Card deck memorisation - post your times here!

I personally think that having a day with fast times and a lot of errors is good because then you can push yourself to go faster, your mind will adjust to it and within a day or two the errors will fade and only the fast time will stay.

You know I just said that to motivate you, right Wessel? I’ll level with you guys, though. Yesterday I was put on an anti convulsant medication (I was already on one - just not this one) and I can not think for shit. I don’t know what my deck time is today because I can’t memorize one. What is worse is that I am stuck with it until February 12. Not only will I not improve during this time period; for lack of practice, I will in all likelihood gtet slower. I was recommended. This change in medication because as you know, I was rarely sleeping. It seems to me that the chance of my failing this last semester of school is also quite high - I have already given up on the opportunity to run that experiment that those of you who have read many of my posts know I was thrilled to run. So that’s that.

Oh god I just read your post Wessel! Even under better circumstances… Well that’s really amazing,

Please share your practice schedule And methods if you don’t mind, Wessel.

Oldmanpaul - You just asked the question that was running through my head too!! Thanks! :wink:

I have been getting faster and faster at flicking through the cards, but then getting blanks at certain loci. I can only assume it is because the image isn’t strong enough to stick, because when recalling it isn’t always the early loci that I blank on. For example, it could be the 10th loci that I get a blank on, when I remembered the 9 beforehand (which were memorised earlier) with no problems.

It is frustrating knowing that you could take 30-60 seconds longer and have an easy recall, but I have faith in the advice of my fellow memorisers on here who advise pushing it and making mistakes!..

Will be nice when I get to the two minute mark with no errors and easy recall though!

A question for all of you:-

What would you say is the fastest time you can get (roughly) without any problems in recall? My best is 3:19, but to have no problems in recall and reel them straight off, it would probably be 4:30-5 mins! Intersted to see others responses?

Hi guys,

@ DH Sorry to hear you’re having problems with your health, I hope you’ll get better soon.
@ Wessells Congrats on your times! You’re doing great man. I wish I was there with you, but beware I’m right behind you, so rest not!

Personally I haven’t memorized any decks nor digits for nearly a week. The last entry in my practice spreadsheet dates from 12 Jan. Apart from being preoccupied with other stuff, personal and professional, I also felt this inner resistance to the whole memory thing. I know It’s fun, and that practice yields results (and a rush!), I know that it’s good for me, and yet I have felt this resistance to the whole thing for the past week. Do you guys recognize this?

Another reason for not having practiced is that I decided my PAO list needs revision. I’ve known this for some weeks but I kept delaying it. I’ve been unhappy with certain dull Ps, Os that just don’t work and As that do not have enough action in them. So an excuse I made up for myself was that before I could resume practicing I needed to revise my PAO list, so not carve images in my brain that wouldn’t make it through the revision anyway. So that’s where I am right now. Last night I changed around 25% of my Ps As and Os and I thought I was ready to resume practice tonight. However, there are some great ideas to be found in the forum and I couldn’t resist revising some more, especially with the help of this thread:

So I’m not sure if I can start practicing tomorrow already. Anyways, the resistance is gone and I’m very eager to start again. Not having practiced for nearly a week, and having to get used to my updated PAO list, I’m expecting and accepting much slower times, but I’m not gonna panic. I’m sure I’ll go sub 1 soon.

@ DH By the way DoubleHelix, you got your happy noob! Some of my new Ps and Os come directly from your awesome list. Thanks for posting! I’ve seen quite a few PA(O) lists on the web, but yours definitely stands out when it come to originality, and I think many people will benefit from it.

1.13 and thus I have beat Rick the Jong, National champion of the Netherlands.

So, unofficially, I just broke the national record.
I’m pretty excited but it’s all right, I think I’ll bring it down some more, just to be sure to get some nice times in a championship (also, I had 4 decks which had more then 8 errors today so I’m not really stable at this speed).

Rompie, I am waiting for you at the finish line :wink: and yes, I really have the feeling that what I’m doing is really useless. No one shares my interest or competitiveness and so I’m pretty much on my own memorizing 6 decks of cards every day.
So, yes, I do feel like I shouldn’t be doing this and instead I should study and work on things that are more important (like finding a job and such) but I try to keep myself amused with this as long as possible, maybe I will be able to use it for my study.

But for now, place 88 on the worldranks with 1 minute and 13 seconds.

Thanks for your kindness Rompie. Obviously I’m pitying myself and sulking a little but I was driven by big dreams for March; dreams that are fading a bit.

I’m thrilled that you got some usage from the PAO! Yes! One thing I am still capable of right now is building and memorize lists (not on the spot - I mean like naming PAOs, etc.). So that’s how I’m spending my time. Maybe I should get to work on a 000-999 object list - that would be worth my time for sure. Today, I realized that it was stupid (in my case - perhaps not yours, Huggy) to include my cards in My PAO list and try to memorize them - It’s a slow process. So I redid a lot of the PAO today - kept only the cards that matched the major system, but moved their numbers around accordingly. Some of my New PAOs have actions and objects relevant to the character, rather than matching the major system, to experiment with which works better. When those are all hashed out, I’ll post all the new If you want, because that’s 50 or so extra PAO’s.

Huggy, do you review which Loci you miss? You might find a pattern if you do. Sometimes I feel like the P A and O don’t match too well, and in those cases I benefit from taking an extra moment to be more creative and take liberty with the PAOs.

Just for fun Wessels, why don’t you double deck a few times? Of course your time will slow a bit, but maybe you could shed some light on how and why it feels different.

I hope you don’t mind if I share a dream I just woke up from really quick in summary. It was the trippiest and most amazing dream I have ever had. First, I was with my girlfriend and a younger version of her and their clothing was made out of cards that kept shifting in groups of three. While the card/clothes were shifting, they were talking to me in detail about the images that those cards would produce: “Oh, look at Scooby…did you know he could ride a unicycle?” and so on. And the images MATCHED the cards. This card Guru/father figure was giving me pointers on how to win the competition that I thought I was about to attend. Some of you may know that clocks can’t produce consistent times in a dream. Apparently, cards are different.
Then I was in a video game (my diamonds are vid game characters) and I was on this huge floor of red tile (4115) and I was trying to complete the objectives of the game which all had to do with carrying out the actions of my cards with the objects and persons in my cards. Each time I would complete an objective, like flying a kite around with my friend Joe or hookshotting into a sandwich (hookshot is a retractable chain/harpoon that pulls you to the destination after it hooks in), some of the tiles would raise. Finally, when all the tiles raised, everything zoomed way,way, out, and I saw That I was just a tiny, colored speck on the jacket on Eric Cartman! And he was going around doing actions with objects in his “Enormous” world! (This ending is no surprise since last night I experimented with zooming in, in, in, on my loci). At this point, my quality of consciousness changed - I won’t say I knew it was a dream, but I was more conscious, I guess - I was thinking “Wow, this is so vivid and amazing.” Then my girlfriend woke me up :. It was like Foer’s dream, but BIGGER and MORE than what he described…exhilarating!
When I read his book, I thought he made up that part about the dream he had the night before the competition…silly me.

I know, this is off topic, but I had a very interesting dream few days ago… But it wasn’t about cards. It was about numbers.

I’m not gonna write it all but the point:

  • One guy was showing me numbers written on paper. One by one. It was two digit numbers. And I was memorizing them. I don’t know why, but I used my first journey I created, and it’s being used for cards, so when I woke up, that particular journey was filled with images of numbers… So I had to remember it, because there’s no way to find number images in that journey, I don’t use it for numbers… I remember all those 15 2-digit numbers guy showed to me. I was creating associations as I normally do. I found it really interesting…

By the way, DoubleHelix, amazing dream! I like that feeling when you wake up and you’re like “God, I wanna another round!” :smiley:

Maybe (probably) that dream reflected the consolidation of gobs of information during sleep.

In frustration, I just drank a pot of coffee - that’s 10-12 cups, folks.

And timed 1:40! No errors. Now I get an ice-cream cake. Better not rest too much, Wessell!

Looks like I’ve found a ritual. I’m 24 years old - what are the odds of having a heart attack in the next 20 or so days?

Good stuff DH, congrats!

I went through my first decks in a week. Did three this morning after a short warming up with a few rows of digits:

2.30 1 error
2.00 1 error
2.10 2 errors

And tonight I just did four more:

2.48 perfect
2.12 perfect
1.59 2 errors
2.00 2 errors

I’m not unhappy with these stats, although I really feel like I have to get used to my new images, they are slowing me down. But I know it’s worth it because I also noticed that my images were very clear. Looking forward to kicking your butts soon.

Oh yeah those are great times for anyone if you have new images…

I’m reconsidering a few myself…Einstein and Indiana Jones are decidedly unclear…but I’m finally getting used to recognizing the cards which was so frustrating during those first two weeks…ugh, just don’t want to repeat that. Maybe I’ll just look at a zillion pics of Einstein and finally watch the Indiana Jones movie, which I probably should have done at some point anyway. The only one I’ve seen is the newest one, which is sort of a travesty I understand.

DoubleHelix, I have experienced unclear persons as well and tried to watch pictures of them again and again to make them more vivid. This has not been working very well though.

I think that a better idea is to make the characters in question more unique by giving them some very vivid characteristic. For example you could make Einstein’s hair even more crazy then it actually is (like a big, white, electrified lion’s mane) and have him always be sticking out his tongue (and make it abnormally big). Also to give them special clothes helps a lot.

I have done that for some of my non-vivid characters. One has got very big glasses, one has become extremely fat, one has even got a chickensuit! This makes it so much easier to visualise because you just have to think of that very easily perceived detail to quickly get the whole image. On some of those I don’t even try to picture the face, I find that it is often not necessary.

Hope this might help! :slight_smile:

That’s really great advice, I know that will help, thanks very much. I chose most of my characters based on physical features unrelated to the face but didn’t think o do this for the ‘weaker’ persons.

I’ve done that with some of my characters as well and it really works. Some images just didn’t get vivid enough, though, and changing them seemed better. What helps me in changing images, is that I try to trick my mind into believing that the new character is actually the same character, only in disguise. For instance, my 64/4S was Salvador Dali, but I kept forgetting the guy. At one point I just acknowledged that I hardly knew him and had to get rid of him. I had Spiderman on the bench eager to play, so I brought him in and sent Salvador out, but I told my mind otherwise. I pretended that Salvador merely changed his suite. So when I needed to memorise 64 or 6S I imagined Salvador wearing a Spiderman suite. At first I kept his corresponding A and O painting and easel and only later changed them into hookshotting (thanks DH!) and spider. I’ve done the same for my 86/6H who is a former teacher of mine. Initially I wanted to change only the A and O cause they interfered with other As and Os, the P was fine. I really liked the matador set of traits (holding a red cloth [A] and a bull [O]) so I just put the teacher in a fancy matador suite and changed his A and O. Worked great.
And I also try to keep the new image in the same category as the old one to make the transition easier. So I changed my old nr 06, OJ Simpson, into Stanley Hudson (The Office character), who are both black dudes. I changed my 80/10H, Dutch queen Beatrix, into Dalai Lama, who are both leaders. This may not be politically correct, but I reckon those rules don’t count in the mnemonic scene.

Also done some decks today:
1.47 perfect
1.37 I error
1.40 4 errors
1.44 3 errors
1.31 6 errors

Coming for you…

Hi Guys,

So, any feedback on this:-

"A question for all of you:-

What would you say is the fastest time you can get (roughly) without any problems in recall? My best is 3:19, but to have no problems in recall and reel them straight off, it would probably be 4:30-5 mins! Intersted to see others responses?"


EDIT - It probably only takes about 3:30 without recall problems now. Should have just blasted the 3 min barrier, but realised near the end of my journey that I got a card association wrong and it put me off my stride!! GGRRRRR!!!..

Hi guys!

First off, I wanna thank you for all the great advice in this thread!

I’m new to mnemonics. After reading Foers fantastic book, I was totally hooked, and made a PAO-list for cards (12 days ago), and I’m now down at 3:30 without errors. I’ve been doing about 2-3 decks a day, but spend alot of time in this forum - and this thread especially :wink: It has helped me tweak my system very effectively.

It’s motivating to follow other people progress!

Planning to be posting my own progress in here :slight_smile:

Well DH,
you said I should be on 2:20 by now.
I could only get to 2:35, which is another 15 seconds off this week.
It was hard going and that time is pretty much a one off, I haven’t managed to do it again, or even something similar.
But I guess it wasn’t an ideal week for concentration, I was working night shifts.
So on the one hand I am encouraged by my time, but on the other it really brings it home to you how obscenely fast some of you guys are, and how far off the pace I am.
At the moment I cannot even begin to comprehend halving my time!
I will have to keep my eye on the 2 min mark and then adjust that target again when I can consistently achieve that.
To go further than 2 mins I will have to overhaul my methods.

Huggy. Hows your times? I guess 3 minutes is approaching for you?

Hi Paul,

My times have been consistently around the 3:30 mark. I still havn’t beaten my 3:19 as yet, but I have been getting pretty good recall which according to the lightning fast people on here means I can push harder.

To be honest, I am torn between going at light speed to try and beat my time and taking a little longer to get the buzz that you get from a quick perfect recall!!..

As frustrating as it is to push through at warp speed and then have blanks, I am assured it is a good thing and a requirement to improve your times, so it looks like I may have to forego the buzz of perfect recall for a while and heed the advice from the elders!!.. :wink: