Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Our Amazing Memory, And Some Movie Reviews

It's interesting how memory works. It seems that our memory works very much like a computer, or at least more like a computer than one would think. The major difference is that our memory is a lot more fragile and volatile. Bits get misplaced all the time. It's like a Google search where infrequently searched items are eventually inacessible or lost, and different types of information on the same topic can get disassociated.

Think of someone that you know, and think of the info about them in your head as audio files, video files, jpegs, text, and so on, or even as a database full of these things. After awhile, these parts can get jumbled, and cause us to forget. This is where you can place a name but not a face, or recall a person and an event very well, but forget the name. You probably used to have all of them together, and once your memory is jogged, you will again. The wild card with memory though is that our own experiences that we had previously will color our perception of a specific memory, and can cause us to categorize it completely differently. Computers don't really do this because to them, previous data doesn't affect storage of new information, but it does with people. This is just something to keep in mind. A pretty good (if heavily simplified), explanation of how it works is in this movie, believe it or not. It's an interesting indie film that I saw a couple weeks ago. Sure it's a movie, but it has a great deal of natural science in it, and some famous scientists speaking for long periods in between the acted parts. There is of course plenty of other more scholarly research on it on the net, which you can easily find with a Google search of your own.

Oh, and by the way, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is not all that great. It's not horrible, but it is also not particularly memorable. Unless you are a big fan of the book, catch it on video maybe.

A movie that's just plain not all that good is "Birth". Sure, Nicole Kidman is nice, but it's not nearly enough to carry this movie. It had some great potential too. It was an interesting subject, but poorly done I think.

I just finished watching: "The History Channel Presents: The War of 1812" as my "while exercising material" once I finished Ken Burns' epic "The Civil War" series. I have some observations about The War of 1812 that I never knew at all until recently. It had a lot more significance to our history than you probably think!

Update: My wife and I watched "Sideways" last night. It was OK, but not as good as the hype. Anyone watching "Revenge of the Sith" this weekend? Movies have been disappointing me recently. I want to see a good one!

8 comments:

Two Dogs said...

I didn't think that "Guide" the book was that great.

soundboyz said...

Erik, I had a comment......but I seem to have forgotten it....

Imara said...

Erik, if you get a chance, see Crash. It's good AND thought provoking!

Erik Grow said...

Hmmm, I will have to check that one out Imara! I just added it to my "Netflix" list.

Macswain said...

I also saw Sideways just recently and it didn't live up to my admittedly high expectations. I was expecting a "10" but I believe its an "8."

One friend, who didn't like it, felt that Miles & Jack would never be friends in real life. I disagree as I know people like both who have friends like the other. I, instead, felt that credibility was strained in believing that a character like the one played by Virginia Madsen would ever be interested in a guy like Miles as anything more than a friend.

DaniCast said...

I really enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven and Closer. I think both are great movies. i didn't watched Star Wars yet, but you know, Star Wars is Star Wars, I am pretty sure about what we will find out.

Erik Grow said...

Yeah MacSwain, I am with you there on Sideways. It was hard to see that. Then again, the biggest sex organ is the brain...

Danicast, thanks for stopping by! Wow, you are from Tonga? Can't say I've been there yet! Yes, I will see the new Star Wars soon, and yes, we will know what to expect. I just hope the story is better than the last couple.

nicnerd said...

mmmm... Star Wars was good, almost as good as The Empire Strikes Back.