The human mind has an amazing ability to interpolate illusions into or perceptions (and thus our memories). What we perceive is already an illusion of mental processes identifying patterns and attempting to generate reality.
We do not really see 3 dimensional objects. We see 2 pictures which are super-imposed. Our minds almost immediately detect the differences between the pictures and thus we detect depth. The quest to artificially produce this illusion is almost at its goal. Very soon computer generated models will be produced that appear 3D to even the most discerning eye.
The objects will not be 3 dimensional, but our minds will be fooled.
Memory is pretty short in comparison to our life spans. We don’t really remember something that happened to us when we were little kids. We remember remembering that memory. It has been played over and over inside our heads for years. Even something that happened to us last week is not a first generation memory.
Imagine what happens when we remember a false event while not remembering the actual event. Enough repetition of the false memory can convince us that it actually happened. I’ve seen this happen to someone with bad short-term memory. She wanted to develop a lie to achieve a goal so she repeated it over and over. Eventually it stuck into her long term memory. Unfortunately, she was not trying to remember what actually happened so that part got lost.
Sometimes I think one of the most important things we can teach kids is how to use their brains. That people don’t use their brains enough is immaterial to me. One does not bake 20 batches of cookies to find the dozen that are good to take to a party, they bake 12 correctly the first time. We as a species have learned so much over the centuries that the bodies of knowledge are vast and would fill up our memory capacities a hundred times over.
The trick is to help people learn the behaviors (which produce skills) that will aid them in becoming the best they can be. Also, we should understand the environment (nature, political, social, etc.), our capacities (physical, emotial, mental, etc.), and our impact upon the world around us.
Our word is becoming more and more complex. Perhaps one day it will reach the point that it peaks and becomes simpler and simpler. We should not hold our collective breaths and hope for this to occur. Instead we should prove that we are what we think we are… the most adaptable creature on Earth and possibly the Universe. We should adapt to the environment we are creating (for the short term) while trying to understand it and move it in the direction we wish it to more.