Derren Brown - Library; possible?

Video here

My question; is this remotely possible? I think we all know it’s possible to memorize a book in this way (though seemingly very time consuming). The real question is does this ‘photo reading’ answer really make any sense? He says he did it in under 20 minutes. I doubt even Kim Peek could accomplish that.

I’ve read somewhat about speed reading and have a book by Paul R. Scheele I believe which was on photo reading, yet it never seemed very useful to me, and I also have no idea how one would combine it with mnemonics in such a way.

Well if this was possible, Photoreading, than that would be amazing. I tried it and never got it really to work.
Derren brown could have used trickery, (but he also did this with this average joe, he taught it to him and made him almost win a pubquiz), so i read a bit of the book of paul, and it’s interesting. but it’s not just flicking through the book. you also have to analyze it quite deeply by checking out chapter titles, other headings, words that appear a lot. so there is more preparation to it than you would hope.

Still kim peek, a real genius (R.I.P), i saw him do something similar when memorizing material. he can read like 2 pages atime in also like 8 seconds? something. I believed that, cause the guy simply knew almost everything he read.

So as a psychologist student, i can’t say it is absolutely impossible. but it’s highly unlikely.
even photographic memories we have never really experienced in real life, yeah really great amazing ridiculous memories for citys or maps or numbers or autobiographical stuff. But not for everything i think? unless someone proves me wrong.

BTW. i gave up photoreading & speedreading as well, i don’t think that will help you read a philosophy book for example. or any study material.

I think it’s telling that the only people who claim fantastic photographic memories are performers of various kinds.

True enough. Coincidentally none of them ever go for memory world records either. Reminds me of Daniel Tammet… where he claims he memorized Pi to 22,000 places in one sitting. Yet if he could do that he would be able to break the world record almost effortlessly. (afaik it’s about 75 000 ish for the record)

It’s such shameful behaviour to lie like that…

To be fair, I don’t think Daniel Tammet ever claimed to memorize 22,500 digits of Pi in one sitting - he recalled 22,500 digits in one sitting at an Oxford University

You’re right, sorry. I watched a video earlier (after I wrote that) where he claims he did it in 2 weeks. Which… is a stretch, but I suppose reasonably possible. But I’m willing to bet it’s got nothing to do with some super perfect photographic memory.

I very much doubt he memorized 22,500 digits in 2 weeks :slight_smile:

Derren is a performer. He is a very good kind of magician. One doesn’t say that magicians lie. They try to let you think they have magical abilities, but they don’t and everybody knows that.

If he made you think he has a photographic memory, he succeeded in fooling you.

I’m aware of that. I wasn’t referring to Derren Brown, but people the likes of Daniel Tammet.

I mean if I was fooled into believing he did have a photographic memory, would I even bother to have started this thread? If it was just ‘photographic memory’ then I couldn’t really argue that it is possible to do it in 20 minutes (assuming one could flip the pages quickly enough). I was asking if it’s possible with traditional mnemonic techniques + this ‘photo reading’, because I really doubt it.

Daniel Tammet though, unlike Derren Brown, doesn’t pretend to be doing any sort of trick. He tells people he’s an autistic savant while he probably just uses mnemonics and mental math. It annoys me because it encourages this stupid mentality that seemingly everyone has about people being born exceptionally smart/good memory/good math ability.

If you want to discuss Daniel Tammet particularly there is already a whole thread devoted to him.

You just hijacked your own thread.
This thread is now more about Daniel Tammet than Derren Brown.

Oh well. I was only responding to your comment. The two were related. I don’t see the problem.

Here is Dr Yip Swee Chooi who actually memorized a 1774 page dictionary:

Using the techniques that we know (instead of photographic reading), this is indeed possible.

I believe I remember Derren Brown saying that he thought photoreading was bunk, but I can’t find where it is right now. I believe it was in his “Tricks of the Mind” book. I’ll have to dig up my copy and look for that part.