Saturday, January 16, 2016

Memory and relationships

The novelist James Meek wrote:

"If he’d had the kind of mobile in Afghanistan that could take pictures, a year ago, Kellas would have a photo of Astrid now. Perhaps it was best that he hadn’t. She wouldn’t have aged. She was thirty-four then. But a person’s nature shows in motion and change, and this made the stillness of every portrait photograph a kind of lie. Memory was more plastic. The gap between how you remembered a friend and how they were when you met again could be pinched, joined and smoothed over by memory when there was no photograph in the way. Now that Kellas had a camera phone, he knew the game, where you kept taking pictures of each other until you were left with a single image that pleased you both. If months passed without meeting again, the agreed truth of the moment became its possessor’s holy image. You either stopped believing it, or you began to give it your faith.

Rosalind Cartwright said: “Memory is never a precise duplicate of the original; it is a continuing act of creation.”

Diana Butler Bass wrote:

In a very real way, memory is dependent on relationships; in a culture in which relationships are broken, memory becomes impossible. Thus, forgetfulness has deep consequences for religious communities. French theorist Daniéle Hervieu-Léger goes so far as to argue that contemporary societies are less religious because they are 'less and less capable of maintaining the memory which lies at the heart of religious existence.' They have become 'amnesic societies.'"

The Week Magazine reported the following apps available in 2013:

"KillSwitch makes breakups less painful by enabling a user to erase, in one click, all traces on Facebook of a failed relationship. No need to unfriend the ex or untag joint photos; the app calls up all information the two of you share; you choose whether to store the data in a hidden folder or scrap it permanently. ($1, iOS or Android) Eternal Sunshine functions as a gentler version of KillSwitch. With this Google Chrome Web app, you don't have to take the drastic step of unfriending an ex to keep him or her from popping up in profile updates or suggested friends."

Sources

James Meek. We Are Now Beginning Our Descent. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2008. p. 25.

Sleep researcher Rosalind Cartwright, quoted in The Boston Globe, quoted in The Week, Feb. 6, 2015, p. 17.

Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith, HarperSanFrancisco, 2006. p. 236.

"Best apps...For getting past a romantic breakup." The Week, Sept. 13, 2013. p. 36.

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