tags: memory

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movie (1), philosophy (1), movie night (1), The Final Cut (1), science fiction (1), Paycheck (1),

The Final Cut

Movie night has resumed. Last night, Michael, Laura, Matt, and i joined Celeste and Justing for The Final Cut. In this movie a eulogist-like person searches for a person from his childhood in order the release the guilt from a tragic experience.

In near future a biological implant is invented to record a person's sensory experience. People may at their discretion purchase this implant for their children. After the child grows old and dies, the recorded life provides material for a rememory at their funeral.

Although the movie doesn't discuss this point at length, an implant like this will alter a person's moral compass, since they assume their life will be reviewed. In this respect, The Final Cut is like Defending your Life.

On a more philosophical note, the movie demonstrates that our memories of an event may be different from empirical fact. It raises some interesting questions, like which one is right, the implant or our memory? Could both be wrong? Questions like these reminded me of a story i read in a philosophy class. Daniel Dennett in Quining Qualia tells a story about tasting coffee. (Search for "Intuition pump #7".)

Here's a rough recap. Chase and Sandborn are seasoned coffee tasters for Maxwell House. After many years Chase states he doesn't like the coffee any more; the taste has changed to him. Sandborn, surprised, agrees but for a different reason. He thinks the coffee probably has the same taste, but his tasting apparatus is deficient.

I won't try to summarize Dennett's view, since my memory the paper from reading it may not represent the actual content of the paper, but i assure you it's not about coffee. :)


Last night i selected Paycheck for movie night. It's a science fiction story about a man who gets paid to reverse engineers products and agrees to have his memory of this process wiped.

He enters a 3 year contract for $92M. When he's done he learns that he has forfeited all the money. He's left with an envelope of clues.

There's much more to the story, but i don't want to spoil it. Suffice it to say, i enjoyed it very much. It's the reverse side of a Butterfly Effect coin.