Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Only Refractions

Presented without much comment except the reference to the metaphorical name of this blog as explained above, a recent article describing the malleable nature of memory, two previous posts covering related territory, and a recent article describing the malleable nature of perspective:

Repeated remembering 'wipes similar memories'

Recalling a particular memory can cause us to forget another, similar memory - and neuroscientists have now watched this process happen using brain scans.

 . . . "People are used to thinking of forgetting as something passive," said lead author Dr Maria Wimber from the University of Birmingham.

"Our research reveals that people are more engaged than they realise in shaping what they remember of their lives." . . .

"The brain seems to think that the things we use frequently are the things that are really valuable to us. So it's trying to keep things clear - to make sure that we can access those important things really easily, and push out of the way those things that are competing or interfering."

The idea that frequently recalling something can cause us to forget closely related memories is not new; Dr Wimber explained that it had "been around since the 1990s".

But never before had scientists managed to confirm that this was the result of an active suppression of the interfering memory, rather than just a passive deterioration. . . .
I Resolve to . . . Revise My Memories?

Which word is most accurate: attitude, framing, perspective, agency, delusion, dishonesty, self-deception, fantasy, empower, acceptance, or something else?  I think my choice is: fascinating.

Editing Your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings

 . . . Wilson has been studying how small changes in a person's own stories and memories can help with emotional health. He calls the process "story editing." And he says that small tweaks in the interpretation of life events can reap huge benefits.

This process is essentially what happens during months, or years, of therapy. But Wilson has discovered ways you can change your story in only about 45 minutes. . . . 

These exercises have been shown to help relieve mental anguish, improve health and increase attendance at work. . . . 
Memory, Like All Information, Needs Filters

 . . . Perhaps, as Borges concludes in his story, it is forgetting, not remembering, that is the essence of what makes us human. To make sense of the world, we must filter it. "To think," Borges writes, "is to forget." . . .


Having to think of information as a burden is confusing, as Charles Bennett says. "We pay to have newspapers delivered, not taken away." But the thermodynamics of computation shows that yesterday’s newspaper takes up space that Maxwell’s demon needs for today’s work, and modern experience teaches the same. Forgetting used to be a failing, a waste, a sign of senility. Now it takes effort. It may be as important as remembering. . . .

As ever, it is the choice that informs us (in the original sense of that word). Selecting the genuine takes work; then forgetting takes even more work. This is the curse of omniscience: the answer to any question may arrive at the fingertips--via Google or Wikipedia or IMDb or YouTube or Epicurious or the National DNA Database or any of their natural heirs and successors--and still we wonder what we know.
Speaking a second language may change how you see the world

Cognitive scientists have debated whether your native language shapes how you think since the 1940s. The idea has seen a revival in recent decades, as a growing number of studies suggested that language can prompt speakers to pay attention to certain features of the world. . . .

The results suggest that a second language can play an important unconscious role in framing perception, the authors conclude online this month in Psychological Science. "By having another language, you have an alternative vision of the world," Athanasopoulos says. "You can listen to music from only one speaker, or you can listen in stereo … It’s the same with language."

"This is an important advance," says cognitive scientist Phillip Wolff of Emory University in Atlanta who wasn’t connected to the study. "If you’re a bilingual speaker, you’re able to entertain different perspectives and go back and forth," he says. "That really hasn’t been shown before." . . .


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