By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist
History is not written by victors
Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon? ‘ Who writes the history books? You will tell me that the winners of the battle write the history. So do those who are in power. Think harder and you will discover that the one who actually writes history is the writer. With a quick turn of phrase, a story and some “facts” pasted on a page recreates that moment forever. Writers contribute to cultural memory. Now even photographers shape history.
Same event different stories
Someone interviewed three people about the origin story of Lucas Films. They all had different takes. When the author wrote it up, all of them agreed that it was accurate. That is narrated by MJ Rubin @droidmaker
Rubin is an entrepreneur and photographer. He made movies with Bernardo Bertolluci; premastered CDs for the Grateful Dead; spent years at Netflix and Adobe… His career began at Lucasfilm in 1985, the experience that lead to DROIDMAKER.
Experience and the memory of it
Very recently someone asked Kapil Dev, the former captain of the Indian Cricket Team that won the world cup. What was that moment like?
The remembering self is a storyteller
“We don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences.”
Daniel Kahneman says that we confuse between the experience and the memory of the event.
“So we have the remembering self and the experiencing self, and they’re really quite distinct. The biggest difference between them is in the handling of time. From the point of view of the experiencing self, if you have a vacation, and the second week is just as good as the first, then the two-week vacation is twice as good as the one-week vacation. That’s not the way it works at all for the remembering self. For the remembering self, a two-week vacation is barely better than the one-week vacation because there are no new memories added. You have not changed the story. And in this way, time is actually the critical variable that distinguishes a remembering self from an experiencing self; time has very little impact on the story.”
Should we really care if the memory is altered?
The bride and groom often do not have any recollection of their wedding day. It is all a big blur. The memory is crafted by the story the wedding video creates. People look at the photos and videos and believe it was a happy occasion and forget all the chaos that reigns in a typical Indian wedding. Those stories are what we hold on to and feel happy. Unless it is a painful memory, don’t let the machine change the story you have been told.
Will you let machines strip away the emotions and present the facts – and only the facts?