Ask a memory champion [2]

(Johnny Pal) #81

Aloha Ben:

Would you be kind enough to send me your book? I am 75 and began mnemonics when I was 17 years old. To date I only write down telephone numbers that I may not use for months or years. The others I store in my memory using the alpha numeric system. I also look up directions on MapQuest but turn each street into a concrete image and connect them together using my memory glue, ha ha. I studied initially under Arthur Bornstein and took a few random courses and read a number of books.
Well, there I go again. Thanks and I look forward to receiving your book at my email of [email protected]

(Pinkesh) #82

[email protected]
Send your book

(Ben Pridmore) #83

I’m going to remember about 4000 Hungarian-Polish words.
Then I need about 4000 loci.
What is the best way to do this according to you?
How would you prepare such number of locations? Places you know, Google map?
For me, impotant thing is that everything is logic, so in every place: room, shop (whatever) I have the same number of loci and it’s not always possible to provide. I think it’s not useful to jam loci at a push just to have specified number of them.

4000 locations is a lot. When I was memorising pi, way back in 2005, I created a large number of locations by making them very small - so each room of my house would have a location in each corner, on top of and behind each piece of furniture, and so on. The important thing is just to be familiar with them, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to insist that each room or area has the same number of locations. Do what seems natural.

I would love to prepare a Millenium PAO. My idea to do that is: to have a person I know for every particular number from 000-999. People we know are connected to some emotions and they are helpful while memorising. It might be difficult to provide 1000 people, but I think that we don’t have to know them very well, but at least meet them few times, there are still some emotions about them and we just know them.
Then I would have a person every each set of loci (I mean e.g. one room = 5 loci = one person) and it, again, might be very helpful.
What do you think about it ?

I’ve never really liked PAO. But that’s probably just me - I have trouble distinguishing one person from another, so the people in my system are defined more by their personality than their appearance. Applying number-based actions to them would stop me being able to remember the person. 1000 people is also probably too many for me to be able to deal with.

If you’re planning on creating 1000 actions and objects too… 1000 actions seems almost impossible (I remember Ed Cooke tried to do it, many years ago, but I don’t know anyone who actually uses it successfully).

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(Ben Pridmore) #84

i have one question, have you ever tried to force yourself to forget one certain thing and then focus to remember it? and if you did, how was it? is it a good method

No, I’ve never tried to do that. I’m not sure how I would force myself to forget something - that’s like trying not to think about an orange penguin… :slight_smile:

(Ben Pridmore) #85

Hi all and Ben, i’m french ( sry for the language mistakes! ) and I discovered the art of memory lately. I have read your comments and would like to share my thoughts on memory. I read Joshua Foer’s book and learned your results and I’m impressed by your creativity! moreover, I wish to extend the method to quickly learn to translate words. The idea is to associate with each syllable of two letters an image (with a fictional character and an object) and associate on each locus a character with two objects in each of these hands. I’ve also been thinking about the problem of preparing mental palaces, and I think associating a surface such as a table or chair to a number between 0 and 9 and follow the logical order of the Numbers to structure spaces. What do you think about this ideas?

I do like the idea of having an image for each syllable when memorising words. I’ve never thought of that particular idea before, but I can see that it might be good! :slight_smile:

(ricaut) #86

Hi Ben, i’d like to read your Book. [email protected]


Hey Ben,

Referring the original thread, I saw you wrote regarding ~144 textures on abstract images (the same technique used by other top athletes) memorized down columns. Out of curiosity, could you give us a few hints on what each digit of the 3-digit represents (dots/lines/color/etc) and roughly how may possibilities are there of each categories, knowing well that there has been a democratic split and it being replaced by the random images event.

Thanks Champ


Also, your dates and events score seem to be still rank among the best even until today.

What are the complete details of your strategy for the event. Specifically, what advice would you give to a beginner to consolidate the link between the 3-digit image and the keyword? It seems that there are infinite possibilities for any given keyword whenever I attempt a recall. Would it be something like word events where two images are connected as a whole

And if you use keyword/whole event and if any journey is involved

Thank you! You are my eternal Champ

1 Like
(Ben Pridmore) #89

For abstract images, there were actually 158 of them, when I eventually got around to counting them and putting them together on a spreadsheet. To assign an image to them, I just thought of the first word that came to mind when I saw the texture, and assigned it the closest thing in my 2704-image list to that word. Some of them were rather contrived and arbitrary, so it was just a matter of training to think the right word when I looked at each image. I used a spreadsheet to practice, showing me a random texture that I had to type the right word next to.

For dates, the big advantage I always had was that I had images for the dates starting with 2 (the set of images starting with ‘h’ in my system), and other people who used a standard 3-digit system had to do something different with those, which took a little more time. I generally looked at more than one keyword, although it was a very quick read through the event description, maybe just getting the gist from two or three words and creating a mental image from that. That was usually enough to remember most of them when I saw the event again.

Thanks for all the compliments, too! :smiley:


Would be interedted in your word document . My email is [email protected].