Saturday, March 24, 2012

Walking to the beach - 30seconds of observation

Back in St. David's Junior School in Kenya, Mr. Mbao(wood in swahili), our deputy head master once said - "Tisham do you have a photographic memory ?". It did not quite make sense back in year 6. Since then I have heard it repeated a few time. Then I started watching movies (watched Temple Grandin on my flight to Vancouver), reading up on cognition and working in the image processing field. I have come to analyse my own cognitive system and I suppose I am a highly visual person. I convert words into visualisations and concepts become related to reality rather than being strictly tied to language.

It is very difficult to filter from memory all the previous instances of the same object whenever I see a new instance of it. I decided to do the video adventure project yesterday and went on a 10km or so hike to Henley Beach and back. I have travelled on this road numerous times before on a bike when I was living in Mile End back in 2002-03. The previous trips play back in my head like a movie as I walk along the familiar road looking for things to film.

There are several clips, I am fairly sure which one I will put in as a submission (one featuring my shoes, some rocks and water). Still the activities of the arthropods is always interesting. We visit supermarkets like the ants visit a dropped chip, oblivious of where the food actually came from, pay for it with money we think we worked hard for (which in reality other people are working harder for and not getting), and drag it home using the leverage provides by our exoskeletons (read cars). In the ant society only the queen has the rights to reproduce, the sisterhood of working ants are simply born to their fate. After all is said and done, in bee and ant society the workers still retain their queen making rights - yay epigenetics.

A lot of things happen in the universe in 30seconds, it is hard to have a photographic memory of all of it. I seem to live in relative time, the frame rate of my memory increases when my emotions are high and retention is near perfect, with detail I can recall in retrospect which is not obvious at the moment of capture. The key to remembering more of the life I am living seems to be to infuse happiness and sadness into every moment.

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