member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life

This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo

(Slideshow is of Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reconstructive Memories

In this blog, I've often written about Perception and how our expectations and focus will add or erase details (sometimes as big as a gorilla) from what we "see" in front of us, and what we remember about it later. For example: here and here.

I recently stumbled upon this TedTalks video in which Scott Fraser breaks down the science behind that phenomenon and gives the example of a man he helped free from wrongful imprisonment by showing, with an astonishing level of specific evidence, how the witnesses couldn't have seen what they were 100% certain they had seen--all six witnesses.

A fascinating and frightening statistic he gives: 3/4 of the cases of exoneration--of innocence discovered via DNA evidence after (often long-term) wrongful imprisonment-- were cases based entirely on eyewitness testimony.


  1. Amazing website!
    This talk is really interesting. I do remember to see both twin towers falling down one after the other in an hour or so. I remember it perfectly...

    I remember Dario used to ask: "why is the moon following us? and the mountain?" Driving and looking left, to the mountain and the moon above, you can only say "you are right, they are following us". :))
    Wonderful eyes.

  2. when you think about vision and memory working this way, "magic" and all kinds of "paranormal" things seem much more possible--it's just someone being able to see what i refuse (at some obstinate level which i would like to obliterate :D) to see, what my eye misses because some part of me doesn't believe it's there, or it doesn't make sense to me...right? the stories we tell ourselves *matter*...they affect every piece of reality!

    in terms of crime, though, it's really awful. all the prejudices of society have a very strong presence in eyewitness accounts...and it's not even on purpose, on the part of the witness...

    dario has magic eyes ;)

  3. It's not even on purpose
    that sentence really scares me talking about this, but you are absolutely right.
    Me pone los pelos de punta...

    You know what I mean.

  4. "the stories we tell ourselves *matter*...they affect every piece of reality!"

    Maybe it's necessary to try to hold more than one story in mind at a time. Of course, how to really do that?

    Anyway, thanks for the video!

  5. The video is really interesting! Thank you, zoe for sharing this with us! I enjoyed it a lot. I suppose that memory works mysteriously or I'd better say that there are lots of mysteries about it. We can create or plant false memory, we can intentionally forget something and so on. What you see or hear or experience is specific to you and is very subjective. I often wonder what reality is...