Tag Archives: digitization

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… 🙂