The Technique

Yesterday (at work) I sent out 19 "unfortunately, this position has been filled" letters.  I think I'm getting soft in my advancing years. Back in the day, I felt like I was doing everybody a favor.  Giving them closure.  If I didn't do it, it wasn't going to get done.  Now, it just seems like I made 19 people's days a little bit less nice. Bleh.

Note: Never do a Google images search using the keyword "unfortunately".

On a related topic, I have been embarking on a new science project!

I've been trying to develop a capability that will allow me to purge/flush/wipe my short term memory.  Sound silly?  Not so fast. Case study:

Last week, as I was beginning a short bought of peaceful meditation in the office lavatory, I picked up a copy of Wired magazine.  On the cover it mentioned an article about the hit ABC drama, Lost.  Recently having discovered Lost on hulu (at the time, we were mostly finished with season 1), I was intrigued. The article started something like this:

"Lost is about a bunch of people that get stranded on an island and discover ------"

What!?!? Crap.  Nooooo!  Fortunately, I'm not helpless with the aid of The Technique.  While in a community college psychology class I learned that the smartest among us can only hold 9 knowledge units in their short term memory at any given time (people like me can hold 5).  Then, after surviving for the duration of an unknown biochemical timer, knowledge units are transferred out of our short term memory boxes and permanently burned into our long term memory.  Evidently, this theory is supported by "scientific" tests which offered college students pizza as a reward for memorizing numbers.

Based on this (marginally plausible) gem of absolute scientific truth, I have developed The Technique.  After learning something I don't want to know, I immediately start memorizing random junk. e.g. Flip back two pages, then memorize the words on each corner of both pages.  If I can successfully memorize 9 unique items, it is scientifically impossible for me to remember whatever ugly truth I'm trying to forget.

I've tried this a few times and it never works.  Maybe I'm just not a very good memorizer.  I'm not giving up though.  Admittedly, testing my theory is emotionally expensive, but opportunities seem to come up here and there.  I just need to be ready!  I think I need to find a way to memorize 7 unrelated concepts or something, instead of just the numbers.  We'll figure this thing out.


4 Is More said…
Maybe you should try really, really hard to remember it instead. I can never remember anything that I actually want to. :)
Yarr, agreed. Personally, I think my psychology class was 90% bunk. I guess you build the death star with the science you've got, not the science you want :)

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