SUPER MEMORIES: A desirable superpower, or weakness?
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If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you ask for? As greedy as I am for knowledge, I always find myself wishing I could know everything. So comes my fixation on memory. If I could remember everything, then sooner or later I’d know a lot of things, right? But even if you could remember everything, would you want to? I chatted about memory with Idriz Zogaj, the Swedish award winning memory athlete and co-founder of personal development app Remente. He is founder and Chairman of the Swedish Memory Association and Captain for the Swedish National Memory Team and 2014 World Memory Champions, winning the single gold in Swedish championships from 2004 to 2008. After learning the amazing things his brain could do, he went on to become an author of books on brain training, lecturing about the topic and taking on entrepreneurial projects to enhance memory training awareness around the world. He founded Zogaj of Sweden, a company that teaches memory training techniques, and his TEDx talk on How To Become A Memory Master has more than 3.5 million views, making it one of the world’s most watched TEDx talks. His latest project is in collaboration with a team of business leaders building international and scalable businesses. It is a free-to-use personal development platform for individuals and businesses, combining psychology with brain and mental training to help users lead a healthier lifestyle. So, will this app help me know everything? And is remembering everything even good? Will I be miserable if I know it all? Idriz explained that forgetting is a natural part of how the brain works, so we must forget to “function normally”; if you could remember everything, it wouldn’t work out. “For example, imagine you have a bicycle that you have owned for 5 years and you remember equally well every location you put the bike in every day for those 5 years. Now if I tell you: “Go get the bike!” your brain would not know where to go since all of the places you put it in are equally well memorised. Your brain would ask: “Which of the large amount of days/times are you referring to? “However, forgetting where you put the bike yesterday or last week makes it easy to know where you put it today – which is the only important place to remember. It is in the short term memory for that day. So yes, many things are good to forget and you do that without thinking about it all the time. Learning and forgetting are two sides of the same coin. The more you learn to remember, the more you will understand exactly how the “forgetting part” works.”
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