Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Planned Amnesia


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

A couple weeks ago, I asked if living too long led to insanity. But if someone figured out how to become immortal, then they would figure out a way around that, too, wouldn't they?

What if you could live "forever", but to do so, you would periodically have to lose all your memories? Would that still be immortality? Would it be worth it?

27 comments:

  1. Memories are what make us. I'll pass on that kind of immortality.

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  2. Well, since I can remember about two seconds into the past, I'd probably do just fine as an immortal. No chains of those long-ago memories to drag me down.

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    1. Who knows. Maybe you're older than you think ;)

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  3. I don't think I would want to continue on without my memories.

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    1. Even if everyone you ever met is now gone...

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  4. Memories are strange--some are quite wonderful and some I'd be fine with giving up. I don't think I'd want immortality. I'm bad enough with names as it is.

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    1. You'd only forget the ones that are no longer here.

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  5. Hmm if I couldn't remember I wouldn't feel like the same person.

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    1. In some cases, that might be a good thing. Oh... that gives me an idea for a new question...

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  6. This is a really good philosophical question. Without your memories, would you be the same person? And if your memory was gone, what about other physical indications of your life, like scars? I could imagine someone trying to find out what happened to them in the past, and also trying to figure out a way to establish themselves in the present...

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  7. Again an interesting question. I like my memories, so I'll pass on the option of living forever :)

    betty

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    1. Not saying that would be necessary, but just thinking if immortality caused insanity, this would be one way around it. (I wrote this month's what ifs at the same time, so they have a sort of theme.)

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  8. I'm not sure it'd be the same as immortality. If you forgot everything then you might forget who you used to be and become a new person.

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    1. Would that always be a bad thing, though?

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  9. Nope I wouldn't like that at all. In some cases we have this which is called reincarnation. In another way to look at things, people have dementia and we see how losing ones memory hurts the. And the people Around them so nope best to enjoy our short lives as best we can

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    1. Well, reincarnation is the next part of this question...

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  10. Your memories are your life story and your identity. But, if your life wasn't that happy, you might want to start over. So, I would do it if I could be selective. Of course you don't always get what you want. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. But selective memory selection... Would that even work?

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  11. What would be the point. I think I've told you this before Liz but you must read a book called Rewind. It's fantastic and I'm sure you'd love it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replay_(Grimwood_novel)

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    1. I don't recall you having mentioned Replay to me. I'll have to check it out.

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  12. I think memories are what make a person. This debate appeared in one of my books, and the character stated that his scars made him who he was. He wouldn't trade them.

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  13. I just got into a series that covers that very issue! Immortal beings drink from a cauldron of forgetfulness when they fear insanity, then study up afterward on what they need to know about themselves and their culture. No thanks!

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    1. What's the title of those books? I'd be interested in reading them. They did something similar in a book called The Dark Beyond the Stars (or some title like that--it was a long time ago for me), and I'd be curious how another book worked with it.

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  14. I would consider that so long as along with the memories went illness and other awful shit like neck wrinkles and crepey skin.

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    1. If you're immortal, I would think that normal diseases wouldn't bother you. Although, diseases for immortals... Oh, I think that might be a question...

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  15. Hmmm I don't know that I'd want to forget. The neat thing to me about immortality would be seeing the world change so much over the years. The history lover in me maybe? I'd kind of like to live all that history in the making.

    I read a series and gah I can't remember which now but that's one of the things they did was wipe memory once an immortal started to lose it.

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