Can we trust our memory?

I am back to school… and two rather sad facts about human nature
I have learned during the last weekend. First is that it is almost impossible to get rid of the stereotypes which rule both our consciousness and subconsciousness. The other is that one absolutely can not rely on human memory.

When you hear such provocative statements you feel strangled with all of this sudden ferocity of our existence and first thing you want to do is to argue, to scream, to deny, to subvert all these arguments. But then you start to memorize: what was I eating three days ago for lunch? When was the last time you saw your parents? Have you seen this movie? Have you read this book? Have you met that lovely person before? Sometimes you may find yourself in an awkward situation and you must admit that you really don’t remember if you had an appointment with this lady or that gentlemen, this Mr President or that Her Majesty and you didn’t say what you thought you had said…

There are even studies which show that you can’t fully rely on the witness testimony during the criminal processes which in combination with severity of judgments which depend on the moment of a judge’s day and may result in a lighter sentences for criminals for the same crime if an early bird judge will give its sentence in the morning than if it would have happened in the evening… Isn’t the world cruel enough to give us another trouble? Would we ever overcome this memory “weakness” ?

From now on you will probably look from a different angle at the whole digitization, internet-ization, computerization, media-tization, etc. Has humanity found its Holy Grail for making the memory reliable? Isn’t the web already functioning as such? Aren’t those countless apps for smart phones already taking off from our shoulders the burden of memorizing things? Do you really think its going to make us more stupid now? Or shall we be thankful to the modern technology for its salutary influence on our daily life even for the price of carrying in each pocket those countless gigabytes of data which we may never use or see again?

If you think the technology make us stupid, well, wait for that early morning in the court when the night owl judge will have to make up his or her mind…

P.S. How a fruitful start of my postgraduate studies in social psychology at SWPS in Sopot… 🙂

The Plague of Plenty

Problem statement

Good and sunny morning in my kitchen. There are hundreds of spices in the drawers, plenty of groceries in the fridge, couple of shelves filled with cans, bags and boxes and I am staring at the stove and thinking of what to eat. Eventually I take the bread with butter and sliced chicken with maybe few leaves of a lettuce. Like every morning…

Then when I finish my breakfast I go upstairs and open the wardrobe. There I stand still for few minutes to arrange my work outfit for today. Instead of new ironed shirt and new pair of chinos I grab a pair of jeans, polo shirt and the jersey. Almost the same as yesterday but with different colors and with definitely the same shoes. With the wardrobe packed with trousers, sweaters, t-shirts, and shoes I hardly ever wear 70% of them. So where’s the point to keep them all? Shall I wait for those rare occasions that will never occur or for the vintage comeback from the 90’s (my oldest t-shirt I’ve got is from the ’96…)

Then in the evening when I’m back from work and I want to have few minutes in silence with just one of my books I turn to the bookshelves. Each time I promise myself to read one of those untouched since I have bought them or got them as a present. I counted my library two weeks ago and there were 1206 books in the room and circa about 40% which I have never opened. When I am going to read them all, especially with the new books coming every week or so?

Question

How it come that with so many receipts in the internet we still eat the same things every day or at least every week? Is it a kind of a dreadful dressing routine or emotional attachment to those few quotidian clothes we wear? And is it just the laziness that keeps us out of the unread stories which are catching dust on the bookshelves?

Solution

Well, my cooking attitude was born in the 90’s when all we had for most of the dinners were potatoes, sausage and stewed cabbage.
I will remember for the end of my life those mid 90’s crisis breakfasts and suppers with a slice of bread with margarine and thinnest slice of tomato. I’m struggling with it even now while being called a minimalist or a kitchen layman whereas it is just the sense of unnecessary excess that causes confusion on my table. This attitude has secretly proliferated  into my wardrobe and onto my bookshelves. Therefore from now on I promise to buy only groceries from a snag list, to donate my wardrobe dust catchers to a charity and to free my unread books to a local library or to my friends and family.

Motto for next month:

Let me free from the excess, from this plague of plenty.