The Physics of Memory

 
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20 February 2019 11:00
 
 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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20 February 2019 11:08
 

Then start a damn discussion. This is just a link. Like a news bulletin. Or am I missing something?

 
 
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21 February 2019 12:13
 

The Physics of Memory - https://www.pbs.org/video/physics-erasing-your-memory-cxjnuc/

When religious people see videos like this, do they wonder how their memories will exist in the afterlife?  Is it assumed that physics, or science in general, has nothing to do with spiritual things?  Will some theologians begin to promote their ideas with the conundrums of quantum mechanics to explain how an individual’s memories can be restored in heaven or hell after suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s, or brain injury?

 
 
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23 February 2019 08:16
 
unsmoked - 21 February 2019 12:13 PM

The Physics of Memory - https://www.pbs.org/video/physics-erasing-your-memory-cxjnuc/

When religious people see videos like this, do they wonder how their memories will exist in the afterlife?

No, because God can do anything, and heaven is going to be great because all my friends and family will be there, and we won’t have to go to school or work, and we can just hang out and have parties.  So don’t bust my bubble.

 
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23 February 2019 12:30
 
Skipshot - 23 February 2019 08:16 AM
unsmoked - 21 February 2019 12:13 PM

The Physics of Memory - https://www.pbs.org/video/physics-erasing-your-memory-cxjnuc/

When religious people see videos like this, do they wonder how their memories will exist in the afterlife?

No, because God can do anything, and heaven is going to be great because all my friends and family will be there, and we won’t have to go to school or work, and we can just hang out and have parties.  So don’t bust my bubble.

Right, right.  If anyone asks my opinion, I always assure them that they are not going to be disappointed.  Also, I think restrictions on pets are easing up.

 
 
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23 February 2019 15:26
 
unsmoked - 23 February 2019 12:30 PM

Right, right.  If anyone asks my opinion, I always assure them that they are not going to be disappointed.

Good one.  Either heaven exists as believed or not.  If not, then likely their memories just cease to exist, and disappointment does not exist.  Win-win.

I’ll cross the afterlife bridge when I get to it, and until then I’m not placing any bets on it with my life.

 
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24 February 2019 13:09
 
Skipshot - 23 February 2019 03:26 PM
unsmoked - 23 February 2019 12:30 PM

Right, right.  If anyone asks my opinion, I always assure them that they are not going to be disappointed.

Good one.  Either heaven exists as believed or not.  If not, then likely their memories just cease to exist, and disappointment does not exist.  Win-win.

I’ll cross the afterlife bridge when I get to it, and until then I’m not placing any bets on it with my life.

When I think of the things that animals like to do, it’s hard to imagine them being happy in heaven.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201412/pope-francis-says-all-dogs-go-heaven

If dogs get in, what about honey badgers?  And Thoreau too would totally lose it if there were no woods and fields,and ponds and fish and musquash

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-schaul/from-relative-obscurity-t_b_8490770.html

According to the website of the World Famous San Diego Zoo, which is one of four zoos in the United States to have recently exhibited honey badgers, “It would be hard to find a more quarrelsome animal than the honey badger. It doesn’t start fights it can’t finish and makes an impressive foe.” And, I should add that honey badgers don’t actually feed on honey, rather they raid bee hives in search of bee larvae.

Yes, pound for pound, the honey badger is often considered one of the toughest carnivorans (mammalian carnivores) on the planet. They have been known to stand their ground in confrontations with larger predators like lions and African wild dogs (painted dogs). Rural villagers often consider the honey badger to be quite the destructive nuisance animal. They sometimes damage property, including unprotected bee hives and they occasionally menace and kill young livestock. In their defense, honey badgers (AKA ratels) are not commonly observed marauding the bush in search of trouble. They are, in fact, rarely seen.

I wonder if the Pope will make allowances for honey badgers on the grounds that they are rarely seen?  Another example of animals in heaven - since Muhammad went to heaven on a winged horse, it follows that there will be winged horses in heaven, Pope’s blessing or no Pope’s blessing. 

I just remembered that this topic is about the physics of memory, not whether honey badgers and other miscreants can go to heaven.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/14/what-are-memories-made-of

“Studying patients has taught us where memories might be stored, but not what physically constitutes a memory. The answer lies in the multitude of tiny modifiable connections between neuronal cells, the information-processing units of the brain. These cells, with their wispy tree-like protrusions, hang like stars in miniature galaxies and pulse with electrical charge. Thus, your memories are patterns inscribed in the connections between the millions of neurons in your brain. Each memory has its unique pattern of activity, logged in the vast cellular network every time a memory is formed.”

 

 

 
 
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24 February 2019 14:44
 

I know, I know!

Let’s pretend that the biological mechanisms for memory in our brains is just like “cache” in the RAM of a computer. The actual data is stored offline somewhere more permanent, and what’s in cache is just the local, temporary version.

Problem solved, all systems go for an afterlife. My dog and I (and my horses and so on), will see you there - we’ll be in the big meadow.

 
 
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24 February 2019 20:23
 

As for memory and heaven, we have done this before:  https://forum.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/63078/#772601

Do you have something new to add, unsmoked?

 
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25 February 2019 12:50
 
Skipshot - 24 February 2019 08:23 PM

As for memory and heaven, we have done this before:  https://forum.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/63078/#772601

Do you have something new to add, unsmoked?

Posted by unsmoked - 01 March 2014 17:05

“For I have already at times been a boy and a
girl, and a bush and a bird and a mute fish in
the salty waves.”  -  Empedocles

“If you blow out a candle then light it again,
is it the same flame, or a different flame?”  -  Buddha

“The Universe is conscious.  Agreed?”  -  The White Rabbit

Today there are many new books and articles about the brain, memory, dementia etc.  It’s sobering to be reminded that the Bible and human delusions haven’t changed.

“Once the people are bewitched, their bewitchment lasts a long time.”  -  Lao Tsu

I realize that ‘bewitchment’ may not be necessary in order to believe that when we die we won’t die.  Christians talk about being born again, but they don’t mean it.  They are actually talking about a modified continuation of the old.  Would an innocent newborn be loved if he or she was a modified old person?  A cute puppy in heaven who remembered biting the postman in its earthly life?  (especially when it meets the postman’s spirit who still harbors a grievance)

Do Christians assume that Jesus in Heaven doesn’t remember the horror of being crucified?  Everything is blissful until some newcomer asks him what it was like?  Who said everything in Heaven is pleasant and happy?  Naturally, in Heaven Christians forget all the bad stuff that happened on Earth.  Nobody in Heaven talks about the Inquisition?  It’s like bad stuff never happened?  Mum’s the word?  Only happy memories go to heaven?


[ Edited: 28 February 2019 13:40 by unsmoked]