Author Topic: Memories, Stargazing and stuff  (Read 3333 times)

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q

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Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:54:48 AM »
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No.

We say that Eva and Neil left the stargazing fuzzily unlinked, therefore it isn't remembered.

HOWEVER, Joey was brought back by Eva. How this was done is unclear: The easiest explanation is that she moved Joey into John's earliest accessible memory, like a copy and paste.

I think I know where some of your confusion is coming from. Remember that, although BOTH memories are unlinked, they can be tampered with separately, they are two different memories.

So that's all: Eva brought back Joey, possible by moving him into the future, so John remains unknowing of the incident... and the first meeting with River.

Why would this memory even be fuzzily unlinked in this "new continuity"? I asked that a few times now in that thread and it's being avoided all the time. Please. How does Johnny new life look like? What happens when and why?

Start with the carnival, end with NASA.

Sun

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 02:54:24 PM »
Why would this memory even be fuzzily unlinked in this "new continuity"?

Keep in mind that Eva and Neil are not time travelers. If anything has had a physical effect on Johnny during his life, that effect will not go away. Say he lost a leg. In his new memories, he may not have lost the leg, but his physical body will still only have one. Same with the betablockers. The betablockers cut off the conscious access to all of Johnny's memories up to the accident that killed his brother, as a physical effect.  I guess if you did a scan of his brain, it would show that those areas of his brain are somehow changed. You cannot undo that change.
Whatever the doctors change in the unlinked memories (or in those areas of his brain) can only have a subconscious effect on Johnny, but  it cannot be consciously remembered by him. So, if they went to the memory of him taking the medicine and told him in that memory to not take the pills, the physical effect would still not go away.

And the way I understand it, you cannot just copy the memory from the unlinked area to the conscious memories. Because, remember the scene where old Johnny says "You could remove Lily, so why can't you send me to the moon here and now?" and Neil explains that what they do is implant a desire in his mind? Remember how they could not send Johnny to the moon as long as River was with him? Apparently, they don't have the power to directly alter things, save for removing people. It only worked when Johnny himself was motivated to imagine a different course of his life.
... and writing this makes me wonder even more how they got Joey back. Admittedly, I can not explain that, but then, in that other thread I already said it doesn't work for me with the info and clues we are given.

As for your timeline, I cannot say. We are not told whatever it is that Eva does. I guess she leaves the stargazing meeting in place, she even has to or there would be no reason to go to the moon. Whatever she did with Joey in the unlinked memories can not be something Johnny consciously remembers. And in the conscious memories, all we see is that she removes River in highschool.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 02:59:54 PM by Sun »

q

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 03:43:53 PM »
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Keep in mind that Eva and Neil are not time travelers. If anything has had a physical effect on Johnny during his life, that effect will not go away. Say he lost a leg. In his new memories, he may not have lost the leg, but his physical body will still only have one. Same with the betablockers. The betablockers cut off the conscious access to all of Johnny's memories up to the accident that killed his brother, as a physical effect.  I guess if you did a scan of his brain, it would show that those areas of his brain are somehow changed. You cannot undo that change.

Who btw. even says that you can't change that? I actually even asked my doctor and if I didn't totally ask the wrong question, he said that the effects are reversible. It's not like your brain gets damaged. People don't even need meds to suppress traumatic memories. The human body can block those things out for protection, but this doesn't mean, that this person will never be able to remember those memories.

Heck, we don't even know what would have happened, if somebody told John directly that he had a brother. He might have remembered that with the right trigger. Or the stargazing scene. River tried it in her own way, maybe that was just not enough.

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So, if they went to the memory of him taking the medicine and told him in that memory to not take the pills, the physical effect would still not go away.
But there would have to be a logic reason in the new memories that would explain the memory loss.

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... and writing this makes me wonder even more how they got Joey back. Admittedly, I can not explain that, but then, in that other thread I already said it doesn't work for me with the info and clues we are given.
See, they CAN do quite a few things. Yes, the dream fulfilling thing works via motivation, but they still can do stuff. "a wiki of existing facts", "public data"... they have a lot to work with. And like you said yourself: Joey had his own little life and he wrote a book. That's something that never existed before. Eva, Neil and the machine are not THAT limited.


Sun

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 05:46:22 PM »
Who btw. even says that you can't change that?

Well, yes ... in real life, you can do a lot of things. Just like in reality, betablockers might not have buried Johnny's memories and a real person with Asperger's would maybe have told Johnny of the childhood meeting instead of creating symbols for it.
But what is "the way things are" in this story? An author can make certain things the only reality valid within their story. In this story, River is not able to talk about what she really wants, and betablockers make Johnny consciously forget part of his childhood. And we never hear the Sigmund agents talk about that the damage can be repaired or how they will repair it. Also, the clues as I read them mean they did in fact not repair his unlinked memory - see other thread: e.g. that in the altered memory, Johnny still does not go to the meeting spot the next year. I know, you said it could be that he was too late or something else. But if that were the case, why are we not shown that he at least tried? Kan uses clues and hints enviably well all over the story, I don't think he would just forget to include such a detail if he wanted to tell the audience that Johnny now remembers all.


Heck, we don't even know what would have happened, if somebody told John directly that he had a brother. He might have remembered that with the right trigger. Or the stargazing scene. River tried it in her own way, maybe that was just not enough.

Yes, they could also have tried telling him directly. I can see how that could have made for less story to tell (no drama and tension about removing River), so that might be why the story didn't make use of this option, but hey, at least there could have been a reason given why they didn't go this easier route. Since Kan did that for other instances of "Why don't they just ...?"

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So, if they went to the memory of him taking the medicine and told him in that memory to not take the pills, the physical effect would still not go away.
But there would have to be a logic reason in the new memories that would explain the memory loss.
No. We still operate on different assumptions here: You assume that once Joey is saved, Johnny will not take the betablockers, so this time round his memory will not be blocked (or did I get you wrong there?).
I say that it doesn't matter for his memories of everything up to the accident whether the course of events is changed. The part of his memories that houses young River, Joey having/not having the accident and taking/not taking the betablockers is not directly accessible to him. It is physically blocked off.

One analogy for this: You say: "They can just rewind the movie of his life to the start and change one little scene in the first five minutes."
I say: "The first five minutes of the movie are lost, how do you want to change anything in something that does not exist?" (Not a perfect analogy because you cannot use the concept of subconscious knowledge in movies).

A different analogy: Imagine a big manor. There is a room where the door has been nailed shut and then covered with wooden panelling like the rest of the wall. You don't even know that there is a door, or a room even. You just notice that something is weird, that the house seems bigger on the outside than on the inside. That's kind of like Johnny's memory. The memory is still there, and it has a subconscious influence on him. But he wouldn't know how to access it.
Now in that analogy, if someone were to teleport into the secluded room (like Eva and Neil finding a way into the forgotten memory) and put in new furniture and wallpaper, you would still not notice what the room looks like now because it happens in an area of the house that you neither know exists nor can enter. Johnny himself cannot enter the secluded memory.

See, they CAN do quite a few things. Yes, the dream fulfilling thing works via motivation, but they still can do stuff. "a wiki of existing facts", "public data"... they have a lot to work with. And like you said yourself: Joey had his own little life and he wrote a book. That's something that never existed before. Eva, Neil and the machine are not THAT limited.
I assume that Joey's life was born from Johnny's imagination. If he were able to remember his brother (and I said it repeatedly, that doesn't really make sense to me with the other clues), he would be able to imagine what his brother would have lived like. Remember, when River popped up at NASA, they also said that she was never in any database and that "it all comes from Johnny". So the same should apply to Joey. A little child would be even less likely to be recorded in a database.

q

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 06:04:33 PM »
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No. We still operate on different assumptions here: You assume that once Joey is saved, Johnny will not take the betablockers, so this time round his memory will not be blocked (or did I get you wrong there?).

Right.

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I say that it doesn't matter for his memories of everything up to the accident whether the course of events is changed. The part of his memories that houses young River, Joey having/not having the accident and taking/not taking the betablockers is not directly accessible to him. It is physically blocked off.

What does it matter that he took beta blockers in his real life? Like the leg analogy. What does it matter if he broke his leg in his real life? Why should the beta blockers have any effect on the new set of memories? They have no effect on the machine.

Johnnys new memories have to be a logically conclusive stand alone story. If you put memory loss with no cause in there, then there is no logic.

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And we never hear the Sigmund agents talk about that the damage can be repaired or how they will repair it.
What damage? We never hear them talk about any damage either. The "files" aren't corrupted. There is no broken hard drive in Johnny's head.

Sun

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 06:22:16 PM »
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Why should the beta blockers have any effect on the new set of memories? They have no effect on the machine.
Because the new memories are generated in Johnny's brain, not in the machine.
Therefore, it doesn't matter what the machine knows. They can only work with the things that Johnny knows. They cannot directly overwrite Johnny's memories, they can only motivate him to imagine a different course of events.

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Johnnys new memories have to be a logically conclusive stand alone story. If you put memory loss with no cause in there, then there is no logic.
Nobody artificially puts memory loss into his memories. The memory loss is already there.
The memory loss has led to unlinked bits of memory that cannot be linked again. You cannot work with the things that are not linked to his conscious memory. You cannot make Johnny go back there and live through it again. He is physically not able to go there. The leg analogy is valid because we are talking about a physical injury. His brain was physically changed. You cannot remove that change. To do so would require to actually go back in time and make sure no betablockers are taken. But the doctors can only meddle with memories, not with time and space.


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What damage? We never hear them talk about any damage either. The "files" aren't corrupted. There is no broken hard drive in Johnny's head.
We do hear them talk about damage. They say these memories are "fuzzily unlinked". While the memories in themselves are fine, they are not consciously accessible.

That is all I can say to that. Unless the author clarifies things a little more, I fear we will be talking in circles since we're both convinced of our opinions.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 06:30:04 PM by Sun »

q

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 06:31:29 PM »
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Nobody artificially puts memory loss into his memories. The memory loss is already there.

And again... what would cause this memory loss in his new memories? Is it that hard to outline a simple standalone timeline of John's new life?

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The memory loss has led to unlinked bits of memory that can not be linked again.
Says who? And... they WERE linked again. With the smell of the roadkill as the trigger/a bridge. Otherwise Eva and Neil couldn't have accessed/witnessed his early childhood.

A Fat Kid

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 07:44:24 PM »
I'll try to answer some of your questions to the best of my ability. Do note that exactly how the machine works is ambiguous even to the older forum members here, and that I may very well be wrong. The lack of information means we are all going to be speculating. No one is going to have a solid argument.

And again... what would cause this memory loss in his new memories? Is it that hard to outline a simple standalone timeline of John's new life?

The memory loss in the new memories is due to the beta blockers. Its possible that even in Johnny's new memories, he does not remember his childhood. There is no indication that he does. The stargazing scene isn't included in the montage, and we are never told if his motivation to become an astronaut came from his promise to River, or was simply implanted by Eva. The physical nature of the memory loss means that Eva and Neil never had the power to undo it.

Yes, it is that hard to outline a standalone timeline. The doctors cannot do it. We don't know the extent of the machine's ability. What we do know is that it cannot create events out of thin air. Otherwise, they could've just sent him into orbit in the first 10 seconds. It appears to be able to modify existing memories, as seen in the doctors' desperate attempts to motivate Johnny, and create new ones with the help of Johnny's own imagination, which is evident in the new memories and is elaborated on in the NASA building. Public data tainted by personal fairy tales.

Says who? And... they WERE linked again. With the smell of the roadkill as the trigger/a bridge. Otherwise Eva and Neil couldn't have accessed/witnessed his early childhood.

There is no evidence to suggest that they were linked again, at least to Johnny. It might have been enough for the machine to pick up a related memory, but I don't believe that machine or olfactory stimulus can actually undo physical damage.

The term "memory loss" is misleading because it suggests that he has forgotten. Johnny does in fact still remember the stargazing; the machine wouldn't have been able to send the doctors there otherwise. I don't think it can recreate what is forgotten. Instead, the term used to describe his childhood memories in-game was "fuzzily unlinked", and taking that literally, it just means the memories aren't connected to each other. It gets tricky to explain here. Think of your favourite dish. You may recall a memory of you consuming said dish, because it is linked. The thought triggered the memory. In Johnny's case, however, think of it as being unlinked to everything. He could remember that it happened, but no stimuli would cause such a memory recall. The machine could identify that it exists, but not Johnny.

Do note that I used a lot of "I think" and "I believe". We just don't know enough to conclude. I've yet to see a single convincing argument on the matter. We can't prove each other right or wrong because we are all making assumptions. Just a precaution before this all devolves into a jumble of circular logic.

q

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 03:41:32 AM »
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The memory loss in the new memories is due to the beta blockers. Its possible that even in Johnny's new memories, he does not remember his childhood.

This is not logical, since we have no indicator that he's taking beta blockers in the new memories. How can it be due to the beta blockers, when he never took them? I've asked that now so many times...

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Its possible that even in Johnny's new memories, he does not remember his childhood. There is no indication that he does.

If he wouldn't remember, he wouldn't have the wish to go to the moon.

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The stargazing scene isn't included in the montage

Why would it be? The montage shows the change/differences. The stargazing scene was obviously untouched.

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and we are never told if his motivation to become an astronaut came from his promise to River, or was simply implanted by Eva.

The implantation didn't work... why should it work now?!

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but I don't believe that machine or olfactory stimulus can actually undo physical damage.

What physical damage? It's not like John's mom was ramming a screwdriver in his head (exaggeration).

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Yes, it is that hard to outline a standalone timeline.

For me it's easy and I have no problem creating a standalone timeline without any illogical flaws.

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The doctors cannot do it.

Says who?

A Fat Kid

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 02:53:40 PM »
This isn't going to work, and this thread is going down the path of the ApatheticPotato one. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Since you don't seem to understand what I was saying and just nitpicked away, I'll give a simpler hypothesis:
The reason that the memory was fuzzily unlinked in his new memories is... wait for it... magic! And no, I'm not being sarcastic.

We don't know how the machine works, or what its limitations are, or exactly what the doctors did. Hence, everything is invalid and makes as much sense as a cat pushing a watermelon out of a lake.

The point is that no one knows, and every answer you have gotten and will get is mere speculation. I'd go as far as to say even Reives doesn't know. From a creative standpoint, omitting such vital information stops people from picking at plot holes, because magic solves everything. I'm sorry, but your question cannot be reliably answered.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 02:55:35 PM by A Fat Kid »

q

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 03:18:13 PM »
I understand what you are saying, it just doesn't make sense. And I'm not notpicking at all, I was asking very basic questions. The game is totally consistent and logic, there are no plotholes and there is no need for "magic" at all. You (not just you, plural you) just make things way more complicated than they actually are.

Ponderer

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Re: Memories, Stargazing and stuff
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 03:31:16 PM »
Oh wow, it looks like after my long absence, there were discussions based around those same AatheticPotato discussions cropping up again:

I understand what you are saying, it just doesn't make sense. And I'm not notpicking at all, I was asking very basic questions. The game is totally consistent ...

Yes, the game is totally consistent, and within the game, we see that there were some memories that could not be accessed by Johnny.  This is clearly evidenced by them having trouble regressing deeper into his past, having to call the technicians, and the technicians telling them there is nothing wrong with the machine.

In the lore of the game, there is nothing wrong with the machine, there's something wrong with Johnny's brain.

This is again confirmed by Neil's confrontation with Eva about moving River.  He states that they happen to know better than Johnny does what he wants.  If he knew what was trapped behind the beta blocker damage that would not be true.  That's because they know of that first meeting, and he couldn't remember it.

This is even further confirmed by Johnny's confession to River about their first meeting, where he thinks he saw her in high school and wanted to meet her.  This caused her to get confused and upset, which triggered her own desperate behavior.  Why?  Because she remembered their first meeting as children, and he didn't.

However, this is just in effort of explaining that Johnny had physical damage to his brain within the lore of the world.

To then say 'if we make him imagine he didn't need to take beta blockers so he won't, then his brain will heal', is akin to saying that if he had only one leg, if you make him believe he had both legs and then unplugged him from the machine, he'd have two legs again.

It doesn't work like that.

This is not logical, since we have no indicator that he's taking beta blockers in the new memories. How can it be due to the beta blockers, when he never took them? I've asked that now so many times...

You have, and it's been answered for you, and most directly the answer is:

It's due to the beta blockers because he did take them, physically.  Nothing they can make him imagine could cause him to 'un-take' them.  It doesn't work like that.  According to the lore of this game, that change is permanent, as evidenced above by Johnny not remembering all those events of his youth even after he hadn't been taking beta blockers.

Therefore, whether or not he makes up pretend beta blockers and takes them or leaves them on the table, either scenario has no impact on the real alterations already done to his brain.

If your argument is that not taking beta blockers would fix this, you have clear evidence of Johnny not taking beta blockers for extended periods of time (his whole lifetime after the initial incident, in point of fact) and that did not clear up his memory, so your argument is not compelling.

If you're saying it's unrealistic because in real life beta blocker memory damage is reversible by simply stopping your beta blocker regimen, it MAY be, but keep in mind we're talking about beta blockers not for their standard usage, but massive doses for the express purpose of affecting memory around traumatic events.  We can make heart patients forget waking up with their chest open and reaching around for help, so this isn't an impossibility.

For other questions:
"What physical damage/What damage? We never hear them talk about any damage either."

We do, they may not specifically use the term damage, but if you go back to when Neil called the technicians, they uncovered hidden medical records.  They state that the medical records are in regards to large doses of enhanced beta blockers, which affect memories.

This effect on his memories persists through his life, and remains.  That's the damage being discussed here.

"The implantation didn't work... why should it work now?!"

When he remembered River, he instantly lost the desire to go to the moon.  This is because he wanted to go to the moon to reunite with her, even though he couldn't remember that was why.  When you see the person you want to be with in front of you, you don't want to go somewhere else to find them.

Moving River kept his desire to go to the moon intact.  This is likely why we didn't see River in the fake memories until he was already at NASA and ready to go to the moon.  Because that's when it would make the most sense for his mind to introduce the person he wants to be on the moon with.

"Why should the beta blockers have any effect on the new set of memories? They have no effect on the machine."

The machine isn't motivated to specifically go out of its way to rewrite River back into his conscious memory.  Eva moved her for a purpose.  The beta blockers don't affect the machine, they affect Johnny's brain.  In Johnny's brain, he cannot access those memories.

Edit - And regardless of whether the damage from beta blockers or 'enhanced' beta blockers may be permanent outside of the game, the game as you said is consistent.  This means that within the lore of the game, Johnny has an altered brain that cannot access those memories due to physical alterations based around a drug he'd taken.  Imagining he didn't take them doesn't heal the damage from the ones he already took.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 11:25:27 PM by Ponderer »