Your Lying Eyes

Sometime ago — and forgive me, I’m too lazy and pressed for time (both) to go looking for it — I read a study on memory that was appalling. Appalling because apparently memory is more pliable and plastic than we thought.

By plastic, of course, I mean it is moldable. And what mostly seems to mold it stories.

You hear a story from someone, and you incorporate it in your own story. If something particularly interesting happened to a friend or relative and you heard it often enough, you might GENUINELY think it happened to you. Not a lie, as such (which is why even though the woman lies with every word including the and a, I cut a lot of slack on Clinton’s story of landing in Sarajevo under fire) but your memory being rewritten with bits so cool and interesting, which you imagined happening so vividly that they overrode your own memory of a similar event and got aggregated.

This is particularly true if you watch something on TV. Or a lot of somethings that look the same. Or if you read something, and are the type who lives through events they read about.

This explains why, in my brief stint as editor (I hate editing. I’ll do it, if needed, but I hate it and will go on hating it till the end of time) I kept running across scenes that read the same. They were usually the type of scenes that no suburban kid/young adult had ever seen except on TV repeatedly: A strip club. A knife fight. An encounter with “poor” or “alienated” people. They all read the same. And they all felt like something from a TV show from the seventies or eighties. The knife fights were carefully scripted (ah); there would be sawdust on the strip club’s floor (hello westerns) and/or the hicks were… well, they were straight from Shakespeare, really and dumb as rocks, and interchangeable, because othering “hicks in the provinces” is something that’s been a part of English culture, forever, apparently. They were also, all three utterly impossible. But it was the sameness that got to you.

(I think this is the at the root of the advice to write what you know, but the problem with that — other than the fact that it banishes vast swathes of imagination and adventure — is that people really think they know these things. They’ve seen them. They’re read about them. They’re entered into the memory as if they existed.)

Worse, because most of the news-entertainment-industrial complex are some of the most provincial people in all of human civilization (probably second only to someone raised in middle of Rome at its peak) and have no idea that other ides/forms of thought/ways of living are even possible (even while claiming to value diversity) the story we get from everything we read and watch — or the story we used to get, before blogs and citizen reporters were a thing — built this unified idea of reality that melded with our back brain, so that it was “the truth.”

(As a side passing thing, i wonder how much of the sexual harassment #metoo brought up in women older than I was even true. Look, yeah, Hollywood was bad. But in the business world there would be a normal amount of decent human beings, presumably. So… It seemed to be an excess of secretaries propositioned by their bosses, or felt up or whatever, which were scenes played for comedy in entertainment when I was a kid and before that. And I wonder. Not that it matters much at this point, when the women are vague and the men who might have done something are in retirement homes or dead, but when it’s all “he said” or “she said” it’s worth it stopping and not rushing to judgement. Even if the person making the accusation is sincere and convinced it is true.)

I was reminded of this as I read Phantom’s comment on Canada’s parents not objecting to drag queen story time or whatever. Because it might be true, of course. But then again, it might not.

Not only doesn’t Canada have many citizen bloggers — there are so many restrictions on speech, it’s not astounding — but Canada’s news-industrial establishment is far more regimented than ours. It, in fact, reports things in an absolutely scripted way. (Also they take things from our news and under the assumption our establishment is right-wing spin it further left.)

And then my question becomes: if parents strenuously objected, would you hear about it? Worse, do the parents dare object? (See the restrictions on free speech.)

Silence can be consent. Or it can not. (What it isn’t is aggression, which is what the left claims.) It can be fear of losing your job; being hounded out of your profession; having kids taken away from you; being slapped in jail.

In circumstances — and those of you in professions that have you in deep cover should also remember this — in which speech is prohibited, of agreement required, you don’t know if everyone else around you feels the same or doesn’t.

The indications will be subtle. At the national level, beyond the breakthrough of things like parents protesting insane school curriculum, we have the speed at which Let’s go Brandon became a thing; the fact that “right wing” even demonized institutions and businesses go viral, while left wing attempts to imitate the success always fizzle. The votes which counter the narrative so much they routinely force the left to fraud to unbelievable amounts.

But you still have the memory overlay of every show, ever commercial, ever news article, all of them carefully curated to make you buy the left’s view of the world.

So, you know, I read mysteries in which the homeless are always people down on their luck, who had good jobs, but were done wrong by the man. While there are homeless families (usually temporarily) who just fell through every crack possible, this is by no means most of the homeless population. And all of us know that, particularly as once pleasant cities get destroyed by the plague of locusts.

But do the writers do this consciously? No. They have “encountered” in their minds so many of these “homeless” who were decent people down on their luck that they are the characters that show up. And that in turn shapes other people.

Part of the sense people have that things are falling apart is that the news-entertainment facade used to be really impenetrable here too. So, you know, you got the impression that everyone agreed with the promulgated reality. “Everyone knew” a lot of things that really just weren’t so, but we had no idea because no one dared tell the truth and which had been repeated so much most people thought they were the truth. And those who were alive through the upheavals/whatever had incorporated it into their memories.

So you know, things like “FDR saved us from the great depression. Or Ford was clumsy and incompetent. Or Reagan was extreme right wing or– Just became part of the zeitgeist. People remember it happening that way.

There was a consensus reality and the fact that it wasn’t true didn’t mean anything, because it was consensus.

So, you know, when you get the feeling everything is falling apart remember what’s breaking is the consensus reality. The “everybody knows” which the more I poke about it the more I find had not even a vague glance of truth in it.

Trust your lying eyes. Trust the bits when reality, sharp, jagged and un-reconstructed breaks through the smooth facade of what they want you to believe. Pay attention to things that don’t fit.

Keep believing your lying eyes even if everyone around you seems to have embarked on an elaborate and senseless kabuki play of constructed reality. (The clue that you’re right and they’re wrong is when the numbers don’t add up, like during Covid; or the composition of the homeless in your local big city’s sidewalk for that matter.)

Because the truth is confusing, uncomfortable, and doesn’t fit a smooth story. That’s what makes it the truth. And not the stories “Everybody knows” because they’ve been dropped into their memories and obscured reality.

Don’t assume your co-citizens are idiots. Assume they are isolated by false news and confusing memories.

Most of them are not irredeemable. And the “consensus truth” is splintering because it simply doesn’t work.

Be not afraid.

(And keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.)

154 thoughts on “Your Lying Eyes

  1. Another sign that consensus reality is taking hits are the desperate, “No, this is really true!” articles coming out. For example I gather a very reputable organization released a report/meta study which noted there was virtually no difference in covid rates between areas that had mask mandates and areas that didn’t…and concluded mask mandates don’t work. (They pretty much went with, “Individuals wearing masks may see some benefit, but mass masking doesn’t work,”). So what happens? A New York Times reporter does an article saying, ” No, they backed down, the report really doesn’t say that!” And a third party, who seems to be pretty knowledgeable, jumps on Twitter and slowly, paragraph by paragraph, shows exactly where she went wrong. And also, mask mandates still don’t stop the spread of wuflu.
    Not too long ago, she wouldn’t have had to bother because noone would have noticed the study.

    1. I was pleased how quick the talking point of “they had an anti-masking league in California for the Spanish Flu, too!” went away.

      It resulted in folks reading, and sharing, the study from why masks didn’t work from back then. 😀

  2. Chuckle Chuckle

    On the “homeless are just families down on their luck” idea, there was a stupid TV movie (back when the media started seeing the “homeless problem”.

    It showed a man who lost his job and then lost his home but it showed the man turning down help from his brother!!!!

    And of course, the wife and children stayed with the idiot man and Never Went To Live With the man’s brother.

    It was an idiot movie that showed people making Idiot Decisions.

    But we were to “Feel Sorry For The Idiots”. 😡

    1. Years ago, Dave Rubin interviewed a former Obama appointee who had been trying to deal with homelessness. He had completely flipped his opinion on ‘homelessness’ in the US, after actually working down in the trenches.

      He maintained that almost all homeless encampments are open drug scenes. And then commented that very occasionally there are the hardworking people that fall on hard times type of homelessness, which are usually helped Or find help in just a few months, as long as they are not druggies or violent.

    2. Mind you, “homeless” figures would have included them if they had gone to stay with the brother.

    3. Recent Fox report says that 80% of homeless have drug addiction problems. I suspect that these are mostly mentally ill people self-medicating because they have no other legal recourse. “We” gave them the freedom from asylum incarceration, and this is the result.

      And drug laws place far too great a risk for families or good Samaritans to take these people into their homes; since the DEA will seize everything if they think there are illegal drugs in the house/apartment. Most halfway home won’t take them unless they can stay drug free also; but as I see it, too many don’t have viable alternatives for those drugs.

      1. I’ve seen a study from California alleging 75% drugs, mental problems, or both.
        Medication is a problem, too – do you know the difference between a prescribed pill and a street drug? The shelter I volunteered at would collect everyone’s things – you’d get whatever back in the morning if it looked enough like a recent prescription bottle. I can think of errors both ways: the fellow who’d snuck something in and got paranoid while high and left in handcuffs, and the ER call for the diabetic who’d had his insulin confiscated.

        I can think of single digit numbers of believable hard luck cases out of the years and hundreds that came through – the family who found their insurance agent stole their premiums after their place burned down comes to mind. Most of those would not stay long, or return again and again.

  3. As a Canajun I must protest your insinuation that most of our media are government arse licking left leaning sycophants. I mean it’s not something to insinuate it’s just the truth! After Castro jr. doled out about 650 million to media a couple of years ago to “help” them through the Plague years there just can’t be any hiding that they’re bought and paid for in the most part. Rebel Media is probably the most independent but they didn’t get any of the cake for some reason. Also I seem to remember reading a LONG time ago (BSM, Before Social Media) a story about Shirley Temple who went with her mother to some studio’s big wig to talk about her getting more parts as she was 12 or so and you know how child star’s careers go. Apparently this sleazebag was trying to exchange favors in a manner of speaking so the meeting didn’t go over too well. So if a famous actress like her was getting hustled you can just imagine how some of those poor kids trying to break in were treated.

  4. “The left and right switched sides sometime back before most of you were born, that’s why the Republicans are bad and always were bad.

    If you don’t believe me, you’re the bad person.”

    Yeah, the lies are thick and fast on the left. They have to be. If you stop to think about them, they fall apart pretty quick.

    They also have to stop your ability to think things through. That’s why they chant at rallies. Why they have call and response faith type cult activities. Straight to emotion, none of those pesky thoughts. So they don’t teach you how to think. They actively suppress it.

    Is it any wonder why mental illness is at an all time high? Sanity and common sense are not cool these days. White supremacy has all the good stuff though: work ethic, common decency, proper grammar and diction, math, the scientific method, logic, and even basic cleanliness and grooming. It’s like they’re trying to make WS a thing by making it have all the things that we say are good things.

    Only it just doesn’t work that way. There are no races, but there are a lot of race baiters with paychecks on the line. There aren’t forty seven genders, but there are activists that make a darn good living telling you that there are. Wind and solar will not be replacing gas and coal in any living human’s life time, but there’s a good living to be made telling folks that it will. Electric cars are so far beyond impractical and so utterly niche that they cannot replace gas and diesel, but you can get paid a lot by convincingly telling folks it’s true.

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings have been sending letters. There are postcards from the tribes wiped off the icefields. There’s rumors that the lights have gone out in Rome.

    Water is still wet. Fire will yet burn.

    Men cannot get pregnant. Girls just don’t want to do the jobs that are dirty, difficult, and dangerous in the same numbers that men do. You cannot spend and borrow your way out of debt- you have to pay the piper, eventually. Diversity that is only skin deep is of no more worth than diversity of eye color, or height, or handedness.

    In the end, all the castles built upon sand will crumble and fall. Put your trust in what is real, tangible, and worthwhile. Gather what knowledge, wisdom, and skills you can. Share these things when practical.

    And give no attention to the voices of despair. Often enough, despair tries to insinuate that its voice is your own. It is not, for despair lies with a forked tongue.

    Be strong. Be quick of thought. Be prepared for things to drop in the pot. For things to fail.

    But also, prepare for when things go right.

    1. The PTB are having to pile lie upon lie, and the pile’s starting to slide. It’s like “the Summer of Recovery” that lasted five years or so. Everyone knew it was bunk, and made acidic jokes about it, but the Beltway Brass and their media kept insisting that things were getting better and we just couldn’t see it out here yet. Sure. Riiiiiight.

      1. Ah, but things were getting better.

        For them.

        The graft and grift were rolling in and they could see no end in sight. They blatantly stole an election and branded everybody who saw it ‘right-wing conspiracy theorists’. They had gained control of the whole government and were on the way to their Perfect World.
        There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the Perfect World. They just have to eliminate all those imperfect people who don’t fit in it.

      2. It seems that they actually believe that their Jenga of lies will form a tower with a foundation sturdy enough that they can immanentize the eschaton and bring Heaven to Earth.

    2. …they have call and response…

      Was it The Far Side that showed a couple unicellular creatures and one asking the other, “Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, don’t you ever THINK?”

  5. I remember the study this article refers to:
    People wrote down their memories of 9/11/2001 a week after it happened, then again a year, three years, and ten years later.
    Many of the accounts from 10 years later contradicted the initial accounts. When shown their original writing, quite a few of them said words to the effect of “I have no idea why I lied back then!”. Their memories had morphed over time.

    Other studies show that our memories are subject to alterations (usually small ones) each time they are remembered and these changes can add up over time. It’s a really good argument for Statutes of limitation because people swearing to tell the truth about something they witnessed ten years ago are very likely to have things wrong.

    1. A quick thinking professor found the same results after an experiment with his class on the Challenger disaster.

    2. I’m kind of suspicious, especially when it’s science by press release, so I poked a bit, especially since some of the writing reminded me strongly of some salesmanship I’ve seen in market studies. (Such as the infamous “they said the 1/3 pounder is smaller than the 1/4 pounder” which turned out to be one person saying that, of the over-all burger, the 1/4 pounder looked bigger and a better value.)

      Our measure of accuracy is consistency with what people told us in the survey the week after the attack. From that first survey to the second survey a year later, the overall consistency of the details of how they learned of 9/11 was only 63 percent. At the third survey, three years after the attack, consistency was 57 percent. So people were only a little more than 50 percent right for a lot of the details.

      Trying to find something like the title of the study got me to a 2015 article about when it was finally released, where the guy explained that inconsistencies included ALL changes– so, to use my dad’s story as an example, if at first he said he heard the attack on the radio and then drove out into the field to tell my mom, vs the second time he said he ran out, then even though those are synonyms (you “run around” in the vehicle) it is an inconsistency.

      Similarly, if he heard the news flash on the radio while in the kitchen, and then got in the pickup and listened to the actual information, then concluding that it was an attack and drove over to tell my mom, then it would be recorded by the study as inconsistency based on where he said he heard it, and where he said he went to tell mom about it.

      They also note in the synopsis of the study that actually inaccurate information was the most likely to be changed, and that folks tended to remember the memories they polished. (duh)

      Study is here, I don’t have access:

      1. Oh, and the thing I really should’ve looked at FIRST, SA actually put in the article!
        3,245 participants … 202 respondents completed all four surveys.

        1. The basic idea is sound– kind of obvious, too, if hard to measure– we know at least some people shift their memories some, especially if they focus on it and repeat it over and over and over.

          The problem comes in when someone’s Proving A Point! :laughing:

      2. That helps clear it up. My main memory was I went through my morning routine, logged onto the forums and say the big thread about an air accident, which we later discovered was intentional.

        And I don’t see how I could get those broad stroke wrong. But details did get mangled. For the longest time I couldn’t remember if it was during one of the fasts. (Found out later it is not, but in the Julian calendar, the Beheading of John the Baptist falls of Greg prism 9/11, so it was a fast day.) I think this was when I had a new motherboard on order, which had an “anomaly” occur in transit. I think this was also the thread where I discovered (I think) Finnish has a very subtle error in how it is translated to English.* But those I’m not as sure about.

        I do recall I did not see any of the footage the day of the event, and because the media decided to do a near complete blackout on it almost the next day, I did not see any of it for at least a year.

        I also recall when I was in grade school, a teacher successfully convinced me I had not ridden a camel|elephant. I can’t actually recall which it was, but my folks reminded me years later we had gone to an event that weekend where they were doing exotic animal rides. They even got photos.

        So on the one hand, I know memories can get nuked from personal experience, on the other hand I know that pretty much all research from the last 50 odd years or so is turning out to be ir-reproducible, so it’s hard to know just how malleable memory actually is.

        *There is some grammar mechanism English uses to indicate whether an argument is held by the speaker or merely being presented by them. Finnish native speakers using English have it exactly backwards. They present ‘devil’s advocate’ as though they were their own opinions and present their own opinions as though they were ‘devil’s advocate’ positions.

        1. So this is where I repeat the story that demonstrates that memories can absolutely be manufactured even without any coaching.

          When I was four, we drove up to Thunderbird Falls, a scenic waterfall about 20 miles north of Anchorage. We walked about a mile and a half in to the overlook, which was a concrete platform on the side of the ravine with a steel railing around it, and there was mist from the waterfall in the air making everything wet and a little slippery. I slipped and started to slide under the bottom tube, which would be down the side of the ravine to my death, and my dad did one of those “dad saves” you see on Youtube and grabbed my collar and pulled me back up, and then my mother had conniptions and we hurried back to the car and went home.

          I’ve told that story many times whenever people are comparing “omg I almost died” stories, and I have a strong visual and tactile memory of every single instant. But…

          When I was back in Anchorage in 2021 to deal with my dad, on one trip I had a lot of free time and drove all over the place to explore how much my hometown and region had changed. I drove up to Palmer and Wasilla, and when I saw the sign for Thunderbird Falls I took the exit, because I hadn’t ever been back. I walked in the mile and a half, and got a big surprise: not only is the observation point totally different from what I remember (and completely safe), the geology of the falls is such that the overlook could never have been where I remember it.

          I can’t explain it at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scene like that in a movie or on TV, and I don’t remember my parents ever talking about it. Maybe I slipped on some other less dire part of the trail. No idea. But my memory of slipping at the overlook is completely incorrect.

          1. Could they have updated the observation area since then? That might change the completely safe part, and I know there was a rash of updates during the Obama years. (some really stupid, some not)

            I would guess that what happened was something like “see the Falls, wow that’s pretty, little kid gets bored, gets chewed out to not play the fool near that, you’ll get yourself killed, head back down trail, tired and still bored kid is fooling around, slips and scares the bejebus out of himself, saved by dad” and your mind compressed the cool of the falls, the worry from your parents about screwing around at the viewing point, and the terror of the slip.

            1. They could have updated the viewing area, but there is literally no possible way it could have ever been in the position with the kind of vantage that I remember. Doing a few minutes’ research, I see that people have fallen into the ravine, but from the trail not the viewing area, which is well back from the edge.

              Yeah, maybe I conflated a different series of events into a single story, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Memories, even crystal clear ones of traumatic events, are unreliable.

              1. Very much a matter of definition– just because things can be changed, doesn’t make them unreliable. (A lot of these studies are based on debunking a prior theory that if you got a memory under high stress, it was photographic.)

                A lot of it depends on figuring out how they get changed– for example, my theory of what actually happened is based off of looking at “small kid,” trying to figure out what is important to them, and then working backwards from that filter.

                The falls obviously looked right enough for you to recognize them– so that made an impact, it makes sense that t would get combined with the scared, and playing the odds you probably climbed up on the safety barrier because kid.

        2. So on the one hand, I know memories can get nuked from personal experience, on the other hand I know that pretty much all research from the last 50 odd years or so is turning out to be ir-reproducible, so it’s hard to know just how malleable memory actually is.

          :nods: And in fairness, it’s REALLY HARD to figure out how you’d even measure that!

          Which is the other reason that I like to dig into studies like that, when I can– you can learn all kinds of neat ways to try to measure something that is inherently vague.

          1. It’s also the reason why eyewitness testimony is consdier nearly the least reliable form of evidence, especially if traumatic events are involved.

            1. And why on the flip side, multiple people who haven’t had a chance to talk to anybody reporting the same thing, from different angles, is so valued.

              Important context!

                1. :practically bouncing off the walls:
                  I find this stuff fascinating, exactly because it’s so very hard to get through the various things to get a good grip on the meat of the matter– and that’s before things like bad camera angles, or the new (ish) deep fake videos, get involved!

                  My dark-humor favorite is probably watching folks looking at a video and drawing completely different conclusions from it, because it points to an angle folks don’t even THINK about that’s still kind of at the heart of memories– might call it interpretation? But that sounds a lot more active, and usually you don’t do it consciously, but it can completely change a memory while the details of the memory remain the same, even if you phrase it a differently in telling—

                  1. Again agreed, and it seems that the “professionals” don’t know much more about how the mind (as contrasted with the brain) works than anyone else. Yeah, the mind (as far as we can tell) needs a physical brain to function, but the common belief among many of those same professionals that it’s all explainable by chemistry, like the belief that there’so such thing as “free will” (for essentially the same reasons) doesn’t cut it for me. They seem to skate around the questions of, among others, imagination and anticipation.

                    1. Oh, gads, the “we saw a change, therefore it must have CAUSED what we are seeing” thing.

                      Would it kill a scientist to just say “look, it’s not physical, we can’t detect it. Here is what we can detect.”?!

                    2. That’s exactly how science is supposed to work: if it can’t be measured and falsified (at least in principle) it’s not in the allowable realm of science. Which is why it always make me think “IDIOTS!” when I read the usual “He said, she said” arguments about religion vs. science, specifically how neither can be investigated by the methods of the other and therefore (from opposites perspectives) each is “garbage”; they’re sort of like arguments about the scientific merits of art or sunsets. If you’re into geometry, think of science and religion as skew lines in 3-space; neither touching nor influencing each other. And that applies to anything which can’t be measured objectively and disproven if it’s false: consciousness, free will, the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin, etc.

                      /rant 🙂

                    3. That’s exactly how science is supposed to work: if it can’t be measured and falsified (at least in principle) it’s not in the allowable realm of science.

                      I’m nitpicky enough to change ‘religion’ to ‘revealed faith,’ and I’ll even allow for a category that’s something like “theories with proven predictive value”– it’s still stuff that can be tested, and reasoned through.

                      I do kind of wonder if part of the antagonism to teaching formal logic is that it would teach the habit of thought which is most useful for science– the idea that it’s not true, or false, it’s supported by X assumptions and Y argument. A true thing can be unsupported by bad assumptions or bad arguments; if you have X argument, and Y assumptions, and they say Z cannot be, but Z is objectively there, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!

                      And a problem is opportunity dressed like work!

                    4. The thing about science is that nothing can ever be proven, which is why “proof” is reserved for reading, math and spirits. Science uses “preponderance of the evidence” combined with “hasn’t been disproven” (and why “theory”, a tested hypothesis which makes predictions and hasn’t been refuted, is as good as it gets). Which is why all the covidiocy was/is no more science than beating them to “drive the devils out” and the current trans hysteria isn’t much better. If it can’t be questioned it’s (as you note) “revealed faith”, not science.

            2. I was parked at a red light. Witnessed an accident. One where debris flew everywhere including over my car (no one majorly hurt, or killed). Facts I could attest to:

              (1) Was 3 cars back in the left turn lane, stopped.
              (2) Lights on my side (west bound) were red, both through lane, and left turn.
              (3) Two cars collided. One wasn’t going very fast. The other was.

              I know now, because it was reported, the north bound driver was speeding and ran the red light hitting the southbound to east left turning vehicle who had a protected green turn light.

              What I could have inferred before, because this is how these lights work, baring a train:

              (3) Lights for thru cross traffic north bound were red.
              (4) Light for thru cross traffic south bound were red..
              (5) Oncoming traffic had a red light (east bound).
              (6) Left turn for South to East, had a green light.
              (7) Left turn for North to West, had a green light.

              Because the above is what happens when the E/W lights turn red (generally).

              But I couldn’t know until the accident report was released.

  6. I was in college when I first heard that Ronald Reagan’s time in office was terrible, horrible, no good because of the huge national debt, crushing unemployment [why do they always call it crushing?], and extinction of family farms. I saw none of that, but I did remember the farm crisis because I lived in Nebraska at the time. The fast change in interest rates, poor farmer judgment based on “nothing will ever change,” and Nebraska’s merciless death taxes led to the sales of farms, not Reagan’s actions.

    That’s when I realized that 1) I couldn’t trust textbooks that covered stuff I’d lived through [already knew books fibbed about history], and 2) it was smarter to keep my mouth shut in class and nod along, because the prof was dead set certain that under Reagan we were one sneeze away from having died by nuclear bomb. I didn’t recall that, either. Nor did my parents, and we’d lived near SAC Headquarters.

  7. “Canada was a part of the USA where people were so smart they didn’t pay taxes.” —=Time Enough for Love=, paraphrase from memory.

  8. There is now video making the rounds, of police dropping off vanloads of Antefa instigators on January 6 2021.

    The video is being censored as ‘misinformation’.

    Looks like ‘misinformation’ is on track to join ‘right-wing conspiracy theory’ as a synonym for ‘inconvenient facts the Left wants to bury’.
    Some of the politicians nominally on our side do not understand the difference between ‘compromise’ and ‘appeasement’.

  9. One thing to notice is how all the people who are hysterically against reality breaking Duh Narrative are also against Duh Patriarchy. What they want, as they show in practice, is to transplant 8th Grade Mean Girl culture onto the entire culture, so that when they set out to destroy someone’s reputation, Duh Narrative ensures that it happens, no matter what the reality is. This is their ideal matriarchy. Truth, facts, and reality and oppressively patriarchal and must be destroyed.

        1. Might there be some association here with the Parable of the Wicked Tenants? (Matthew 21:33-41) When the vineyard’s owner calls to collect, every servant he sends is killed including his son so that the tenants can keep their ill-gotten riches.

      1. They want what CS Lewis called “our grandfather in heaven,” not a father therein: a senile benevolence who will give them whatever they want, excuse their bad behavior and do what they say, while being nominally in charge so they can never be held responsible for anything.

        Biden in other words.

    1. Their utopias always tend to resemble a longhouse, and longhouses are great for the queen bees in charge.

      1. Which work fine as long as said Queen is benevolent. But then most tales take off when the benevolent old Queen passes, and the monster-in-law takes over.

        1. …which is the entire problem with hereditary aristocracies, including royalty. Gordon Dickson’s “Call Him Lord” offered one solution, if a bit drastic.

          1. @ Bob C > “Gordon Dickson’s “Call Him Lord” offered one solution, if a bit drastic.”

            That made such an impression on me, I remember it distinctly 15 years later (well, maybe I remember it…)
            I DO remember wishing we had someone with that kind of unerring integrity policing our own government officials.

            1. The important thing (to me, anyway) was that the king set up the process; it wasn’t imposed by others, meaning that he had all the integrity needed, and the foresight to know that successors might not.

    2. For some reason many women don’t understand that Patriarchy style cultures are better for every women, and matriarchy is for a few matriarchs and very violent for women on the outs.

      It’s my impression that in Matriarchy the matriarchs are powerful women that are often surrounded by weak, violent, and boyish men. Women are protected by their men, but rarely by law, women on the outs are unprotected and are often victimized by the weak, violent, and boyish men.

      Patriarchy has men creating stable societies to raise families in. Men force other men to treat women with dignity and follow set laws, this creates the ability for marginalized women to ‘get by’ without a protector.

      I’ve sort of felt, growing up in the South, that since the 70’s it has transitioned from a more matriarchal society to one that is more patriarchal. The great southern ladies with their husbands and sons, have faded into the background. And things are much more lawful, instead of who you know.

      Just my rambling speculation.

      1. This is an astute observation, because we appear to be heading this precise direction. One need only look at the “soy-boys” and predators disguised as “male-feminists”, or the decimation of “men” of the Left during the height of the #metoo purges. Or pencil-necked Antifa cowards who moonlight as pedos on the side. Or those polyamorous “polycules” where multiple soft men orbit some danger-haired slag.

        Weak, violent, and boyish indeed.

        I’ve noticed on Youtube and many non-mainstream websites, a significant subculture of men – young men – recreating those patriarchal environments, where “patriarchal” simply means understanding gender differences, and playing to the strengths and bolstering the weaknesses of both.

      2. My theology professor used to point out that the Mycenaean Greeks behind the Homeric heroes all worshipped mother goddesses and it didn’t seem to stop them from trading women like baseball cards. Fact seems to be that the Great Mother likes to keep her boys to herself and ruthlessly puts down female competition.

    3. And apparently really vile Mean Girl culture was flourishing on Tumblr encouraging tween girls to “transition,” -all your friends are and if you don’t we’ll all hate you!

  10. Also given the example of what Canada did who even gave small amounts of financial support to the lockdown protestors, I suspect many who might speak up don’t do so for fear of having their finances frozen and their jobs terminated as “enemies of the state”

  11. I’ve known about the studies on maleable memory for years, but only considered it in relation to an individual. This puts a different light on the impact of the left controling what we see (in addition to what we’re ALLOWED to talk about.) I always thought they had intellectually decided to believe what they were being told, but the narrative is more thorough than I realized. It’s why they are so determined to destroy alternate sources (and vilify anyone who shows us something different, like the exculpatory January 6th videos.

    1. Yep. It’s all as real to them as reality is to us, and the two realities are incompatible.

      Scott Adams has a good analogy for this, where he says the left and right each live in their own mental movie. What movie are the leftoids living in? What movie are we living in? Which one corresponds best to things that are actually happening? Which movie is the great big mass of Americans in the middle living in? (Probably neither one, really.) A lot of stuff that looks insane to us makes perfect sense in the movie those people are in.

      1. Adams notes that. But he fairly consistently stays away from making a value judgement of anyone’s “movie”; other than poking fun at all of them.

        1. The Sidewinder Carp sensor has a Dragon Mask. It won’t chase a dragon no matter how hot it is.

  12. The show that these people have tried to create for the last twenty years has grown tired, thread-bare, and far too worn out.
    It’s still the same boring, tired, and unchanging teenage nihlism. Tearing stuff apart for the sole joy of tearing things apart.
    It’s not even “taking things apart because I think I can put them back together better!”, it’s just “taking them apart and throwing them against the walls like shit from my diaper.”

    …I just want all of these horrible people to go away. Never to be seen again. Never to be remembered. Just…lost on a dusty shelf in a library that nobody but very bored graduate students will ever look for.

            1. Few in history experience a fall so great, from such a shakily constructed height, to such pitiable lows. From the shoulders of giants, from such wealth and plenty, peace and prosperity, hope and faith and well being…

              To simple, squalid piles of trash that are made up of burnt finery, rotted cardboard empty of wonders, and once shiny scraps of plastic. The businesses and homes burned finally come to them that traveled to do it to others, to destroy the work of lives. Now just a footnote in a dry dusty tome written with the terse displeasure of the wise and learned historian in the tone of never do that again.

    1. So is my wish. That the temper-tantrum idiots will have a good taste of what happens when they finish their tantrum … and everything where they live falls apart, and they can’t even begin to wrap their tiny minds about how it all happened. How what they did ruined the high-trust society, and left them sniveling in their tears, their powerless apartments, eating the little bits of expensive canned goods that they were able to scrounge from the looted bodega…

      1. I don’t.
        Mostly because I know what it looks like when it all breaks down and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
        But…I suspect that if you’re willing to move fast enough in the San Francisco/San Jose area, you can get bargain-basement prices on lesbian wine-aunts and DEI-Karens being laid off in droves from the failing tech industries.

          1. The possibility that they might be assuming protective camouflage and are actually decent people somewhere deep down inside.

            Of course, to find the ones that are actually decent will require quite a bit of breakage…

            1. I’d bet the odds are better for finding hidden gold among the lesbian wine aunts.

              1. I would gladly take you up on those odds.

                The breakage is the problem. I suspect I’d have to do outsourcing for the first stage because we’d have so many to work through…

      2. But Celia, the temper tantrum idiots will just think super secret wreckers did it to them. Very few will ever realize they are responsible. They wouldn’t have the political philosophy they hold. If they cultivated gratitude, and realized that they should fix the world in their sphere of influence, where they might actually understand what’s going on. Also the thing that they should be fixing the most, is the person in the mirror.

        Commies are going to commie, so it’s always super secret wreckers, it can’t ever be that they were wrong.

        The ‘good people’ can’t possibly have been enabling evil!!!

        1. @ T-Thyme > “They wouldn’t have the political philosophy they hold. If they cultivated gratitude, and realized that they should fix the world in their sphere of influence, where they might actually understand what’s going on. Also the thing that they should be fixing the most, is the person in the mirror.”

          Pretty much the plot-line of a lot of the Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.

    2. I like that idea!

      Of course, my mind immediately takes that idea and runs with it… this may take a while.

      Picture, if you will: Long ago, it is said, a man called Emris put charcoal to parchment and copied every song of worship the village priests sang so that his deaf daughter could read them. When the priests saw what he had done, they saw the way to pass their teachings down through generations, so that time would not kill the words they meant to share. The power of the written word gave this village an advantage over their neighbors, as the death of a single messenger would not kill the message they carried.

      They grew, and conquered, and withstood the ages. And they collected the scrolls together in what grew from a single mud hut to a labyrinthine temple of stone. One day they learned to make sheets of wood pulp, which were thinner, lighter, and easier to create than parchment. They bound many of these pages together in books, and the Emris’hyne grew even larger.

      When one day this kingdom fell, their conqueror looked upon the Emris’hyne and found he could not bear to destroy it. Instead, he took it for his own, establishing his nation’s new capital in his newly-conquered city. The city was named for him forever thereafter, but the Emris’hyne remained.

      One nation was conquered by another, throughout the ages, and still the Emris’hyne remained. No conqueror or revolutionary could ever destroy it, though many tried. Every traveler to that shrine of knowledge brought with them an offering – some written work that the Emris’hyne did not hold. Children’s stories, works of poets, tales of kings and queens, and life stories from the poorest beggar lay within that collection. But so did the ravings of madmen and thieves, and tomes that would twist the minds of any who believed them. So be wary, traveler, for not all that is written is true… and within the walls of the Emris’hyne lies much that is best forgotten.

      1. Nice! I had an idea for a library kind of like that in a world I’ve had in my head for 40+ years now…never wrote anything this cool about it, though.

        1. Thanks! I am of course pulling inspiration from the Library of Alexandria and Candlekeep Library, but it came together quite well. Maybe I’ll actually use it in something.

          1. Jerry Pournelle’s “Mote in God’s Eye”, where the moties kept their museums sacrosanct so they had something to build back from after civilization collapsed.

            1. Also in Niven’s “Known Space” – the Pak kept a civiluzation library out of their incessant wars.

              Neat idea, although human history suggests this is unlikely.

  13. Silicon Valley Bank, Get woke, go Broke.
    I think they are starting to see reality just a tad. That won’t help them though, just make them go crazier. Keep your powder dry.

    1. True Believers always double down when their beliefs are disproven by reality. This was demonstrated in the book/study When Prophecy Fails, and is easily demonstrated by pointing a Marxist at any real-world example of Marxism in action.

    2. The reports that upper management sold off a lot of their stock shortly before the crash will should might probably won’t come to the attention of TPTB because they were lefty darlings and donors. See FTX.

      1. From what I read it was a scheduled transaction from January.

        CEOs and other officers are usually presumed to have ” inside” information not available to the public. Thus they can’t just buy or sell on the spur of the moment.

        The way insiders stay out of trouble, is to work with the Legal team to schedule transactions over a long period, that are delayed in execution, and that are locked in and must happen, come what may.

        This is actually common. Stock watchers pay close attention to theses as potential forecasts.

        Unless that CEO is an utter imbecile, that sale is going to be legally bulletproof in court, if not in press.

        1. @11B > “From what I read it was a scheduled transaction from January.”

          So, they knew in January they were going to be taking a beating.
          And if they didn’t know, they should have.

          LONG QUOTE – punchline at the end, but the context is important.

          To put it bluntly, this was a Wall Street IPO machine that enriched the investment banks on Wall Street by keeping the IPO pipeline moving; padded the bank accounts of the venture capital and private equity middlemen; and minted startup millionaires for ideas that often flamed out after the companies went public. These are the functions and risks taken by investment banks. Silicon Valley Bank – with this business model — should never have been allowed to hold a federally-insured banking charter and be backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer, who was on the hook for its incompetent bank management.

          We say incompetent based on this fact alone (although there were clearly lots of other problem areas): $150 billion of its $175 billion in deposits were uninsured. The bank was clearly playing a dangerous gambit with its depositors’ money.

          Adding further insult to U.S. taxpayers, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco was quietly bailing out SVB throughout much of last year. Federal Home Loan Banks are also not supposed to be in the business of bailing out venture capitalists or private equity titans. Their job is to provide loans to banks to promote mortgages to individuals and loans to promote affordable housing and community development.

          According to SEC filings by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, its loan advances to SVB went from zero at the end of 2021 to a whopping $15 billion on December 31, 2022. The SEC filing provides a graph showing that SVB was its largest borrower at year end, with outstanding advances representing 17 percent of all loans made by the FHLB of San Francisco.

          Notably, another bank which had $14 billion of loans outstanding from the FHLB of San Francisco – First Republic Bank – saw its stock price plummet by 14.8 percent on Friday. In premarket trading this morning, its stock was down another 70 percent, despite the announcement of a new bailout facility last evening by the Fed.

          Western Alliance Bancorp, also on the FHLB of San Francisco’s list of its top 10 borrowers, saw its stock close with a loss of 20.88 percent on Friday. It had lost another 29 percent in premarket trading this morning.

          Another member of the top 10 borrowers at FHLB of San Francisco, Silvergate Bank, announced last Wednesday that it was closing shop and liquidating. Silvergate’s problem stemmed from the hot money it held in deposits from crypto companies heading for the exits as investigations began into its role in potentially laundering money for Sam Bankman-Fried’s collapsed house of frauds.

          Another crypto-related bank, Signature Bank, was shuttered by New York State regulators on Sunday, with the FDIC being named the receiver. All of its depositors, including its uninsured depositors, will also be made whole, according to a statement from the FDIC yesterday. Signature Bank’s filings with federal regulators indicate that more than $79 billion of its $88 billion in deposits were uninsured at the end of the fourth quarter of 2022.

          Signature Bank was also quietly tapping into ongoing bailouts from a Federal Home Loan Bank. In this case FHLB of New York. Its borrowings from FHLB of New York exploded in the fourth quarter of last year, rising to $11.3 billion. According to an SEC filing, as of September 30, 2022, it had total borrowing capacity of $23.4 billion from FHLB New York.

          We’re starting to see a pattern here. If you want to know which banks are going belly up next, simply look at which ones took the largest loan advances from a Federal Home Loan Bank last year. That appears to mean that they were seeing an exodus of depositor money and needed to plug their liquidity holes.

  14. “I was reminded of this as I read Phantom’s comment on Canada’s parents not objecting to drag queen story time or whatever. Because it might be true, of course. But then again, it might not.”

    As with most things, it is complicated. Some parents -do- object. Some parents yank their kids out of school completely, and don’t let them go back at all. I’m aware of a healthy number of people like that. Like, hundreds.

    People -do- protest outside drag queen story hour (DQSH). Particularly the last two years, people are deeply offended. Hundreds of them have been protesting outside these events all over the country.

    And you do hear about these things in blogs and the Rebel News. Also if there’s a fist fight or somebody gets arrested, the mainstream media will do a hit-piece to make the protesters look like freaks and mentally ill bible thumpers. Some pastor got arrested for protesting DQSH the other day. The people holding the event beat him up, tossed him out, and then the cops arrested him a couple days later. Think I saw it in the Sun or something.

    So, I have no “special connections” to anyone, but I do hear about this stuff. Makes me feel like I’m not the only goat in the barnyard, y’know?

    But, and this is what I’m trying to get at, we’re talking about hundreds of people here. The feral goat population of Farmyard CanaDuh. The type of people who -look- for trouble, to head it off before it starts. Also the people with strongly held Christian values, a separate group very much under siege these days.

    MOST people are militantly ignorant of what’s going on. By which I mean they actively resist knowing about anything that goes against The Narrative as we have come to know it.

    These are the people who, as an example, are STILL sending their kids to Oakville Trafalgar High School. Despite the crazy teacher, despite the protesters, despite the kids being scared (and they are, oh yeah) and also despite the constant presence of cop cars, media, constant bomb threats, masking, lockdowns, and a curriculum made of pure CRT.

    Most of the kids who went to that school are still going there. It has been an utter farce and freakshow since September, and has become an international news story. Here we are, March, kids still going? You’re kidding me, right?

    The smart parents pulled their kids out the day they saw that guy sporting the obscene prosthetics. Enrollment is certainly down.

    But it isn’t down very much! I can’t pretend the rest of the kids are still going because Mom and Dad are uninformed. They know. It simply is not important to them.

    You can’t blame the media for everything. They’re not that powerful, and they’re not that smart.

    What does all this mean? Canadian Normies have an extremely high tolerance for government-sponsored evil. They’ll drop a dime on you for not wearing your mask. Sheep are dangerous in groups.

    But, the goats are starting to kick them in the ribs when they refuse to see lightning and hear thunder. That’s why I say the goats are going to be running this thing.

    1. I homeschooled my kids in the 90’s when things weren’t nearly as bad as they are now.

      My hand raised homeschooled kids are sending THEIR kids to public school, which gives you an idea how incredibly powerful the culture is right now.

      At this point, all I can do is pray for them all. I did the best I could but we are facing incredible headwinds. And so are they. Humans are up against a foe we are not equipped to defeat. Good thing the battle has already been won or we would be in sorry shape.

      1. Me too, Susan. Recent graduates of the School of Home.

        Still, all schools are not the same, so it could be that they have a decent-ish school district.

        Our local school district has only recently begun to deteriorate, basically killed by Covid. Other districts, like Hamilton or Toronto, are flatly unsafe. Kids still go. Pet peeve of mine.

    2. From what I recall, Canada never experienced a revolution for independence like the U.S. did. It seems, in general, that they still revere the British Royal Family as their head of state; so, they still have a top-down hierarchy philosophy of government rule.

      Just my viewpoint. YMMV.

      1. Canada never experienced a revolution for independence like the U.S. did. It seems, in general, that they still revere the British Royal Family as their head of state; so, they still have a top-down hierarchy philosophy of government rule. …. YMMV

        Correct. What the British Crown did, essentially, was redefine the “British Commonwealth”. For the most part various sections became their own “country” with parliaments, and elected head of state Prime Minister, but still are part of the Commonwealth under the British monarchy. Which includes England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, +10 other “realms”, directly under the British monarchy. An additional 15 member commonwealth republics. Finally 5, members with their own monarchies. Source: (Full disclosure. Knew the country list I wrote were part of the commonwealth. Did not know commonwealth extended beyond that list until looked to verify the 5 listed.)

          1. Okay. Granted. I can never keep it straight which part of Ireland is “England proper” and which has it’s own parliament and prime minister.

      2. The phrase you are looking for is “peace, order and good government.” That is the organizing principle laid out in the British North America Act of 1867, the legal creation of Canada by British Parliament.

        The difference between that principle and “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is noticeable.

        Canada is the nation of “work your own patch, don’t cause trouble, and do as you’re told.” It is a cultural thing here. (Please note that I’m not saying it is a GOOD thing, but it is a thing.)

        I’ve found that this cultural thing cannot be explained to Americans. You just don’t get it. Which is a good thing. You shouldn’t.

        1. I got the feeling that culture was stronger by the Maritimes (My beloved’ s great-great-etc grandfather founded the Baptist Church in Nova Scotia) and at least a bit weaker in Alberta. But we’ve only crossed over three times stayed for short intervals. (A month or so was the longest).

        2. I’ve read that there was no such thing as a Canadian Wild West period, because in Canada central government administration and law enforcement got there before the settlers did, whereas the US was the other way around.

          1. Yep. That’s why Europeans, Brits and Canadians generally look down on Americans. Won’t line up, won’t do as they’re told.

            Ever notice how many ex-patriot Brits there are in the gun business? ~:D

  15. Don’t assume your co-citizens are idiots.

    Don’t assume they’re not, either. 😛

    Observe carefully for signs of rational thought, but if all you see is stupid, treat them accordingly.
    ‘Progressives’ believe everybody else is even stupider than they are. This explains a lot.

  16. I tend not to worry about these things because, frankly, I know the enemy wants us all dead or in organ donation farms. And I can’t “fix” them, I don’t wish to kill them, and I’m already older than most males in my ancestral line anyway.

    Instead, I just try to add a little sunshine to the folks around me. I praise their work, share a useful Bible verse, teach ’em to avoid stepping in stuff you can’t wipe off your shoe, and occasionally tall a bad joke badly.

    For example: “Why did the Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian navies start painting barcodes instead of numbers on their ships? So they could Scandinavian when they entered their home port.”

          1. I thought it was quite good, which should tell you all you need to know about me. 😉

    1. Tube one carp ready in all respects.

      Match generated bearings and shoot.


    2. That’s where you and I differ setnaffa. Where the enemy wants to maim you via organ extraction, or kill you, I very much DO want to kill them. It’s merely a form of pest, parasite, and contagion control. What I don’t do is glory in it. There’s nothing glorious about killing rats, mice, fleas, ticks, rabid animals, or critters who just won’t learn to stop rolling your bear-proof trash containers down the block. So there isn’t any glory in exterminating two-legged disease carriers.

      1. I hear you… and don’t wish to stand in your line of fire (carps excepted)…

        We all have different views on nearly everything. All they can do to me, if my religion is true, is send me to Heaven early. 🙂

          1. That almost works if they’re all LGBTQ+
            Their natural replacement rate is almost as close to zero as a population can get. Of course, their conversion-recruitment rate is presently way too high.

  17. Distinguo. When you’re silent out of fear of duress, it may not be agreement; it is consent – that is, voluntary acquiescence in what another proposes or desires. (Not perfectly voluntary, to be sure, because of the duress factor, but voluntary nonetheless – because the human will, despite the best efforts of our excuses-for-unheroism industry, is capable of resisting duress.)

      1. It is a rigged game. Speaking out against the most obvious and vile nonsense immediately earns you character assassination, which until recently, meant that your resistance was costly and ineffective. But the left has over played their hand, and the rigging has become increasingly obvious. We may not be winning, but they are increasingly losing. When people as far left as Naomi Wolf are starting to recognize what is going on it is clear that their tower will not reach heaven before it collapses. What the future holds may not be enjoyable by lovers of liberty, but at least it will be equally unpleasant for would be tyrants.

          1. I hope you are right, but there is a world of difference between people seeing through what is going on and actually accepting the sacrifices and personal responsibility needed to restore a working republic.

      1. And in many cases it’s not the threat of violence (usually to your livelihood, but sometimes physical) which prevents you, but the threat to your family. People will put up with a lot to keep their families out of the line of fire.

  18. The Left claims they love diversity, yet fight viciously against “cultural appropriation”. That kind of hypocrisy shows zero logic, and evidence of fundamental mental illness. Our new world order society that the Left is crafting is a fatal illness; the only question is how long it will take to kill the organism.

    Build the seeds and shelter them for when it’s safe to start a rebirth.

    Like Dan Lane says, electric vehicles are not practical outside niche applications. I could see that 50 years ago when my father was one of the electro-mechanical engineers for the General Electric Elec-Trak lawn tractors. Their biggest model, the E-20 was 6 lead-acid batteries powering an electric golf cart motor through a pretty standard lawn tractor transmission; and whatever accessories you were using. You could run that for about an hour to an hour and a half mowing or snow blowing/plowing; and then you needed to charge it for at least two hours before you could do it again. Top speed was about 10-15 mph. Interestingly enough, it could outpull any similar weight and traction gas-powered tractor. Thing is, the electrical system, batteries, and drive train were all cheap, affordable, and even by today’s standards, very environmentally friendly. Also very quiet, so it was very suburbia friendly.

    Now battery technology has greatly improved for storage density and rechargeability since then. But that technology is far more expensive, and far more environmentally damaging than your old lead-acid batts. The life expectancy isn’t any better than the old tech. And while you might get double the mileage, and at best recharge in half the time of the old system; internal combustion still is cheaper, far more versatile, and less damaging environmentally.

    Most of us don’t do a whole lot of work on memory fidelity. Heinlein used concepts of both extreme fidelity of memory coupled with exacting, non-interpretive recall (‘expert witnesses’, “Stranger in a Strange Land”); as well as reprogrammable, intentionally modified (self or outside) memories (“Time Enough for Love.”) In real life, PTSD therapies, and many others, deal with disconnecting and reducing emotional connections to undesirable memories. Certain cognitive training programs are out there to try to improve retention and recall of other memories, with varying degrees of minor success. What we know of people with eidetic memories leads me to think that it is possible to train people to actually be high fidelity rememberers. The greatest barriers to such are: whether they are willing to tinker with their wetware, are they able to put the brain sweat into doing so, and finding a program that isn’t pure bullshit.

    1. Oh, they loves them some Diversity, as long as it’s The Right Kind Of Diversity. Disagreeing with them about any petty detail is The Wrong Kind. And just about all of their details are petty.

      Anne was a Fair Witness. She wouldn’t speculate on the color of a house on the sides she couldn’t see from her current location. “It’s painted white on this side.” If pushed, she might concede that “Most houses I have observed are painted the same color on all sides.”

      Even if she had previously seen that the far side of the house was white, she wouldn’t rule out the possibility that it had been painted a different color when she wasn’t looking. “It was white the last time I saw it” is as far as she’d be willing to go.

      1. I read Stranger when I was about 16 (“this is the same guy who wrote Starship Troopers? WTF?”), and the Fair Witness part is the only thing I remember about the plot other than the protagonist was raised by Martians.


    2. @ Mike > “What we know of people with eidetic memories leads me to think that it is possible to train people to actually be high fidelity rememberers.”

      Irish orphan Kim, in the eponymous book by Kipling.
      Kidnapped boy Thorby, in Citizen of the Galaxy by Heinlein

      It’s almost as if The Lieutenant read The Journalist.

      Add the protagonist of TV show Psych: observation precedes remembering.
      And of course, Holmes.

      The catch about the Eidetikers is that they don’t seem to have received any training, formal, informal, or clandestine.
      Self-taught so early they don’t remember doing it?
      I used to be able to answer test questions by visualizing the pages of the book where I read the material, but I never consciously “taught” myself to do that.

      Eidetic memory is typically found only in young children, as it is virtually nonexistent in adults.[6][7] Hudmon stated, “Children possess far more capacity for eidetic imagery than adults, suggesting that a developmental change (such as acquiring language skills) may disrupt the potential for eidetic imagery.”[7] Eidetic memory has been found in 2 to 10 percent of children aged 6 to 12. It has been hypothesized that language acquisition and verbal skills allow older children to think more abstractly and thus rely less on visual memory systems. Extensive research has failed to demonstrate consistent correlations between the presence of eidetic imagery and any cognitive, intellectual, neurological, or emotional measure.[14]

      A few adults have had phenomenal memories (not necessarily of images), but their abilities are also unconnected with their intelligence levels and tend to be highly specialized. In extreme cases, like those of Solomon Shereshevsky and Kim Peek, memory skills can reportedly hinder social skills.[15][medical citation needed] Shereshevsky was a trained mnemonist, not an eidetic memoriser, and there are no studies that confirm whether Kim Peek had true eidetic memory.

      According to Herman Goldstine, the mathematician John von Neumann was able to recall from memory every book he had ever read.[16]

      I suspect most of the top tier scientists and mathematicians have an excellent memory of the things that interest them.

      1. I wonder if the loss doesn’t also have to do with the rise of written records rather than oral tradition, which pretty much has to be memorized.

  19. So, the Professor, an ichthyologist of international renown, was called into the Dean’s office, advised that his students had complained in their end-of-semester questionnaires that he was too reserved and never treated them as individuals in class (a rather benign charge today, but it’s an old joke), and admonished to be more friendly.

    The Professor (almost certainly an introverted Odd) asked for some suggestions. The Dean told him to at least learn the students’ names and use them when he spoke to them (no pronoun nonsense in those days).

    The Professor, who genuinely wanted to please his students, made an effort to memorize the class rolls and call them by name, and for the next few semesters the reports were much better. However, that didn’t last, and the Dean once more called him in and asked for an explanation.

    “I did try to be friendly,” the Professor replied, “but it began to adversely affect my work. You see, I discovered that every time I remembered the name of a student, I forgot the name of a fish!”

Comments are closed.