Thursday, 16 February 2012

3-second memory

goldfishThere’s a long-standing myth that goldfish only have a 3-second memory. In other words their entire understanding and knowledge of their universe began 3 seconds ago, and by the time they read this sentence (if they could read) their world will have changed. (I sometimes wish I had that affect on all my readers, but I digress.)
In fact it’s been demonstrated that goldfish have very good memories, up to 6 months or more in some cases. But that doesn’t serve my purpose at  the moment, so let’s stick with 3 seconds for now.
This came up again a day or so ago when I heard someone on the radio mention the 3-second memory fiction as if it were fact. It also happened to be at the same time I was outdoors on a beautiful, sunny, warm day desperate for a ride but knowing full well I was at least a month away from having ice-free roads on which to ride.
Truth be told I was daydreaming about that perfect ride I’m sure to have as soon as the snow goes and I no longer have to bundle up like the Michelin man to avoid freezing to death in a 60 mph wind chill.
And in that odd way that the mind sometimes wanders and thoughts conflate I got to thinking that perhaps goldfish, if they really only had a 3 second memory, and if they really could ride, would always experience that perfect ride.
Just think about it. You have no history, no concerns beyond what happened in the past 3 seconds. You have no concept of a future and hence no worries about what’s around the next corner, or the next stage of your life. You are just here, just now. It’s you, a motorcycle, and a road. What could be more Zen, more in-the-moment than that? And isn’t that what the perfect ride is all about?


  1. Canajun:

    I have 3 second memory when it comes to food. Like a goldfish I don't know when to stop.

    Your analogy to riding is perfect, but how do you remember to change gears & clutch ? Where are you riding to ? where is home ? also no friends . . .

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Bob, doesn't matter. It's all in the moment.

  3. I'd be fine with the no friends. Not so much with the "how the hell did I learn how to ride this thing!" :D

  4. But if you only had a 3 second memory, you would never rememeber how awesome riding a motorcycle is

  5. Geist - When you reach a certain age you don't remember how you learned to ride anyway. :)

    NoName - True, but when you ARE riding, it's awesome!


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