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Just Finished Reading: Moonwalking with Einstein #books

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I’ve had an interested in memory for as long as I can remember, so when I saw Joshua Foer on The Colbert Report I went straight to the store to get myself a copy of his book Moonwalking with Einstein. I read it over three days, and haven’t given it a chance to sink in yet.

Through out the book Foer briefly dips into techniques that he used to improve his recollection, although he calls it memory in the book. He starts with Simonides’ memory palace as his basis and continues by learning the Major System, below, and the PAO system – where every two-digit number from 00 to 99 is represented by a single image of a person performing an action on an object – which he uses for committing cards to memory three at a time.

Major System

Although the book is mostly about how Foer trained to become the US champion in one year – and it only touches on the underlying techniques used – it shows the power of not just the mind, it shows that perseverance can make the unlikely possible.

Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next—and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.

Mind Map of Memory Techniques and sources in Moonwalking with Einstein

A great read.


Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

March 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

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