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HacKING
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21 May 2021, 7:58 pm

Sometimes when I look back upon my childhood I have recollections that blur the lines between dreams and reality. I'll remember something at a certain place and time transpiring but the setting of said memory is unfamiliar and "off" enough for me to wonder if maybe it was a dream I had of somewhere that appeared like my real life environment but slightly off. And as much as I try to think and figure it out, it eludes me if I ever actually was there or not because I don't remember the actual act of dreaming it either. Perhaps it was a one-off trip that my parents took me on, that would explain the "off" setting. Regardless, the lines of waking reality and dreams are blurred to the extent that I can only call it inconclusive. In a sense, the memory exists as both dream and reality. A Schrodinger's dream, in a sense.

Do you ever experience this phenomenon yourself?



shlaifu
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21 May 2021, 9:12 pm

I once had a job working for a few months in India. It was incredibly taxing and I did not cope well with the culture shock on top of working 6 days a week. Immediately afterwards I had a commission that led me to work for another month without break, back home.
Following that, I had a very hard time winding down, so I figured I best do what the army does with their soldiers (at least, in psychological experiments) to take their mind off psychologically challenging experiences: play video games.
This is not a joke: intense immersion in a game inhibits memory formation, in particular when it comes to remembering emotional affect.
Anyway. I played Doom (2016) for a while, until I felt calm enough to just spend a weekend on the couch and do nothing.
I found myself staring out the window, remembering a particular day in India, and a particular event. I was in the back of a car, looking out.
But in my memory, the sand was a deep red, and the sky dark green.
The game environment of Doom had infiltrated my memory of this day in India, and it took me an act of conscious reconstruction of my mental image to get the sand back to sand-colour and the sky back to a hazy blue.

I've read how memory recall is never just like opening a file on a hard drive, but much more like painting a pucture from scratch, so it turns out different every time and changes over time, but never before have I found myself able to identify the exact changes and influences on a mental image like that.

Insofar: yeah, maybe it was a daytrip, or a dream - it makes little difference because memory is malleable and instable.


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