Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Memory Pill

The story about the memory pill for forgetting painful, traumatic memories generated some very interesting discussion. My first thought was that it would be a blessing for those who are dragged down by the past to the point that they can no longer enjoy the bounties of the present moment or look forward to those of the future. This drug could be an enormous help for them because getting over the past is sometimes truly impossible.

However the idea of losing control over one's memories by having an external agent erase them by force is scary. Often there are overlaps between bad and good memories - surely the drug would not know to act selectively enough to leave every last good memory intact. Maybe the perception of good and bad could change over time.

One comment about how the drug could be misused and how criminals would no longer have to suffer guilt and remorse had not crossed my mind but is a great point. There is also the possibility of this being used as weapon to change and control minds.

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