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June 19 - Fifth Day

It's Thursday and I'm thirsty for knowledge.

Next day

Note by Calvin Lin
2 years, 4 months ago

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Thursday - what a day! We started out our morning with another symposium. Today's main speakers were Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist, and Dr. Daniel Oppenheimer, Professor of Psychology. Mr. Hawass' talk was absolutely astounding: everyone in the hall were holding their breath, as he spoke of his amazing discoveries in Egypt, in the Valley of the Kings. Mr. Oppenheimer, instead, talked about the flaws of our perception and our memory, and gave a live demonstration of that by involving us in very simple yet tricky psychological experiments.

After that, it was time for us to head towards Caltech! We had a quick glimpse of the campus, and then we went to listen to the presentation of five college representatives. Caltech is so awesome!

Back to Oxy, we concluded our day with a few other great talks, and then a massive chess tournament, in which 15 people at a time were playing against Jennifer Shadade - a chess grandmaster! What a great day.

Lesson of the day: If you want to choose your path in life, you can't pick something that you just like; love isn't enough either; you must be truly passionate about it! Also, never trust your perception and your memort 100%, as tricking them is very easy! Petru Lupsac · 2 years, 4 months ago

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@Petru Lupsac Can you describe the live demonstration that memory is not to be trusted? I'm always intrigued by such events. Calvin Lin Staff · 2 years, 4 months ago

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@Calvin Lin Try this out.

Implanting a false memory is really easy if you know how to do it. You can do that by continuously lying to someone as well. Sometimes using certain words could distort your approximation abilities and memories.

Do you see the the words 'a little less' on this note? Those words are not co-incidental. Although this does not affect people's memories, it does help me make them think what I want them to think a lot easier. Mursalin Habib · 2 years, 4 months ago

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@Mursalin Habib Well, the test is simply astounding as to how our memory can record a false observation! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the remaining days at the AOTM. Shaan Vaidya · 2 years, 4 months ago

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@Calvin Lin One of the experiments was like this: he showed us a list of 20 words for a few seconds, and he asked us to memorize them. Then, he changed the slides and started talking, in the attempt to distract us. Next, he asked if we remembered the first and the last words, and everyone got them right. Then, he askes us if we remembered a word that wasn't in the list, and almost everyone fell for it!

He then explained how easy it can be, given the right conditions, to create a false memory. Petru Lupsac · 2 years, 4 months ago

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