A Disclaimer for Biographical Articles
One of the things I want to do you Sig’s Thought Dispensary is to write some autobiographical pieces about meaningful episodes in my life, people I have known, and the occasional amusing story. I felt that before I began with these, I should create a kind of disclaimer I could link to in case there were any disputes as to the alleged facts in these articles.
I’ve learned over the years that memory is a fickle thing. I’ve learned this both from personal experience and from research on the scientific literature on the subject. My memories, especially those of childhood have become narratives in my mind that may or may not have any strong relation to what actually happened in the past. Certainly, they must be based on some event or experience, but the exact detail of them is now nothing more than a story in my mind. Not only could my mind have altered these events in the remembering, as a child I could well have misunderstood or misinterpreted the events I experienced.
The only think I can tell you with any certainty is they are my memories and as such are part of what I feel is the narrative of my own life and identity. As an examination of history they are suspect, as an examination of who I am, they must stand as they are. Which is not to say I want to be ignorant of the truth. Far from it. I always welcome both hard facts born from artifacts of the time, and the memories of others which like mine are shaped by time and perspective. I may well update articles when new information comes to light.
Further, I’d like to say that for the most part, what I write is intended to be gentle with the reputation and character of anyone I know well and care for. At this time I don’t intend to share any stories which I think compromise others. That said, there is a reasonable chance that some who are part of these stories might feel it reflects poorly on them in some way. If you take offense, please accept that I did not mean to and if you wish something expunged from the public record, please say so and I will. I may try to persuade you otherwise but if you insist, I promise to remove the story from public view.