Strengths and Weaknesses of Memory as A Tool for Understanding the Past

Memory is a strongfaculty, that enables us to know our identity, and reconnect with the past. The integration of the information in this natural space is something that has attracted various researchers, who have employed concerted efforts to disintegrate this extensive topic, and proposed multiple theories some that have been critiqued and dropped, while others adopted as true.[1]To share insight on how the aspect of memory has gained considerable attraction, the works of Aleidaobjects the perception of collective consciousness and affirms that it is only applicable to the modern society, and has no link from experience.[2] The author opens the widely contested arena, by offering a divergent view regarding the issue of memory, which draws other authors to dive into this area, with a different propositions. Recently, there has been a surge in the studies focusing on the connection between the memory as a tool to remember about past events. Tamm (2013) noted that people are social beings, and whatever they see, they can recall the same in the future dates. Such, the brain can remember the past events, something that can be leveragedon for the propagation of the knowledge to the next generations. To get an in-depth understanding of this phenomenon, it is therefore paramount to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using memory as a tool of understanding the past, in light of propositions of different authors.

Underpinned by the interest to understand the contribution of the individual memory in propagating the essence of identity, Lang (2016) noted that the capacity of a person to retain content is an innate aspect, which is controlled by some factors. One of them is the activities that one engages in, which either expands or diminishes the memory capacity of remembering the events that have happened before. This argument transitions to placing an argument that using memory as a tool to remember the past is personal and so practical if utilized in the right manner. To advance this argument,Van Swol(2008) highlighted that whatever an individual is exposed to at an early age, it is complicated to forget. The images of the happenings remain robust in the minds and thus can be recalled in the later dates.

Furthermore, Lang (2016) is of the idea that cultural memory is the dynamic connection with something that has already been forgetting. He argues that it enables the present generation to associate with ages, an aspect that brings out the importance of cultural integration and moral stands in a community. It is through this that every community, has its way of doing things, and probably where they draw the precepts that govern their behavior. The idea extrapolates the assertion that human beings are governed by specific rules that are borrowed from the past.[3] For example, different religions are growing, with each set proving to be superior to the other. The understanding of the principles that lead them to believe what they dois basedon some pasts, recorded on the books. Therefore, memory serves as an elemental tool, in sharing about the culture and thus developing a sense of identity.

In the same vein, having an understanding of the previous events helps in comparing the present and the past, hence assisting in identifying of the problems.Bietti (2013) in his study confirmed that knowledge accumulated in the storage memory is of no value if it is not interpreted to serve the purpose of educating. Due to the lack of more research on the power of memory, it is evident that a lot has not been tapped, which creates a disconnect in the faculty of knowledge. Through trying to comprehend the memories of the individual concerning particular events, and the modern ones, it can give insight on how to deal with certain challenges appropriately.[4] For example, tracing the changes in the fashion industry is something that should create curiosity for the researcher in this niche. Currently, more clothing and styles of the outfit are entirely different from what was adopted in the past. Such information can help in revealing to people, the condition that dictated what to wear on particular occasions.

However, the use of memory as a tool to rejoin with the past is faced with some drawbacks, one of it being a generalized interpretation of events. According to Assmann (2011) heasserts that a past event, happening to the same group of people can have a uniquedescription. Thisis contributed to by the time of happening, and under what circumstance the phenomenon occurred. The proposition is supported by Bietti (2013) who noted that working memory gives the coherency of information, and largely contributed to the education the person has amassed.Therefore, the interpretation here is pegged to additional knowledge gained through schooling, hence paving the way for different opinions.

Moreover, it should be noted that human beings are subject to forgetting. As time progress, individualsare exposed to various extant factors, that might degrade the quality of information, that they can recall. In some instances, they end up remembering the most recent events, and to some extent, the memoriesare based on guesswork.[5]Lang(2016)proposed that the best way to recall the past is to document every event that you feel would serve in advancing the knowledge to future generations.Nonetheless, this does not eliminate the element of forgetting, but substantial data would be available to base on.

Conclusively, memory has a strong capacity to recall every event that we might engagein.[6] It is what the evaluators of human intelligence use, to determine the ability of a person to remember the information, either in a class setting or in the contemporary environment.The literature reviewed confirm that memory is a potenttool that can be utilized to link with the past events. Among the importance are helping people to have a strong inclination to their culture and gives a basis for conducting a comparison.[7]However,the tool is subject to wrong interpretation and forgetting the real phenomenon. In retrospect,more researchers affirm that the tool is helping to nurture a generation that is informed.

References

Assmann, J. (2011). Communicative and Cultural Memory. Cultural Memories, 15-27. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-8945-8_2.

Bietti, L. (2013). Memory and Culture in the Mind. Mind, Culture, and Activity20(2), 184-188. doi:10.1080/10749039.2011.564708

Lang, M. (2016). Cultural memory in the museum and its dialogue with collective and individual memory. Nordisk Museologi, 0(2), 62. doi:10.5617/nm.3242.-1

Tamm, M. (2013). Beyond History and Memory: New Perspectives in Memory Studies. History Compass, 11(6), 458-473. doi:10.1111/hic3.12050-2

Van Swol, L. M. (2008). Performance and process in collective and individual memory: The role of social decision schemes and memory bias in collective memory. Memory16(3), 274-287.


[1]Van Swol, L. M. (2008). Performance and process in collective and individual memory: The role of social decision schemes and memory bias in collective memory. Memory, 16(3), 274-287.

[2]Lang, M. (2016). Cultural memory in the museum and its dialogue with collective and individual memory. Nordisk Museologi, 0(2), 62. doi:10.5617/nm.3242..

[3]Tamm, M. (2013). Beyond History and Memory: New Perspectives in Memory Studies. History Compass, 11(6), 458-473. doi:10.1111/hic3.12050-2

[4]Assmann, J. (2011). Communicative and Cultural Memory. Cultural Memories, 15-27. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-8945-8_2.

[5]Van Swol, L. M. (2008). Performance and process in collective and individual memory: The role of social decision schemes and memory bias in collective memory. Memory, 16(3), 274-287.

[6]Tamm, M. (2013). Beyond History and Memory: New Perspectives in Memory Studies. History Compass, 11(6), 458-473. doi:10.1111/hic3.12050-2

[7]Van Swol, L. M. (2008). Performance and process in collective and individual memory: The role of social decision schemes and memory bias in collective memory. Memory, 16(3), 274-287.

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