“The Entire History of You” or how our memory fails.
Here I analyze some aspects of the creativity of our memory and its parallelism with the way humans arrive at new and creative ideas. From the recent years, we are accumulating evidences related the deceptions of our memory. Whereas we could understand these events as an essential part of our nature, the alarm sounds in some delicate cases such as those where innocents have been prosecuted due to honest testimonies of eyewitness. The society of “The Entire History of You” has noticed and eradicated this capacity of the memory to create its own history. The obvious results are sadness, unhappiness, the lose of the humanity, and impossible relationships.
In order to find reconciliation, we must be aware of how our memory fails and accept its nature as something far away from CPUs, not only concerning the forgotten memories but also in the correlation between our vivid memories and reality.
Understanding how creativity arises is a key aspect to assume the fallibility of the memory. Creativity in the sciences and arts is a philosophical issue under debate. To create new ideas, abductive reasoning is invoked and a joint exercise of data analysis and hypothesis generation occurs. Artists, scientists, and all of us in our daily lives are faced with moments of insight, where we arrange isolated and/or surprising data to produce an idea that explains some unresolved issues. These creative ideas, abductions, have the capacity of changing our vision of a particular event. Furthermore, in extreme cases, these new ideas change the way we understand the world. This is the case of, for example, revolutionary scientific theories. It is important to note that a conscious stage of our mind is essential to arrive at creative ideas: hypothesis and conjectures are continually tested in some way until we find one that fits the observed data that are the building blocks of the new idea. This means that many of the conjectures have been consciously rejected and, importantly, our new and creative idea is only provisional, since the world is continuously changing and new data which contradict our previous winner hypothesis could be recollected in a future time.
In a similar way but unconsciously, our memory produces creative materials capable of adjust the events to our own personality and way of life. However, here, data and facts are usually managed to fit our own reality, to adjust them to our necessities. In addition, our memories are not tested, assuming veracity and correlation to reality as intrinsic elements of the memory.
Therefore, as one of the essential characteristics of abduction and, by extension, of creative processes is fallibility, understanding the memory as a dynamic and creative agent in accordance with our own nature, will change our vision of the memory as a container. “The Entire History of You” warns us in a lucid way about the danger of maintaining a wrong paradigm concerning the functioning of the memory.
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