Saturday 19 October 2013

THREE NEW INSIGHTS: memory, hieroglyphs, and things you don't need

This has been a day of significant insights for me.

One: I read that eating popcorn makes us forget advertising in cinemas. Apparently we mouth the name of advertised products to ourselves, to remember them later. Eating suppresses the ability to subvocalize, and thus, the formation of memory, says Prof. Topolinski (

Okay, that explains why I don’t remember anyone who was introduced to me at that reception last week. It wasn’t the drinks. In fact I couldn’t tell you how many drinks I had. Eating those unidentifiable things the wait staff carried around on trays inhibited my subvocalization and left me without memory.

That would also explain why people engage in certain sexual practices that occupy their mouths and keep them from subvocalization – clearly they want to forget their partners.

And it also explain why dentists insert a lot of gear into your mouth before they inflict pain – I always thought it was to keep you from screaming, but now I see the real purpose: the dentist wants you to forget the experience and come back for more.

Two: You notice the proliferation of self-storage buildings in the suburbs? I couldn’t figure out why people suddenly have so much stuff to store away. Then it struck me: it’s because there are a lot of things the garbage pickup doesn’t pick up. Of course some people just let the junk pile up in their closets, basements, or driveways. And then there is Tadashi Kawamata, who piled up his old chairs and called it installation art:

Three: In the past fifty years we’ve gone from writing letters to writing emails to writing texts to tweeting. Every time the message gets shorter, and the emoticons get more play. In fact, chat app LINE has ended the need for words with their upgraded version of emoticons.  Are you groping for the right word? Don’t. Just use the LINE stickers to express yourself (

Okay, that explains the hieroglyphs in Egyptian temples. That ancient civilization was way more advanced than I thought. They were on to emoticons, whereas I’m still using letters. I know it’s pathetic, and I promise to move on right now. So, let me say


  1. It IS amazing not more people comment. IF they really read your amusing and crazy, yes, a bit crazy as well, stories comments just want to be written.

    Your idea to connect hieroglyphs with emoticons - absolutely brilliant! Wish I had thought of it, lol.
    But I am just lowly scrivener not the real author are!

  2. Nice list of emoticons... right click... save.