An acoustic metaphor

In this model of lost and ill-found memories, there is imagined to be competition between past and present moments, and that competition is metaphorically audible. That is, the true present and the true past are said to emit sounds, and whichever is louder, that's the one you call THE present. And what you do from that point back into the past depends on the persistence of this sound. Once it peters out, or sinks below the volume of a competing sound, your attention lies idle, or is diverted elsewhere.

To summarize in proverb form: the present isn't the nearest part of the past, it's the loudest part of the past. And to offer up another proverb: the volume draws you there, the reverberation keeps you there.

The true present is proposed to toll regularly. In the webpage version of the model, you are given a button to click at the speed you prefer, but in life this is imagined to be a clockwork operation, at about the frequency of brainwaves (7-70 Hz).

With each peal/chime/gong/twang/kazoo exhalation (dress up this metaphor as you yourself see fit), you are presented with a new experience, and before the next peal/chime/etc., you review memories to see if you've had this one before. In the model, the "experiences" are just single words, and your memories comprise these plus short descriptive phrases. Here's the list that's hardcoded into the model.

It is vital here to emphasize what exactly is compared to the new experience. It is not all old experiences, although it is postulated that you always retain these in full. You do not loop through these, looking for a match. Instead, you loop through the much shorter list of experiences that got names, names you learned. Those are your memories, and it is the cycling through those that can get interrupted or misguided.

In the ideal, "undemented" state, there are no such diversions. You see gato, and you get to the part of the loop that says what gato corresponds to (even if it's all the way at the end of the loop), and there is delivered your gleeful exclamation. To make the model nontrivial, the following "rules" have been engineered in:

Thus the model's configurability will take the forms of varying loudness and reverb. Varying the true present's, that is - I thought of enabling tweaks to the true past's, but since I am claiming the past doesn't change, I will leave those hardcoded. The code, by the way, is all HTML/JavaScript and therefore fully viewable.

Now to the model