"All right action flows from the breath"
- Hajakujo

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Memory is a funny thing. Is it an evolved trait that we have imperfect memory? If all our memories are retained at some deep level, and the machinery exists to recall it, why is it that the system works so poorly?
Perhaps it is evolutionary - natural selection does not favour introspection. The introspective aren't active enough, wallowing in the ghosts of their past. Did the first bipedal hairless apes feel nostalgia or melancholy? Do we only retain that because it is too neutral and adaptation to effect our survival? Perhaps memory has levelled off at the tradeoff point between the quality of our learning and the distraction of our internal lives. We know no more than we do because individuals that remember too much find it a disadvantage, and procreate less readily than those who just do.

Or is this all hokum? Evolutionary psychology, a lovely game for wasting the hours when you can't remember enough to waste them in the past.