Pronunciation: am-'nE-zh&
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Greek amnEsia forgetfulness, alteration of amnEstia
Date: 1786
1 : loss of memory due usually to brain injury, shock, fatigue, repression, or illness
2 : a gap in one's memory
3 : the selective overlooking or ignoring of those events or acts that are not favorable or useful to one's purpose or position
- am•ne•si•ac /-zhE-"ak, -zE-/ or am•ne•sic /-zik, -sik/ adjective or noun

... strange sound squiggles & forceful rhythms ... Sounds, 1983

'CULTURAL AMNESIA: Having appeared on several compilation tapes - Cause For Concern and Sterile - there are plans afoot this year to release a vinyl representation of their strange sound squiggles and forceful rhythms.'
Dave Henderson, Sounds, 7 May 1983. Reproduced in Brian Duguid, 'Prehistory of Industrial Music' (1995), EST magazine.

The name came from a fictional story in a magazine about a group of placid 'savages' who appeared to be suffering 'a kind of collective cultural amnesia'... I think I recall the line though I don't remember anything more about the story or the magazine. Some famous placid savages and cultural amnesiacs are the Eloi of H.G. Wells, but it wasn't that which I read. The term (quite widely used) was perhaps first brought into currency by the catastrophe theorist Velikovsky, though I don't think any of us had any knowledge of him at the time. (Gerard)