Tag Archive for memory

The Fragility of Normal

Fortune: May you live in interesting times

We all want to go back to normal. We cry about it and complain: “Enough is enough. We want our lives back.” This need to “go back to normal” is always with us, although maybe on a different scale post-pandemic. But even before Covid, there were always things that disturbed our perception of normal: new teachers, new housing, new jobs, new routines, stores and restaurants closing, cars that break down, challenging illnesses, new bus routes. Towards the end of our vacations, we come to realize that, although adventures are fun, it is good to be home where things are as we expect them to be. This want of predictability, for having our expectations met, is at the crux of a deep-seated need for normalcy. We have a limited capacity for taking in and processing information — we have limited short-term memories. When there is a flood of unfamiliar data, we get overwhelmed. We end up not having enough cognitive and emotional capacity to handle the new stuff on top of all the other things we have to do. Sudden change makes life feel overwhelming. Anchoring Errors This brings me to anchoring errors, which are basically little cognitive traps our minds…

Memory Strings


Our lives are filled with objects and memories we collect on our journeys. It is almost like there are strings of emotions that tie us to our lives’ cabinet of curiosities. It is almost uncanny how stepping into someone’s house and seeing their possessions and their arrangement to each other tell a story of that person’s life. We can make a lot of very accurate guesses about the personalities, passions, and drives of the people by how and with what they choose to surround themselves with in their own homes. A small antique toy found in a little Paris shop, a newspaper clipping posted to the refrigerator that is a reminder of a funny incident from childhood, a giant salad bawl that had to sit on the lap for the six-hour flight home, a cute sweater that is too small but was once borrowed from a dear friend, a book that made a difference during dark times, even a little button that sits alone for over a decade waiting for the discovery of the item of clothing it belongs to — all the strange little collections of flotsams that accumulate over the course of daily living that become dear to…


Supermarket Science Boxes

It’s been a hard month… a few months. I have been working on SupermarketScience.com almost nonstop. I worry about the families with kids — what will they do come September? The choice of sending your children to school (and thus risking COVID exposure not only to the kids but to the whole families) and keeping them home (at the risk of jobs and emotional stability) is stark. I’ve proposed a few solutions, you can find them here. I hope this will help some families. I will continue to post more curriculum (but perhaps not at the breakneck rate I’ve done in the past months). I will also share some ideas and their implementations for families who will make the decision to rethink how they want to approach educating their kids. Everything is on the table now — at times of crisis and chaos, the most change is possible. I have put all writing and editing on hold for the moment but will get back to it this month. I will release my AI novella and start to push my next novel towards the finishing line. Given how everything, including the publishing industry, is in flux, I think I will stick…