The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons challenges many preconceptions about our certainties of the world. The subtitle, And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us, describes what the book is all about: how we can be lured into a false sense of believing ourselves correct in many aspects of our lives. The authors describe the fragility of memory; how recall seems to us like an unedited video, but is instead a continuously updated and altered process with errors added all the time. We should never be certain of past events unless there is robust corroboration. Professors admanant they knew exactly where they were when the Twin Towers were attacked were mistaken. Eye-witness testimonies taken very soon after events can differ remarkably. The examples go on.
After reading The Invisible Gorilla I now preface every statement involving memory with a comment along the lines of “As far as I recall”. So when I say that, as far as I recall, the last thing I remember before regaining conciousness in the Emergency Department was seeing a car heading straight towards me and thinking “I’m not certain that car should be there,” I might be mistaken. However this is the image that still wakes and haunts me in the early lonely hours.