We come to this world like a blank book, ready to be written in, story after story in a long timeline. However, we are oblivious to the fact that while being the protagonist in our own novel, it is “us” who write it down ,in the form of memories. Our memories define us, they give us our identity, they are our building blocks. We often wish we could forget something that broke us or someone that left, but now after knowing we actually can; it is no longer such a tempting idea. During the last decade, scientists have been working on a project that can erase any memory from our brain.
“ Memory Hackers” claim that our memories are actually more malleable than we could imagine and erasing them is like erasing pencil written on paper . Science did not just stop at that point, scientists can now also insert fake memories that never really existed. One day you would be the victim, the second you are the world’s most dangerous criminal. Julia Shawn , a psychology professor at London South Bank university, succeeded in making 70 % of the participants believe they have committed crime .
Manipulating our memories is quite dangerous, but could also be of significant need at certain times. For example, helping people suffering with drug addiction or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are soldiers that are highly affected by war, that even hearing kids play around with fireworks can bring back the traumatic memory of the near death experience, unfortunate scenarios of the blood of their friends watering the land and fear filling up their lungs can be triggered from an everyday normal life event.
Manipulating memory is an ethically debatable issue, but in some cases it could be considered the best choice. Because our character is sculpted by the good and the bad experiences we had ,eliminating part of the past with no severe excuse is a great risk to who we are. It is true that forgetting is sometimes heavenly and we do forget, sometimes until we need to remember again. Other times for as long as we live , but what if we would never forget? The discovery was first used on a 12 year old boy who remembers every tiny detail in his life since he was 8.
This is not just very hectic , it is also baffling , this boy was diagnosed with “ Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory”, a disease that makes the patient unsure of what is actually trivial and what is considerable from their past. Would that be a disease with a strong enough reason to eradicate or manipulate even an amount of something as significant as memory?
Memories whether they are sad ,happy, or tragic are the only things we never lose against our will. Some are written on sand while others are carved on rocks, but the sand of our brain is more durable. Innovation is the proof that our world is making progress, but remember not to forget that not every invention is made for everyone.