As I mentioned the other day, remembering is not as simple as we think. I will provide two examples and ask for your recollection. It will give you an idea of how things have progressed.

Memory and experience guides our current decision making. If the memories are tainted, the meaning can become unclear and no longer actionable. It won’t look tainted though. Be very careful when emotionally charged and striking new events happen and you decide how to proceed based on your history.

The Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral


Think about these questions. 

  1. How old is the cathedral?
  2. How long since the fire occurred?
  3. Was the building completely destroyed?
  4. Were many priceless works of art destroyed.?

If you paid attention since

  1. Can it be repaired?
  2. If yes, when will it be substantially complete?

The answers are

  1. Construction began in 1163 and was finished by 1345.
  2. The fire happened 15 April 2019, so two and a half years ago.
  3. The building was not completely destroyed, but there were concerns for integrity of the stone.
  4. Some, but not many, works of art were lost


  1. Restoration has already begun
  2. The President of France wants it open to the public by the beginning of the 2024 Olympics – so mid 2024.

I would not have gotten the answers very right. I thought it was longer ago than 2019. Other events have occupied our minds since. I expected it to be restorable but I didn’t know enough to be sure. Heated limestone is a problem I had not considered. I thought it would take much longer to rebuild. Of all the events that struck me as memorable in 2019 this is as big as any, and it is already fuzzy in my mind.

This article from the spring of 2021 will help you reassess what you could know.

Two Years Later, Here’s the Latest With Notre-Dame’s Restoration

Mid 70s Electronic Technology

Mid 70s technology is much less sophisticated than modern tech and yet we seem to not remember how costly it was. Not to mention how poor the images were. I like old tech audio better though, so it is not as even as you might think. Let’s review what we can.

  1. Was a television a key piece of furniture?
  2. On a scale of 1 to 5 how good was the image if today is 5?
  3. How expensive was a big TV. Big for the time – maybe 26 inches.

This picture tells a story we have mostly forgotten. As time passes, we tend to condition our memories based on current information.

An electronics show in 1974

The answers

  1. Television sets were the center of the room in many homes
  2. Picture quality was very poor compared to today. even 1 might be optimistic.
  3. Prices were amazingly high. $1,650 in 1974 would be close to $9,000 today

The takeaway

  1. If a memory matters,you have probably thought about it a few times in the intervening time. The memory is not exactly as it happened any more. Do a little research to add some old context.
  2. Don’t trust your memory.
  3. Don’t trust experience unless it has evolved over time.
  4. You might remember statistics like the stock market fall in 2008-2009, but you won’t remember much about how how you felt.
  5. We remember things we like or agree with better than things we don’t like and/or don’t agree with.
  6. Meaning is extracted from memory and experience. Be sure you are getting the right message from your old experiences.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email

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