Throughout the novel, Charlie’s gradually recovered memories of childhood tell a story that parallels the story that unfolds over the course of the experiment. As Charlie struggles to become emotionally independent and tries to form a deep bond with Alice, his memories shed light—for him and for us—on why this development is so difficult for him. Memories of his mother, Rose , instilling sexual shame in him arise when Charlie experiences this shame in the present. Likewise, Charlie’s memories of being mistreated for his disability arise concurrently with his attempts to determine his new status in society. Charlie’s increased intelligence enables him not only to recall things he has forgotten but also to understand the context of thoughts that earlier confused him. Charlie can see his past more clearly than he saw it while he was living it; in effect, he is learning about his past life as vividly and quickly as he is learning about his new life. The information Charlie garners from one life is always relevant to his grappling with the dilemmas of the other.
A common justification for abuse of short term thinking is the fake perspective defense. The wise, but less confident guy says “hey are you sure we should be doing this?” And the smart, confident, but less wise guy says “of course. We did this last time, and the time before that, so why shouldn’t we do this again?” This is the fake perspective defense because there’s no reason to believe that 2 points of data (. last time plus the time before that) is sufficient to make claims about the future. People say similar things all the time in defense of the free market economy, democracy, and mating strategies. “Well, it’s gotten us this far, and it’s the best system we have”. Well, maybe. But if you were in that broken down Winnebago up to your ankles in gasoline from a leaking tank, smoking a cigarette in each hand, you could say the same thing.