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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Moonwalking with Einstein

When Joshua Foer came to cover the memory championship, little did he know that he would become drawn to the concept of learning to remember and move on to become the US memory champion in his own right.
In the quest for the championship, Joshua underwent a rigorous training in memory techniques starting from understanding the basic brain function that helps humans in storing memory.

He goes on to study interesting techniques of memorizing poems, unrelated list of items, huge numbers and faces and names.

A few techniques that I gathered-

Chunking – grouping of large numbers into smaller portions to make them easy to recall.

Memory Palace technique- to help remember a list of unrelated objects, experts place them in strategic locations in a “memory palace” which could be their own childhood home or another location that they are familiar with.
What is amazing is that when they take a trip down memory lane to the palace, they find the objects as they were left behind in the memory palace.

Major System Technique- The art of coding of numbers into sounds or letters and thereafter converting those sounds into images.

Overall an interesting book, but I did a little bit of speed reading to go past some of the tedious parts.

The cover is interesting- a depiction of the memory palace- the pictures of women, and the dinosaur peeping out and a man strangely hanging from the ceiling are intentionally weird to make them easy to remember.

What I would like to take away from the book would be the techniques which I could do with as my children grow up and also use them as a tool to exercise my own memory.

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