My Eidetic Memory ... (and accusations of stalking , again & still)

The other night my husband and I settled in for some relaxing comic relief in the form of reruns of Big Bang Theory.  I just love this show ... on so many levels ... and our DVR is now close to its capacity with episodes we just have to save they are so funny.   We watched the episode this clip comes from the other night:

My hubs turned to me and said "that's you!".  I've always been known for my photographic memory.  As an athlete in HS I often didn't get home until 8pm many school nights and my parents never saw me study much -- especially for math.  One day Mom asked me when I studied for math and my reply was that I set my alarm for an hour early, and in the half-awake state I would go through the pages of my notebook in my mind.  One of the ways I studied for biology exams (lots of memorization in biology) was simply to re-write my notes.  I would have a fresh picture in my brain of the words and diagrams on the page.  
But as I got older, and exposed to more varied social and professional circles, I realized I had more than just this photographic memory, I remembered situations and such in greater detail than most of those around me.  In my line of work I meet and interact for a significant period of time with hundreds of people each year.  That doesn't include social interactions.  Every now and then I'll run into someone and get that "I've met you before" feeling.  Usually I can place the person in a few minutes, but this haunts me to where I've literally woken up in the middle of the night from remembering the person in a dream or somesuch.   Back when I was single it bothered me because I really did want to go up to someone and say "don't I now you from someplace?"  The pick-up artists in the audience will be happy to note it worked unintentionally on a few occasions ... perhaps because it was genuinely asked.  LOL.

Only just recently could I put a word to my memory.  It is called an eidetic memory.

This has worked both in my favor and against me throughout my life.  Most people like being remembered, but it's not always nice to be remembered -- especially for something in one's past for which we'd rather not be remembered.  C'mon, we all have those moments ... who are we kidding, right?  My hubby gets sheepish to this day when I remind him of some of the less-than-nice things he did when we met and dated briefly in our early 20's.  Sometimes I'd like not to remember certain things.  It's far easier to let bad experiences go when the memories fade, though I've made great strides taming this "curse".

Academically, this talent served me well.  As I struggled through CalcIII and triple integrals in college I thought when am I ever going to use this again?  Well it turned out that I did use it, not only for grad school but in practice analyzing corrosion phenomena using a rotating disc electrode apparatus.  There were many many things I learned as a bio major at an engineering school that I thought I didn't "get" at the time.  But lo and behold when those concepts were built upon in grad school, I remembered it like it was yesterday ... only somehow this time I understood it!  I'm sure many of my readers have noticed I seem to recall every last study I've ever read even if I can't always put the link to it.  This is supremely frustrating at times, because I hate citing something w/o the substantiating link and I thank my readers who often come to my rescue when my memory fails me.  That happens occasionally, and I blame menopause ;-)

This talent of mine enables me to catch people in lies that most others would never pick up on, because a pathological liar will always mess up sooner or later.  When you tell the truth about how something happened, it doesn't change -- perhaps you embellish a little for effect (my own husband can be quite the embellisher at times - grin!) -- but the underlying story/facts don't change.  When a story is made up, or embellishing is taken past that critical point, the stories inevitably change as time goes by.  I remember stories, numbers, pictures, phrases, etc.etc.

Which brings me to why I'm blogging about this.  No doubt part of the "stalker" bit is owed to my eidetic memory.  I've listened to countless podcasts, read countless more blog posts, not to mention comments and posts on discussion forums.  When someone uses the same screen name, I recognize that person across platforms and one gets to "know" the person.  (One can also pick out multiple ID's used by the same person after a while as well).   I just remember things others don't.  Not because I want to, but quite often it's just something so mind-numbingly noteworthy for some reason or another that it just sticks with me.  I'll then be accused of being obsessed or picking on someone when I reveal what I've picked up on to my audience.  I'll not list any of such cases here, I'm sure most regular readers could think of a list of several right off the top of their heads -- no special memory needed ;-)

But last week, a popular blogger was encouraging his readers to actually stalk me.  And this has me mulling over this unfinished stalker business.  It's one thing to try to redefine vulgar language to suit one's own usage.  It's quite another to make accusations of a serious nature by redefining a term.  Following links, reading blogs, commenting, listening to podcasts and YouTube videos and remembering things is not stalking.  Neither disagreeing with and challenging the science put forth in some of these, nor exposing discontinuities in the blog-related publicly posted information disseminated by various bloggers is stalking.  It's simply not.  Encouraging people to dig up dirt, post pictures (fake is OK) and interfere with my personal and professional life by trying to contact students?  THAT is stalking.  There's no ambiguity there.  I'm happy the person who thought that was a good idea has thought the better of it.  I may or may not have more to say at some later date on that.

I have been falsely accused of stalking by Gary Taubes, Tom Naughton and Jack Kruse.  This has been allowed to persist and multiply by bloggers (responsible ultimately for charges made repeatedly by publishing comments often by anonymous responders)  including  (but sadly not limited to) Andreas Eenfeldt, Jimmy Moore, Peter/Hyperlipid, and Richard Nikoley.   Hopefully someday the collective community will inform themselves sufficiently to

  • realize just how baseless this charge is, and 
  • understand the severity of the nature of their false accusations 
If recent events don't wake these people up, I don't know what will.  Actively participating in a community -- even as somewhat of a contrarian -- is not a crime.  Nor is valid criticism, expressing unpopular opinions, or speculating on motives and such.  Scrutinizing and attempting to verify information put forth is not stalking, nor is "following the money" in the blogosphere.  Folks follow the money all the time with regards to iffy relationships between manufacturers, medical and governmental orgnizations and such.   Having the sort of memory that makes it appear to others that I spend far more time than I do at this stuff is not a crime either, nor would spending every waking minute of my life dismantling false claims made by someone ... anyone.  That latter might be a questionable use of my time, but that's my problem if it were true, right?  It would not be illegal or rise to the level of stalking.

Stalking is a serious charge and the line is pretty clear what behaviors constitute it.  Accusing someone of such a serious charge is a smear.  Plain and simple.  If you don't like what I write, don't read it.  If you feel you must read it because I've written something about you, then challenge me on where I've got my facts wrong. Or put your case together if you really think a stalking charge is warranted, and pursue it.  Anything else is but baseless smearing, and when you resort to that tactic it just shows how desperate you are and how lacking in credibility/substance your claims ultimately are.  Otherwise you'd stick to the subject and not try to turn everything into a discussion over my looks, age, weight and reproductive status.  Just sayin ...


MM said…
Impressive. I never would have guessed it was your memory that makes people attack you by calling you a stalker. I always thought it was because you dug a little too deeply into Taubes's references. I mean only a stalker would actually look them up and read them, right?
Sanjeev said…
you probably didn't get the OTHER memo either ...

anyone who disagrees with the canon must be countered with

"you CLEARLY never read it"
Unknown said…
People do the same to me. Occasionally I've been called a stalker, but it mostly seems to be used as an ad hominem attack, usually in the form of calling me obsessed and accusing me of having no life outside of debunking Kruse. I don't think I have an eidetic memory, but I do have a very good memory for certain things, and ultimately I read much faster than anyone I know of. So yeah, I can spot Kruse's idiocies in 10 minutes and go meet my friends for dinner and have grand old time.

People with inferior brains don't understand :P
Galina L. said…
I guess it must be a great help to have such memory while studying.

Luckily, that "popular blogger" came back to his senses quite quickly.Most of the time people with a short fuse create a vulnerability spot rather than damage others. However,I am surprised that no one of prominent bloggers commented anything on you or Richard's blog ,no one seems to noticed .I believe such thing was a precedent.
Anonymous said…
I don't get the 'stalking' accusation.

'valid criticism, expressing unpopular opinions, or speculating on motives and such' is not stalking. But I can see how it would make those guys uncomfortable!
Gabriella Kadar said…
Egos have landed., now, what about all this egg business?
Simon Carter said…
Hi Evelyn, you are accused of stalking because you come across that way on the internet to some people, myself included. I read your blog because you are a good writer and you are an expert on the subject matter. That doesn't mean that I agree with everything you say and I certainly do not like your internet personality. I also think that frequently a person's internet personality does not mirror their real personality. I respect the fact that are not trying to sell anything and make a buck.
CarbSane said…
Hi Simon, thank you for your honesty (and the compliment on my writing). I am curious, however, how it is that I come across as a stalker while the numerous folks who frequent a wide variety of blogs and forums -- some with and some without blogs of their own -- are spared such a label? In my view that can only happen when the term is distorted. The stalker thing grew out of a deliberate campaign by Gary Taubes & friends and began with Taubes' email to me. Jimmy Moore betrayed a confidence in our communications regarding my podcast interview and then anonymity. I know he passed along my concerns to Taubes. When he started his blog, since he didn't answer the questions on the science in our prior exchanges (despite being asked specifically) I tried to ask him there. Most of my comments on his blog were exchanges with others as GT cannot be bothered to respond to most, apparently. Once the podcast aired, Naughton piled on. If posting in the comments on someone's blog makes one a stalker, there are a lot of people in trouble. I suppose some might feel justified calling me a troll, but then what separates an avid participant from a troll?

When it comes to me and he LC community, I think most people are wholly unaware of just how popular Jimmy's discussion forum used to be. I was a regular and prolific participant there for a year or so before I began blogging, and over two years before most people had ever heard of me. So in that regard, I "know" a lot of little people (including many commenters on blogs, some more frequent than others) on a more personal basis and/or more day-to-day details. It's just a different perspective is all.

I'm curious why you don't ever comment on topics where you disagree with me. I try ( and usually succeed except when the fur flies and I get caught behind) to respond to most comments and would welcome the challenges. The last thing I want this place to devolve into is another echo chamber.
CarbSane said…
People noticed, they just are wise to stay out of it publicly. When you're in the crosshairs, however, it's a different story. I'm still mulling whether to offer my side of things. This notion that I have spent months smearing him is distorted beyond recognition.
CarbSane said…
Welcome Gabriella! I noticed your's among some new names and have just been so inundated it's been hard to keep up. I will be blogging on the Egg Survey sometime this week.
Simon Carter said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Carter said…
Hi Evelyn, you asked me how it is that you come across as a stalker to me.
These are some of the “nutrition” blogs I am aware of and in parenthesis are my “impressions” of the writers. I have never met any of them.
Seth Roberts (weird interesting ideas)
Art DeVany (narcissistic but very good actionable info)
Robb Wolf (annoying dude bro shtick but solid on exercise)
Melissa McEwen (smart, good writer)
Happy Healthy Long Life (smart, earnest vegan mom)
Ned Koch (Smart good guy)
Primal Wisdom (Flaky but interesting)
Hyperlipid (seems very normal for a very extreme position, smart, eccentric Englishman)
Perfect Health Diet (Very Rational)
It’s the Woo (hypersensitive, fearless, hope she will be OK)
David Mendosa (Diabetes defeater, good guy)
Mark Sisson (Smart businessman)
Jimmy Moore (Snuck into the Paleo tent, turned it into a circus and became its ringmaster!)
Carbsane (smart, good writer, argumentative, stalker, obsessive,)
I got and continue to get the impression that you are a stalker because of the very personal way that you monitor and continue to go after someone like Jimmy Moore. I think Jimmy is a buffoon. He needs to keep pumping out his podcasts, so he needs to be everyone’s friend to get them on his show. He is also making his living from his podcast, so he has to compromise himself. I do not give any weight to his opinions. You seem to be obsessed with him.
So that is why you come across as a stalker to me, it is a superficial internet impression. Nothing deep there. By the way, the Big Bang Theory is also one of my favorite shows!
Galina L. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
I don't think it is "stalking" unless you masturbate while thinking about the person.
Galina L. said…
I decided to re-phrase a little bit.
I am just guessing, but I think it is possible some of people in a paleo-community contacted Richard privately, especially who knew him personally, met him socially during AHS .
It is just my opinion, but I think it doesn't make any sense to try to explain you didn't attack him with a long smear campaign. Even if you did, encouraging readers of his blog to start stoking you wouldn't be an appropriate contr-action. You criticize one blogger or another all the time. At any rate, Melissa said more on the subject, and I think her blog was sort of the "last drop" for Richard.
Zbig said…
heh Simon,
I am aware of fewer bloggers than you but I can agree on several I "know" (Ned, Peter, Mark, Jimmy) except that Robb doesn't annoy me :)

And early in my paleo/LC journey I learned that Jimmy is not a source of dietary advice per se but the podcast with interesting people/ideas (like Jack Kruse or Carbsane :) )

Here I like these "gossipy" entries more than the chemistry stuff, and what struck me is that Evelyn looks like she's envious and bitter about the money people make.

If I was a business consultant I would say this - focusing on what you can deliver is more important than where someone else pasted a dubious chart, grew a gut etc. If Jack Kruse can sell his Kruse Klub memberships for $248 / month then you can set up your Sane Sorority :)
But you would have to have 1) a success story on your account 2) differentiate from LC (for example "The Pima Diet - carb extravaganza") 3) write 'how to' manual
Sanjeev said…
It's a cheap, indefensible, invalid tactic from a coterie that's ill prepared to face the reality Evelyn thrust their noses into.

They took the easiest way out to keep their dwindling flock in the corral - give them a slogan, a gulling, cow-ing, mind-numbing somnambulistic mantra to keep them in line.

First causation must be considered in reverse, then physical law becomes a tautology, then later, completely valid critiques become stalking.

lim (Taubes ) = exp[ (gobbledygook ) ^ (gibberish) ^ (drivel) ]
n->inf (+ Naugton)

Given enough time they'll corrupt the entire English language.
Sanjeev said…
... I should have known Google would screw up the formatting ....
CarbSane said…
In your case too, you were moderating PH and reading many of the comments there -- Jack really showed far more of his "hand" there well before elsewhere. That's how it is with Jimmy and me because I spent a lot of time on his discussion board back when it was quite hopping. It's quite a bit different from just reading blogs, or even comments on blogs. I don't know about you, but I tend to remember first-hand conversations moreso than interactions with others.

Tonus said…
"Luckily, that "popular blogger" came back to his senses quite quickly."

The passive-aggressive approach tends to work very well on your average blog groupie. Maybe he came to his senses, and maybe he knew what he was doing all along.
Galina L. said…
I don't believe it all was carefully designed and calculated.It doesn't look like it is from my perspective. I am just expressing my personal opinion.
Galina L. said…
Evelyn's internet personality reminds my of Nancy Grace. Is she a stalker? Hardly, but she(NG) is still a prosecutor in her style and a way to approach a problem in a very intense way.
Some bloggers may see an avid participant as an unwelcome persona on their blog. Blogosphere is not a democracy, different bloggers are comfortable with different attitudes of participants and different level of intensity in disagreement and an appropriate language. The freedom of speech exists in the blogs each blogger determines himself/herself. Who can tell the max length of a comment, or the amount of appropriated comments? No one. So ,it looks like the only thing for a participant left to do is to behave in a way a bloger can tolerate.
an3drew said…
I have a good friend who frequents blogs, forums, etc., in an entirely different area than this. The area that he and I frequent is one that we've been around for well over a decade. He remembers EVERYTHING that anyone ever posted and will not hesitate to use peoples' earlier words against them.

They always accuse him of being a "stalker."


And LOL@Jack Kruse. Just because.