Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Smell of Memory

scientists in cambridge have recently figured out how to code the smell of memory, not just a smell of one thing that evokes a particular memory, but the underlying phenomenon that is memory itself. It turns out that it is not so abstract, and that there are only really 7 key parameters (somewhat like taste, which is, of course, related to smell in any case). Working backwards from the examples of smells that evoke memories, using a statistical technique called PCA, scientists can now code the entire space that is memory - so not only evoking a particular memory, but replaying everything at once.

Of course, there are severe dangers of synaesthesia with this technique, so it will only be allowed in key, socially beneficial situations, such as court cases, or TV interviews with politicians.

And it must be noted that there will inevitably be people who have an innate fear of smell - loosely related to the smell of fear, but far more disabling in this context, except where you'd like the right to be forgotten - de-oderant amnesia.