I often wonder why real life isn’t more like the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter. It would be awesome if I could apparate to Mike’s Pastries in Boston for dessert in the middle of the week or to the coast of Israel for a mid-day swim. If the flick of my wrist would instruct the dishes to wash themselves or for my clothes to be folded and neatly put away.
Unfortunately, this type of magic does not currently exist.. at least not in my muggle world. Science, however, continues to make headlines – defying the basic laws of physics, and causing us to question what is real and what is magic. So many things that were once considered impossible are things we take for granted. Its incredible to think about how far we’ve come – even how far things have progressed in the past 20 years.
Looking through news emails at work, I stumbled across a very interesting article. Scientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute have discovered how to implant false memories into the brains of mice. This is insane and amazing all at the same time. If we can create false memories (a la Inception) perhaps there will be a way to eliminate bad memories or alter them in such a way that can help lessen stress, anxiety or maybe even post traumatic stress. I’m sure these types of solutions are a long way off, but its a nice thought to entertain.
If we can create false memories, who is there to say that we can’t capture great memories and keep them for later. Imagine being able to re-watch your wedding from another perspective : watching your home wedding video from the photographers point of view and then being able to actually relive those moments, your memory completely intact. You could re-live winning the Olympics should you be Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin. Even better, you could re-live some of your favorite dinners, desserts and experiences. Your first day of school, the last day of school, your first dumpy apartment, your first pet.
If I had a Pensieve you can bet that it would be gold and monogrammed. Hopefully, I would have a collection of my favorite memories, and maybe a few painful ones to remind me what life can be like. Until then, I’ll just have to keep writing things down until my brain can no longer keep up. From that point on I’ll read my life story while eating Nutella by the spoonful – no regrets.
Want to read more about the inception of false memories in mice?