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Old 27th November 2020, 12:33 AM   #1
DebunkThisPls
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Missing prescriptions?

The following is a comment i received on my other thread. I don't know if there's a way to tag the user but I asked for his permission and if he says no I'll delete it, but I was hoping someone could help me explain this:

"A few weeks ago I picked up a prescription, and lost it; I had refills, so the pharmacy filled it again - AND I LOST IT. I *still* had refills, but then the doc said maybe I shouldn't be on this medication - he was worried about my absentmindedness; he didn't want to miss anything if I was having bad side effects. Well, a couple of days later one of the bottles turned up, but the date made no sense and five pills were gone which should have been impossible.

To cut the anecdote short it was a complete mystery. The fill date does not match my memory of either of the lost refills, and the pill count is off. If I were one to assign cosmic meaning I might wonder if the "universe" wanted me to get off this drug. But if so, why did it throw the bottle back at me ?

I'm not automatically hostile to the idea that the universe is sending me messages, and I know people who talk this way all the time. But ultimately I don't have the kind of brain that can really believe it, either. When I talk like that, I'm speaking ironically."
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Old 27th November 2020, 03:04 AM   #2
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You could have sent a PM and waited. By the time you receive a reply, it may be too late to delete your post, and I am not sure that you can delete a thread.
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Old 27th November 2020, 03:52 AM   #3
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Person has memory problems: Shock! Horror! Probe!

Come and live in our house: Carrot Flower Queen has been using me as an auxilliary memory for 30 odd years.

News flash: not everyone has a good memory.

ETA Just read some of the original posts about this...Older anti-depressant, prescribed for sleep issues...So, a tricyclic? A tricyclic on top of poor sleep is a good recipe for memory problems. Part of the reason why the MH trade ditched tricyclics as soon as alternatives came along, what with all the cardio-toxicity and the rest of the nasty side effects.

Last edited by Carrot Flower King; 27th November 2020 at 04:00 AM. Reason: Drugs!
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Old 27th November 2020, 04:03 AM   #4
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Hi DebunkThisPls. I have read through you post and don't really see anything that needs debunking. Everything you posted, making allowances for the "unreliable narrator", can quite easily and perfectly naturally be attributed to memory gaps, imprecise recollections, and **** that happens to people almost all the time.

I have "lost" one of a pair of socks many times. After fruitlessly searching for it over weeks, I decide to either repurpose the remaining sock or discard it, only to have the other turn up "miraculously" a few days later in a place where I was sure I had looked.

Just last month, I was at the door to my home patting way at the various pockets looking for my house keys. Didn't find it and had to go back to my office about 4 kms away through heavy traffic and wet weather, go to my desk and not find them there either. Checking through my pockets again found it in the right hand front trouser pocket where it is usually kept. Its just that, with my hands filled with shopping and patting away and the atleast 4 pockets in the rain jacket and three in my trousers, I might have missed feeling the keys when I was at my front door.

No, the universe is not sending you any message. I too, when I was your age followed every woo there was ready to believe in the supernatural just because "it was written". We didn't have the internet then and most of the woo was served up in newspaper articles, narratives by friends and family, magazine stories labelled enigmatically as "Unsolved mysteries", and because it was the mid 70s...lots of UFO stories. My friends and I at school even had a club where we "researched" the stuff. I can look back now and admit a lot of the interest was also fed by a streak of narcissism that suggested that we were going to be pprivy to some deep gnosis unattainable by others.

Then in the early 80s, Sagan's Cosmos was on TV and I became fascinated with him and his approach to science. I picked up a copy of Broca's Brain and read it cover to cover over two days. Came out a changed man.

I would suggest you not overthink these occurrences unless it directly indicates some adverse health problems. Also suggest two books...Broca's Brain and Demon Haunted World. It will help explain a lot of the doubts you have.
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Last edited by Susheel; 27th November 2020 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 27th November 2020, 05:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
If I were one to assign cosmic meaning I might wonder if the "universe" wanted me to get off this drug. But if so, why did it throw the bottle back at me ?

I'm not automatically hostile to the idea that the universe is sending me messages, and I know people who talk this way all the time. But ultimately I don't have the kind of brain that can really believe it, either. When I talk like that, I'm speaking ironically."
Occam's Razor.
If the universe was somehow conscious, intelligent and trying to communicate with us, this would require the existence of a vast number of assumptions about how reality works, none of which are supported by any kind of evidence.

Alternatively, losing something and then finding it again requires none of this.

When you say 'the dates were impossible', what does that mean?
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Old 27th November 2020, 06:08 AM   #6
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I'm utterly confused?

You want us to debunk a comment made by another member on another thread?

If I'm right people, then there is little point in questioning DebunkThisPls.
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Old 27th November 2020, 06:35 AM   #7
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You really seem confused about where to post your questions.
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Old 27th November 2020, 08:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I'm utterly confused?

You want us to debunk a comment made by another member on another thread?

If I'm right people, then there is little point in questioning DebunkThisPls.
Call me an old cynic, but I also get a strange vibe off some of this.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
Person has memory problems: Shock! Horror! Probe!

Come and live in our house: Carrot Flower Queen has been using me as an auxilliary memory for 30 odd years.

News flash: not everyone has a good memory.

ETA Just read some of the original posts about this...Older anti-depressant, prescribed for sleep issues...So, a tricyclic? A tricyclic on top of poor sleep is a good recipe for memory problems. Part of the reason why the MH trade ditched tricyclics as soon as alternatives came along, what with all the cardio-toxicity and the rest of the nasty side effects.
See I do believe it's a memory thing, but why was the pill count off, which shouldve been impossible? And why was the date off? I figured no matter what you should be able to remember that.
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Old 27th November 2020, 10:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
See I do believe it's a memory thing, but why was the pill count off, which shouldve been impossible? And why was the date off? I figured no matter what you should be able to remember that.
Why should one? Memory isn't infallible. Also, why would you even think the narrative or even the narration is in any way reliable? There is no weird coincidence or even some message from beyond here. It's just instances that everyone face from time to time.

A rather vivid imagination is just moulding a random series of events to create a narrative where he is the perceived centre of some fictitious cosmic scheme. We all do it from time to time.
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Old 27th November 2020, 11:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
See I do believe it's a memory thing, but why was the pill count off, which shouldve been impossible? And why was the date off? I figured no matter what you should be able to remember that.
That's the thing about memory: it really sucks, and is notoriously unreliable. Consider the Mandela Effect, where huge numbers of people have demonstrably wrong recollections, and most interestingly, the identical wrong recollections.
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Old 27th November 2020, 11:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
See I do believe it's a memory thing, but why was the pill count off, which shouldve been impossible? And why was the date off? I figured no matter what you should be able to remember that.
Why?

I've given you a perfectly feasible explanation in terms of the situation. We don't know any of the other things, eg pill count, for certain.

Tell you what, try taking tricyclic anti-depressants on top of chronic sleep deprivation and come back so we can have a serious talk about memory, rather than what you, from knowing nothing, "figured".

And you still haven't explained why you are asking these things of a bunch of internet folk...
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Old 27th November 2020, 12:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
Why?

I've given you a perfectly feasible explanation in terms of the situation. We don't know any of the other things, eg pill count, for certain.

Tell you what, try taking tricyclic anti-depressants on top of chronic sleep deprivation and come back so we can have a serious talk about memory, rather than what you, from knowing nothing, "figured".

And you still haven't explained why you are asking these things of a bunch of internet folk...

I was simply asking a follow up, why so serious? And he mentioned the pill count was -5 of what it should've been. I'm asking this off internet folk because this is a skeptics forum, so I figured it was a good place to ask for debunking of experiences. All I'm saying is that no prescription should be for 5 pills in a day, this wouldve had to have taken over the course of at least a couple of days which means he wouldve had to forgotten on several days.
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Old 27th November 2020, 01:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post

ETA Just read some of the original posts about this...Older anti-depressant, prescribed for sleep issues...So, a tricyclic? A tricyclic on top of poor sleep is a good recipe for memory problems. Part of the reason why the MH trade ditched tricyclics as soon as alternatives came along, what with all the cardio-toxicity and the rest of the nasty side effects.
I'm the person DebunkThisPls is quoting and I still don't know what happened with the Rx's, but you are on the money about this - yes it is a tricyclic, and the circumstances are convoluted enough that something - my memory or the computer-printed label or both - must be unreliable.

I don't mind it being reposted; if I thought it was a privacy issue I wouldn't have posted it on a public forum to begin with. I don't think my memory is THAT off, but something wasn't adding up and I gave the example to illustrate something I couldn't explain that nevertheless must have a mundane explanation. If a poster takes that and runs with it as another *eerie unexplainable phenomenon* then the anecdote is worse than useless and I shouldn't have offered it up to begin with.
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Old 27th November 2020, 01:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I'm the person DebunkThisPls is quoting and I still don't know what happened with the Rx's, but you are on the money about this - yes it is a tricyclic, and the circumstances are convoluted enough that something - my memory or the computer-printed label or both - must be unreliable.

I don't mind it being reposted; if I thought it was a privacy issue I wouldn't have posted it on a public forum to begin with. I don't think my memory is THAT off, but something wasn't adding up and I gave the example to illustrate something I couldn't explain that nevertheless must have a mundane explanation. If a poster takes that and runs with it as another *eerie unexplainable phenomenon* then the anecdote is worse than useless and I shouldn't have offered it up to begin with.
Thank you for being so cool about this, apologizes if I should've asked before. I don't believe that it was anything paranormal and I'm glad to see you don't either. I presume what happened with the missing pills was you took them and forgot?
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Old 27th November 2020, 03:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Thank you for being so cool about this, apologizes if I should've asked before. I don't believe that it was anything paranormal and I'm glad to see you don't either. I presume what happened with the missing pills was you took them and forgot?
I don't know. Nothing fits. It bugs me but ultimately there will be a lot of small mysteries I can't solve.

The physicist Richard Feynman said, when approaching investigations, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." It's very easy to build false memories. A trivial example: I will be sure I know a certain line in a movie, only to rewatch and find out I'm wrong. But it can be a lot more serious. People go to prison on the strength of "eyewitness" testimony that turns out to be wildly inaccurate.
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Old 28th November 2020, 04:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
I was simply asking a follow up, why so serious? And he mentioned the pill count was -5 of what it should've been. I'm asking this off internet folk because this is a skeptics forum, so I figured it was a good place to ask for debunking of experiences. All I'm saying is that no prescription should be for 5 pills in a day, this wouldve had to have taken over the course of at least a couple of days which means he wouldve had to forgotten on several days.

"So serious" because I was doing you the decency of treating your questions seriously: it's called politeness.

Now I know you don't want seriousness, maybe I should treat all your repeated questions, which make little sense and ignore answers given, accordingly? Is that what you want? Or do you want someone who knows something about tricyclic anti-depressants and their side-effects to answer a question to do with those particular drugs? Especially as most folk won't know anything about tricyclics as they are rarely used these days. Make your mind up, please.
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Old 28th November 2020, 08:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
"So serious" because I was doing you the decency of treating your questions seriously: it's called politeness.

Now I know you don't want seriousness, maybe I should treat all your repeated questions, which make little sense and ignore answers given, accordingly? Is that what you want? Or do you want someone who knows something about tricyclic anti-depressants and their side-effects to answer a question to do with those particular drugs? Especially as most folk won't know anything about tricyclics as they are rarely used these days. Make your mind up, please.
I was using a joke quote from the Dark Knight. I appreciate your help but so far you've basically just said "memory issues". I'm trying to get more in depth on each question. Like for the pill count, he wouldve had to taken 5 pills around the same time he got home, which was when he lost them. And I don't know why or how he'd take that many
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Old 28th November 2020, 09:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
I was using a joke quote from the Dark Knight. I appreciate your help but so far you've basically just said "memory issues". I'm trying to get more in depth on each question. Like for the pill count, he wouldve had to taken 5 pills around the same time he got home, which was when he lost them. And I don't know why or how he'd take that many
Without more information, it's just random speculation. In the Case of the Mysterious 5 Pills, we currently have the choice of faulty memory or...ninjas, or something. To a skeptical mind, mistaken memory is the most likely.

We could randomly speculate that the top got popped open and some fell out, or the pharmacy dispensed incorrectly, or whatever. But without detailed information about the timelines and events surrounding the prescription, none of it matters because we cannot evaluate its plausibility. What you are basically asking is to cook up random ways a pill count or date could be out of synch with memory.
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Old 28th November 2020, 10:37 AM   #20
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Itís common for folks to come in here and ask for explanations of events that happened a while ago, with only a personal anecdote to go on. Itís literally all we can do to suggest a few plausibilities.

You might as well ask what exactly happened to that cookie that was on the plate on the teacherís desk in fifth grade. Probably someone ate it. But the kids wouldnít do that! And the teacher had a nut allergy and it had walnuts! Maybe someone threw it out. But it wasnít in the waste paper bin!

No amount of Sherlocking can actually resolve the mystery. Itís lost to us. Seriously. We canít investigate it anymore; it happened a while ago, to someone else, and no evidence was preserved.

And sometimes itís not even that personís anecdote.

Really, you just have to conquer that feeling that a not-very-satisfying explanation isnít plausible enough to let you rest. Plausibility is a lot wider and deeper than you think.
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Old 29th November 2020, 11:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
I was using a joke quote from the Dark Knight. I appreciate your help but so far you've basically just said "memory issues". I'm trying to get more in depth on each question. Like for the pill count, he wouldve had to taken 5 pills around the same time he got home, which was when he lost them. And I don't know why or how he'd take that many
Oh, a "joke quote" from some super hero movie...Which I've never seen.

I have said somewhat more than "memory issues", in that I've explained how memory problems are pretty much inevitable under these circumstances. But you "don't buy" that for reasons beyond me.

Memory problems are a real thing and incredibly common: if you are blessed with a perfect memory (which you aren't, as you've already mangled one of your "weird" stories in the other thread), then great, but no-one else is. And it is a highly usual explanation for many, many things.

Still not seeing anything about this one to suggest otherwise.

PS taking too many TCAs is a really, really bad idea, even at the lower than usual dose which will be used for sleep issues, and do one a whole lot of not good. I have met folk who've done that intentionally.
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Old 29th November 2020, 11:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
The following is a comment i received on my other thread. I don't know if there's a way to tag the user but I asked for his permission and if he says no I'll delete it, but I was hoping someone could help me explain this:

"A few weeks ago I picked up a prescription, and lost it; I had refills, so the pharmacy filled it again - AND I LOST IT. I *still* had refills, but then the doc said maybe I shouldn't be on this medication - he was worried about my absentmindedness; he didn't want to miss anything if I was having bad side effects. Well, a couple of days later one of the bottles turned up, but the date made no sense and five pills were gone which should have been impossible.

To cut the anecdote short it was a complete mystery. The fill date does not match my memory of either of the lost refills, and the pill count is off. If I were one to assign cosmic meaning I might wonder if the "universe" wanted me to get off this drug. But if so, why did it throw the bottle back at me ?

I'm not automatically hostile to the idea that the universe is sending me messages, and I know people who talk this way all the time. But ultimately I don't have the kind of brain that can really believe it, either. When I talk like that, I'm speaking ironically."
You should consider the possibility that your household is a more inattentive and disorganized than you think. It's a very human failure mode, and it explains a lot of the stuff that you find strange.
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Old 29th November 2020, 02:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
Oh, a "joke quote" from some super hero movie...Which I've never seen.

I have said somewhat more than "memory issues", in that I've explained how memory problems are pretty much inevitable under these circumstances. But you "don't buy" that for reasons beyond me.

Memory problems are a real thing and incredibly common: if you are blessed with a perfect memory (which you aren't, as you've already mangled one of your "weird" stories in the other thread), then great, but no-one else is. And it is a highly usual explanation for many, many things.

Still not seeing anything about this one to suggest otherwise.

PS taking too many TCAs is a really, really bad idea, even at the lower than usual dose which will be used for sleep issues, and do one a whole lot of not good. I have met folk who've done that intentionally.
I apologize for getting so pushy, I do appreciate your help. Thanks, have a good day

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Old 29th November 2020, 03:15 PM   #24
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I also totally get your first reply, when you didnt get my reference. But once i explained it, it shouldn't have been a big deal. Just a simple "Oh I'm sorry, I haven't seen that movie and didn't get the reference". Once again, I understand I was pushy, and probably rude too, but The only real question i had was about the 5 pills missing, obviously he forgot them. But my question had nothing to do with memory, it was about WHY he would take 5 pills, not HOW he forgot which looking back, was a stupid question.

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Old 29th November 2020, 05:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
I also totally get your first reply, when you didnt get my reference. But once i explained it, it shouldn't have been a big deal. Just a simple "Oh I'm sorry, I haven't seen that movie and didn't get the reference". Once again, I understand I was pushy, and probably rude too, but The only real question i had was about the 5 pills missing, obviously he forgot them. But my question had nothing to do with memory, it was about WHY he would take 5 pills, not HOW he forgot which looking back, was a stupid question.
Possibly filling a pill caddy. Those plastic containers that help you remember what meds to take at what time.
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Old 29th November 2020, 06:22 PM   #26
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True true, but wouldn't he then eventually realize this? Now that being said, you gave some other great explanations one or two days ago, thank you for that.
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Old 29th November 2020, 08:45 PM   #27
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If you can aim your desire to explain everything, at something where your answers might actually help you understand a subject, you might have more fun.

Like, why a movie director chose this or that shot, why a writer made a character say or do this exact thing. If you aim that desire to disassemble everyday events at something that actually had to be assembled BY somebody FOR an actual reason (creating a narrative)...

You might get both some insight into storytelling, AND a feeling for what it looks like when things really are being put in place intentionally, vs random chance (or even vs thoughtless storytelling like, say, Hallmark movies).
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Old 29th November 2020, 08:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
True true, but wouldn't he then eventually realize this? Now that being said, you gave some other great explanations one or two days ago, thank you for that.
NP. Here's the thing, though: skeptics aren't big on speculating. They're big on evaluating evidence. If there is not enough evidence to make the call, they might default to "insufficient data for a meaningful conclusion" (from Issac Asimov's short story The Last Question. Check it out if you haven't already). See, we can speculate all over the place, but skeptics like to shake off the spectrum of possibilities and focus on actual evidence. It's kind of grounding.

In the Missing Pills thing, we could speculate everything from thieves to a rogue paperboy. But that doesn't help us to find out what happened. Only sufficient evidence will do that.
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Old 29th November 2020, 11:13 PM   #29
arthwollipot
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If you're interested, I suggest doing some digging into the work of Elizabeth Loftus (wikipedia link), whose research has revealed exactly how malleable and unreliable memory is. Memory is not like a YouTube video, that plays out on your mind in exactly the same way every time it is accessed. It's more like a story that you have to re-tell yourself every time you want to recall something. At any point inaccuracies can creep into memory that you swear are original to the memory itself, but they are not.

And - here's the important thing - this happens to absolutely everybody. There are no exceptions. It happens to you, it happens to me, it happens to Elizabeth Loftus. It happens to people who have good memories, it happens to people who have bad memories.

And the illusion is very strong - your memories don't feel like they have changed. It can take a considerable amount of convincing to persuade someone that their memory may have inaccuracies. But I remember it clear as day! Like it happened yesterday! The memory may be perfectly clear. But it may still contain inaccuracies.

Memory is weird. Brains are weird. But people like Loftus are drawing back the curtain on exactly how weird and giving us a greater understanding of the world around us.
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Old 30th November 2020, 04:14 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You should consider the possibility that your household is a more inattentive and disorganized than you think. It's a very human failure mode, and it explains a lot of the stuff that you find strange.
This doesn't, in any way, address the OP you've quoted.

What has the state of DebunkThisPls's house got to do with Minoosh's memory fail?
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