Forgetting is a Filter

“… forgetting is a filter. When something you read resonates with you sufficiently for you to recall it without effort, that means something; it means it connects with your ideas and experiences in some relevant way. Replace that natural process with a more conscious, willpower-based system for retaining information, and you risk losing the benefits of that filter. (I know there are a few professional and educational contexts where you really do have to memorise a whole body of words – but it isn’t the norm.) “Your natural salience filter is a great determinant of what’s most alive to you,” as Sasha Chapin puts it, in an edition of his excellent newsletter. “If you begin to rely on any other filter, you will increasingly record what seems like it should be interesting according to some pre-existing criteria rather than what organically sticks to your mind.”

Oliver Burkeman, The Imperfectionist (How to forget what you read)

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