Sunday, April 27, 2008

What We Already Know and What We Don't

First things first: Shout-out to LINDSEY for giving me her to ticket to the DESTROYER show in Asheville this weekend.

Now for THE MEAT:
Earlier in the semester I read/did an oral report on SIGMUND FREUD'S essay, "RECOLLECTION, REPETITION AND WORKING THROUGH", in which he writes about how to rid oneself of current mental/emotional problems by confronting the issues of the past. In the essay, he says that the analyst should ask the patient simple questions relating to the problem to engage him or her in a conversation and to begin a discussion of the present issue. He states that:

One must allow the patient time to get to know this resistance of which he is ignorant, to 'work through' it, to overcome it, by continuing the work according to the analytic rules in defiance of it.

By talking about the topic, the patient will move backward and "discover" the root of the problem.

The word "DISCOVER" is in quotation marks here because FREUD says that the conclusion the patient reaches is not really any uncovering of a forgotten or never-known fact. The thought has been present in his or her brain all along, and one simply has to discuss and confront the matter at hand to arrive at the realizations that can lead to a resolution or an explanation for a problem at hand.

Now, I just watched USHER'S music video for his 2001 single, "U DON'T HAVE TO CALL." In high school I was very fond of this song (and still am now), but I have not listened to it in probably 2 years. About two-thirds of the way through the song, in between the refrain, "U don't have to call", he emphatically sings "U don't GOTTA call". As I listened to this part of the song, I thought to myself, "I knew he said that, or did I just think I knew it?" I could not tell if I really had just learned the place of this specific lyrical interjection or if I knew and just came to realize it because I had gone back and examined this song that used to be ubiquitous in my past.

What's more, I think I remember that lyric being "U don't care to call" rather than "...gotta call". Had I figured out that it was "gotta" just now, or did I have this debate with myself back in 2004 when I listened to this song frequently? I do believe FREUD'S claim that one must revisit past happenings to uncover reasons for the present, but I just have trouble identifying when these instances are actually occurring or if I just THINK and am trying to CONVINCE myself that they are. Since I read this essay I have had a few different run-ins with this problem. We may end up discussing this later on if /when another instance of this type surfaces.

Also, did you know that the album, 8701, from which "U DON'T HAVE TO CALL" comes, is named after the time that spanned USHER'S career as an entertainer up to the point of it's release (1987-2001)? It was also released on August 7, 2001, but this date is, for the most part, coincidental. This sounds like something that THE BEATLES or PINK FLOYD would have done back when popular music still had cool hidden conspiracies. I guess the moral of this BLOG POST is that USHER is one of the edgiest artists of our time.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it one of those things though where you are not meant to know whether you just figured something out? You're really not uncovering anything you didn't already know about yourself. Perhaps you just "wanted" to think you knew what Usher was saying in between the refrain. I really don't know if you will ever be able to decipher between uncovering or learning especially with something of this nature.

Andy said...

The term for that is hindsight bias. For example, after September 11th when people said, "I saw that coming" or "obviously that was going to happen," when in actuality they had no idea, they just thought they did. Sort of like you and Usher.

Brandon said...

Freud also says, "With these processes it particularly often happens that something is 'remembered' which never could have been 'forgotten,' because it was never at any time noticed, never was conscious; as regards the fate of any such 'connection' in the mind..."

This quotation embodies more of the theme I am examining here. I do not want to decisively label it as something like "hindsight bias" because IF this knowledge has been embedded and latent in my head, then maybe I WAS subconsciously aware of it. I suppose hindsight bias is a possibility, but that is just one option proposed by my question.

I think this brings me right back to where I started with my question, but with a new phrasing: Is it hindsight bias or is it a latent piece of knowledge?

Also, I think uncovering and learning, in most cases anyway, are fairly easy to decipher from one another. If I were watching an Usher video in which Usher just stated his birthplace and his mother's name, then I would absolutely be learning these facts, not awakening them from dormant areas of my mind. I suppose it is too late now, though, to discover if my dilemma was previously known or not now that I DO know actually it.