Since I was dealing with some projects in Berlin yesterday, I tried to remember one of my most spectacular events in this city. Unfortunately it was 1994 and there are no digital records of it, so hoping not to confabulate that much.
I was living in Bayreuth at that time. A friend of mine got to know a woman from Berlin in his holidays, who invited him and his friends to a new years eve party. So he packed me and another guy into his car and we drove to Berlin. Arrived there he rang her up to ask where to go. She told him that she cancelled the party but would be in the mood to be alone with him. Surprised about her change of mind we decided to check the city and the situation on our own and to meet every two hours at Cafe Kranzler in case we did not find a place to go.
Already two hours later all three of us were there. The woman cancelled my friend too, because her former boyfriend wanted to be with her. The second went up to the Kreuzberg to have a view at the city. And I was strolling around in the city center in the meantime.
Not knowing what to do, we went to Brandenburg Gate and were doing polonaise through and around it with people from Wuppertal, Leipzig and Hintertupfingen. Then we asked some of them were to go next and were sent to a Hardcore Technoclub at Friedrichstrasse. And old bunker from the war. Not knowing exactly what they were doing to stimulate or dissociate their synapses we were dancing and chilling a bit there to recover from the polonaise and went on to Kreuzberg, because we knew that there ought to be some more trendy clubs. We walked up and down Oranienstrasse and went to SO36 which was a bit more decent than Bunker.
Due to all those new impressions we got very tired and went to sleep in his car. The next morning we had a shower in a public swimming pool and spend a long time in the spa. Walking around another day in the city and sleeping another night in the car we decided to drive back the next day. Before that he rang his parents and got to know that his grandmother died. So we went to a highway service station where he asked people to bring him to Stuttgart, were his parents lived. I was driving his car back to Bayreuth, were I found some other friends having a party in my flat.
Ten years later, I knew some people in Berlin not knowing each other, and tried to spend an evening with them, what was not possible, since all wanted to spend their time differently. After some time I gave up moderating and did something on my own.
Eight years later I did not contact anybody anymore and dealt only with sports and cultural things. Often I was the only visitors in the quarter museums dealing with their history and the visions of their manifold political regimes. Probably my Facebook friends thought I was crazy, when I told them about it.
Certainly the world biggest new years eve parties today at Brandenburg Gate are different, probably the culture and navigation has changed, and most places we have been to years ago were subjects of intensive political debates or are not existing anymore, but still remembering how it was.
To simplificate it, of course the citizens have interests and the city is earning a billion gross if every tourist is spending 1.000 euros for a new years eve trip, but the question is what they will remember decades later or what consequences their experiences had for their further live.
One of my favorite exercises is to compare situations across a longer timespan, to think about them and to work with the experiences. All together I have been approximately 14 times to Berlin.
1982: City tour West and East, Schöneberg, Köpenick
1989: Pink Floyd, The Wall
1990: City Tour, Schönefeld
1992: Job Interview, Wannsee
1997: Business Travel, Seminars, Kreuzberg
2001: Visiting Friend, Schöneberg
2002: Business Travel, Prenzlauer Berg
2007: Visiting Friend, Prenzlauer Berg
2008: Business Travel, Mitte
2008: Business Travel, Mitte
2009: Business Travel, Seminars, Potsdam
2009: Business Travel, Schöneberg
2011: Visiting Friend, Mitte
2012: Tour Eastern Europe, Friedrichshain, Pankow
Maybe I will extend some more or less spectacular new years eve or Berlin stories to this blog somewhen.
What do I want to tell with this story?
1. Social dynamics as her mood in this case are difficult to plan.
2. Mobile technologies are helpful not only for communication but also recording, and can be improved if the (situative) matching is ameliorated and simplificated.
3. There is a lack of data and problem solving of the past in the internet. There are no videos or photos about new years eve 1994 at Brandenburg Gate, so maybe you will not realize the change.
4. People might remember the same things, but may have lost sight, making the memory for details difficult. I don’t know what the other’s are doing today and would not recognize them.
5. The models for provisioning and allocation have to be improved. Who is getting what for what benefit or moral argument.
Probably those practical issues are the most important digital challenges from my present point of view. Many hints for various industry branches.