Author Topic: Random questions regarding memory traversal  (Read 3126 times)

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Random questions regarding memory traversal
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:57:03 AM »
So I’ve been wondering about a few things about memory traversal

1) What would it be like performing on a patient with Alzheimer’s?
2) What would it be like performing on a patient who’s blind since birth? What do you do if they’re asking for the ability to see?
“My story is done, but it keeps on starting over. In the end it will hover like an invisible note, embedded in the wind that ceaselessly blows from the sea. It will exist in the raindrops falling on the parched earth, and in the end it will exist in the air we breath” - Henning Mankell (Chronicler of The Winds)

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Re: Random questions regarding memory traversal
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 06:28:29 PM »
Huh, that's really interesting... I'm not sure :deepstuff:


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Re: Random questions regarding memory traversal
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 03:41:19 AM »
Those are interesting questions to think about...  :deepstuff: The mind and memories are interesting things.

Here's my thoughts:

1) Finding Paradise spoiler below:
Spoiler: show
I think it'd depend on whether or not the "public domain stabilizers" were left in place.  If they were, the machine should correct most factual details about the environment.  If not, then I think it's possible the SigCorp doctors would have a lot fewer memories they could actually work with. 
Repeated memories, deleted memories, fractured memories a la Johnny's childhood are all things I could picture happening.

2) That's an interesting one.  I think performing the actual memory traversal sequence would result in most everything being static shapes, not because the patient can't remember them, but because the patient has never seen them to remember.  As for the wish to see... I have no idea how SigCorp's tech would accomplish that.  That's an interesting question.


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Re: Random questions regarding memory traversal
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 11:48:26 AM »
What a thread to try to inaugurate my first post in... >> Been lurking ever since I played To The Moon earlier this year but finally de-lurked after Finding Paradise was released and I played it. (Some FP spoilers hidden by tags.)

As a brief aside, I've always imagined that there were at least two limitations to SigCorp's life generation services: A. logical impossibility, B. fictional worlds. I am more confident of A than B; in other words, I don't think it is possible--whether on a regular machine or Neil's machine
Spoiler: show
(i.e. without the public domain stabilisers)
I am slightly more sceptical about whether it is truly impossible to generate a fictional life (by which I mean, if a client requests that SigCorp alter their memories and generate for them a life in which they were, say, a Jedi in the Galaxy Far, Far Away.) My sense is that since all SigCorp is doing is to take the expressed desire and transfer it back to early memories, and then triggering that desire and relying on the patient's new motivation to Get Stuff Done, no matter how much a patient desires to draw a square circle, or to actually have lived as a Jedi in an entirely different universe, this can't work at all. (I am less certain about the latter since this may actually be something that can't be done, in part, because of the
Spoiler: show

Alright. Now, on to the questions:

1. I actually suspect that part of the question's answer would have to hinge on the neurology of Alzheimer's and how much it has progressed. Is the memory actually still there, just unaccessible? Or does the patient completely lack the memory altogether? Johnny, for instance, clearly doesn't 'remember' his first meeting with River -- he persistently expresses and acts on the claim that his first meeting with River was in school. But the fact that the memory was still accessible given some finagling and a trigger and that Johnny was still driven by the wish to go to the moon suggests that the memory was 'there' in some way, even if not at a level Johnny could consciously access.

So, which is it, in the Alzheimer's case? Otherwise, I'm bound to agree with DarckPenguin -- probably even more blurry faces and parts of memories gone.

2. Seems to me that this question opens up a number of other interesting questions, including about synesthesia cases. My guess is that you could probably make the machine translate, say, tactile perceptions of a mug into a standard 'rough' image of a mug, even though colour and all would be completely missing, or a wild guess.

That being said, half the question seems to raise more questions on how the machine just works, as well as more generally on the phenomenology of perception. That being said, while this doesn't seem to be on the order of a logical impossibility, it still seems like a fairly tall order. (One way to think about it is to imagine that for some reason, all things that look green to you look red to other people. So when other people see a tomato and say, "That's red," the visual experience they have is really the experience you get when you look at grass and say, "That's green." I can't see how the machine might help here. Even if you could somehow allow memory states of you and another patient to see a
Spoiler: show
public domain image
of a tomato, it seems like you could still have the exact same experience--that of the colour of blood, whereas the other has the experience of the colour of grass. So even if the machine could somehow implant images, it seems like it might not be able to convey the experience of visual perception.

To be fair, whether that is a legit distinction is still the matter of active controversy. But it seems to be helpful in this case, so I mention it. /shrugs


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Re: Random questions regarding memory traversal
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 03:31:22 AM »
or to actually have lived as a Jedi in an entirely different universe