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The End of Remembering


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Speaker(s): Joshua Foer
Chair: Professor Helena Cronin

Recorded on 5 April 2011 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Once upon a time remembering was everything. Today, we have endless mountains of documents, the Internet and ever-present smart phones to store our memories. As our culture has transformed from one that was fundamentally based on internal memories to one that is fundamentally based on memories stored outside the brain, what are the implications for ourselves and for our society? What does it mean that we've lost our memory?

Joshua Foer studied evolutionary biology at Yale University and is now a freelance science journalist, writing for the National Geographic and New York Times among others. Researching an article on the U.S. Memory Championships, Foer became intrigued by the potential of his own memory. After just one year of training and learning about the art and science of memory, he won the following year's Championship. Foer is the founder of the Athanasius Kircher Society, an organization dedicated to 'all things wondrous, curious and esoteric' and the Atlas Obscura, an online travel guide to the world's oddities. Moonwalking with Einstein is his first book.

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