If Memory Serves

Our memories make us who we are and, as with anything involving the human brain, they’re pretty complicated. This week, we’ve collected some of the most fascinating stories that break down why we remember (and forget) the things we do, and the profound impact this has on our lives.

In a Perpetual Present
Erika Hayasaki, Wired
The strange case of the woman who can’t remember her past—or imagine her future.

The Movie that Doesn’t Exist and the Redditors Who Think It Does
Amelia Tait, New Statesman
Over the years, hundreds of people online have shared memories of a cheesy Nineties movie called “Shazaam.” There is no evidence that such a film was ever made. What does this tell us about the quirks of collective memory?

11 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory
Kathy Benjamin, Mental Floss
Long-term, immediate, and habitual methods for keeping your memories fresh and clear.

Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read
Julie Beck, The Atlantic
For many, the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone. 

This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went
Ferris Jabr, Nautilus
Your brain needs to forget in order to grow.

How Long Can an Event Hold Humanity’s Attention? There’s an Equation for That.
Eleanor Cummins, Popular Science
Societies forget, and this physicist wants to know why.

A Quiet Revolution in Botany: Plants Form Memories
Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura
Of the possible plant talents that have gone under-recognized, memory is one of the most intriguing.

A Stranger in the House of Memory
Louise Fabiani, Pacific Standard
Of the many experts who figured in Henry Molaison’s life, one man would change him into amnesiac patient H.M., but two women ensured he would never be forgotten.

To Grieve Is to Carry Another Time                           
Matthew Salesses, Longreads
A writer considers the impact of his wife’s passing, and other factors, on his experience as a human passing through the fourth dimension.

The Time Capsule That’s as Big as Human History
Michael Paterniti, GQ
When the apocalypse comes, survivors (and aliens!) will be happy that Martin Kunze built this place.


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