Tuesday, 17 June 2014

potentiation or college-try

Human memory and learning, as opposed to artificial means of storage and retrieval, are usually dependent—only brought to mind—on association. Though single and isolated impressions can seem, especially under sharp focus and scrutiny and when one wonders how one got there, to be thinking about that subject over another (the same with a fleeting phrase that seemed forgotten only to be recalled later and one wonders where it was hiding when first beckoned), to be quite independent entities, self-sufficient, and not part of a long chain of events (and equally as non sequitur, defying belonging or following), there is a whole entourage of attendant thoughts and recollections.

Though no measure of the content of one’s mind or character, drills in recall and rote (something quantitative) are effective ways to study how these connections weave, unravel and hang together. Cues are not exclusively semantic (mental symbols and what they denote) and drawn from experience itself, but also based on the state one was in during the cementing of the memory. I have noticed that I don’t remember my dreams very well—except when I am buoyed between sleep and waking, just emerged from another dream. It seems in those moments, the whole Parnassus returns—though not to linger for long. Research shows—and of course there is more than one way to conduct this sort of thought experiment, that those cramming for exam perform better on the actual test, if proctoring can be held in the same physical and chemical state, be that groggy, drowsy or over-stimulated with caffeine. Alcohol and designer psychotropic drugs take advantage of this phenomenon, as well. I am myself trying to study with a furor right now, and I wonder what it means that one can imagine one’s memories as a filing-cabinet, as something episodic rather than relational. I suspect that it is always richer (infinitely so, and that is where imagination, which is not just a addictive response either, and consciousness comes from, since infinite is always infinitely bigger than the speed records of brute force) to be able to triangulate into and out of context and would forego precision, always (or settling for one uniformly hazy ambiance) in order to be properly schooled.