In good company

Posted by on Feb 9, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments


Pic courtesy John H

A flashback to Monday night for the boys.

Al’s portrait of me, hung on Pub wall with other – slightly more famous – fitzrovia authors…Like Dylan Thomas.

A curious herd-phenomenon I haven’t really discussed yet is this: “distributed memory”. That is, the ability (and tendancy) of close-knit social groups to remember events and experiences together, when each individual has only a partial (and often inaccurate) individual memory of the whole event. You see it in families, in groups of friends (like me, Al and the 2 Johns), in the workplace and even in bands of sports supporters (like the Barmy Army). Together we have better memories than we do apart (yet very often, memory researchers don’t allow distributed memory as “real” memory because it lies beyond the scope of an individual…

Now you don’t need an evolutionary-psychology explanation to see the usefulness of distributed memory: groups that share memories are more of a group than groups that don’t (think how two strangers seek to discover shared experiences – how sporting events that men can both recall even if neither attended become something that binds the two together…). We are what we remember together…