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April 21, 2018: The ABC’s of Listing

The letter M is a goldmine. Memorabilia, memory, memoir, the list of m words could be endless; a lot easier to deal with than J or K.

Memory, it seems most fitting. We make lists because we do not trust our short term memories. We also don’t trust our long term memories, but that is rather inconsequential because who cares in 2020 about what they wrote down on their list in 2018? Short term memory is closer to the here and now.

We write down what we want to remember on the list – it’s a life preserver of sorts. It is what keeps us afloat when we enter large supermarkets. The average person, I am told, can remember five items. The less than average person four

items, and the greater than average person six items.

Go into that store with a list with ten items, lose the list and you are a cooked goose. Go into that store with a list of three items and you are a goose waiting to be cooked.

The purpose of the list, if you carry it with you, is simply to bring back to mind that which you committed to paper. Hang on tight to it, because without it you are back to square one. But here is the catch. The act of writing down and then looking at the words is what enables one to commit to memory what it is that one needs to do. Yes, just looking at the words. My guess is that something is going on cognitively in this instance. There is the movement of the hands, either on a keyboard or across the page. There is the registering of the information on the brain. There is the visual confirmation. There is recollection, after.

Now I can make a list and lose the list and not immediately recall all that I wrote down on that list. If I start doing things, then that which I think I have forgotten comes back to mind. This, I think, is context driven. I can also list three items and then have three items as sub-texts.

Ahh haa, I think there is something called middle memory – it resides between conscious and subconscious thought. It’s the middle ground – a repository for not so immediate listed items. The things to be remembered filter through the conscious and are easily recalled. This is percolation down. The opposite also occurs – the things that to be recalled filter up through the subconscious and are easily remembered.

Without middle ground, we have a much harder time of things. It’s just much harder to dredge up or dredge down the minutia of our supposedly very important lives. Most everyone has a middle ground area, just like they have a subconscious and a conscious area. Some have a more vast middle ground than others – these people are probably in the genius category. Idiot Savants don’t have a middle ground – they simply regurgitate that which they have read or been told.

If I had been born 100 or so years earlier, my theory about middle ground would have put my name on the map. But these days no one is being credited with new neutrally-related findings. This is not my loss, but rather the loss of humankind.

Next: 112. 4/22/18: The ABc’s of Listing: Non-Linearity

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