Moonwalking with Einstein is a New York Times bestseller (well, isn’t just about every book on some bestseller list…?) about memory and mnemonics. Its author, Joshua Foer, was a journalist-turned-memory athlete. (he won the 2006 Memory Championship; US I think; the international guys are nuts) At this point you may think, “oh, he is just one of those freaks.” Well, the simple answer is No. Before his first exposure to the arcane study of memory training, he was just an ordinary jouranlist.
After he covered the 2005 USA Memory Championship, Foer decided to start training his own memory. A year later, he became the man with the greatest memory in the United States: he won the 2006 USA Memory Championship.
Here Joshua Foer gives a captivating presentation. He explains in basic terms how he manages to memorize decks of cardand hundreds of faces and names.
His book was my starting point; it ignited an interest that continues to this very day.
You may be asking yourself “Why am I here?”
The better question, I think, is why would not any sensible person want a better memory?
Anyone, whether someone who wastes too much time memorizing things for school (145 years of beaver fur history, the periodic table), or a poor presenter who never remembers his or her lines, or someone who seldom remembers his cell phone number, can benefit from my blog.
You will learn
i. how to memorize a deck of cards in 3 minutes
ii. how to memorize hundreds of
iii. strings of numbers (base 10; binary),
Visit How I can get started Page. This blog is not “the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns”. Rather, you will return from your voyage in memory training fruitful and more confident.
This blog is perhaps the tidiest and most well-organized source of memory training information on the internet. I hope this will be where your voyage into memory training embarks.
“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
My continuing journey had taken me to great places. I hope your journey will do the same for you.
My story (a largely unnecessary and unimpressive read)
A teenager strolls aimlessly into a bookstore. It is a Saturday afternoon and he has just found an excuse to escape the banal ambience of a typical dinner gathering with his parents’ friends.
Who on Earth would enjoy having dinner with people whom he has never met, has no interest in meeting, and perhaps will never meet again in his life?
There was really nowhere else to go. Why does he end up in the bookstore he does not know; he has never been very much interested in reading: he finds fiction pointlessly insipid and non-fiction unimaginative.
The only thing that seems to occupy his mind is computer games. He finds joy in controlling a character who is nothing more than the manipulation of color on some thousands of pixels. He finds satisfaction in competing, in a virtual world, with other faceless teens starring into their computer screens, emotionless. He is aware that computer games can ruin him. He knows real-life examples that can back up the hitherto argument; in fact he has met someone who has a divine figure on the internet yet lives off his parents at the age of 23.
“Just one more game,” he always tells himself, “I will go back to studying just after one more game.”
Gaming ruines his eyesight; it ruines his academic record; it ruines his social life. So much for entertainment that destroys you physically, academically, and emotionally, eh?
He looks around. New Arrivals, Bargain, Bestsellers… nothing interests him. He may be a gamer, but he isn’t stupid. He is adequately talented at math and has somewhat of an interest in natural sciences. And that is the reason why he picks out a book titled Moonwalking with Einstein.
“Michael Jackson, a talent that will be missed,” He thinks.
A smile finds its way on his lips when he remembers how he tried to learn the moonwalking move off youtube videos.
Reading a challenging science book can’t hurt; he promises himself he would read a couple pages between every game. Maybe an intellectually challenging book will get himself back on track.
Well, he was not in the science section.
Careless as he is, he grabs the book after having seen only the title page, and walks to the cashier.
It wasn’t exactly one of those classy movie scenes where a character opens a book, and from an unknown source blinding and perhaps divine light emerges.
At home he cared to read the back of the book and his expression could be adequately described as “why-did-I-waste-my-pocket-money-on-that-“
My introduction to memory training was completely accidental.
I will share more of my story in the future.
A humble memory enthusiast
01 Sept 2012