Memory’s Remote Control

November 7, 2008

Selective memory erasure, coming to a doctor’s office near you!

Such a treatment option appears inevitable based on accelerating medical research into how to manipulate what we remember.

Imagine the possibilities: even in my fifties, as age slowly blunts the pain of life’s low-lights, I could enjoy not remembering anything about events I choose. Who wouldn’t take advantage of this breakthrough?

But don’t the bad things we experience mold us more than the good? The bad still happened regardless of whether we remember it. And what about self-inflicted mistakes from which spring many of my bad memories? Not remembering them means I’d never learn where I went wrong.

Maybe this new research is an interim step to a more desirable medical advance: dulling the remembered pain of what hurt us and heightening the sensation of life’s pleasurable moments. Or how about another treatment? One enabling us to accurately recall our past, rather than living with the subjectively edited version the brain imposes.

None of those compare to this out-there possibility: remembering what we choose whenever we want and as we actually experienced it. A hyper-intensified, high-definition, surround-sound, total-sensory-recall mode. All accessed via the ultimate remote control and on-screen programming guide for life lived. Channel surfing redefined.

Like a telvision zombie, I’d probably spend most of my time making selective parts of my past the present while ignoring the future potential of dwindling days.