Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

Hot answers tagged

59

The mind and body are less separate than most people seem to think. Changes to body chemistry can greatly change how, and even what, we think: Alcohol is well-known for its disinhibiting effects and also for changing one's perception of what makes an attractive potential partner ("beer goggles"). I have type 1 diabetes and occasionally become significantly ...


45

Sagas and epics were long history lessons memorized easily by using rhyme, rhythm and repetition of structures, so your sages could use the same techniques. Avicenna (980-1037) already wrote about the capacity of memories to be linked to smells and tastes (turns out, he was right). Maybe your Ròda chew on something while memorizing, something rich in ...


26

a machine that perfectly maps out the way in which neurons fire in Patient A regarding a certain memory, and then to stimulate an identical firing of neurons in Patient B, so as to allow them to live that memory or even believe it to be theirs? This can only work if the wiring of the neurons in our brain is standardized and homogeneous like the circuitry in ...


25

Actually I don't think that there is a lot of change of mind involved. Just look at your points: "Humans are cattle, vampires are the master race." That is something we already do. (Or most of us do) We think that our species is best and that we have the right to use inferior species to our liking. We breed and eat all kind of animals without having a bad ...


25

Human spatial memory is phenomenally good. Our ability to remember facts and figures sucks, but places and where things are and anything particularly out of place and interesting we can commit to memory quickly and remember for a long time. Check out Ed Cooks book "Remember Remember" for some fun examples. I read the first chapter a year ago and I still ...


24

Survivor Bias All vampires who refused their change, and fought against drinking blood, died. Early. As a result, there is a strong survivor bias here: only those vampires who adapted to drink blood are known to society, no matter how small a minority they represent. Alternatives to killing It's highly unlikely that a new vampire will immediately kill ...


17

Pre-modern people often had sages and wise men who spent their whole lives memorizing stories. Medieval clergy occasionally would memorize their whole holy book word for word. The Roda don't need anything special, because we didn't need anything special in real life. As for writing at night, they can use a bonfire and polished bronze (really any metal) to ...


16

Memory RNA While not scientifically established (AFAIK), the concept of genetic memory goes as follows (quoted from Wikipedia's memory RNA article): Memory RNA is a hypothetical form of RNA that was proposed by James V. McConnell and others in the 1960s as a means of explaining how long-term memories were stored in the brain. The concept behind it was ...


15

Rationalization In psychology and logic, rationalization or rationalisation (also known as making excuses[1]) is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable—or even admirable and superior—by plausible ...


13

The Dragon is always° the mother. The child develops faster than typical for the 'donor' species, but the pregnancy lasts longer. During this "extra time" between the infant being fully developed and being born, the placenta carries nerve signals in addition to nutrients. This allows the Dragon to "prime" the child's brain and copy memories or skills ...


13

I think they would perfect the art of building mind-palaces. Imagine that the games they played as kids revolved around associating physical items and places of their culture with either a short hand or phonetic version of their language — like how a dreidel is supposed to teach children hebrew characters Then when they mature and have the intellectual ...


9

To "replicate such firing" is, as noted, impossible in 2 different brains. They are just too different. However, consider that right now, you are reading these words and my thoughts are becoming your thoughts. We have both spent years learning English in order that these formations of black and white pixels fire the correct neurons. This learning process ...


7

Changes in Brain Chemistry The transformation causes a change in brain-chemistry on a deep level. Empathic feelings which are usually evoked by other humans, are now only evoked by other vampires. This leads to vampires not seeing humans as the same species anymore. They will see other humans like another animal race and will be affected by human suffering ...


7

No, each person brain is different and the map from one will not produce the same results in another. Due to plasticity and how each brain is individually trained to your sensory organs and experiences each memory in each brain is unique. Each brain a has a unique map of connections called a Connectome. A perfect copy of someone else's memory would require ...


7

There are already several wonderful answers, suggesting the use of: Humans' excellent spatial memory (MPram's and EDL's answers) Rhyme, rhythm and repetition (Carlos Martin's answer) Olfactory triggers (also Carlos Martin's answer) Magical memory enhancement (Vilx-'s answer) Each of these methods can work on its own or combined with others. What they all ...


7

Basically any tradition from indigenous community carries some sort of help toward memorizing something. Stories, dancing, chant, mythology, "sacred" items and clothing, totems, rituals... Memory palaces are indeed one way to memorize in details long lists of elements. However, it works best if it's intertwined with multiple techniques to memorize it : A ...


6

Immortality is not living forever, immortality is everyone else dying. - The Doctor It's going to be really hard to maintain your human values when individual humans seem to be such a brief flicker in the passing of time. What does it mean to shorten a human life by a little, they barely exist long enough to register their lives at all. And that's for ...


6

Retrograde amnesia is perfectly reasonable side-effect of the procedure itself. There would be considerable physical trauma to the brain from being removed and implanted. Hypoxia would be likely during the process. Blood circulation would almost certainly have suffered at several points. All of these can cause amnesia if they happen to relevant parts of the ...


5

Long Term Changes These are the easy ones to explain. Given time, our personalities gradually change. I'm a very different person than I was even 20 years ago, even if many of the key aspects of my personality from back then are still present. Were I to live another 50 years, or 100 years, my personality would doubtless transform further. If my life ...


5

Vampires don't die from old age When a person changes into a vampire, their personality doesn't actually change at all. The only real difference is that they now have a hunger that can only be satisfied by drinking blood. When people think about vampires, we are subject to suvivorship bias - any vampire who refuses to drink blood won't live long, so we ...


5

Scientifically feasible? Nah. But, hey, dragons. Let's think outside of the box. Dragons encode memories holographically into dragon scales. The genes inherited are the ones that decode scale on ingesting them. Since memory is holograhic, every scale retains all the information, but not in full detail. So a single scale give you vague memories of ...


5

As mentioned in the comments you will need to engineer your apocalypse in some specific ways to make this probable. Speed The faster the apocalypse happens the better. As @Kepotx mentioned printed media can be produced astonishingly quickly in the modern day and age. The longer an apocalypse takes to happen, the more time there is for media about it to ...


5

As a supplement to the other answers - if you already have spells and magic, why not have a "memory spell"? Your Ròda could have learned that by heart and then just use it whenever they see the need to remember something. For example: the spell could, when cast, grant the caster perfect memory for the next 5 minutes. Everything they hear or see or smell or ...


5

Make the seal psychosomatic, which will only work if the powers are mental base. In other words, the way the power should work is that the user activates them. For super strength, for instance, it's not that he innately possesses the strength of ten men - it's that he can 'turn on' the power in his head and choose to wield the strength of ten men. This way, ...


4

They change, but because society makes them. The transition from human to vampire is gradual and horrible. As you crave for blood, people start to notice something is weird about you, and start to push you away. Eventually, they realize what is going own, and you're forced to run away from everything you once called home. As time passes, your human self ...


4

Less scientific, possibly more narrative potential: Telepathy. The offspring of the dragon have a telepathic link to the dragon parent. This matures as the young creature matures. Via this link they can perceive memories, thoughts, and possibly even flashes of real time perceptions from the dragon parent's perspective. There are different ways you ...


3

Ideas list: Part of the DNA makes a "library section" structure inside the brain that houses the "dragon memories". The DNA writes a standard (universal) library in the mind of all offspring. Surgery could take it out, or wire it to a computer. (G0Blin's idea is different than this in the sense that it writes to existing memory, a list transported by DNA....


3

There is my take on this problem. Natural selection. Vampires who couldn't (or didn't want to) change their attitude toward humans commited suicide or starved to death, while survivors seriously rethought their values and attitudeds. Or found excuses that they themselves try very hard to believe into. During conversion their astral body visits astral plane ...


3

There are several studies that link torture to affect memory, this could cause her to forget her past or to create an alternative past. "The researcher notes that studies of soldiers under extreme stress have shown that the soldiers have trouble recalling personal information, and that brain scans of torture victims have shown unusual patterns of brain ...


3

Power Corrupts Not explicitly stated in the question but by implication of being able to prey on humans and considering them an inferior species it's not unreasonable to think that vampires have a distinct advantage of some kind. New vampires might try to maintain some semblance of their former humanity but gradually come to internalize superiority, perhaps ...


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