8A: What is Memory

8A: What is Memory



first one represents a verb or an action and the second represents a noun or an object. In this chapter we describe both definitions in more details and show their interactions.

Everything in our world is physical, nothing is abstract, not even our imagination. There are only two types of objects in nature: (a) a material object and (b) a physical action, energy, or force type object. Our imagination is also based on only these two types of objects. Thus our memory is also not an abstract object. What we have in our memory is a static picture which is a snap-shot of a physical object or a dynamic moving video of a continuous sequence of physical objects under some actions.

Every memory object has a purpose. Whenever we see a photograph, we enjoy the theme of the photo and our participation in that theme. This enjoyment is the purpose for which we captured the memory of the static object. The same is true for the dynamic video. This photo will not have any purpose to any other person. Without a purpose, memory data cannot have any meaning; the purpose is the meaning of the memory.

The human memory data can be explained using computer memory concepts. The computer does not know the meaning or purpose of the computer data; but the data has meaning to the humans, who use the computer. The humans originated and stored the data, using some special format, inside the computer [Murdocca, pp.243-291]. Thus the originator of the memory data has the meaning. The originator is outside the computer box. The same is true for human memory also. The originator has the meaning, and the data is always outside our brain and is in the nature. We show that this happens because memory is physical. We also show how we originate the data, and describe the originator.

None of us is isolated in our world. We work together simultaneously and interactively, from many different places, and over multiple time spans to create our memory data. Thus no memory data is created by a single person. Since we are not alone, we do not act alone. This space of interactions is called here as the global space time (GST) environment. This GST covers the entire universe, consisting of all objects, living and nonliving, and all actions. Every action happens by simultaneous action-reaction of many people. We show, in an analytic way, that this simultaneity law proves that the GST environment is the originator of human memory, and therefore it has the memory, and also the true meaning of our memory. The existing literature does not claim that the memory is inside the brain. On the other hand if you read the book [Sobel] on cognitive science, assuming that the memory is outside the brain, you will get a positive confirmation, although not so stated explicitly.

3. Definitions

3.1  Static Memory

Human memory is not an abstract object. It is a very real and physical quantity. Some purpose motivates us to perform some actions on some objects to produce data. This data then becomes our memory. So we define memory as a three-tuple

Memory = {data, action, purpose}.

Thus data is meaningful only when we associate it with an object and a purpose. As mentioned, nature has only two kinds of things, some physical objects and some physical actions or forces. This physical action when applied to a physical object, moves the object, or changes the shape of the object. The data is an instantiation of this object. If an object moves then the data is a snapshot of the object at different times. Static memory is the momentary view of the object under action at a specific instant of time.

3.2  Dynamic Memory

There is another important aspect of human memory that depends on the propagation of time. As time passes the static data becomes past history. When we recollect, the static data propagates over time and reacts with many other forces or actions that we take. As a result the nature of the static data changes over time. We will not be able to recover it exactly at some future time. All these processes are also physical as we show later. We show how this propagation can be analyzed using the theory of differential equations and the concepts of system theory in engineering. Thus the concept of propagation of memory is same as trying to recollect or transform the old memory at present time under the changed environment.

For every action at present time, the actor always needs to propagate the old memory to present state. Fr a yogi, this is not necessary. He sees the exact memory at all time, he does not need to propagate. For an ordinary person the propagated memory is always approximate and hazy. It may be even erroneous. However, with when everything is perfect, this propagated memory will be the exact memory.

3.3  Purpose in Memory

All human actions have some purposes. We do not do anything without any reason. The purpose is translated into actions on objects, which then gives the data that we want. This data is our memory data, and the purpose gives the meaning of the memory. That is, purpose, reason, desire, objective, goal etc. are all same and give a meaning to our data. All purposes can be defined as {birth, maturity, death} processes. Each one of these processes is a series of actions. Every purpose has a beginning; it remains useful for certain period, and then becomes useless or does not serve any more needs. But this purpose still remains attached with the memory, since it is a physical process or action.

3.4  Example of Memory

We give an example to illustrate the concept of GST and the memory generation process. When a baby is born in a hospital room, that baby senses all the sounds of instruments, nurses, doctors; effects of lights, fans, temperature, air conditioning; and all the details of the environment that create the memory of the incident. At some later time when the baby thinks about that memory she mentally enters the room and gets the feelings of her senses again. Every other person in that room also does the same thing to access the memory of that incident. Thus the total memory data is inside that room or inside that environment and has been created by all the objects and activities of all the people in that room. Every individual present in that room can explore only a different and a partial aspect of that environment. The environment for that particular moment lives forever in nature and anyone who was present there at that time, will be able to access it at anytime in future. Clearly, it is possible to associate data, objects, actions, and purposes for all of the things that happened in this hospital room. This concept of simultaneous action is the key idea behind memory definition, memory location, and memory generation process. Individual actions and memory views are only partially correct and cannot possibly describe the total memory. The total memory of this room at that instant is not known, and cannot be known, by any single person, because it was created simultaneously by many people and by many actions.

We have experienced the effect of GST in our personal lives also. In many cases we thought that we have the correct understanding of facts based on our memories. But once we hear the facts from another person, who was also present at the time of the incident, we get a better view of the incident. This shows that we can only get partial knowledge of any incident, because it is multidimensional, it is created simultaneously and interactively by many people. Total memory is the collection of the views of all people inside the GST. Observe that this idea of memory is at the foundation of our judicial system. The system tries to get many eye-witness accounts to estimate global memory picture.

3.5  Modeling Memory

Mathematically, all data can be considered as generated by an equation. Consider the following simple equation (8.1) to clarify the concepts of data, actions, objects, purpose and the data generation process.

A = Bx + Cy          (8.1)

Physically, this equation describes the actions to be performed on objects to create the memory data. Here x and y are money invested in two different stocks. B and C are the coefficients that convert the money to a return on investments, and A is the total return. The entire right hand side, represented by A, is the total action, thus the components Bx and Cy are actions also. The objects are x and y. The data will be the solution of x and y. Thus the data is a specific instance of the objects. The purpose is to choose x and y for a given return A. Thus we perform action Bx on the object x, to make A grow. The value of x at any time is the data. We generalize (8.1) later to equation (8.2) to paint a more realistic picture.