Friday, October 3, 2008

HUMAN MEMORY


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on October 2, 2008 2:09 PM

1. I have a problem. I cannot remember the date I was married. As a result I always get into trouble with my wife.
2. She has a remarkable memory for dates, not just her own or our special dates but she can remember the dates of birth of all her children, the dates of their marriage, the birthdays of all 17 of my grandchildren and even of her sisters and brothers and late parents.

3. So I can rely on her and sign the birthday cards she passed on to me. Unfortunately she cannot remember much of what she read when studying medicine. So I used to coach her. Thus we complement each other.

4. God has endowed Man (and Woman) with the ability to remember. That is the basic difference between us and the animals.

5. But with age our memory fails on details. Some brilliant people can remember what they did on a particular day 10 - 15 years ago, remember every detail, including the words they had spoken and the people they met etc. I am not among these people. I remember some events in which I was involved but only vaguely.

6. If you ask me what did I do on 12th August 1982, or on any other day, I would not be able to tell you. Other people with the proverbial photographic memory can, but I cannot. I am quite certain if I ask the questioner what he did on any particular day in the times long past he probably cannot tell me either. But then in a court or Commission he or the judge or Commissioners have the right to question, I had only the right to answer.

7. This is very unsatisfactory. In a court of law, if you fail to remember every detail of what you did on a particular day 5, 10 or 15 years ago, then you must be lying, you must be hiding something. This possibility would be ominous - though it may not be ascertained with exactitude. But why bother about those niceties. Just conclude that a person who cannot remember is simply lying.

8. I am going to take a memory course. Should I have occasion to be investigated or summoned to face a trial, I would be able to remember the suit I wore any day in my life and where I was when wearing the particular suit on a particular day.

9. By the same token a person who had been sodomised must know the exact time of the day that it happened, the colour of the room and the size of the bed. If he fails to remember any of these things, then he must be lying.

10. Such is the law. So please try to memorise everything you do every day. Don't forget the details. It can be fatal for you.