In a provocative new book, David Rieff questions whether remembering the past can really spare us from repeating it.
By Rebecca Onion
lost cause 2.
“Even though the South was defeated militarily, it won the memory war.”
In his new book, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies, journalist David Rieff questions the idea that remembering the past is an inherently virtuous practice that will help us solve present-day problems. It’s a philosophical argument that he pursues across the globe, invoking examples drawn from the histories of the United States, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Bosnia, Israel, and Ireland, among others. “What if,” Rieff asks, “a decent measure of communal forgetting is actually the sine qua non of a peaceful and decent society, while remembering is the politically, socially, and morally risky pursuit?”
Montreal, May 25, 2016 — Humans aren’t much different from other animals. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, we can become conditioned to associate environmental cues with rewards. Innocent enough when the sight of your sneakers makes you want to go for a run, but not necessarily so when the sight of the liquor store prompts you to want a drink.
Indeed, Pavlovian cues that predict alcohol can lead us toward addiction. And sometimes those cues can become desirable in and of themselves, as shown in a new study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience by researchers from Concordia University in Montreal.
Most people have heard the argument that standing desks are good for the body. They can help burn more calories and fight obesity. Standing can even help improve students’ attention and cognitive functioning. Now, new research from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health indicates that they may boost productivity in adults as well.