The things you put into your head are there forever

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“The things you put into your head are there forever.”


Click to enlarge.
(Quote and artwork by Dutch artist and photographer Amber Isabel.)  

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53 Responses to The things you put into your head are there forever

  1. Guy Fox says:

    With the exception of wedding anniversaries, I presume. (where’s my rimshot!?)

    The potentially good news: you can change them by mixing them with other things.
    The potentially bad news: the things other people put in there are just as permanent. (but see above)

  2. ThomasR says:

    I’ve always held that it is better to know than to not know.

  3. Liora says:

    a romantic notion, but false. memory is pliable and quite fallible.

    • I doubt he is referring to memories specifically. Probably more to this:

      Dan Gilbert is talking about an experiment where they show some paintings to a subject, make them order them from favorite to least favorite, then let them choose between the third and the fourth painting to keep. If they then wait some time and ask them to order the same paintings again, then the one they kept tends to gain positions. But they could just have convinced themselves that they like it more, because they know that they own it, so he did the following (Transcript from Gilbert’s talk).

      We did this experiment with a group of patients who had anterograde amnesia. These are hospitalized patients. Most of them have Korsakoff’s syndrome, a polyneuritic psychosis that — they drank way too much, and they can’t make new memories. OK? They remember their childhood, but if you walk in and introduce yourself, and then leave the room, when you come back they don’t know who you are.

      We took our Monet prints to the hospital. And we asked these patients to rank them from the one they liked the most to the one they liked the least. We then gave them the choice between number three and number four Like everybody else, they said, “Gee, thanks Doc! That’s great! I could use a new print. I’ll take number three.” We explained we would have number three mailed to them. We gathered up our materials and we went out of the room, and counted to a half hour. Back into the room, we say, “Hi, we’re back.” The patients, bless them, say, “Ah, Doc, I’m sorry, I’ve got a memory problem, that’s why I’m here. If I’ve met you before, I don’t remember.” “Really, Jim, you don’t remember? I was just here with the Monet prints?” “Sorry, Doc, I just don’t have a clue.” “No problem, Jim. All I want you to do for me is rank these from the one you like the most to the one you like the least.”

      What do they do? Well, let’s first check and make sure they’re really amnesiac. We ask these amnesiac patients to tell us which one they own, which one they chose last time, which one is theirs. And what we find is amnesiac patients just guess. These are normal controls, where if I did this with you, all of you would know which print you chose. But if I do this with amnesiac patients, they don’t have a clue. They can’t pick their print out of a lineup.

      Then he shows a graph that implies that they also rank the one they kept, even though they can’t remember that they chose that one, higher than before. So even if our memory is not perfect, our sensibilities may be constantly affected, in deeper ways than we are aware of.

      What are we going to do about it?

  4. Minerva says:

    Completely off-topic:

    Can anyone tell me who the artist of that painting above is? (The one with the people in what seems to be a subway.)

  5. surlyadopter says:

    Counterpoint: Bourbon.

  6. eqv says:

    You control what goes in. You have very little control of what’s happening ‘under the surface’, deeper in your subconscious, but you can control what goes in there: you can control what you read, watch, who you talk to, etc. Your concious mind may’ve forgotten that Jersey Shore marathon you watched, but your subconscious is a different story.

  7. BluegrassJack says:


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