In Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, “Blade Runner,” based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electic Sheep, replicants (or androids) have no memory of their own. This highlights, in Dick and Scott’s fictional world of the year 2021, a distinctly non-human trait. Memories, after all, to a large extent define human beings as being human.
At one point, Deckard (the detective) is questioning Tyrell (the inventor/programmer of the replicants).
“Where do you get them, the memories?” Deckard asks.
“In the case of Rachael,” Tyrell recalls, “I simply copied and regenerated cells from the brain of my sixteen-year-old niece. Rachael remembers what my little niece remembers.”
In today’s world, people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) become creepily similar to these replicants by losing large chunks of their memories. Individuals like Dr. Cagan Randall, lead clinician and co-founder of Carrick Brain Centers, are now there to help rehabilitate them, as he recently did with media mogul, Glenn Beck.
Liz Klimas of TheBlaze.com writes: “While it would seem as if these treatments focus on physical effects of a TBI, Randall said that patients with such injuries also suffer from memory deficits. ‘Going through [this] rehabilitation, we see big improvements in memory restoration,’ Randall said.”
There are easier ways to restore one’s memory. One might be emphasizing a youthful self-image.
Jason Schneider of the Wall Street Journal writes: “Feeling younger than one’s real age could help to preserve memory and cognitive function as people get older, says a study in the November [2014} issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.” [ http://www.ajgponline.org/article/S1064-7481%2813%2900181-4/fulltext ].”
To switch gears just a bit, another recent report, Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace, predicts the disappearance of many occupations over the next 10-11 years.
“Experts predict that 50 percent of occupations today will no longer exist by 2025 as people will take up more creative professions,” said Martin Chen, Chief Operating Officer of Genesis.
Jenny Awford of MailOnline adds: “the report states: ‘Losing occupations does not necessarily mean losing jobs – just changing what people do.’”
Reminiscent of Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock?” Change is occurring so rapidly and exponentially that human beings may soon be unable to keep up with it all. What will happen to memories when they flash by us like the frames of a film strip? Will a youthful self-image counter the trauma? Will Brain Centers still be able to reverse memory loss? Will we simply forget about the past and focus like a laser on the ever-evolving now? Will we soon be no different from the replicants of Philip K. Dick and Ridley Scott?
These are all questions to ask while reading my three posts of 13 November 2014: “I’m younger than that now:” Self-image and memory, Beck’s journey home from brain fog: The Carrick Brain Centers and their cowboy magic, and 50% of current jobs obsolete in 11 years.