Reminder

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Spoffin
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Reminder

Postby Spoffin » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:22 am UTC

Bit of an odd one this, but if you wanted to be reminded of something (say, a date or an appointment) not a week or a month in advance, but fifty years into the future, how would you do it?

Lets stipulate that the information to be remembered is arbitrarily short, and has no relevance or use prior to the recall date. Paradigm case, a date and place to meet someone.

Best I can think of is to have it tattooed on a visible part of your body. Can anyone do any better?
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Re: Reminder

Postby Mandiful » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:38 am UTC

I would remind myself the same time that it is to occur every year (perhaps using a different method every time) until the day comes.

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Re: Reminder

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:44 am UTC

Mandiful wrote:I would remind myself the same time that it is to occur every year (perhaps using a different method every time) until the day comes.


If we're going by mental, non-physical methods, repeating the required data ten times upon waking and going to bed each day would work fairly well. You just have to work it into yourself as an obsession so you don't get lazy.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Mandiful » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:49 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Mandiful wrote:I would remind myself the same time that it is to occur every year (perhaps using a different method every time) until the day comes.


If we're going by mental, non-physical methods, repeating the required data ten times upon waking and going to bed each day would work fairly well. You just have to work it into yourself as an obsession so you don't get lazy.


I was thinking about that. But it's extremely mentally intrusive.

But then again . . . not everyone's for marking their bodies, either.

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Re: Reminder

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:53 am UTC

Well, you're going to have to either use an unreliable mechanical apparatus to set up a reminder (Do you trust Outlook on these timescales? I don't.) Or do something intrusive, physically (tatoo) or mentally (ritual). And the ritual isn't that bad, honestly, although I can see how it might be irritating in some questions.

Ooh, here's another idea, find some way to take over the video feed from a major TV network, and broadcast a message about "In exactly fifty years, it will be necessary to remember <data>." Let the rest of the world do the actual remembering.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Mandiful » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:58 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Well, you're going to have to either use an unreliable mechanical apparatus to set up a reminder (Do you trust Outlook on these timescales? I don't.) Or do something intrusive, physically (tatoo) or mentally (ritual). And the ritual isn't that bad, honestly, although I can see how it might be irritating in some questions.

Ooh, here's another idea, find some way to take over the video feed from a major TV network, and broadcast a message about "In exactly fifty years, it will be necessary to remember <data>." Let the rest of the world do the actual remembering.


Well, but that's why I would set up a new reminder every year.
50+ years is too long to rely on a certain form of technology, but certainly a year isn't.

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Re: Reminder

Postby tryptanymph » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:04 am UTC

Couldn't you pull a trick like in Back To The Future 2?

Send yourself a letter, with explicit instructions for it to be delivered at X date and time and place. Or (since it's the future) to X DNA sequence. XD
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Re: Reminder

Postby Mandiful » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:11 am UTC

sleepygamer wrote:Couldn't you pull a trick like in Back To The Future 2?

Send yourself a letter, with explicit instructions for it to be delivered at X date and time and place. Or (since it's the future) to X DNA sequence. XD


Yeah, I was thinking that.

But then again . . . who trusts the postal service?! -horror- :shock:

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Re: Reminder

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:15 am UTC

sleepygamer wrote:Couldn't you pull a trick like in Back To The Future 2?

Send yourself a letter, with explicit instructions for it to be delivered at X date and time and place. Or (since it's the future) to X DNA sequence. XD


And where are you going to be in 50 years? (Having my DNA on a giant database for postal purposes is more than just a bit creepy.)
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Re: Reminder

Postby DaMullet » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:38 am UTC

Mandiful wrote:
Yeah, I was thinking that.

But then again . . . who trusts the postal service?! -horror- :shock:

You don't trust the postal service... They're Western Union.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Robin S » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:26 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:If we're going by mental, non-physical methods, repeating the required data ten times upon waking and going to bed each day would work fairly well. You just have to work it into yourself as an obsession so you don't get lazy.
Not only might it be difficult to make it into an obsession that you'd never forget to do, but you'd have to do it every single day during the interrim so that, rather than just having the information memorized, you are actually reminded of it at the right time. This strikes me as inefficient. Personally, it would take me a very short period of time to memorize a small amount of data for life; being reminded of it at the appropriate time (without expending an amount of effort disproportionate to the amount of data memorized) would be the difficult part.

Personally, I'd probably use a mnemonic to associate the fact that I'd memorized the data with an object I was likely to see on a reliable, regular - though not necessarily frequent - basis (once a year would be often enough) throughout my life. Then, I'd recall the data whenever I saw that object. When it came to less than a year from the due date, I'd set up a mental association with an object I'd see more frequently - say, once a week. By the time it came to a week from the date, it'd probably be so ingrained that all sorts of things would start reminding me of it automatically.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Sandry » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:31 am UTC

How about just making it into a sign or framed picture and hanging it in every apartment or house you move to?

Assuming you're unlikely to become homeless in the interim, you should be fairly easily able to find it, pack it, and put it back up each time you move, and it's a damned sight less intrusive than a tattoo.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Spoffin » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:51 pm UTC

For anyone thinking of relying on memory, bear in mind that you don't even know what your mental state is going to be like after fifty years. Memory loss (esp of small details/information) by age 70 is not atypical.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Hurduser » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:12 pm UTC

I'd tell certain friends that I'll have their money on (1 day before event). He 'll remind me of the money and I will remember the event, I need to be reminded of :D
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Re: Reminder

Postby Exotria » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

I'd use SuperMemo.

Although as I haven't yet shelled the money out for it, I have no idea if it'll have the results that I've been built up to from it after all the raving testimonials.
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Re: Reminder

Postby EdB » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:32 pm UTC

In 50 years I'll be 96 so I won't really give a hoot if I forget something I was supposed to remember for 50 years. If the person I was supposed to meet remembered and for some reason didn't remind a guy in his 90s, well, that's their problem.

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Re: Reminder

Postby grythyttan » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:18 am UTC

About a year ago, I was incredibly bored and was trying to amuse myself with my cellphone. I ended up flipping through the calendar manually in an attempt so see how far into the future it went. After a while, I reached the year that I will retire (if 65 is still the standard then.) and i decided to write a little message for retired me on my birthday.

it shows up every time I write another reminder so I remember it pretty well by now. And I intend to transfer it to the new cellphone if I should by one.

It reads:

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Re: Reminder

Postby choginga » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:21 am UTC

The tattoo would be cool though, if the event was significant enough. You would have a cool story every time someone asked about it.

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Re: Reminder

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

I believe many law firms offer services that could be used for this. Simply enclose a reminder to be delivered to you at some future date at which time you will pay for the service. Your lawyer should be up to date on where you can be reached at the time of delivery and the promise of money gives him incentive to deliver.

If not, then a bank or brokerage, pick an old, stable one, and put some money in to some long-term thing that will mature within a reasonable amount of time before the event.
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Re: Reminder

Postby cyberia » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:32 am UTC

I think I'd just write myself a note and tuck it into my wallet or filofax. That way I'd be aware of it and if my wallet got stolen I could rewrite the note.

Or, as someone previously said, put something up on the wall of your house. That'd work without being overly intrusive.
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Re: Reminder

Postby muffin of doom » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:27 am UTC

Hmm... Maybe I would write it on my calendar for the appropriate day every year (eg: 49 more years until____). And then I'd write an additional note somewhere in December to remind myself to write it in for the next year, too. I don't know, maybe I'm overestimating the likelihood that I wouldn't screw up the system somehow over the course of 50 years, but I think it would probably work.

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Re: Reminder

Postby Megatriorchis » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:03 am UTC

I'd put a note in a time capsule and connect an alarm to the capsule that connects to a wristwatch that I can wear for 50 years. I'll have it wired so that it would reach me where ever I am; maybe connected by satellite. I'd have it so that the capsule is ready to open 24 hours in advance of the date or appointment, so that I may have time to get there.
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Re: Reminder

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

I'm liking the idea of writing it on the calendar every year. Whatever it is must be pretty important if I have to schedule it 50 years in advance. I don't trust technology or my memory enough for that.
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Re: Reminder

Postby DaMullet » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

I plan on being dead in 50 years, so if it was something really important, I'd tell my kids or wife about it. It's their problem now.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Awia » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:13 pm UTC

It's simple.

1. Find a gullible but reliable friend.
2. Tell them that unless you are at that place on that date, the world will end.
3. Tell them to remind you about it near that date.
4. ???
5. PROFIT!
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Re: Reminder

Postby KevorkianKat » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

Seeing as I'll be in an ecovillage by then and have little direct access to huge computers and iffy access to electricity, I'd go with burning it on a piece of wood and sticking it on a sign outside my door.

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Re: Reminder

Postby TizzyFoe » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:12 pm UTC

I think i'd focus on the age i'd be 50 years from now. So when i'm 72 i've got this thing i have to do. then when the date gets closer set an appointment on my computer. This is assuming that the information will cross my mind at least every year or so, and i can evaluate how well i am remembering it.
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Re: Reminder

Postby pkuky » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:31 pm UTC

make talking about it a birthday tradition.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Daelar » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

Being a diary keeper, i'd just write it as the first thing on each page until it happened.

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Re: Reminder

Postby J Spade » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:13 pm UTC

sticky note on my computer monitor. I could make a new copy for each computer I get.

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Re: Reminder

Postby raylu » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:37 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:If we're going by mental, non-physical methods, repeating the required data ten times upon waking and going to bed each day would work fairly well. You just have to work it into yourself as an obsession so you don't get lazy.

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.

---

Spoffin, have you picked a solution yet? I'm pretty curious about how this works out, though I doubt these forums will be around in 50 years.

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Re: Reminder

Postby masher » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:01 am UTC

grythyttan wrote:About a year ago, I was incredibly bored and was trying to amuse myself with my cellphone. I ended up flipping through the calendar manually in an attempt so see how far into the future it went. After a while, I reached the year that I will retire (if 65 is still the standard then.) and i decided to write a little message for retired me on my birthday.


My phone can go to 30/12/2100!

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Re: Reminder

Postby longs » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:47 pm UTC

This is a pretty sweet question. I think even better questions, however, are--

Did Spoffin have some real situation in mind for this question? If not, then in what real-world situation would one need to do this? Make it as believable and interesting as possible.
What if the time period was much longer, like for one's children, or some other more distant generations?
Suppose the bit of information was very embarrassing, or a displeasure to recall? (like a tragedy involving your friends or parents)
Suppose the information could not fit on a square on your calendar, or could not be memorized? (like a long string of seemingly random characters)
What other interesting complications can we introduce to this situation? We need something that will very reliably exist in the future, and that is very low maintenance. What other criteria can we list?

In any case I suspect the answers to the complications I listed above are just that I would record the actual information somewhere else, like a safety deposit box, and list instructions to getting to it in the actual reminder (which will be easy to memorize). Or, if I don't want to keep recalling this information every year, I could use as many unintrusive, redundant reminder methods as possible. Like Yahoo! alerts, or the cellphone thing, or drawing something up with a lawyer, and others.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Spoffin » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:58 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I believe many law firms offer services that could be used for this. Simply enclose a reminder to be delivered to you at some future date at which time you will pay for the service. Your lawyer should be up to date on where you can be reached at the time of delivery and the promise of money gives him incentive to deliver.

If not, then a bank or brokerage, pick an old, stable one, and put some money in to some long-term thing that will mature within a reasonable amount of time before the event.

I think relying on something external and non-technological like this is a good idea. I would still be concerned about the firm/company/bank going out of business or losing a whole bunch of files, so maybe having 3+ different reminders of this type to be sure.

It still doesn't seem as reliable as tattooing it on your chest though...
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Re: Reminder

Postby Ramses IV » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:01 pm UTC

Spoffin wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:I believe many law firms offer services that could be used for this. Simply enclose a reminder to be delivered to you at some future date at which time you will pay for the service. Your lawyer should be up to date on where you can be reached at the time of delivery and the promise of money gives him incentive to deliver.

If not, then a bank or brokerage, pick an old, stable one, and put some money in to some long-term thing that will mature within a reasonable amount of time before the event.

I think relying on something external and non-technological like this is a good idea. I would still be concerned about the firm/company/bank going out of business or losing a whole bunch of files, so maybe having 3+ different reminders of this type to be sure.

It still doesn't seem as reliable as tattooing it on your chest though...


If you put it on your chest, you won't be able to read it without asking someone else or looking in a mirror (then it'd have to be backwards), and if you do that, then you'll already be aware of the date anyway.
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Re: Reminder

Postby steelmole » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:13 pm UTC

I think putting in a time capsule could work well. Make a big fuss about putting all these important artifacts in then slip a note in at the bottom with your information on. Whack a plaque above the time capsule so it'll definitely be dug up.

Or you could encode the information in an incredibly catchy song. I'm pretty sure I'll remember Micky in 50 years whether I like it or not. If you released the song you could put a date in it somewhere, that way people might reference that song on that particular day (assuming it was released and became reasonably popular).

I'm a bit worried by the assumption I'll be alive in 50 years though, fingers crossed eh?

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Re: Reminder

Postby Mercat » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:29 pm UTC

I know where I'll be September 28th, eighty-seven years from now. Hard to believe I'll be 107 years old... Let's hope I make it.
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Re: Reminder

Postby Spoffin » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:15 am UTC

Ramses IV wrote:
Spoffin wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:I believe many law firms offer services that could be used for this. Simply enclose a reminder to be delivered to you at some future date at which time you will pay for the service. Your lawyer should be up to date on where you can be reached at the time of delivery and the promise of money gives him incentive to deliver.

If not, then a bank or brokerage, pick an old, stable one, and put some money in to some long-term thing that will mature within a reasonable amount of time before the event.

I think relying on something external and non-technological like this is a good idea. I would still be concerned about the firm/company/bank going out of business or losing a whole bunch of files, so maybe having 3+ different reminders of this type to be sure.

It still doesn't seem as reliable as tattooing it on your chest though...


If you put it on your chest, you won't be able to read it without asking someone else or looking in a mirror (then it'd have to be backwards), and if you do that, then you'll already be aware of the date anyway.
You could write it upside down -_-

And the point of the tattooing is simply that its always with you, and you'll be made aware of it frequently enough that you'll be reminded of it close to the time.
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Re: Reminder

Postby kriel » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:25 am UTC

I have a hard enough time remembering stuff for an hour, much less 50 years.

But anyway.

I think having the message always visible would be the best. Thus, either a tatoo (ew) or a sign in my house.

Next best would probably be trusted third party. Bank, lawyer's office, etc.

I wouldn't trust any of my friends, nor any of my electronic devices. Though, I might make just a simple digital clock that counted down (50*365.25-1)*24*60*60 seconds. Or something.

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Re: Reminder

Postby longs » Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:15 am UTC

Mercat wrote:I know where I'll be September 28th, eighty-seven years from now. Hard to believe I'll be 107 years old... Let's hope I make it.
What happens there/then,Mercat?
the participle.


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