Friday 3 June 2011

False Memory, Fake Life

false friends/falsche Freunde
actual: adj. existing in act, fact, or reality
aktuell: adj. current, up-to-date

These dreams remembered are just bits of random data, recalled, connected, and constructed not in our sleep, but when awake. You did not dream that story. You made it up as you remembered it.

This may be just another cockamamie theory of mine, but it is not a radical leap in logic. For example, studies of the effectiveness of advertising have shown that every instance remembered is instantly rewritten. Memory is, in this sense, of the moment of recollection, stored data notwithstanding.

The advertising industry is filled to a large degree with artist wannabes who - if they still believe they have not given up on their dreams of creating something transcendently uplifting, unique, of their own volition - have managed to make themselves think that they are gatekeepers of the zombie machine, creating a better catatonia from within. The rest of them are more aware of their pre-emptive soul-killing battle for the human nervous system.

Long story short: Much Monday morning water-cooler reminiscence is less the discussion of personal response to actual shared experience, and more the result of ex post facto product placement. Colon-loads of TV viewers imagine themselves to have been part of the party depicted on their screens. More than a few someones actually remember drinking tiny bottles of Coke in a candlelit, frozen valley of snow at Christmastime.

No wonder, then, that a number of the FaceTwat data-verse thinks that they "can even join in on the conversation".

Back to my pillow thought
I lay in wait as the dream-data flooded my conscious memory. For the first time (or so it occurred to me at the time) I recalled something from between two happenings in the dream: A thought; that is, I took note of something specific just after one thing happened and another happening was to take me away from the thought.

Why that occurrence seemed like a first to me, I can't say. The words "I remember thinking" are, after all, standard dream-recall phraseology.

So now I realize that if anything was profound about that thought, it must have been the thought itself, now forgotten.

I remember something more startling from another dream: I was not in it. At least as observer, I didn't find myself identifiable. Since that time, I have made it a point to try to identify my physical self in my future dreams. So far, I have not been able to do so. Or so I would have myself believe.