What was the last thing you forgot?
I thought I’d forgotten about Chumbawamba
Their song about not remembering whether they had amnesia
And discovered the reasons we forget
There are three

Sometimes the memory is simply lost
I fail to record it
I struggle to retrieve it
I lose it through the passage of time
And I may as well never have learned it

Sometimes the memory was never right
A subtle hint overwrites it
A trick of the mind confuses where I got it
A belief or assumption filters and interprets it
And surely I learn to trust my memory less

And then, of course, I could repress it
Squash it into the back of my mind
Remembering Freud’s unproven theories
Hoping that what’s left behind
Leaves me feeling more positive

I once witnessed a traffic accident and gave a statement to a police officer, who explained that what I told him was simply wrong, but that it was ok because people have false memories all the time.

This poem is based on Daniel Schacter’s Seven Sins of Memory, and I manage to get a little jab in at Freud, whose work is so influential and yet so full of speculation.

Do peaceful moments just come of their own accord?
How much influence does stimuli have on contentment?
Cant be purely chemical.
Serotonin, cortisol, norepinephrine.
Like everything in life.....trying to find a balance with far to many variables.
An educated guess. A fun chemistry experiment, this life.
States of mind...

A mind ramble
Janae 4d

This is the new term,
Nothing you've ever heard

To throw up as a brain;
You just stay the same
You can't say your sick
Perfectly healthy
And that's all it is

You feel disgusting
Like a giant blob of nothing
But it's all fine and dandy

You can't say there's something
When know it's just nothing
Because they say
you're not sick
They say "perfectly healthy"
But that's not it

Nothing you've ever heard
But something to learn
We call it brain vomit

Thank you, brain
   For thinking for me

           Right controls left
Left controls right

                                             I need both sides
                                          To think a thought

                I need all lobes
                    To create a whole

     O th e r w ise  fr ag m ents
  wo u l d   o ccu r

Logic, lines, language
                                              Cre­ativity, Imagination, Feelings

                    Does brain mess up?
                        Yes, quite a lot
                           But I forgive brain

Brain forgives brain?
               Am I my brain?

                                                         ­        Don’t make me think.

                                                         ­         Why do you do this to me?

                              Now I can’t stop thinking.

        Thank you, brain.

S c a t t e r e d   t h o u g h t s . . .

The intensity in your eyes
And how they met with mine
So different than with those other times
with any other girl
It was warm and electric
A jolt of excitement each connection
We'd glance then look the other direction
I really feel something here,
Infatuation and fear
Chopped black hair
Dark and debonair
Phyique and face of grace
But all I wanted was her stare
It's burned in my brain
Engraved and and stained
Something I'll never forget
Especially while holding the regret
Of never getting
Her name.

Esther Jun 13

They inject it into your brain
Directly through the skin and through the skull
Don’t even ask about the pain
Anyway, it seeps into the cortex
Lighting up the neurons with memories
What memories?
First piggy back, first pulled tooth, first death wish
Soft stuff springing into sparks
And then oh, the flames
Don’t even ask about the pain
The straining emotion remains, of course
And new connections are made
Stemming phylum connections between
One ethereal feeling to the overwhelming onslaught of
You know, things
Then the frontal lobe takes a break
It sips that stuff and stops
And thinks- we all know where that leads
Detachment and dissociation start dancing
They tango to the dull beat of your heart
It thump thumps and there’s nothing else really
Your brain wakes up every few minutes
The background music playing
And it makes you suck in this weird cold air
Stuff happens, things stay alive
And the injection well
It’s faded the minute it was dispensed
You were never more or less awake
But it’s all still moving slow-quick
Slow down, you say quickly
It speeds up
You’re feeling everything that’s ever been felt
What a rush what an end

Now it ends.
You slouch
You see there isn’t a needle or a pen
Nor a blade of any kind
And the thumps are replaced by heavy thuds
The sound rattling in your ear canal
You inject it into your brain again
You get up to brush your teeth and wash your face.

R Miller Jun 11

the mouth is set and
                                       the brain retreats inside with
                                                                ­                          no where left to go

                              Some say the scientific method
                              Is the ultimate algorithm and others
                              Prefer prayer.

For symbolists, all intelligence can be reduced to manipulating symbols, in the same way that a mathematician solves equations by replacing expressions by other expressions. Symbolists understand that you can't learn from scratch: you need some initial knowledge to go with the data. They've figured out how to incorporate pre-existing knowledge into learning, and how to combine different pieces of knowledge on the fly in order to solve new problems. Their master algorithm is inverse deduction, which figures out what knowledge is missing in order to make a deduction go through, and then makes it as general as possible.

                    ­          In its simplicity
                              Can sustain concentration

For connectionists, learning is what the brain does, and so what we need to do is reverse engineer it. The brain learns by adjusting the strengths of connections between neurons, and the crucial problem is figuring out which connections are to blame for which errors and changing them accordingly. The connectionists' master algorithm is back propagation, which compares a system's outputs with the desired one and then successively changes the connections in layer after layer of neurons so as to bring the output closer to what it should be.

                              Hungry and cold
                              A holy condition
                              A warrior's position in the world
Evolutionaries believe that the mother of all learning is natural selection. If it made us, it can make anything, and all we need to do is simulate it on the computer. The key problem that evolutionaries solve is learning structure: not just adjusting parameters, like back propagation does, but creating the brain that these adjustments can then fine-tune. The evolutionaries' master algorithm is genetic programming, which mates and evolves computer programs in the same way that nature mates and evolves organisms.

            ­                  A good shit's the metric
                              Of a dying man

Bayesians are concerned above all with uncertainty. All learned knowledge is uncertain, and learning itself is a form of uncertain inference. The problem then becomes how to deal with noisy, incomplete, and even contradictory information without falling apart. The solution is probabilistic inference, and the master algorithm is Bayes' theorem and its derivatives. Bayes' theorem tell us how to incorporate new evidence into our beliefs, and probabilistic inference algorithms do that as efficiently as possible.

                              I can't believe
                              I won't live forever, therefore,
                              I made up an afterlife to go with reincarnation

For analogizers, the key to learning is recognizing similarities between situations and thereby inferring other similarities. If two patients have similar symptoms, perhaps they have the same disease. The key problem is judging how similar two things are. The analogizers' master algorithm is the support vector machine, which figures out which experiences to remember and how to combine them to make new predictions.

                              Prepare for a powerful anesthesia
                              Chemical processes irresistible
                              A good and perfect rest


--Domingos, Pedro, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World, Basic Books, 2015.

I knew a girl who was as highly strung
as Blanche Dubois
She had a sweet soul,
one of the last real ones perhaps:
vibrant and compassionate, any time of day.
I offered her the cure
to her constant plight
and once she let it in,
it eased her zapping mind.
But the brain still relentlessly
every good thought in her domain,
until it’s coated
in an atrocious slime.
go for a holiday’
I heard her chanting one afternoon
from mid-battle ground...

You got wheels
Come pick up the cure
Feel the peace beneath your feet
It’s always been there honey,
You just gotta let it
paint your landscape: bright.

The best is when the conscious mind
Focuses in on what it knows
On what it is
Never once considering what it means
To be that "something" for someone else

Simply looking around
Tells me enough about myself
To know that someone, someday
Will walk by my shelves in all of their glory
And smile at the mind in which I've built

It's really at the corner of inevitability and patience.
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