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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published November 18, 2013

Memories of North Lake, WI

Perhaps because I just recently read that the CEO of Evernote wants me to be able to remember everything, I’ve been thinking a lot about elephants lately and about, Jorge Luis Borges’ Funes Memorius, and about those Seven Sins of Memory outlined by Psychologist Daniel Schacter. One of the downsides and joys of being liberally educated is that one sees interconnections among seemingly disparate things.

Based upon my thinking about the links above, I’m convinced that I don’t want a perfect memory—nor do I want technological tools for remembering everything. Still, I am increasingly sensitive to memory loss issues as I grow older.. I am haunted by the descriptions of dementia so graphically and accurately described in Walter Mosely’s novel The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.

Here is an interview with the author.

Today, there is so much hype and interest in using technology to improve one’s brain power,  health, and well-being. Try, for example, an online search on “brain power.” You’ll be overwhelmed with the results, though (hopefully) be underwhelmed by the validity of the claims. The challenge is to decide which claims are “snake oil,” which represent vaporware, and which are science-based.  Consider these three Internet “tools” (none of which I am endorsing but each of which I am investigating with my students)  … and their promises and claims of success at improving one’s life

  1. lumosity.com
  2. happify.com
  3. learningrx.com

Which (if any) in your informed judgment is based upon valid psychological science? Which is merely entertainment? Which makes false or unverifiable claims? Which is patently wrong?

Here is a video of some evidence-based things we can do to improve our health and psychological well-being. The first presenter, Dr. Michelle Braun, is a Carroll graduate who recently returned to campus to receive the Joseph E. Runkel Excellence in Psychology Award. She is also the first speaker in the accompanying video. Her message is uplifting, well-presented, and data-based. Thank you, Michelle, for your advocacy and serving as a touchstone for my learning. You continue to enrich my life and those of my students.

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