A question for people smarter then I.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Data Holmes, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    I remember my 2nd birthday fairly well, and I possibly have one memory earlier, though it's hard to confirm. If it is a real memory it would be from when I was about 18 months old. I'm inclined to think it was real because, unlike other early memories that could be influenced by photographs, this memory is of a baby trike on a stone patio that was in an apartment complex we lived in when I was an infant, and of which we have no photos. I remember sitting next to the trike, and having somehow injured my arm or finger, I can't really remember which -- I just recall staring at the blood, which had formed a perfect little crimson bead on my skin.

    Everything after age 4 is fairly clear for me, but I have a few large gaps around puberty and some from college, which I think may be the result of trauma.
     
  2. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: that's a fascinating interpretation of what happened. I just asked where she got her info, she essentially responded defensively(and irrelevantly) "back off man, I'm a teacher and I've got a COLLEGE DEGREE! And I READ A LOT!"


    As someone with a degree myself and a good deal of post-baccalaureate education, that didn't exactly impress me. I mean, if someone asked me what my source for something was, I wouldn't respond "well, I've got a degree in X from a highly-regarded school, so back off, man."


    And again, my overall point was still correct, I got a minor detail wrong. It didn't even matter to the overall thrust of my argument.
     
  3. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not impressed by someone with an equivalent or less education than myself, no.


    Also, I'm not impressed by someone who (laughably) sees himself as an initimidating bully either.
     
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Chill out. As should be obvious (but as I explained nonetheless, and will explain once more since you still seem to be confused) my background is relevant. It is where I got my information (the question you asked), hence my citing it. If my credentials had been in history or chemistry, then yes, it would be ridiculous for me to say, "Look at me I've got a college degree and read a lot so you should listen to my opinion!" But that is very obviously not what happened.
     
  5. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    No, that's not what happened. You made an incorrect claim, tsq corrected you, you asked for sources, and she told you she's a scholar and an expert in the field. Those are the facts. Now, a reasonable way to close it would be to say something along the lines of "cool, I didn't know that. thanks for the info. cheerio, mate!" But no, of course you can't do that. You have to dig your heel, and refuse to bulge even one inch. Now you can try to act all nonplussed and superior, but the truth is that you tried to be smug, and it backfired to your face. You can admit it, or you can keep digging. Your choice.

    It should, because it's relevant to the topic.

    What about someone with a better education than yourself? Because I am pretty sure that would be me. :p

    This is why you are not very good at this. Nobody sees himself as a bully; other people see them that way. (I'm not even going into the matter if laughing at your attempt to recover from a blunder would constitute bullying.) But try again next time, eh? Maybe you'll have better luck.
     
  6. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    Wikipedia is not infallible. It's written mostly by laypersons and there have been quite a number of instances where bogus articles have been quoted numerous times before they were found out to be completely fake.
    And even in you chose to accept the Wikipedia article as 100% true, said article still states that early childhood memories are rare, not that they never occur.
    Purely statistically, given the number of posters on TrekBBS, it'd be rather surprising if neither of us had any memories from < 3 years.

    And even if you dismissed this point, there still remains the fact that you yourself are able to chew, talk and walk, thus offering us the living proof that on a daily basis you apply the memory of at least 3 things you learned in your first year.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Also, which I think is one of the important points that tsq was making, as soon as the end of the first paragraph and the beginning of the second, the Wikipedia article says:

    That really shoots down the notion that infants and toddlers are generally biologically unable to form memories. The reason that adult recollection of memories from so young is rare is not simply because the memories can't be encoded, but because they either become inaccessible or are erased years after they were formed.

    That's really a significant departure from what sonak was initially asserting.
     
  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This holds true in my case because before 1978 my residual memories are very few and far between. The memories don't start piling up in earnest until around the time I turned four and afterwards (the fall of 1978 forwards). After I turned four it quickly becomes a torrent of memories leading into my first days in school and so forth. I have very vivid and plentiful memories of the first Superman movie, ST:TMP, The Empire Strikes Back and the 1980 presidential election, and all four happened between age four and my sixth birthday.
     
  9. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, infants actually have excellent memories, both short and long-term (obviously, long-term in this case means several months to a couple years). This has been tested an confirmed countless ways over decades.
     
  10. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    indeed. I recall how my little sister used to beat me devastatingly every time we played memories. Frustrating.


    This is slightly off-topic but as we have rather a lot of people here with very early childhood memories: are these memories good or bad ones? (I have a theory that traumatic experiences tend to get remembered better and would like to test if it's true or false).
    My first memory is fear of death: my dad threw me up into the air and I was scared I'd get smashed against the ceiling. I couldn't tell him to stop because I couldn't talk sufficiently yet, so I think I must have been around 18 months. I remember that I screamed and he misinterpreted that as a cheer and went on and on.
     
  11. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My very earliest memories are around 18 months. They are are pleasant memories to one degree or another. The day we got a kitten to simple things like playing with the hose, and even just eating breakfast. Nothing traumatic.

    Mr Awe
     
  12. datagal

    datagal Admiral Admiral

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    My earliest memories was when I was a little over three years old. It was a funeral my mother's cousin in 1971. All I remembered was that my daddy was holding me throughout the service and at the cemetery.

    My second earliest memory was the same year. I was barely four when I saw my little brother for the first time when my father and grandmother (her mother) pick my mother up from the hospital a few days after his birth. His face was freaky looking.

    I was just getting used my other brother and now I have to deal with this little blob. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  13. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    This is all reminding me of an old joke (but only pieces of it).

    Joe and Bill are talking about early memories. "I remember falling off the porch and landing on the dog when I was six months old," says Joe.

    "Oh yeah?" says Bill. "I remember visiting Niagara Falls nine months before I was born."

    ""That's impossible," scoffs Joe.

    "I remember it clearly," insists Bill. "I went up there with my dad, and came back with my mom."
     
  14. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, earlies t memory... let's see...

    I was older than 2 and less than 5, probably around 3, 3.5. My Mum took me down to a little creek beside the farmhouse we lived in just after we came to Australia. She had made me a fishing rod and line out of a curtain rod, some string and a hook you screw into the wall for said curtain rod. I dipped the hook into the water, and actually pulled out a spring from a chair.

    What stays with me, all these years later, is my wonderful mother beside me, and the dappled sunlight coming through the trees, and my first real feeling of being an individual and so happy. It is one of my most precious memories, and I think it's the place I'll have my ashes scattered when I'm gone.
     
  15. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    My very clear memory from when I was two would be best described as bittersweet.
     
  16. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    It's an interesting question, and I've never looked at any research into it, so I have no clue what the answer might be. I think this would be a difficult question to research for a number of reasons. Firstly, it could never be prospective. Secondly, it would rely on self-reporting, and people's memories are terrible. Thirdly, I can't think of a good way to blind the study so as not to influence the subjects when they're "remembering". I suppose you could survey people for their, say, 3 earliest memories, and then try to objectively qualify them as traumatic or neutral -- but how do you know what was traumatic for the individual in question? Maybe after they'd recorded the memories you could tell them to qualify them themselves...I don't know, I still see a lot of problems with it.

    This is why I gravitated towards the brain science aspect of psychology...I was frustrated as hell by the (totally necessary) infringement of ethics on research methodology; Social Psychologists: "Oh, we have a really great theory! But we can't test it because it would be unethical!"
     
  17. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    Good point. But aren't personal memories by their nature always something subjective, tainted by experience and other individual factors? Beyond the repetition of memorized of facts (such as school knowledge: alphabet, maths, poems etc) you could never get a completely objective information anyway. The fact that memories are something extremely versatile and individual is what makes the whole sector of memory-research so interesting. The general biochemical aspects are fairly well examined already but the rest is still a huge white spot on the brain map ("here be dragons" :D )
     
  18. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ And, each time you access a memory you alter it slightly. There's apparently no such as a read-only operation in the brain. At least, if I'm understanding things correctly. This can be a good thing though because there are therapies that use this aspect to lessen the effect of traumatic events.

    Mr Awe
     
  19. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    I've had what I thought were memories of things that happened when I was very young, but I have to wonder how much of that is genuine memories or just my mind building an image of what happened based off of glimpses of old photographs and so forth.

    Likewise, I think I have memories of my Mom singing John Denver to me to put me to sleep when I was a toddler, and musical cues like that are powerful memory triggers, but I can't help but wonder if I'm actually remembering her singing or if I'm building an image based on her telling me that she used to sing to me to put me to sleep.
     
  20. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    John Lennon put it the other way round: which music you like or dislike depends on whom you kissed in the backrow of the cinema at 17.

    While I have an excellent memory for melodies, for some reason I have no music-connected memories before the age of about 18 or 19. There are a lot of smells, though, that trigger my memories. The stench of cheap soft soap they used at my boarding school still makes me feel sick.
     

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