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> The Mind
Not Liking Uncertainty
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Another Mnemonic Technique
How Associations Wear Out
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
You Can't Go Home AgainThe book You Can't Go Home Again didn't make a tremendous impression on me, but it did at least leave me with the idea that one can't go home again—that things change, that the home one remembers exists only in the past.
The point I wanted to make here is related. Because we store memories by association, it's not just the past that becomes inaccessible due to change—even our memories of the past become inaccessible. When, say, a house is torn down, all the associations that go with it are torn down as well. Well, sort of. The associations are still there, it's just that there's nothing left to trigger them except pictures and imagination.
The above is true of any kind of change, even change in someone's behavior or change in the way furniture is arranged. However, what I'm thinking about right now is change at the level of buildings and cities.
While I was putting this essay together, I kept getting the main point mixed up with a couple of other ideas, namely, that associations wear out and are blocked by overloading. You might like to think about those ideas in this context.
Why did I keep getting mixed up? I figure it's because I happened to express all three ideas in terms of associations with places. The ideas really are more general than that, that's just how I first thought of them, and how I've expressed them.
Finally, speaking of associations with places, I have this irresistible urge to mention the mnemonic technique of rooms.
@ December (2000)