Experience, memory, learning, knowledge

The way I hit a tennis ball determines the way the ball behaves. My serve, stroke, smash and volley is not going to beat Roger Federer or even any of the top professional players let alone the guy down the road … or my son tennis playing son.

The point is my idealised (imagined and willed) version of tennis will not make me a great or even a good player. I have to work hard (practice) to get there, follow a corporeal regiment because the physical world takes priority. The physical supervenes upon the mental.

I have broken (not lose, thank goodness) a my finger bone before. During karate when I was receiving a kick in practice. My bad for not keeping a tighter fist.

I have met people who have lost a finger, foot or limb. But none of these losses affect their mental capacity. For it is not in the limbs that the mind resides. Similarly, my broken finger affected my hand but not my mind. Experience tells me that the mind is in the brain or rather it is created by the brain.

There is something important about the definition of experience (knowledge or skill that you gain from doing a job or activity, or the process of doing this). Experience is more than memory (something that you remember from the past about a person, place, or experience). And it is more than learning (knowledge gained through reading and study).

Like the construction worker character Douglas Quaid in Total Recall, or the replicant Rachel in Blade runner they have implanted memories, not experiences. The danger lies in the fact that the definition of experience makes the concepts of memory and learning conveniently disappear.

We have knowledge as though it is 1 or 0 (no knowledge). It is a non-mass noun. It is one thing. Memory can be plural (memories). They are “things”. The attraction of that is knowledge is important in the sense that it says something about the way we think of it. Like a catchment or a carbon sink, it is one.

Memory is not knowledge. While a thing (count noun) it is not about gain or knowledge.

  1. I have had many experiences.
  2. I have had many memories.
  3. It was a good experience.
  4. ?It was a good memory.
  5. He has a lot of experience.
  6. He has a lot of memory.
  7. He has a lot of learning.

Experience is more important. Memory and learning are the basis of experience.

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