Remember to write it down

Two weeks ago I came up with a great idea for a whiskerino theme. Since the themes for that week had already been chosen, I decided to wait until the next week to suggest mine. The day finally came, and when I sat down to type in the idea, I couldn’t remember what it was. I had gotten so caught up in thinking about when the best time to suggest it was that I totally forgot the suggestion itself. I spent a lot of time thinking trying to remember what the idea was. As I was coming close to giving up, I remembered that I had mentioned it to a fellow beard contestant. When I saw him the next day and asked, my fear was confirmed; I had told him that I had a great idea, but hadn’t told him the idea itself.

I’ve been thinking about this situation a lot, and there are several questions I’d like to ask:
1. What are the chances that this idea is still buried somewhere deep in my memory?
2. If somehow I’ve completely erased this idea from my memory, what are the chances that I will have the same idea at another point in time. Essentially, can I have the same idea twice?
3. If I have the same idea a second time, will I remember it’s the same idea, or will I think it’s a new idea?
4. If I have the same idea a second time and remember that it’s the idea I had previously forgotton, does that mean I never forgot it completely in the first place?

This is either really deep or completely stupid. Either way, here’s an idea and suggestion: Write down your ideas.


  1. hmmm…I’ve never really had a problem forgetting anything…maybe you should just tell your wife!! (Joking-since I have been freaking out about a lost checkbook for a couple of days) I have suggested to Rett in the past that important objects (like cell phone, checkbook, wallet, and keys) should have a small beeper on them so that if they are lost you could at least have one last chance at finding them… I realize I am talking about the material “lost things” so I can bounce back here…I think that once you have had an idea it won’t be forgotten. You might think that you have forgotten it, but somewhere in your subconscious memory it is still patiently waiting to resurface (whoa-what if your subconscious is just holding on to the idea waiting for the perfect time to reveal it??) That has to be some sort of deja’vu that you have had that thought before… just thoughts…all just thoughts…

    - Rebekah (Dec 20, 2005)

  2. I will take each numbered question individually: 1.) There’s a good chance that it’s trapped in some memory somewhere. This is a if a tree falls in the forest question to a certain extent. Does the idea exist in memory if you can’t retrieve it? Are there bacteria even if you can’t see them with the naked eye? Is this a good comparison. This question gets into the nature of time, reality, and the mind. In that respect it’s a deep question. 2.) Did you erase the memory of the idea? If you forgot the memory of the idea than to your conscious self it seems the idea never existed. So yes to you it can seem like never having the idea originally. 3.) This depends. A lot of times you’ll remember having the idea before, upon recall. The mind’s memory seems to work by associations, so put yourself in the same point of reference (mindset, place, mood, etc.) to remember better. 4.) Yeah, your conscious, waking-state self wasn’t aware of this idea existing in a prior point in time during the time between the two same ideas. Obviously you didn’t forget it because you remembered having it before, you just weren’t constantly thinking of the idea every second…Memory and the mind can be complicated. Stop thinking so much would help you out. You’ll run around in circles. I do like your curiosity though. It’s good to ask questions, I do it all the time. What about this question: does a person’s thoughts always come from their own mind?

    - Russ (Dec 21, 2005)

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