. I was reminded of an odd experience I had with a particular type of cologne I once owned. I had taken the cologne on an overseas trip to Germany when I was in high school and wore it daily while over there. I had returned home and forgotten about the bottle that was lying at the bottom of my suitcase. Several years later when preparing for another overseas trip, I found the cologne bottle and thought little of it. This was only until I used it later that day and had experienced an unusual sensation of being back in Germany. This was quite an amazing experience, and it was all due to the work of the subconscious. I suppose it’s similar to someone feeling ill after tasting or even smelling an alcoholic beverage that has made them sick in the past (unfortunately I will never enjoy Jagermeister again).

References

Murphie A (2013) ‘Some Notes on Memory, Media, Time and Perception’ in Advanced Media Issues Course Outline, University of New South Wales; http://www.andrewmurphie.org/3091/course-outline-and-readings/#memory

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