Another exercise in memory and data I want to share with you. 1994 I was working for a management consultancy, specialized in price policy. They found out about the product benefits most relevant for pricing. For that I had to do personal standardized computer interviews with purchase deciders of companies. Additionally I had to write unstructured reports about my impression of every company and country to enrich the survey with informal information. The secretary made dates with the relevant people across Europe so I just had to travel there.
I did three international projects in this year. The first one was for a producer of latex for paper covering. So I had to visit paper mills in different countries. I started with the UK and flew to London. There I rented a car and made my way up to Edinburgh with several stops. Fortunately I did not have any problems driving at the left side. In Barnsley and Manchester I visited some friends from university and explored some rural areas and typical Manchester music venues. In Scotland I stayed some days in a village pub between Glasgow and Edinburgh to relax. From there I made excursions to Edinburgh Castle and St. Andrews because people absolutely wanted me to do some sightseeing. Then I flew from Glasgow to Helsinki. There I stayed in a premium hotel and enjoyed the sometimes highly interesting nightlife in its lounge. From there I drove to Lahti and Jyväskylä. In many villages there were ski jumping areas in the center as there are golf courses in Scotland.
The second project was for a producer of protective masks, so I had to visit its major clients of the chemical industry. Again I started in the UK. This time I was amazed by the cultural and city development projects initiated as a consequence of the socioeconomic change. In Manchester and Glasgow I mostly visited the postindustrialized cultural hubs at the riversides. Many events and projects were funded by the government under the label of the yearly changing UK city of culture. Fortunately I also found the olympic swimming pool in Manchester, where I continued the sporting program I started at home. From there I had to visit a company in Basel Switzerland and one in Annecy France. I didn‘t stay in Basel but continued to Annecy. In my french book at school there was a chapter „Annecy, city of the future“, so I was looking what they were doing there. Lake and mountains ambience with another different culture this time, and I was happy to be able to practise my french.
The third project was for an airline. For that I had to go to the airports of Nice and Paris for 4 weeks. There I had to do quota surveys. I needed certain amounts of people with different sexes, ages and flying destinations. The spare time in Nice I mostly spent at the beach, and discovered the area by bike. I went twice to Monaco to visit the Formula one Grand Prix, the MTV music awards and the beach. Happily I found another olympic swimming pool in Nice to improve my times. Paris is a bit difficult to remember, because I have been so often in this city before and after.
What do I want to say with this blogpost? Amazing how different people, cultures and companies are, even if they are doing the same thing. It is not always that easy to remember details for events that happened decades ago. The question is what you will remember later. Certainly your present personal situation has an influence on that. If one behavior is practiced for a longer time, it may be crucial to remember the others behaviors as detailled as possible. Probably present and future digital tools will improve the view on one‘s life and its contexts in a far more better way, with many options for improvement.
From the neurological view the phenomenon is called Reward Prediction Error. Further reading and hints for computation for example here: Oxford Handbook of Attention.
Maybe I will be able to add more information to this blog later.