A New Leaf

From now on, when I write my blog, I will make sure that there is a message in it, and that that message is loud and clear. I will also try my best to give you, reader, value in my writing. Because without value, I’m not really thinking or creating: I’m just musing. So, what shall I write about today?

Well, I shall continue where I left off a few days ago about historical interpretation. To recap, I originally thought that one should preserve memories as objectively as possible: such that it would thus not be tarnished with the impurities of bias and agenda-seeking. The reasoning behind this was that by remembering memories as objectively as possible, you are fair to the parties around you. Because if you’re going to remember a memory as someone doing something to you, then you will never be able to finely distinguish between resentful anger and justice, or between correlation and causation. Those are important things to distinguish between! For to not do so could be the matter between a better and a worse life! You should remember your memories objectively so that you can finely analyze what happened to you, and how to move forward.

A side effect of remembering a memory objectively is that it removes consciousness from the picture: there is no space for the agent in this situation. Everything happened at once, and that was that. There is no control over what happened, nor could there be. So for example, if someone pushes me off the top of the stairs, then there was nothing I could do, because with my objective framework, I’ve got to be fair to the bully and judge him impersonally. And that means seeing him as a phenomena that I can’t control. But here’s where I sneak in the denial of agency. If I can’t control the bully, then it means that there is no move available to me that I can take which would alter or better my situation. Remembering memories objectively can deny a person’s agency.

Then I thought: oh, maybe I should not prioritize the objectiveness of memories. Maybe I should prioritize my future and my life, and to that extent, dare to consider interpreting my memories in a way that does help me move forward. I am, after all, a living person, and I have certain things that I’m aiming for, like living well. If I take that goal seriously, then I must ensconce objective memories within a subjective world, in order to move forward. This is the battle between facts and values (which one came first, the fact or the value?), or between religion and science. The point is that you’re predisposed to have certain goals, and so everything else has to contour itself to that goal. Memories are one of those things, along with all facts in general. If you’re moving towards a destination, you see everything that surrounds you as either an obstacle or aid.

So, here’s what I’ve said: (1) Memorizing objectively is useful because then you can finely distinguish between just and unjust situations around you, (2) memorizing objectively tends to lead you to deny agency and to see the world as a phenomena that you can’t control, and (3) facts must be ensconced within values.

The question then becomes “what are my values”? Because if it’s the case that I can interpret my past in whatever way I want, then who’s to say that I won’t interpret it in an unjust manner that is biased and unfair towards the people in my memories? And then when you do interpret your past, do you use your values to selectively choose parts of the narrative to stand out? (Probably). Then how do you know whether you have the right interpretation? I shall answer these questions in my next blog I guess. GOod night.

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