A New 2-Card System

Hi Vince,

Yes, I use about 5200 pegs to memorize 4 packs a day these days. More precisely, I use 208 images of that peg list every day. My shadow system of Odd and Even numbers are pegs that come after that.

Regarding your system, I’d like to add here that it might be possible, with the use of different intonations, to use the same sub vocalization for both the first peg and then its shadow.
This would reduce the need to learn or memorize how the syllable is translated for the shadow. In addition, it may be more meaningful (and therefore more memorable) to modify a syllable with intonations than with an arbitrary system of syllable modification such as the one you propose.
To use one of your example, a Corvette, the car, could be pronounced Corv, with the intonation, “See, there…” and the shadow, a checkered flag, could be pronounced “Coorv!” as if it just crossed the finish line and the checkered flag is waved. By the way, isn’t sub vocalizing “Curv” ( your syllable for checked flag) going against the grain, as the image of a curve might interfere?
Fred (Flintstone) could be read with a Male accent while Wilma would still be exactly Fred but this time pronounced (sub vocalized) as if with a sharp female voice, Fred, etc.
What do you think? Again, I’m just selecting here quickly two of your examples and I’m sure I would have difficulties finding adequate and meaningful sets of intonations for all the pegs and their shadows but when obvious opportunities arise, might it be worth it?
I admit that this intonation idea of mine is an untested idea and which could prove not to work at all but if I were to start all over again, I think I’d give that a try.

Simon L.

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A couple minor corrections to your post, first:

The modifications of the syllables in the abbreviations is not arbitrary. It is systematic - the alternate sound of the same vowel is used. There are exceptions in the 50 I posted above, but those were my first fifty to convert, and I was still playing with different ideas to see which works best. Among the other 950, there are not many exceptions. If you believe different intimations would be more meaningful as you say, then that is probably the best route for you, but I wouldn’t do that on account of it being much easier to learn, because it wouldn’t be that much quicker to learn (but a little easier, yes). Either way, you’ll know how to pronounce almost all of them immediately. It is good thinking, though, and could easily have its place in a 2-card system or its expansion into a 10k system.

The truth is, the entire second half of the system, the part with syllables and their modifications, is not necessary at all. I might be the only person in the world who uses a 3-digit major system and actually painstakingly made single syllable abbreviations for each image after the fact. It doesn’t have to be done, and my reason for doing it is that when I begin to approach world record speeds, there is a chance that sub vocalizing single syllables will shave off an extra second. That won’t be for years, so I Don’t mind that it is a difficult process that will take much time. The other reason for doing it is so I won’t make errors by subvocalizing the same word for its shadow and accidentally picturing the original. This wouldn’t usually happen anyway, but it could, and I’m not sure any amount of training would be an iron-clad guarantee that this wouldn’t happen from time to time. If I weren’t hellbent on abbreviations being a good idea in the long run, I would just add an “'s” to the end of every word (corvette -> corvettes), and that would be plenty distinct. That would be the easiest solution, and like I said, I would have done it if I thought it would be equally effective in the long term. But I don’t, because even if I added an S to the single syllables, it would take slightly longer to say than just changing the vowel.

To answer your question about “Curv,” (Which actually should be spelled “Kerv,” since r-controlled O’s are swapped with r-controlled E’s for their shadows), that is one of a handful of instances where the shadow forms a word on its own. Another example is Pop (popeye) -> POp (olive oil). At first, I thought it would be easier to just imagine the pope, but actually, since I still have to learn that that card combo means Olive Oil, Or the Pope, it is easier when it is semantically related, Hence, Olive oil is my image since it was easier to remember than the Pope, even though you might not think so.

In some languages, the intonation of a phoneme changes its meaning. That was my initial idea, and the only reason I didn’t stick to it is because the first 2704 images are just the first in my 10k list. I wanted to be able to save the intimations as the last step, when building the last 5,000 shadows. I have since come up with a different Idea that I might like more, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. You would not actually have to use different intimations for different situations, though. The initial images would be pronounced assertively, and the shadows would be pronounced as if they were followed by a question mark. That is one way, at least.

The 704 images outside of the original 1,000 and their shadows are already firmly in place in my mind as the 4-digit numbers (they begin with 0, naturally, since most of those words begin with an “S,” and are represented by the Major system in 4-digit fashion) . There is at least one way to do this very cleanly and easily, but I’ll share my own solution for this problem later, when I write up the 10K system portion of the system in a wiki page. There are many, many ways to proceed with the expansion, but I like to believe that I’ve found one of the easiest since I have puzzled over the particular problem for longer than anyone else, and have it formulated in a way that pleases me (I am also a bit of a perfectionist).

What I decided the day after the 2013 competition was that I wanted to build 5,000 images and use a 2-block method, pairing each initial digit, 0-4, with the digit that, when added to it, will equal 9. With this method, I wanted to be equal to or better at digits than I was in 2013, which should be doable even if I was pretty awful at it (because a 4-digit list is so efficient). Now I have gotten so good at digits compared to where I was before (>50% increase in digits memorized) using the first 1000 images that it is very hard to convince myself it is worth all the effort just to score equal or lower than I am now, which is all I could ask for if adding on 2,000 more images in the next 6 months. There is still much work to be done on poetry and Tea Party, and infinite work to be done on N&F. It is more important to work on improving my chances at victory than to work on the stuff I really want to, sadly.


Great system, do you use it for Numbers and Binary as well?

i’m sorry, i didn’t read the whole thing, but now that i have, it looks like a great system. But i also have a few questions. Can you please clear the order, is it suit, first card, second card? i know it changes when there are face cards but are those the basics? Lastly, What is the point of turning each original pair into a 1 syllable word?

Thanks superej! I do “use it” for digits. To be clear though, what I’m doing with digits is using the major system which works really well but is 100% unoriginal.

A note on binary:

I don’t work on binary yet because it isn’t an event in the USAMC. I didn’t go to the WMC this past December so I didn’t worry about it. One night I did try binary for a couple of hours though and I can’t say anything conclusive about the efficacy of the system. I can say that my belief as of now, contrary to Brad’s comment above that at this point, is that there does not seem to be an advantage over the Ben System for binary. They may be equally good, but if not, Ben System is going to be better. The results of those few hours of practice were that I rapidly improved to the point of being able to memorize 300 binary digits in 5 minutes which felt so slow it was just god-awful. It sounds like a lot but think of it this way: it took so long to read the images that I didn’t have time to review because review is supposed to be QUICKER than memorization. So 300 digits = 30 images = 1 image every 6 seconds. Keep in mind that there are 26 images in a deck, so it basically felt like taking 5 minutes to memorize a deck.

There have been some changes in how I have practiced and trained with this system over this long learning process, and a big one was placing the shadow objects along their own paths, new paths that I hadn’t built before, in the “telephone-number-style,” 10-per-locus grid described above. I think above I probably described placing the shadow objects next to their original counterparts, but after having practiced with just the original images for a while, using the 1352 original images doubled up, I had to overcome and unlearn the already-automatic mental process of jumping to that locus and looking at that object. Learning to jump to the SAME locus only to identify a NEW object did nothing to help me unlearn the process. It always went "Cards (stimulus) -> locus (cue) -> cues original object -> cues shadow object.

So it was like having an extra step. I should have thought about this ahead of time and truthfully, I can’t imagine that it hadn’t crossed my mind before. I think I just got too lazy to want to create all those new loci and know them in that level of detail as well and repeating the whole process. But that was silly, and the second half was so much quicker to memorize in their respective loci since I could always fall back on its original card pair. So from the start, I’d think “There’s something similar to Luigi that is here on the back corner of this stove” - not in words of course, just in intuition. And how could I possibly forget what image I chose to memorize there with a cue like that? It was a cinch.

Now the reason I bring that up is that I found while doing binary that rather than just decoding 3 blocks of 3 digits, like you would do if you were only using 9-digit binary, I was decoding 4 things (the 3 blocks PLUS the left-over digit), the latter digit being something I had never even dealt with before. So what I’m going to do to alleviate this problem is learn to see each of the 128 possible combinations of 7 binary digits as a code for a specific locus, and then use the final 3 blocks to indicate which object in that locus is being referred to. Of course using flashcards, I’ll also learn to see the 64 combinations 6 digits as 2-digit numbers, because I already use the final 2 digit numbers in cards and digits to indicate the location of objects. Once I learn both of these things well and begin to practice, the overlap of information should begin to glue the ten-digit blocks into more of a whole. This isn’t a terribly painstaking or enormous task, but it’s a process that you wouldn’t have to do at all with the Ben System.

Answers to your actual questions:

#/# Card Combos:
Suit combination= first consonant
first number = second consonant
second number = third consonant

Face/# Card Combos:
First index = first consonant
Suit combination = second consonant
second number = third consonant

Face/Face Card Combos:
First index = first consonant
Second index = second consonant
Suit combination = third consonant.

And for #/Face combos the rules change a bit as you know.

The point was to
a) gain even footing with the Ben System in this regard.
b) have a simple and systematic way to know the name of all the shadow images by default - that is, without having to learn them.

Sub-point (b) was a major success. Sub-point (a) was strangely a total failure.

How could one exist without the other? Learning to abbreviate the original images while I practiced reviewing them allowed me to know what they are called so well that learning the single-syllable shadow names was quick and natural. However, when I actually memorize, with digits especially, I wind up thinking of the long name of the original objects, just how I learned them at first. Yet I’ve gotten so fast at recognizing digits that I’m well within the range necessary to set a world record in speed numbers as it stands now (my recognition speed, not my memory/overall skill!), so the single-syllable thing may have been a detail that I put way too much weight on. I can see the object much faster than I could actually say the word, so it might not matter at all. Perhaps, I should have just flipped the first syllable of the long word and gotten on with it. The sub-vocalization disadvantage would be so minor that if that worked (the only problem might be that the word sounds similar enough to the original word that it would keep reminding you of the original) I would recommend it. If I could go back, I would try that for a while first.

598 = Lab Flask


Really interesting system… I’m working on a 2-card one very similar to this. I’ve been working on a 3-2-3 PAO for numbers, and what I did for cards is essentially make my people akin to your “objects” and my objects akin to your “shadows.” The way I filled it in for jacks and queens (to make use of those extra 200 people and 200 objects) is also really similar. I haven’t actually started practicing with it yet, but I was wondering how you “read” through the cards with a 2-card system. I know Ben starts at the back of the deck and slides cards from his right hand to his left. This seems to make the most sense since you can read the card pairs directly from left to right, but is this standard for 2-card systems (I think Johannes and Simon might do it differently)? I was also curious about another post you wrote recommending a system similar to Johannes’s. You’d mentioned before that his way jumping loci could be a bit jarring and was probably why he hadn’t reached the top top times, so are you suggesting it over yours and Ben’s because it’s less work? Something else? Thanks for your help!


Johannes’ method is much less work to set up. It’s not better, but it’s not that much worse, either. And when you consider just how much less there is to do, a full 2704 list starts looking like a textbook example of diminishing returns. The maintenance alone with a huge system gets tiring. When reviewing, it’s not easy to mentally move from object to object at 1 object per second, but once you can, you’ll be able to review every object in the system in just over 45 minutes. That’s just to get a little tiny glimpse - the time taken to familiarize yourself with the images, to understand their surfaces and materials and sizes, the things they can do, as well as the adjustment of images that are too similar to each other or just difficult to visualize quickly for some unknown reason, and to review all of those facts frequently enough to keep them fresh…it really adds up. You’ll kill your PAO times with Johannes’ method, so why not? It is a little bit…hmm…well, you have to be kind of an odd person to choose to make a 2704 system, but that isn’t so with one half the size :slight_smile:

I have thought quite a bit about what you’re doing. A very serious problem that may arise is keeping track of the order of people and objects at high speeds. When memorizing free-form like this as opposed to the structure of PAO, the order of objects can occasionally get confusing. Using people and objects might compound the problem. Or maybe it only seems that way to me because I have so much trouble working with imaginary people. But spend some time puzzling that out yourself before taking the plunge.

If Ben really does spread from his right hand to his left, then he is left handed and uses a special brand of cards that has indices on all four corners. Most of us stare at the face of the pack, holding it in the left hand, and pulling cards to the right with the right thumb. Simon doesn’t do it differently, and I highly doubt that Johannes does either.

Please forgive these heavy-handed attempts at persuasion, but I implore you; think twice about making a millennium PAO. It sounds like you still have a ways to go. People who use a millennium PAO fare no better than those who merely use 1000 objects. You get used to linking objects over time, even though it sounds crazy at first. You don’t have to be like me :slight_smile: but are you sure you want to go through all that extra effort just so you can put 8 digits per locus instead of 9?

For what it’s worth, the best solution I’ve come up with so far for using people and objects in a 2-card system (I’m offering a solution, but maybe there is no problem with confusion of the objects’ and peoples’ order to begin with) would be to stay true to PAO. Making 2704 people does not sound fun, so I would use a full 2704 object system and have 1352 people each used twice. I would become familiar with exactly how each locus looks (view it from the same perspective each time). For red pairs, have the person doing the action while facing right, and for black pairs, have the person doing the action while facing left. It’s a bit of an odd solution, but it would be all but impossible to mistake which cards were used. Of course, there would only be 52 actions. But I think that people don’t do it because linking objects together becomes so natural that it seems better to just put 6 cards per locus instead of 5. It’s the same issue with the 3-2-3 PAO.


I think I may have been a bit confusing about the card reading stuff. I don’t think Ben would need special cards, because he starts at the back of the deck (in other words, with the cards facing him, he slides the back card–the card furthest from him–so that he’s seeing the left hand side of the card). Sorry about my wordy explanation :slight_smile: , a video’s probably best for this:

The reason I was confused is that if you hold the cards like you described (which is how I do it now with 1-card PAO), it seems like you’d be memorizing slightly out of order. For instance, if the first (top) card is 2d and the second is 3c, would you read the card pair as 3c-2d (since 3c is on the left and 2d on the right)? Doing it like this you’d memorize the deck as 3c-2d, 4d-6c, …, whereas as the actual order of the deck is 2d, 3c, 6c, 4d, so everything’s flipped. Is this how you do it? (hope that’s clear :slight_smile: )

I do hear what you’re saying about the dangers of a Millennium PAO, and you’re right I haven’t really started on it (just outlined how I would do it). Sometimes I do wish I’d jumped more quickly to an advanced system like Johannes’s after making my 2-digit PAO, but c’est la vie. Here’s some more of my thinking on this:

  1. It sounds bad, but I was hoping to incorporate my current 2-digit PAO into my next system. I’ve put a lot of work into it (and will be over the next few months), so it’d be nice if I could extend my current system rather than start completely from scratch.
  2. I do like to use people, and Nelson/Florian’s category idea makes for a really easy way of getting 1000 people. I made sure to have distinct categories when setting up my 2-digit system, so thinking them up shouldn’t be too bad (a lot of my categories are different TV shows, so I’d just use the other characters). I did run into troubles in the beginning with people (ie. just seeing a faceless figure rather than the distinct person). One thing that really helps me is trying to get inside the mind of the person/character, thinking about their history, how they’d react to certain things, the sound of their voice. For instance, really feeling the anger and specific sound of Dr. Cox from Scrubs yelling versus just seeing him. It seems like this would slow you down, but I’ve gotten better with practice and it works, at least for me, for preventing the faceless figure stuff (these days my mistakes are usually on objects).
  3. One thing I thought would be nice about the 3-2-3 PAO is that I’d be using roughly 2000 of the 2704 images in my 2-card system for numbers as well–I was a little wary about dreaming up 1704 extra images I’d use exclusively for cards. That way I’d get more practice at seeing and maintaining them, even when I wasn’t doing cards.
  4. Using 2 “blocks” like this (one being people, the other being objects) would give an easy way to do 10-digit binary. For instance, if it’s a 1-xxx-xxx-xxx, it would be the corresponding decimal person; if 0-xxx-xxx-xxx, it would be the corresponding decimal object (translating each xxx to one decimal digit).
  5. I am worried, like you say, about mixing up the order of things. Even if I skipped the 3-2-3 PAO idea though, I think many of my pegs in my 2-card system would be people (that’s just what I remember best). So the order of things is going to be a problem for me in a 2-card or 10-digit binary system no matter what; forgoing a PAO won’t change that. And a 2704 PAO is just beyond me, even as someone crazy enough to consider a 2-card system.
  6. I’m also concerned about navigating the categories. I used a major system to create my 100 people, so I could potentially do something phonetic along the lines of Josh’s post about a category-based Ben system: http://blog.mnemotechnics.org/experimenting-with-a-category-based-ben-system-4706.html. But I’m not sure that the phonetics are really necessary. We’ll see how it goes… :slight_smile:

Thanks for your insight! It’s great to be able to chat about this stuff. I’d been playing around with mnemonics for half a year before I found this wonderful site

  1. Ah, I get what you mean. I do it out of order. You can sort of train yourself to see a suit combination such as c/c as the number “7,” so when I see “7c3c” it looks a lot like 773, where as 3c7c would look a lot more like 737. The visual similarity is really helpful and it’s quite easy to keep a couple cards cued up and spread out ahead of time, so it doesn’t slow you down.

I didn’t consider how if you spent so much time on a 2-digit PAO list, you would want to keep it, but especially since all the actions would be the same it makes perfect sense. Sounds like you’ll do fine though.

  1. Insightful. Kudos - that’s difficult to do, even slowly. All my guys look just like targets from the pistol range (not really, but yeah…)

  2. Yeah, that’s how I thought to do it as well; it’s in my original post up there. But just a couple posts above, I emend the idea, suggesting that since I already have my images indexed in loci paths, I would do better to learn to see the 16 binary “XXXX” combinations as referencing the sixteen palaces. When I think of that path wrapping around the gas station, I’ve gone through it so many times that it just “feels” like 700 at this point. so when I see 0111 which will reference that path, when I see the next 6 digits like 110.011 it’ll be the 63rd one on that path - 763 - I know automatically where that is and what is in it. having the “1/0”.xxx.xxx.xxx" separate like that means you have to process four things instead of three, and it just doesn’t seem to be as fast as it should be.

  3. Phonetics are good. Reading is natural and easy. Keep em if you can, even though it’s okay if it’s a lot easier to fill out your list without them.


Thanks for sharing your system and ideas.
This thread also inspired me to set up and use a 2-Card system.

It is really interesting how you are associating 10 binary digits to a landmark-object.

I was following previous posts about your shadow system and now about binary… but could you explain a little more:

  • Are these paths only used in the review / learning process of your binary numbers?
  • Will you just link each object / landmark from those paths to a specific locus in a journey when actually memorizing binary digits?
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  1. You are the man.

  2. Yes, that is what they’re used for, though not only for binary. That’s how I learned the cards and numbers, so the images are already sitting there, right where they need to be. Or are you asking if I use the palaces for memorizing new info still? I do use them to memorize, every day. That “reference” story is so isolated in my memory that ghost images from it never show up.

  3. If I understand you right, the answer is absolutely not! If my seventh location is my kitchen sink, you mean, would I memorize the kitchen sink itself if 0000.000.111 came up?

The journey is used as an index merely because the easiest way to memorize a large quantity of objects is by using a journey. If you memorize a deck using PAO and I asked you what the seventh card is, you’ll kind of mentally divide by 3 and see that the object you are being asked for is the Person in the 3rd locus. Better yet, let’s say that you memorized the deck (Deck A) and I told you that I wanted you to memorize the deck in a new order of my choosing (“Hypothetical” Deck B). I would say, “In deck B, the first card is going to be seventh card from Deck A. The second card of deck B is going to be the 24th card of Deck A.” You would think “Okay, it’s going to be the object that I had memorized in the 8th locus.” But never in a million years would you get so confused that you would memorize the landmark itself. So it sounds like referencing the locus to identify an object might be problematic for that reason, but it actually isn’t. Especially because those objects are memorized there permanently. After a while, when you warp to the locus, you get a “feeling” of where you are, but the only thing in focus is the object itself because it has been so intimately linked with the locus over time that it has in a sense ‘become’ that locus (even though you still just use the locus when memorizing something new!!). Does that answer your question?

613 JediMan


Yes! All comments are very informative and helpful too. :slight_smile:

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Lance, you’ve won me over! I think I’m going to go with a Mallow-style system, as well as a 3-digit major system for numbers instead of PAO (although I’m holding off until after March to start). I do have a quick question about the phonetics for #/J and #/Q for the ♤♤ and :heart::heart: combos. How do you put the “s” sound on top of another “s”? For instance, what’s the phonetic code for A♤J♤ or 9​:heart:Q​:heart:? Seems like it would be “ss-t-d” and “ss-p-r.” Maybe I’m missing something…


The setback caused by those few examples is ultimately insignificant.

There are two ways to treat those. One option is to just treat them as exceptions and carry on as usual. In order to use a list of 1000 or 1352 objects you have to review them all a bunch of times, so they’ll gel by the time you need them, trust me. But if you feel the need to make them distinct, then follow the “rule” to isolate the first “s” for the “#s/#s / 000-099’s” perfectly in the following cases. Also, for 10♤J,Q,K♤, you can just drop the first “s” to make them more distinct. And for kings of course, simply…

10♤K♤ - Suess, Swayze, Sosa

Here are some suggestions to get you started, and these example should illustrate a principle important to convey to someone beginning to make a big system, which I’ll explain below:

001 - Sister, Sustenance,
10♤J♤ - Soot, Suit, Sat, Sight
004 - Scissors, Caesar
10♤Q♤ - Zoro, Sear, Sire, Sarah
011 - Sedate, Sated
A♤J♤ - Statue, Stud
014 - Sitter, Citar
A♤Q♤ - Star, store, stairs
021 - Sand, Santa
2♤J♤ - Snot
024 - Sooner, Sunroof
2♤Q♤ - Snore, Snare
031 - Scimitar
3♤J♤ - Smut, Smite
034 - Samurai, Simmer, Sumer
3♤Q♤ - Smear, Smore
041 - Sardines, Sword
4♤J♤ - Swaddle (See below
044 - Sewer (Sometimes I used “W’s” in place of “R’s” because there are no “W’s” in the major system, and they sound similar).
4♤Q♤ - Sorry
051 - Salt, Salad
5♤J♤ - Slots (slot machine)
054 - Sailor
5♤Q♤ - Slurp, Slur, Slurm
061 Sea Shtar, Sushi Tongs
6♤J♤ - Shed, $#!*
064 - Suture
6♤Q♤ - Escher, Usher, Cher
071 - Sacked, Sucked
7♤J♤ - Skate, Scud,
074 - Soccer, Sucker
7♤Q♤ - Score, Scarecrow
081 - Salvador
8♤J♤ - Sift, Soft
084 - Suffer, Saver
8♤Q♤ - Suffer, Saver
091 - Zapped
9♤J♤ - Spud, Spit
094 - Supper, Superman, Saber, Saber-tooth, Sober
9♤Q♤ - Spear, Spire, Spore, Spare, Spar

If you take this next advice to heart, you can save a hell of a lot of time. That principle that I hope I can really get you guys to seriously consider is that any word that reminds you of a contrived image is every bit as good as a simple noun. Every bit as good I say, because for your nouns, you will also need to decide individually what they refer to. It is natural but incorrect to assume that “Snare” is a far better word to have in your list than “Sober.” But let’s say “snare” here reminds you of a snare drum, rather than a trap of some sort. When you make this image, take a moment the very first day to decide if you want to use a floor snare or a big, heavy, marching snare. If it’s a floor snare, should someone be sitting there doing a drum roll? What color is it? What color are the guy’s hair and shirt? Should he have a full drum set, even? If it’s for marching, How large and what size and color is it? Should the marcher be in military attire or a school’s marching band uniform? Or should he be a little drummer boy? Should he have the rest of the band with him? In formation? Should they march in line or in a more interesting formation?

For “sober,” is it a guy introducing himself in front of an AA group? What is he wearing? Is it a guy at a bar? Is he drinking a big juice box? Is the bartender there?

See what I mean? It’s the exact same thing. Save yourself the trouble and just fill out your list.

You can figure all of that stuff out in 20 seconds or less in over 95% of cases. Sometimes the image is so natural that you have to try to even think of a question to ask. Like “saddle.” It took me a minute to figure out that it should have little hanging foot-holes. But every little bit counts.For “statue,” you could just say “It’s the statue of liberty.” How big should it be represented, and should it be surrounded by water? Pick your poisons, and you’re done in 5 seconds. You only have to do it once, and it makes such a big difference. I’ve had such an easy time with 719 since I decided what the Catapult looks like. Write the brief notes in your little list. You won’t have to review the notes all the time. Every little bit counts. Deep, elaborative encoding should be done from the very start. You can’t beat solid fundamentals, and if it isn’t used that way from the start, you’ll wise up later and go through your whole list again asking these questions. I did it with all 2704. Took about 10-20 seconds on each, which took 12 hours or so, and plus they had to be kind of “relearned” after this. You don’t want to do that.

Once you guys make the 169 spades combinations, cull the spades out of 4 different decks to make an all-spades deck. Put 3 images per locus and start memorizing decks. It’ll be really weird at first linking the images, but you’ll get better quickly. Once you feel what it’s like to memorize a deck in 9 loci, it might light the fire you need to carry the project to completion. One you make the 169 hearts also, you can make a 50/50 spades/hearts deck and start memorizing that using Mallow’s method. It’ll be a little weird at first, but you’ll drop into sub-2:00 easily in no time, flat. Then you’ll see a legitimate sample of what it will feel like to memorize a deck using Mallow’s method once you have learned all your images.

Note: You’ll learn the spade/spades super fast by taking apart like 6 decks, making an all- spade deck, running through it, reading the images as fast as you can, putting the front card on the back and doing it again, shuffling and repeating.

…Do a little at a time, and when you have made your own list and learned it, you’ll not only be happy for the gains in speed/quantity of memorization, but you will be proud of yourself for putting in the work required to enter a new and elite echelon. Take it like the tortoise and you can stay cool from beginning to end.
Enough jibber-jabber.

618 - jetfuel
619 - jetpack, shotput


I just read over this post, and all I can do is apologize. SS is a good system, and I commend the handful of people who rolled up their pant legs and waded through that miasma of verbiage in order to understand it. I will rewrite this in a mnemotechnics wiki page if you remind me how to do that Josh, and post it below. Hopefully, I can do my part to help popularize Mallow’s 2-block method by being far more clear about the goals and execution of the first phase of SS, which is merely the translation of 1000 major images and the creation of 352 new ones, so that it will not look so foreboding. These systems are betterthan PAO - faster and more efficient. Mallow has now gotten down under 22 seconds in competition with a 2-block method. He is also the world record holder in five minute binary using the binary system that I now advocate, which is incidentally created in full along with these 1352 images.

So yeah, I’ll rewrite this.


April Fools? :stuck_out_tongue:

Now that I’ve read it over a couple times, it’s not so complicated to understand. It’s hard to explain it concisely though.

Good luck Lance

By the way, I’m pretty sure you could start the page by just starting to type in here: https://artofmemory.com/w/index.php5?title=Shadow_System&action=edit&redlink=1

Once you’re logged in. But it might be better to wait for Josh, just so nothing messes up.

Yeah… that’s the link. I put a placeholder here for you:

Send me a message if you have any questions about editing it.

To create new pages, just search for the title of a non-existing page in the wiki search box and it will prompt you to create it. The title should have the first letter of each word capitalized. Anyone can create new pages. Don’t worry about doing things “incorrectly” in the wiki, because other wiki editors will also help move things around. :slight_smile:

Thank you, I’ll make this description more sensible!

Hey Lance, when you say the system you now advocate, you mean the system you talked about above, with the first four binary digits given by a particular journey, and the next six given by a position along that journey? Or are you talking about something new?

Edit: just saw your post in Zoomy’s thread about the 3x3 block method. This is what you’re talking about? Does Mallow use that?

The 4 indicating a journey…I think that would work really well. Especially since I have 16 Journeys each with 12 images packed per loci, and through repeated reference during learning, until the training wheels are sloughed off, I know exactly how to access each of those 2704 images when I see the card or digit combination. If I had worked on binary even a little bit along the way, I’d be able to do that too, and it would be smooth sailing with the 10-digit system. And what an advantage that is in terms of of damage control…Today I forgot a locus on my second 5-minute binary attempt and lost 150 points…instead of 30! But that’s the price to pay for forgetting. It happens with digits too. But it doesn’t have to be the price. Even with that disadvantage, 3x3 seemed so obviously to be the way to go…Since Zoomy says he still converts the 10-digit images piece by piece, it seems that IF you could reach the 90% speed of 3x3 that it would take to even things out, which seems doubtful to me, if varying skill levels were ignored, (they shouldn’t be calculated to determine the superior system) it would be HARD to do. I went from 300 at my BEST, hat I had only accomplished once, to square 1 with 3x3, to 720 in digits in like 50 days or something, WHILE most, or almost all of my practice time was spent on USAMC events. That means that according to a comparison with other MAs’ best scores in competition ever, I would be 10th in the world today, and only one line and 2 digits, 32 binary digits, short of FIFTH in the world if I pulled it off in competition.

That’s just amazing. I’ve put less than 20 hours into this. So 3x3 is without a doubt what I advocate, even though Ben is by far the best at 30-minutes, setting an unbroken record six years ago, which is the longest standing record currently for a WMC event, using the Ben System of course, and Ola is soo close behind Hannes for 5-minutes, and he is also using the Ben system…And Mallow’s just so amazing that maybe the Ben System is better.

But anyone who makes a 3-digit object list can do it! Or you can just make 512 images and be done with it if you like the 2-digit number systems more. There’s something to be said for a system being easy. More time to practice it.

And I found out that 3x3 is what Hannes uses after I had this idea to make it, which I already believed in strongly as is evident from Zoomy’s 30-minute binary thread. So that is a confirmation of my own intuition rather than my simply copying the world record holder, which speaks even more to the potential efficacy of this method because sometimes my intuition is correct.

I hope that answers your question. Not sure if I need to add more detail…