SLeidetic memory

forgottenI have a memory like a, erm…. What do you call those things with holes? Sieve! That’s the word – couldn’t remember it!

And that’s my problem – simple, everyday things that most people have absolutely no problem recalling, I frequently struggle to remember, however my powers of recall are inconsistent: When it comes to obscure facts and useless information, I have no difficulty at all recalling the most arcane details, but when it comes common knowledge and everyday things that everybody else seems to instinctively know, I flounder.

Ask me the Latin name for a fish, plant or animal and there’s a good chance that I can rattle it off without even thinking, and then tell you the specific meaning of the taxonomic name. Question me on how how tall Kevin Keegan is, African geography, pre-Raphaelite painters, post-modern architecture, international stationery sizes or heraldic symbols, and I’ll have little problem recalling the most obscure details. However, if you were to question me about which actor starred in any particular film, the lyrics to most songs, any telephone number I routinely have to use, a work colleague’s name, or what I did a couple of days ago, and the chances are, I won’t have a clue.

That can be quite a nuisance – whilst knowing what type of coffee is produced by which country may be interesting, it’s not particularly useful on a daily basis. Whereas, the things I do tend to forget are pretty much indispensable… “Can you give thingy a call about that thing we were working on, umm… I forget when… Their extension is, erm…” – see what I mean?

tharen5_001When it comes to SL, however, I seem to have no such difficulties. I can recall avatars whom I may only have met once, six years ago, with little difficulty; I can tell you where I was, with whom, and what was said on any given occasion, with crystal clarity, and I can recall the layout of sims from the distant past, as if I was there only yesterday. I’ve never seen the need for a feature like the visual outfits browser, since I know exactly what’s in all of my inventory clothing folders without looking – no matter how obscurely they might be named. I also seem to have a talent, (if that’s what you call it), for being instantly able to recall and spontaneously play any of the thousand plus gestures I have in my inv. without even thinking about it – it’s one thing to have a gesture for any occasion, but even more impressive when you can remember what those gestures and their triggers are, without hesitation.

The only explanation I can come up with for my seemingly prodigious memory for all things SL, is that somehow my brain unconsciously puts anything to do with the virtual world into the corner of my mind marked ‘Useless Knowledge’ – because that’s the only kind of stuff that I ever seem able to remember in RL – I only wish I knew how I could deal with the far more important things I need to recall, like where I’m supposed to be going to work tomorrow, in the same manner. Fate, it seems, has dealt me a rather cruel blow in that regard.

Still, it does have its up side – I’m ace at trivia questions, just so long as they steer clear of anything run of the mill; stick to the obscure and hopelessly irrelevant, and I’ll be able to reel off the answers like Serendipipedia, but ask me for a capital city, who sang a particular song, or what I came into the supermarket for, and I’ll look at you blankly and shrug.

Now, I have to be going – there’s something I really have to do… But I’m damned if I can remember what it was!

s. x

Pictures hanging in a hallway and the fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces, but to whom do they belong?
Noel Harrison – The Windmills Of Your Mind

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