We are talking about science fiction. In my personal view, any form of human experience has some degree of a fictional quality to it. We wake in the morning and tell ourselves stories about how the day is going to go, and tell ourselves stories that aim to reflect events as they occurred yesterday. We may not have the facts a hundred percent accurate, but does that really matter?
I will ask you this question. Can human beings be perfectly accurate in anything?
In my experience, even when I think it’s simple and clear cut, I’ve been astounded by the different interpretations. And they are natural interpretations, logical from the other person’s point of view.
When I want to be “perfect” in recall, I have to write it down immediately, and that only works with strictly objective things like a number. Anything that involves an emotion becomes subjective. Yes, there are some things, especially information, that falls in the category of language which can be taken at face value, at least for form if not in actual meaning.
I think we are bad at the routines we try to stick to. We are. The process, that allows us to retain and recall memory, doesn’t leave the memory trace unchanged. Every memory gets edited whether we want it to be or not.
Human beings have always been story tellers. Every evidence seems to indicate that this goes well beyond our written history, and we originally told only one sort of story. We didn’t think of things in the sets of divisions we do today.
We told stories to explore, and to some degree explain our feelings and perceptions of our life and existence. And we also told stories that were attempts at understanding what goes on in our world and why. But we make a division between these two sorts of stories these days. Why is that?
We like to think we know what is real. We think we can distinguish truth from fantasy. Neurological research is revealing that in order to have any sense of self or continuity of consciousness, we have to, in a sense, imagine a continuity that isn’t really there. Stated more simply, on what most people would consider the down to earth every day level of existence, we only have fantasy. All that being said, we now have the two domains of storytelling.
Kind of like watching the images in a film and our mind puts the frames together and we see movement. Our brains have an easily detected latency. If information is presented to us any faster than that, we won’t see it at all, or we will mistake the time or cause of it.
Would what you said about imagined continuity go with having an imaginary friend? Yes, imaginary friends are a part of the fantasy facet of human consciousness. Another word for fantasy is dreaming, and we dream 24/7. It’s just that while we are awake our focus screens out the weirder imagery.
Then I can say proudly that I still talk to mine. Excellent. There is even respected neuropsyche research that recommends doing something like that with the caveat that they believe it’s only an extension of your subconscious mind. They refer to this active and deliberate use of waking fantasy as cognitive dis-inhibition. It frees up a fair bit of our mental faculties. What we consider normal focus shuts a fair bit of our mind off, but we are talking about science fiction. I just had to discuss its spiritual twin for sake of clarification.
I always thought imagination was the backbone of science anyways. It has to be to some degree. In order to make sense of anything you see, the same part of your brain is used as would be used when you, say, imagine pink elephants.
You can’t experiment if you can’t wonder at what will happen. I still say we don’t need billions of dollars to go to the moon. We just need a good idea. The other ideas were dangerous and expensive. Indeed, though expense and economy are an entirely different form of fiction, one far less worthy of being taken seriously than science fiction. The Wright brothers weren’t thinking about faster than sound travel. They weren’t even really thinking about commercial aircraft.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.