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Would you rather have an experience or remember it?

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
the_maenad
29th May, 2003 04:00 (UTC)
*scratches head* Don't they go together, normally?
groliffe
29th May, 2003 08:43 (UTC)
I take it you are trying to distinguish between
1) knowing you have had an experience but not being able to remember it

2) knowing you have had an experience and being able to remember it

3) knowing you have not had an experience and being able to remember it anyway

4) knowing you have not had an experience and not being able to remember it

So: 4's rather boring; choosing between 1 and 2 rather depends on the nature of the experience (I'd rather not remember having my teeth drilled).

3's the interesting one philosophically and I can make a good argument either way for preferring it over 1. I think that how one feels about it tends to come down to whether one prefers knowledge that one has genuinely achieved a thing, or the pleasure induced by the process of doing the thing and the memory of that process afterwards. I tend to the latter, so would rather remember an (enjoyable) experience I haven't had than not remember one I have...
coth
29th May, 2003 12:48 (UTC)
So many moments with my daughter give such intense pleasure, and yet are so little likely to be long remembered. I know we had them, but I also know it is likely neither of us will remember them. I would not be without them, but I wish I could have the memories...

Yesterday we played silly games on the climbing frame, and she stood on the highest rung and told me solemnly: Mummy, I'm bigger than you are.

This journal will serve as a memory in the same way photographs do, but I suspect that as photographs do the journal will in the end replace the memory itself.
bibliofile
31st May, 2003 04:01 (UTC)
interesting question
So many moments with my daughter give such intense pleasure, and yet are so little likely to be long remembered.

To me, this is why one keeps a journal, and takes photographs, around even ordinary experiences. When I pick up an old journal and read in it, I am (as time goes on) less and less able to recall the circumstances surrounding or inspiring some of the sentiments I recorded. Isn't the trick to try to have good experiences and remember them?

(As for your original question: If I could choose in advance, I'd rather not remember such things as root canals whilst benefitting from having had the experience.)
purpletigron
1st Jun, 2003 03:45 (UTC)
Re: interesting question
Indeed - it depend on the experience.

Knowing how to use a (photo)journal helps...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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coth
Caroline M

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