memorization tokens

One of these situations that makes me stop and smile about myself and reflect about patterns, habits and just how i (and possibly everyone else) work… and it’s time for a fresh post here – so let me share the story with you.

Just when i switched off my computer at work i remembered something that i wanted to do online. Ok, i’ll do it first thing at home. But how to remember? Yeah, i could send myself an email from my iPhone as i have done it thousands of times before. But hold on – actually there is a little physical thing on my desk that will most definitely help me remember once i retrieve it from my trouser pocket or backpack at home. But what now – pocket or backpack? Which option is more likely to yield the desired effect; namely the token “falling into my hands” at home without having to remember that it is there? How can i outsmart my future forgetful self basically. I choose the pocket – knowing that i might not have reason to check my pocket again right this evening, but surely at some point throughout the coming days. The latest before the next washing, because that (pocket-checking of trousers before putting them in the washing machine) is a routine i can (almost) certainly trust my future self to follow. So i think to myself: the future-reminder will definitely not be lost, it will trigger the very latest in about a week from now. Which i deem acceptable as the matter isn’t that urgent.

Alright then, i bike home along the Isar river through a rainy bit still lovely Munich. My thoughts wander around and the memorization in question here is quickly lost. UNTIL…

I come home, unlock the door… and have a funny moment of thinking where to put the key before taking off my shoes. Because apparently i learned from my forgetfulness of the previous weeks where i repeatedly left the key after entering the apartment either on the entrance-shelf or on the kitchen-shelf. After taking of my shoes i would forget that i put the key there and it would stay there until the next morning when i would have a short freak-out moment searching for my keys when packing my backpack for the day. Sooo, i decide to put the keys in my pocket… and GUESS WHAT i discover in my pocket when putting the keys in! Yep, the memorization token, right there!

To sum up; the result of a learning-loop regarding key-placing-forgetfulness lead to the immediate (instead of max. one week until the washing machine) retrieval of the memorization token. And as a result to the online action that the token was “charged with”.

Cool, check, done, NICE! Then i went for a run along the Isar and found myself continuously amused by this story and thinking about how clever it would be to analyze ones daily workflows/routines with the intention to identify these “pockets” (now meant abstract, not (necessarily) the trouser pocket). Pockets where memorization tokens can be placed physically (or virtually) because of an action that you will reliable perform in the future within a certain timeline and that’ll make you “automatically” retrieve that very token again… strategically capitalizing on your reliable patterns to memorize things in a way where you can forget them with the comfort of knowing that they WILL find you again.


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Benjamin Aaron Degenhart

Currently pursuing a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering at TU Munich.

2 thoughts on “memorization tokens”

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