Basic Knowledge

I’m new user on this forum and I’m so glad that I could get here :slight_smile:

So, im studying mnemotechnics for 3 months and this is very interetsting.
One of the first though that I had was learn things from past years in school, when I don’t know HOW I can learning and now I remember very low.
I like to gain a new information, such a basic knowledge about world, geography, history, history of music, literature, poetry, maths and others, but now Im on the college and I have contact with very narrow part of knowledge.

So, meybe you know places on the internet, forums or books deal about general knowledge and themes that could I learn?

Thanks :slight_smile:

In general, for gaining wide knowledge, I prefer books over internet articles.
So because of that I would search for books.
I buy a lot of them second hand, so it won’t cost too much.
Amazon has great searching tools.

“The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins, is an incredible book. It goes over subtle and usually misunderstood themes about evolution by natural selection in language that the layman can easily absorb. If this is a topic you have not learned about thoroughly, this book will give you life-enriching understanding. The question of “why am I here” (in a physical, not teleological sense) is one of the only Great Questions that has ever been answered with consensus.

I might have exactly what you are looking for. Try ‘An Incomplete Education’ by Judy Jones & William Wilson.

You might also like Barcharts and Sparkcharts, which combined with some memory technics could realy help you.

I’d go for: The Code Book by Simon Singh which is one of the best books in the field of understandable cryptography (not relevant but amazingly interesting)

There’s a social network website called Goodreads that I love as an avid reader. It lets you link up with your friends and post reviews or ratings of the books you read or have read. The site will suggest books based on your history, but I particularly like the fact that you can see what your friends are reading and mark it as ‘to read’ if it appeals to you. You can’t access the books via the site any more than I can access my Utah friend’s ski runs from Facebook…but the postings are sufficient to less me to the library or Amazon or whatever.

I read both Dawkins’ book and the code book amd loved the second; the first seemed to use a lot of circular knowledge imo. How I Killed Pluto…by Mike Brown is a great read imo; the author is funny and makes a good argument for why Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. The Particle at the Edge of the Universe gives a good overview of the Higgs Boson. Anything by Mary Roach makes a good science read if you have a sense of humor; I haven’t read her newest book yet, but of the older ones ‘Stiff’ is hands down my favorite.

Robert Massie does good biographies on Russian leadership; I really enjoyed Catherine the Great. Guns, Germs, and Steel give a great look into the evolution of civilization and technology, though it’s more guns and steel and less germs. Ben Mezrich is also a great writer; between his book on MIT card counters and another on the start of Facebook (an admittedly one sided perspective), he writes more recent information.

I’ll, um, stop there lol.

There was this IMAX movie/documentary called the history of the world in two hours. It’s just excellent, and I highly recommend it. It’s perfect for the mnemonist, and for the OP’s quest, because you could memorize this whole movie by watching it a few times. One of these days, I intend to fill a good 200 loci with it. The reason it’s perfect for the mnemonist is that you could really cover everything in images - there is so much breadth that there’s just no time to go in depth about very much at all. Still, there’s something to be said for the scope of the film.

Ah! I see it can be gotten from YouTube:

But if you have a 3d tv/projector and enjoy that stuff, it might be worth aquiring in that format. The 3d effects were very solid, with respectable depth of field, and 3d material not made by Pixar is scarce (though I quite like Pixar, personally)

Thanks for linking that video Lance, I will do the same as you, reduce the things to loci. Its a great movie.

Hey Lance, thought u might be interested in this. I condensed the video into main ideas to memorize. For the last 5 thousand or so years, I will use a different resource, since this one is pretty vague. Particularly the major empires, i created a challenge for it Challenge There are some things with question marks that I’m not sure about, will have to check. Some things in parentheses weren’t in the video and I added them. And here is the summary:

13.8 bil- All energy created, 380 th after- first hydrogen, first galaxies begin to form
13.4 bil- Inside forming galaxies, gas clouds are squeezed together, get hotter, create helium at 18 mil degree F. First stars born, fuse new elements. Few million years after that, first supernovas which create heavy elements that cant be formed inside stars; copper, gold, uranium
Next 8 bil- Stars continue to be born, annihilated and reborn, each generation possessing more heavy elements
4.6 bil- Our sun is formed, consuming 99.9% of dust and gas in the solar system, but leaving enough for planets to form
4.54 bil- Earth formed, days last around 6 hours. Very hot
4.5 bil- Earth collides with Theia(long collision, several hours, same axis), a planet the size of mars. Earth swallows most of it, molten debris that remains forms the moon. Moon makes the earth steady, slows rotation and lengthens days. Collision creates axial tilt
4.4 bil- Water vapor in atmosphere; surface is too hot. Rain starts falling for millions of years(?).
3.8 bil- Earth has a moon, permanent oceans, first lifeforms emerge; bacteria.
2.5 bil- Bacteria begin to use suns energy to live, which creates a byproduct; oxygen. Oxygen binds to iron in the sea, causing it to rust and sink, collect on the ocean floor. Huge deposits are created. When there is no more iron in the sea, oxygen begins to fill up the atmosphere. Some bacteria begin to live on oxygen, as it is twenty times as efficient as anything that came before it.
Next 2 bil- Life becomes more complex, Continents form and the sky turns blue.
550 mil- 13% oxygen atmosphere. Cambryan explosion, complex life. Most major animal groups evolved in these 30 mil years.
500 mil- Bony fish with spines, jaws and teeth
400 mil- Animals begin to go to shore, amphibians. They return to water to lay their jelly like eggs. Eventually, these eggs become harder, develop a shell, and are able to be lain on land.
300 mil- Life flourishes in swamps, plants are buried, compressed, boiled into coal
250 mil- Biggest spike in volcanic activity since early days of planet, atmosphere is filled with carbon dioxide. Diversity of life stopped. 70+% of species extinct. Permian extinction. Dinosaurs reign for next 160 mil yrs. First hardwood forests. Moon finally settles the earth into 24 hr day(?). The supercontinent Pangaea begins to break apart. Dinosaurs are holding mammals back, biggest mammals size of cat.
65 mil(? 250-160=90?) - 6 mile wide asteroid slams into earth. Dust cloud blocks sun. Temperatures plummet. Everything over 50 pounds(?) goes extinct. Dinosaur reign is over(?) Mammals are starting to reign.
50 mil- Primate ancestors evolving. Planet gets hotter. Continents continue drifting apart. Seashells begin to gather in Egypt(Egypt is under water) will make limestone.
10 mil- Mountains have risen, disrupt weather patterns; start cooling planet
7 mil- Grass covers earth. Fewer trees, apes start walking on two feet.
2.6 mil- Hominids walk, find silicone-rocks that don’t shatter, begin making primitive tools, sharp edges, hammers. Stone Age begins, experiment with fire(?).
800 th- Hominids control fire completely. Begin to cook meat, which gives more energy, which allows for larger brains.
200 th- Practically modern humans. Larynx moved down, allows for throat to create complex sounds. Information begins to be shared across generations. This is a critical advantage.
Network of shared information, humans are becoming exponentially smarter. No other animal can pass information across generations.
100 th- Humans begin to expand out of Africa- into afroeurasia. Human dispersal= extinction insurance.
50 th- Glaciers begin to advance down. Humans are introduces into China and Australia.
30 th- Humans in Europe
20 th- Ice at its most extreme. Humans reach Northeast Syberia. First evidence of symbolic thought(? Cave drawings older?). Because of ice, sea levels plummet 3-4 hundred feet. Humans cross across the icebridge from Syberia to North America.
12 th- Humans reach South America, adapt to ice age. Finally colonized entire globe. Ice begins to melt, sea levels rise, ice bridges melt. Humans are separated across two hemispheres. Lakes, rivers, practically the modern map, emerge. Modern rivers such as The Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, Yellow form. Grand canyon carving out by Colorado River. Permanent settlements begin, populations of humans grow. People learn to plant grasses; Sugar Cane, Wheat, Barley, Rye. Farming takes hold, especially in the Middle Eastern Fertile Crescent. Domestication of animals begins. Horses, at least 3 breeds, die out in North America. Before they died out, they spread to Eurasia.
6 th- Thousands live in Uruk, high population density. Horses are tamed, used for work and warfare.
5 th- First writing, armies, politics and trade. Donkey caravans.
4 th- Pyramids, Stone Henge and Ziggurats. Sumerians invent base 12 number system from which we have 24 hour days, 60 seconds and minutes. Also invent wheels from which we
could later make chariots.

Cool! Good of you to do that. Probably best to memorize all the main ideas first, and then go back to fill in the little details of each point? I have a really hard time memorizing complex information with loci. I wind up filling my ‘sub-loci’ or whatever (each of my loci is subdivided into 10 unique sections). When I use those, the information stays there when I have some cue about it, but I usually can’t go through all the sub-points the way I could using multiple loci. So for multiple choice tests and memorization of the 2704 objects, it’s golden. For anything else, there must be a better way.

How would you guys go about memorizing all of the information in the post above?

I’m interested in how others would memorize this as well, I haven’t started yet. Would probably have to make some images for common words such as “first”. Lance, what do you use as a loci? How do you arrange those 10? 3x3+1? Could you give an example?

I will make a journey for each section of time, probably something looking like this; Journey for 1 billion to 13.8 billion, journey for 100 million to 999 million, 1 mil-99 mil, 100 th-999 th etc. I will also leave ample space inbetween loci, so I can always add stuff later. Then just connect the last loci to the first of the next journey.

Also, if the information is hard to fit in the given journeys, I will utilize gavino’s massive memory system idea, and instead of an image planted in a loci, I will put an image that reminds me of a place, then inside that, place relevant facts.
Little memory palaces implanted in a journey.

This seems very doable to do though. Most things on here are easily visualized.

Or if I was to do 1 giant journey, I would place landmarks at those time periods. Make a diamond statue at 1 billion, A gold one at 100 million, Silver at 1 mil, etc. That way, I could more quickly access the relevant dates. Plus, I could then only use a single image, 00-99 to represent the years.