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To What Extent Does Memory Influence

Imagination When Producing new


Knowledge?
First of all, what exactly is memory? Memory is defined as the procedure or
operation by which the brain obtains new information and stores it. It is
how living creatures which can think use knowledge obtained in their past
experiences to influence. Now, to look at memory in reference to humans
only, for now, memory can be seen as some sort of evolution. It may sound
like a ridiculous statement but it in fact makes quite a bit of sense. To clarify
the previous statement, evolution is when an organism's heritable biological
characteristics change in order to adapt and ensure a higher chance of
survivability for the creature. For example, the Peppered Moth was of a
light colour but in order to avoid detection by birds, its natural predator,
natural selecton took place and only the darker coloured Peppered Moths
survived.

Memory is similar in the sense that also allows humans to adapt. Due to it,
we are able to learn from past experiences, learn from the mistakes and
base our current actions on the course of action we believe is correct, based
on our memory. Also, memory influences every aspect of our lives and
influences every decision or action a human will make. Logically speaking, it
makes sense that memory has such a large impact on humans: why would
we pursue a course of action which has a larger potential of an undesirable
outcome than one which has been proven from a previous experience as
having a higher probability of being the outcome you pursue. Therefore,
would it not make sense that memory would limit imagination as well?
Imagination is the ability to form new ideas, concept and objects which
cannot be percieved by any of the five senses. This ability is present in every
human but the magnitude varies according from person to person. Some
people may be more imaginative than others. Imagination can also be said
to lead to the formation of "new knowledge" since new concepts are
created.

Various renowned individuals who are known for making great


contributions to many fields of study had memory regulate their
imagination as a mental limiter. For example, Sir Isaac Newton, the
renowned physicist and mathematician, used memory when discovering
the concept of gravity. He noticed an apple falling down from a tree, which
led to him to ask why did the apple fall and pursue the answer to that
question. Subsequently, he came up with the concept of 'forces' and this led
to the discovery of gravity. To do this, Sir Isaac had to imagine many
scenarios to discern why objects fall. However, since memory also includes
experiences, it was a factor in Sir Isaac's imagination since the apple falling
was an experience. Similarly, imagination can be used to change something
which is preexisting, which also counts as "new" knowledge. The example of
the Google search engine is applicable to prove this point. Search engines,
such as Bing, existed before the creation of Google. However, the algorithm
which was used in the creation of Google was the revolutionary aspect of it,
since it allowed results to appear much quicker. Sergey Brin and Larry Page
used memory by analyzing existing search engines and the experience that
they had when using them. Hence, they were able to devise the algorithm
which increased efficiency and allowed rapid searching up of results

Something that may be surprising is that despite it seeming that


imagination is free from the influence of memory, quite the opposite holds
true. Imagination may be the creation of "new" knowledge, memory always
serves as a parameter to greater imagination. However, it can also be
beneficient as it allows us to imagine rationally and be aware of the
impossibility of some things to exist. Subsequently, this also leads us to
never really know some of these things which could have been imagined.
Hence, memory is a double-edged sword, in the case of imagination.

I, myself, have my own fair share of experiences in which memory proved to


be a deterent in my production of "new" knowledge. I was programming
Java script once and had to create a program in which I was supposed to be
able to allow the selection of numbers to calculate different income taxes. A
previous attempt at making the same program made be believe that certain
bits of code could not be used to create the program. Hence, this caused an
obstruction in my progress in programming. However, by using the code I
belived would not funtion in the new pattern, it in fact was the code
required to complete the program.

It can be said that memory can also cause people to judge a book by its
cover. This prevents the further delving for "new" knowledge. So taking this
into consideration, memory should be used to allow us to think rationally
but at the same time it shouldn't limit creativity, which is basically
imagination.