In the Short Term

Memory and intelligence is such an interesting multifaceted subject. Had a great time discussing it during Psychology lectures.

The reason I bring it up is because Tom Holland cannot remember not to spoil the endings of his movies. Every interview he forgets to stop talking but doesn’t forget the story.

Episodic vs Semantic memory, explicit vs implicit. Question to the Pink Fairy. How much damage can it do to a boys intelligence if you surgically remove their ability to remember events of their lives, but leave the rest of their cognitive facilities intact? Present your findings to the group.

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Memory plays a role in intelligence, that much is for certain. It makes sense, after all. If you can’t remember things, then you would lack the information that you need to solve problems, which is, really, the core of what intelligence is.

It’s never much fun to just excise a boy’s memories altogether. Memories, after all, lie at the center of identity. Without the ability to recall their experiences, you might as well be working with a lump of rock, or a different subject entirely. It doesn’t make for good science, even if it is amusing to see a cocky punk get reduced to nothing more than a lump of quivering fuck-meat.

I’m certain that at this point, you’re probably wondering, "Who’s this guy? I thought we were supposed to be getting the Pink Fairy? Why is he talking like this isn’t just some hypothetical situation?"

First and foremost, I suppose introductions are in order… This projector is working, right? Good. Now, just pay close attention to the slides and this whole presentation should become much easier to digest. Try not to stare at me too much, gentlemen. I don’t like being the center of attention. Things tend to get messy when people piss me off, so I implore you, don’t.

Now, where were we? Ah, yes. I am Acser. A-C-S-E-R. Acser. Another thing that pisses me off is people mispronouncing my name. A good half of you are saying it wrong in your heads. I can tell.

Let me say it again. Slowly, this time. Make sure you follow along so you get it right, yeah? My name is Acser. That’s pronounced AT-chur. Yes! Like the ‘tch’ in "ratchet"! No! I don’t give you permission to call me "ratchet" in your heads!

Alright. You want to know what I think happens if you take away a boy’s ability to remember things. I can do you one better. I can show you what happens. First, I think we need to reframe the question. "What happens when you take away a boy’s ability to make new memories?" There. Isn’t that better?

Let’s jump into a case study, shall we? This here is Carl. This was taken when he was a freshman in university. There wasn’t anything particularly special about him, but that was the point of the selection. I wanted as average a specimen as possible.

I’m not going to go into how I did what I did—that’s a trade secret—but I will tell you that I elected to strip away his ability to make new memories little by little. It’s much more fun, that way, and it gave me the chance to watch his progress more closely.

I started off with little things, of course. Over a few weeks he started forgetting his wallet at home, where he’d left his keys, whether he’d locked his dorm room door. It’s all stuff that happens to most of us, occasionally, right? The difference was that Carl was experiencing those things as much as every other day.

Just a little bit of a disclaimer here, I made sure to leave all of his other cognitive faculties intact. I just want to make that clear, in case any of you geniuses get the brilliant idea that maybe I falsified my results.

Anyway, moving on, it was fascinating how much those little things seemed to frazzle Carl. Before I started this little experiment, he was calm, collected, and composed, if a bit shy. Constantly having to beg off because he forgot his wallet, or having to call a locksmith because he’d lost his keys really got on his nerves.

When it got to the point that he was forgetting his phone at home, Carl decided that it was time to seek some medical help. It was pretty clear to the experts that he was experiencing some memory deterioration, but of course, they couldn’t find any physiological reasons for that. As far as they could tell, Carl was as healthy as a lark.

Since no one could give Carl a diagnosis, they mostly just gave him advice on how to cope until they came up with one. He really seemed to take to the sticky notes idea.

That was when I decided to take it up a notch. Probably every other time he entered a room, he completely forgot what he was there to do. It wasn’t much, at first, but it quickly became infuriating for the poor guy.

I also made sure that Carl started forgetting words a lot more than usual. He’d feel them on the tip of his tongue but he could never quite blurt them out, no matter how much he tried. He was never the most eloquent guy before I got my hands on him, but the way he talked changed completely when I was done.

Carl started struggling with more complex conversations. He could handle small-talk just fine, but whenever he needed to call to mind specific terms, things just went downhill fast. He’d stutter and pause, repeating himself a few times as he tried to figure out what he was trying to say before someone helpfully provided the word he was looking for.

It wasn’t so much that I made Carl forget the words. I told you, I don’t like touching existing memories. I just made it so that he forgot which words he wanted to use somewhere in between constructing the sentence in his head and saying it out loud.

The knock-on effect was pretty obvious, don’t you think? Carl stopped being as talkative as he was before, and he tried to avoid complex conversations whenever he could.

Things only got more difficult for poor Carl from then on. I chipped away at his short-term memory and retention over the weeks. This is a picture of Carl on a date at his favorite restaurant, only, Carl forgot what he’d meant to order while waiting for the waiter.

This picture is Carl writing down his order, on another date, just to make sure that he didn’t forget. As you can see, his date looks pretty amused by the whole thing—Carl, less so.

Lectures became a nightmare for Carl, after that. It was a race against time, and his leaky brain to take down notes before he forgot what the professor said.

The impact on Carl’s grades was minimal at first since, at least for a while, he could still drill things into his long-term memory by repeating them over and over. As long as he had the information, he could still figure things out, because I hadn’t touched the problem-solving part of his brain.

It’s really rather remarkable, though, how much one thing can change a person’s outlook entirely. I think the major turning point was when I made Carl forget his own thoughts.

To put this into perspective, Carl could still think. The only problem was that the slightest distraction, the briefest lapse in attention from what he was thinking about, led to that thought getting wiped out entirely. Now, that on its own wouldn’t have been so bad, but here’s the thing: fear and anxiety are really good distractions.

The more it happened, the more Carl became anxious about and afraid of losing his trains of thought. The more anxious he got, the more distracted he got, and the more he lost his trains of thought. It wasn’t much of a surprise that he got so irritable.

That was when Carl’s grades really started to decline. Tests were a minefield. The quiet that the invigilators enforced didn’t help him concentrate. If anything, the silence made it harder, since every little sound would distract him from a question and he’d have to start thinking about it all over again.

Carl was never the brightest tool in the shed, but watching his grades slide down from respectable to atrocious did a number on his self-esteem. The self-doubt he experienced was pretty bad. He’d always thought of himself as smart in his own way, but he started thinking that maybe he’d just hallucinated all those memories.

One of Carl’s counselors recommended that he try meditation if his condition was stressing him out. It didn’t work, but it did give him an idea. The very act of thinking was laborious and difficult and painful, so he decided to start doing things that didn’t require much thinking.

Working out was a particular past-time that Carl enjoyed. He had to get a trainer and partner, of course, because he kept forgetting how many sets he’d done, but he liked the feeling of his muscles burning as he just did the same thing over and over and over again.

Of course, Carl couldn’t stay at the gym all day. He had his limits, after all. But at home, he found other ways to keep himself occupied without having to think too much.

Most movies were a bit too stressful for Carl at that point. He kept forgetting the plots and characters halfway through. The news was a hopeless endeavor, even though he used to like watching it. He ended up having to make do with reality TV since there wasn’t anything particularly complex that he needed to follow, there.

Carl eventually discovered that jerking off was an even better way of passing time without having to worry about thinking too much. He started the way most guys go, grabbing his cock and furiously tugging it to porn until he came all over himself.

That changed pretty quickly when Carl realized that intrusive thoughts kept popping up in his head after he’d shot his load. He didn’t like that. So, what did he do? Well, let’s just say that over the next few weeks, Carl perfected the porn-tarded gooner face.

Carl was a marvel to behold. He would go to the gym in the mornings, have something to eat, and then pull up his favorite porn website and jerk his cock for the rest of the day until he was ready to go to sleep. He’d nut just before bed and then pass out soon after—giving himself no time to think too much about how he was spending his life.

Suffice to say, Carl eventually got kicked out of his apartment for failure to pay rent. Luckily for him, his gym trainer had a few connections and was able to come up with a gig that should help him pay for a place.

All Carl had to do was sell his body. He was hesitant, at first, but his trainer helped him out by being his first client. When Carl discovered how much better of a distraction sex was than jerking off, it was over.

Carl was obsessed. About the only thing he could remember at that point was how good sex was. He didn’t care, exactly, where he was or who was taking care of him as long as he was getting fucked and didn’t have to think.

The gym trainer had Carl move into his apartment. He didn’t much care that Carl didn’t seem able to remember who he was, as long as he had control of the enthusiastic piece of pussy. At that point, Carl was pretty much just a living sex toy and as a welcoming gift, the gym trainer bought him a fuck machine that kept him occupied when the trainer’s fat cock couldn’t.

So, there you go. Intelligence doesn’t much matter when you can’t remember anything. Can’t solve problems or apply knowledge when you can neither remember the problems nor the knowledge! Does anyone have any questions?

"Um, sir, shouldn’t question time be at the end of the presentation?"

Oh, of course. Silly me. I suppose I just wanted to figure out if there was anything specific you guys wanted me to go over before I got started. Well, I have a question. Does anyone here have any weird feeling of dejà vu, like they’ve seen this presentation before?

No? Good! Well, you’re in for a treat, tonight, gentlemen. Let me start with an introduction.

My name is Acser. A-C-S-E-R. Acser.

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