What Effect Would TOTALLY Perfect Memory Have?

Lee Kent Hempfling lkh at mail.cei.net
Sat Sep 7 08:57:26 EST 1996

emc at madrox (Eric Manshun Choi) enunciated:

>I am in the process of writing a science fiction story in which one of
>the characters has the ability to literally remember EVERYTHING that he
>sees or reads.  For example, if he was walking down the street, he would
>remember how many cracks there were in the sidewalk, the number of cars
>that passed him, the make and color of each car, the license plates on
>the cars, how many people were in each car and what they looked like, etc.

>How would such an ability affect his mind?  Would he be able to cope, or
>would the overload of information drive him insane?

>Any input would be much appreciated.  Thank you very much!

On our bench at the moment is a machine that has pefect recall memory.
It does since it has not been permitted not to while priliminary
testing on inputs and outputs are conducted. The thing that keeps it
1:1 with input is the equal re-presentation of memory for evaluation.
When tests are completed and adjustments are finshed with input
circuitry we will change the return rate of memory to be faster than
it is put in. This will result in less recall but a deeper search. The
current result is a slow learner since deeper search is not possible.
It has to study an object now in order to remember it saw it less than
30 seconds ago. When memory is being returned faster than it is being
put in it will recall deeper memory but in less clarity. This is why
brains do not normally have such instant recall. Photographic memory
is a combination of visual input ratio processing enhancement and a
slower recall rate. The two  make for visual recall . But in the case
of the individual you describe for your book: If he indeed would
remember everything then the knowledge of every car that passed him
would also recall the exact smells, sounds, his thoughts, tastes,
temperature, pressure on his feet, wind speed, wind direction, place
of every limb in space,  and many more. In order to do that the
processing of that data would have to be almost non existent. That
would mean your character would not become insane.... he would be
declared to be a clinical moron as humans  who take pictures are
simply not likewise capable of evaluating what they are in relation to
anything else. It is the subtle out of focus areas of visual memory
that relate to all other out of focus inputs of visual memory. Not
just the center focal point. Force a large amount of gasoline into an
internal combustion engine and it will flood. Not run. It requires the
right mixture of fuel (input) and oxygen for the burn to be
successful. Increase the fuel and more power is available but increase
it too much and the whole thing is useless.

    |Lee Kent Hempfling            |Email: lkh at cei.net
    |Neutronics Technologies       |http://www.cei.net/~lkh/ntc/
    |Corporation PO Box 3127       |http://www.aston.ac.uk/~batong/Neutronics/
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