Tag Archives: events

Blank Minds

I have nothing to say today. Really. My mind is blank or filled with things that aren’t for public consumption. But then that makes me think of minds and our ephemeral memories. We are, in essence, made up of memory, which temporally places us between past and future.

I wrote about memory once when I was writing a column for fearsmag.com, a now defunct online magazine caught in the apocalypse of the dotcom fall. Memory is what defines us. Beyond the personality imprint of birth, we begin to remember things, who our parents are, what we like to eat, what feels good, how to walk and talk.

But memory is an odd beast. We could all watch an event; a soccer game, a murder, a birth, a celebration, and everyone would remember it differently. One person might be more attracted to pattern over color, or auditory over visual. How important an event is will also color how well or long we remember it. It is the biggest problems with witnesses for criminal cases. People remember different things and remember them differently because the mind can start to extrapolate and problem solve.

So when I remember December and holidays, I don’t remember each year’s specific holiday nor the ones of the childhood. I remember a particularly good or bad one but couldn’t tell you which year it was. I remember the overall feeling I would get from Christmas and it will be broken into atmosphere, the tree and gifts, and the family and friends and whether overall, people got along or the times were horrid. I’ll remember the taste of turkey but not necessarily a particular turkey. In essence, my mind files all Christmases in the same folder with post-it notes on the truly significant ones.

Therefore memory isn’t accurate while at the same time it is. It isn’t accurate as to chronology, linear sequences or even all details. (I remember you saying this but in fact you remember differently.) It is accurate in context to the person and what is significant. Though, haven’t we all tried to remember something important or where did I put the keys and we cannot remember. Memory is faulty. Datafiles become corrupted. I find too that time affects memory. The sheer distance of hours to an event will have the details fade to only the most important ones.

If we could truly be immortal, how much would we remember? Would we only remember about a hundred years worth of stuff and get vaguer and vaguer ideas of our own histories? I remember being in Byzantium. Well I think I do. I remember the age, or did I just dream that? Barring Alzheimer’s or other conditions that impair memory it might just be that we won’t remember much that isn’t in the most recent two centuries.

Without memory we would have to relearn everything every day and society would remain rudimentary at best. Yet even animals have memory and some of it is ancestral memory, or what we call instincts. It varies by species but in fact no creature could exist long without memory, beyond a simple cell. And without memory I wouldn’t be writing on this blog.

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Filed under Culture, environment, history, life, memories, people

How a Blog is Different Than an Article:By Me Anyways

Last year I researched and wrote a blog for a marketing company. They knew they wanted a blog but they didn’t know really what a blog was or what the different types were. So I did up a paper and printed off different blog sites to show them. I wrote a blog for the length of the contract where, because of what they marketed, they found the blog wasn’t really helping them a lot. It was also very specific and I warned them that there was a limited life on what could be written about.

Blogs can serve several purposes. There are the dear diary, hello my friend styles that are personal, chatty and set for people who know the writer. There are blogs done by companies, which can be troubleshooting or informative, advertise and raise sales. These might be in an informal style or have a particular voice. There are blogs that are for entertainment (gossip of the stars, humor, trivia) and blogs that are opinion pieces (or rants). Of course, you can have a blend of entertaining and informative, or opinion and chatty, or whatever.

I write a blog for several reasons. As a writer, when I can’t get to writing fiction every day, it gives me some exercise in writing. With a keen interest and opinion on many things I like to write about them and share my knowledge or insights, sometimes see if there are like minded people out there or if I’m just off the wall. Sometimes it’s to inform and sometimes to entertain. I also post some previously written articles that had a limited exposure on sites long gone.

What I don’t do with a blog is research very long. These are often personal interest, comments on current events or informative pieces. But the way I see it, I don’t have time to do a lot of research, unless I’m being paid. When I write an article for a magazine I do more in-depth research that might include interviews, going to the library, and some good ole fashioned legwork on top of internet research.

An interesting observation that I’ve noticed in general with my blog pieces. Since I started this blog in April, the entry “A Whole Rainbow of Possibilities” (on gay pride) probably had the most hits in a day. The “Fuel Efficient…” article had a lot of interest at first. The “Stones of Ireland” has been my most consistently read piece and the “Teenage Sex and Teachers” has skyrocketed over the weeks since I wrote it. I can conclude only that if you have sex in the title, especially coupled with teenagers, you’ll get many hits. Maybe I should title everything with sex. Sex Chocolate Chip Cookies. Sex Looking for a New Car. Sex Shopping for Clothes. Etc. I wonder how that would skew the views from those just looking for sex.

But in general, when I’m writing a blog entry I’m going on my memory and knowledge and some internet searching. Usually some Wiki and a few other sources, such as reliable newspapers or specific sites to do with the topic. So a blog satisfies my need that people will read it. Maybe not a thousand hits per day (yet! Unless I put sex everywhere) but still I’m one small voice in the cave. And of course I write because it’s fun.

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Filed under Culture, entertainment, life, memories, news, people, Publishing, Writing