Tuesday, July 3, 2007

You Remind Me of Someone: Deleting Memories

According to a Yahoo News article, "Researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal) are working on an amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories. The technique seems to allow psychiatrists to disrupt the biochemical pathways that allow a memory to be recalled."

Good idea or bad idea?

Good idea:

1. "Now I never have to remember that lousy date."
2. "I can finally forget I ever saw that piece of lard of a movie."
3. "I can forget that pathetic mess of potatoes and butter you call mashed potatoes."
4. "I can forget how bollocks freshman year was at college."
5. "We can break up and not have to remember the good times we had.

Bad idea:

1. "Danggit. I was there, Detective. I was at that restaurant! I was with a lousy date...but I don't remember anything about that night."
2. "Damnit...I've seen this movie already--and it still sucks."
3. "Ewww.. why you feedin' me this, fool?"
4. "Oh man, I think you lived down the hall. I think you were the only kid that didn't annoy the schittballs out of me. Damn. Wish I could remember more."
5. "Didn't we sleep together once? You smell familiar."

What if:
1. The memory-erasing drug only cancels out the information and stimuli your conscious mind processes. In other words, you may recall details of that night, for instance, what color car the suspect was driving or that he smelled like pizza and clam sauce, that do not directly relate to the memory of the lousy date.

2. You still remember that you saw it and thought it a waste of time and money--you remember this as a fact, but as far as the film itself...that is what you do not recall.

3. see #2.

4. see above.

5. see above.

This drug is bound to get into the wrong hands/be used for the wrong reasons. Think of all the crimes a person could get away with because eyewitness accounts would become even more unreliable or non-existent.