52 Cards + 52 Weeks + 52 Letter glyphs + more

Just saying “hi” out of left field.

I use memory techniques in my work (physics, mathematics, computer programming). I’m self-trained from Bruno Furst’s books. My personal system exploits the fact that there are 52 letter forms in the English alphabet (upper and lower), 52 weeks in the year, and 52 cards in a normal pack, 3*52 cards in a tarot pack counting inverted cards. Putting all these 52s together results in the following table, which I can use to make all kinds of vivid, visual associations over all kinds of data without writing anything down. I’m not terribly fast, don’t try to be, but my system is reliable.


A little story-telling. My Dad was a TV actor, renowned for his memory. He could memorize three scripts verbatim before the ink dried then go on location for 2 months in Italy, Spain, Japan, Malta never miss a beat. This is really hard because TV recording has no logical order; it’s done in log-ist-ical order. All the scenes in Spain are done before any of the scenes in Japan. On stage, it’s boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. If you forget a little, the logical sequence of the story will bring it back. In TV, it’s boy loses girl, konichiwa gozaimas, Aloha gringos, the Crusades, wherefore art thou Romeo. The sequence makes no sense and you have to go verbatim with pegs: Act IV, Scene 27, Script 2.

He taught me the Major System when I was a babe. I sailed effortlessly through school because of it. I reinforced my own version when I was a teenager and stumbled on Furst’s books. I didn’t know memory training was a “thing” until I saw those books. It was just “what my Dad told me,” “here’s how to study and learn, son.” I’m lucky.


Hello, Brian. Thank you for sharing. Could you tell more about how you use your system in physics, mathematics and computer programming. And how you used the Major System in school?

Major is best for remembering disconnected facts that have no logical structure. Battle of Thermopylae was Sept 8 (‘wood-sage’ = Sep 3 + 5 ‘law’ = “druids are going against the Law”) 480 BC (480 = ‘reface’ = The law-breaking druids are refacing the Thermonuclear Pile." Done and dusted in 15 seconds.

When there is logical structure as in differential calculus, it was easier for me to remember the rules and just re-derive the needed material. But in Integral calculus, one must often remember a specific sequence of tricks and Major does really well there.

For my work, when doing experiments or debugging code, sequence of numbers pop up that need to be checked but aren’t worth archiving. It’s really quick for me to just memorize them and not bother to write them down. Example: 57AE0209 “Like Alpha said to Echo, ‘sun sap’”. Doen’t need to make sense (even better the more wacky it is). Just needs to las a few minutes till i check it write it down.

Lots and lots more examples and tricks. None so Earth-shattering as all that, just fun and useful.

What does the ASCII column represent? Is it some kind of ASCII pixel art?

Can you also explain how you use the hebrew letters?

Is it like associating a particular variable substitution or expression transform with some image from the table? And then making a story with these images?

PS. Sorry for my English.

The ASCII column are the ASCII codes for the English letters, in Major. ALPHA jail back means that ALPHA has ascii codes ‘A’ = jail = 65, ‘a’ = back = 97, and so on.

Your description of math tricks is exactly correct. It works for many famous derivations of approximate formulas in Physics, too, especially those that need a flash of inight, or genius, or some trick from left field that you’re not going to remember without a technique. I don’t have an example on the top of my memory because I stopped doing integrals by hand 50 years ago :slight_smile: But I used to do them for fun with my friends and we would have speed races and I would win often. I remember Graduate Atomic Physics was a brutal course full of hundreds of tricky, dense formulas. omega to the ninth power, empirical fits of curves to Chebyshev polynomials and you need to remember the coefficients. It was easy for me and just killed everyone else. lucky me. I taught a couple of my friends my techniques. I’ve taught them to a lot of children. It takes 20 minutes to teach the first 10 majors to a bright seven-year-old and then you’ve just made him/her a superhero in school!

The Hebrew letters just give me extra visualizations. For example, Papa, 16, tissue, Ayin, face Titan: ok, my Papa is crying through his eyes (Ayin), wiping with a tissue, because he is looking at the beautiful face of Cleopatra (as played by Liz Taylor) on the movie poster in front of the old-fashioned theatre, and the poster is being held by a Titanic robot.