Issues in the long-term.
Discernment and constructing character: Through this customized storage and editing process one is directly able to construct one’s personal history. We can take out sad experiences and choose to store pleasant ones. In the throes of our emotions we may, out of comfort, choose to live without the memory of a lover’s deceit. In doing so though we also forget the valuable lessons “learned” from such an experience, thereby allowing ourselves to become susceptible to falling into the same sad experience once more. How would one judge whether certain “hard” memories are worth keeping, or any memory for that matter. The wisdom and discernment the person has previous to the surgery is the one that will guide these sorts of decisions on which to keep and which to delete. This person must then have a great and holistic sense of themselves and their ability to shoulder the burden of daily choosing which memories they would like to include in their personal history. If we concede the idea that our personal history shape our character and more so in this case as the person reviews his/her personal history just as the day begins; then the subject then has the ability to shape or propagate a character out of the mold of the memories he/she has stored. The temptation to create a persona you desire may be big or small and results of this sort of presenting or framing yourself can be analogous to the postings of carefully selected pictures, interests, and recording on internet characterizations of people on The Facebook and MySpace. This may also happen inadvertently as the person reviews the memories for the day and comes to the conclusion that his memories are devoid of happy ones thereby saddening the person mood.
Success is then knowing ourselves, and trusting the construction of our character is true to our personal ideals.
Interfering with life:
Shortcuts: A temptation for one having to deliberately record, review, and edit memories day in and day out for years on end would be to develop a system that would allow the most convenient and practical methods of recording. At the end of the day you know that you must look through these memories to decide which ones are important and to lighten the load of material you must look through you would tailor your storing process to reach a sort of efficiency. Would this drive for efficiency get in the way of your social interactions? How do the recording media restrict your ability to get at the ideal efficiency in recording?
Tailoring: In order then to catch the memory or experience the best, you must use the media most effectively. Whether this means developing excellent descriptive writing skills, photography tricks, or tweaking the audio recording device; you are still mediating this memory through a device thus tailoring the actual event/experience to fit the parameters/restrictions of the recording devices. In effect, you are shrinking or altering your experiences so they will fit the constraints of the media. You would not be experiencing life as it is but as you imagine you would like or need it sometime in the future.
Purpose: If this then is the goal of our external memory – to record for memory’s sake, how do we decide which memories have priority over others? Should we look to keep more fond memories or more functional/practical ones? What sort of toll would it take on a person if they knew the sole purpose for keeping these memories is to look back on them? Would they have the desire to pursue personal goals that stretch beyond a day? Would it even be possible to maintain goals simply by recording the fact that you have a goal? Can passion, goals and love be recorded so as to reignite themselves within you everyday? How difficult would it be to pursue a relationship knowing that you must recall the counterpart’s name every morning? Is there enough space in your memory to maintain facts about other people even? What are the opportunity costs of doing this? All these questions naturally point to an overall motive or a purpose to recording events and experiences, a recording paradigm. With our limited time of existence what do we dedicate ourselves to accomplishing?
The Perfect Day: A final and somewhat unrelated point that arose during our brainstorming session was the idea creation. Say our goal in life was to enjoy it the best we could, day by day and to make each day the best it could be. So then our memories that we’d choose to store would be a collection of enjoyable or meaningful things one can do to enjoy the day. Once a stockpile of enjoyable and meaningful memories built up and after reviewing these memories and instructions on how to accomplish them, one would proceed to have the “perfect day”. If one so chose, he/she could continue to do these things day in and day out until other less forgiving measures stole your ability to enact this perfect day i.e. aging, finances, society, and people around you. To make it interesting we can believe the person lived on his/her own and so there would be little constraints on finances or pressures to fit into a working society. And within this perfect day daily sustenance and so forth are incorporated. Presumably then, for a given time one would be able to enjoy this perfect day, day after day until time came and stole him away.