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Most of our memories are in the form of generalities.


Andrew

This is re posted.


Andrew Keller

Every morning, Larry and I dig into a form or idea that has caught our eye. Our hope is that our chat inspires you to never stop thinking and possibly challenges you in a new way. If you'd like to help support the show, please visit patreon.com slash reposted. Thank you for stopping by.


Larry

So we've talked about memories before, like a couple of times, we've talked about what people remember. But as the world starts to open up again, I thought we could kind of do it in a different way. I read an interesting article in The Atlantic called you broke, you won't remember the pandemic the way you think you will. Here's a quote, most of our memories are in the form of generality, says Robin forbush, a psychology professor at Emory University, because most of us life is routine and reoccurring. She told me you remember what life was like? I might tell you about my memories of my childhood, one of the most important things to me was having Shabbat dinner Friday night with my family. And then you might ask, tell me about one of those family dinners? And I'd say oh, gosh, I don't think I can. So a lot happens in just a year. This was a pandemic year. It's kind of hard to remember anything past a week for me, especially if you got married and bought a house. So are you even gonna remember anything over this last year? Yeah, I


Andrew Keller

mean, I think I will. I want to interject real quick. My favorite memory is Andrew Lloyd Webber. But this quote makes me think of like, it's improv if she, if you want to be a more interesting person, let's commit to some details. She says no, tell me about this dinner. She says no. I mean, I could, I could tell you, I have memories of that first house, I grew up and we would sit around our table. And I remember we had this water pitcher that had fish on it, and it made it look like they were swimming. And we all had our specific seats. And that's more interesting than saying, oh, gosh, I can't remember any dinners from home. So this isn't necessarily about memory, but just practice giving details on something because I could tell you, I remember something, you could ask me about it. And I might not get the details. Correct. But it's gonna be more interesting than saying no. makes for a better quote, because they're trying to prove a point in an article in The Atlantic. But I think the point holds true is that our brains remember general generalities, not specifics, in general. Well, yeah, and then also your brain can hold on to a specific marker. Like if you see a car wreck, you're gonna probably more vividly remember details of that day, then if everything goes to plan. And so that's another way that your memory works is like larger events. And I guess 2020 was a large event, but it was a cross such a long amount of time. There are specific things that I won't remember, but I have the markers of buying a house and renovating it that I can I can remember and use as markers to have more details.


Larry

But do you think you'll have more details? Because those big things happen this year? Or less details of all that?


Andrew Keller

I don't understand the question. So again,


Larry

well, because you've had a lot going on, we'll because that's a lot stuff to remember. Will you remember less about the pandemic, your wedding and buying a house versus just one big thing happening in one year?


Andrew Keller

I see as opposed to like, one thing happened. And three years later, one thing happens. Yeah, I have more vivid memories.


Unknown Speaker

I don't know, I


Andrew Keller

think I'm gonna remember most of everything that happens, I'm kind of still in the middle of it. So my I don't know if I'm still in short term memory, but I'll be able to look back and I think I'll be able to get it. And then also, there was stretches of 2020, where you can't leave your house. And it's like, the one thing you do is such an event that it's more memorable than before when I would do 12 things in a day. I might not remember all those. I don't know. Do you think Do you remember what happened last June?


Larry

Um, probably not last June, if someone dogged my memory, but I feel like it'd be it's an interesting psychological experiment. That is the further we get out of this. To ask people what they remember. And will the myth grow starting next month? Oh, yeah. I'm just wondering, like, when How soon will people start losing that idea of what they did over the pandemic year?


Andrew Keller

I think we're already starting to get into because people are starting to have more and more regular lives. I was getting ready this morning. And I saw there's a there's a family lives across the street and their son, I have no gauge of age. He's probably 810 I don't know. But he was like, they were going out to get in the car. And he just looked so sad that he was probably on his way to school and it's just like, Alright, we're back in the grind of it. And we're going to tell people, especially like people that didn't live through this or don't remember it like your, your specifics of like, how it's gonna get worse. We're gonna say how terrible it was, and it's gonna get worse over time. Just like memories of 911 I have very vivid memories and they've probably gotten exacerbated over the years.


Larry

You know, one of the brain's most remarkable functions is its ability to forget stuff. Because if you think about all that you take in over the course of a day, your brain is continually letting go of stuff. So are do we do? Do we just do a bad time of remembering the things that we're supposed to remember in the first place?


Andrew Keller

I don't know. I think Yeah. If you weren't able to forget stuff, it would be tormenting. I think. I'm glad I forget a lot of stuff.


Larry

I'm glad I forget most of the stuff. You know, the other thing too, is, it's always like, who writes the narrative, we talked about this before. You know, narratives come in that aren't necessarily from you. My favorite is Ulysses S. Grant, for president united states was the general who won the civil war, he kind of comes off if you come into history books as like a drunk guy who didn't know what he was doing. He just kind of thrown in there got lucky. But that's not the case at all. It was just the South who wrote that narrative of him. So who will write the narrative of your pandemic? Will it be like, I mean, for me, I live with my wife, my kids, will they give me a different idea of what this thing goes on? I wonder like, which which person perspective I'm going to my brain is going to take in the most, I think,


Andrew Keller

I'm just gonna guess your youngest son is probably going to have the most off base interpretation of it. 10 years from now, because as a kid, you don't have that full. Like he's the youngest doesn't have the full context of how the world kind of works. And the more the older you are, you're like, Okay, this is what it is. This is how life happens. And you can kind of compartmentalize it, this is why it's different. That's going to be kind of a more jarring the younger you are I would think,


Larry

yeah, he Yeah, he's a perceptive little bugger, because he's the third kid. And he's always kind of the one watching everything going around. It'll be interesting to see what he remembers and doesn't remember, as time goes on.


Andrew Keller

I mean, it could be interesting. I mean, you might be surprised five years from now, you'd be like, Hey, what do you remember about the pandemic? And at some, I mean, you could take the perspective of we got to spend more time together as a family than we would have otherwise. Yeah. Or, I mean, for me, looking back, that kind of macro is I connected with people more than I than I did before I talked to my grandma every week when I wasn't doing before. I'll just reach out to people that I hadn't in the past. And I think that's kind of what my memory of it is, which isn't specific, but that's fine. Yeah,


Larry

my mom can handle a zoom call. That's that's what I'll get out of all this.


Andrew Keller

Yeah, and I just think be more specific. If you want to be more interesting than Gosh, I don't think I can when someone tells you to recreate a scene.


Larry

Maybe their Shabbat dinners just weren't that good.


Andrew Keller

What was the favorite part most important things to her? Life was Shabbat dinner and yeah, not an interesting person. Well, if you want to have a memorable dinner with Larry, please reach out. You can find us at repost a podcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I'm Andrew Keller for memory.



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