Perfect a high price

Premise: A new process allows you to have a perfect memory…but only for a period of forty years. You remember everything for the last forty years, but all names, faces, books, movies and music is wiped from before then to make room. Every day you live is remembered perfectly, but for every day remembered a day is forgotten from the back end. BTW, your life is extended so that will live to at least 100, barring accidents or mayhem.

Would you undergo this process?

It might be OK, but I don’t want to remember what happen to me under anesthesia?

If I can recall the events of a period of the past in perfect clarity and comprehensive completeness, how do I tell that apart from experiencing the here and now? Wouldn’t I wind up literally lost in recollection until I waste away and die of self-neglect?

Answer: I don’t know. Maybe.

I would not want perfect memory under any circumstances.

This sounds familiar.

There are reasons why some things are best forgotten.

Absolutely not.

Mmm. Maybe? If it’s automatic and purely time-based, it comes with the problem of losing important memories. At my age it’d be about a decade before I start losing too much that matters, but within another decade after that, I’d have forgotten my grandparents entirely.

If I could flag specific days as ‘do not delete’ and they get skipped over, then yeah, no question. But without being able to do that? Hmm. I suppose one could prepare for it. You know you’re going to forget something that happened almost 40 years ago, you think about it, you look at pictures and you focus on how you feel and such, so that when you forget the original event, you still remember sitting there and thinking about it. Which, really, is kind of how I feel like I remember stuff now.

The other side of it is, I’ve never experienced any truly traumatic experiences that I know of, but it’d be really troublesome if I ever do. I could try not to think about those days, but occasionally they’d hit me just as hard as they originally did. I’m sure my answer would be ‘hell no’ if I had experienced anything traumatic relatively recently. I wouldn’t want to be stuck with those memories occasionally flooding back at full fidelity and with total recollection for the next 40 years.

Not this mmm.


My memory is already perfectly fine. Maybe too good even. So no thank you.

I remember just enough as it is. In fact some things are best forgotten. And I like my old memories. So this would be a lose-lose. No thanks.

I would not. The premise is fine if you’re 40 or younger, but the older you get beyond 40, the more of your childhood you forget. When you’re old, the memories you cherish most are those of your younger years.

My MIL has this. But it does not reset.

My FIL, my Wife and I where talking about… something :thinking: :slightly_smiling_face: It involved food. Something that happened a long time ago.

MIL yelled down from upstairs that it was “Liver and Onions, and it was on a Tuesday”. Apparently she has amazing hearing too.

My feeling exactly.

Thinking about this question during a sleepless episode last night, I started thinking about a course I took just 65 years ago that turned me into a mathematician. I could still you the texts we used (which I still own), the topics covered, a pretty good description of the syllabus. I don’t ever want to give up that memory.