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"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester

Extra-Factual Memory  
  A "memory" placed in a person's mind by artifice, rather than by real life experience.  

This is a really remarkable idea; in it we find the basis for much of today's experience economy. For example, when you go to Disney's Animal Kingdom, you can experience a safari. Well, not a real safari - but when you try to remember it days later, you have a remarkable and complete set of memories that were all "implanted" by Disney magic: you remember the loud diesel-powered engines (the vehicles are gas/electric, and silent at the right times), the smell of the diesel engine (only once, at the start - nobody wants to go on a 10 minute safari with that smell the whole time) and so on.

At Rekal, Incorporated, they have the technology to really make it work.

"Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?" Quail asked.

"More than the real thing, sir...our analysis of true-mem systems - authentic recollections of major events in a person's life - shows that a variety of details are very quickly lost..."

...Quail said, "Okay...I guess I'll have to settle for this."

"Don't think of it that way," McClane said severely. "You're not accepting second-best. The actual memory, with all its vagueness ... that's second-best."

From We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Fantasy and SF in 1966
Additional resources -

The novel also calls the process of implanting memories "vicarious surrogate retrospection."

This 1966 short story was the basis of the movie Total Recall, with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Research has been done on implanting false memories. One study shows participants a set of 12 words, all of which are closely related to a common, emotional word. For example, you might use words like upset, unhappy, displeased, furious, etc. - every word but the common related word, namely, angry. The studies show that when participants are asked days later to recall the words, about 40% "remember" the word angry.

Compare to the movie pill from Ben Gleed, King of Speed (1939) by Don Wilcox.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from We Can Remember It For You Wholesale
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to We Can Remember It For You Wholesale
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Extra-Factual Memory-related news articles:
  - New Technique Detects False Memories
  - Northwestern Researchers Can Remember It For You Wholesale
  - Russians Enjoy 'Total Recall'-Style Fake Vacations
  - Hack Your Reality The Virtual Way

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