Dominic System - Terminating a number sequence

Hello all,

This will be my first post here although definitely not my last - I’m really determined to start exercising the grey cells on a daily basis. It’s good to have a bit of support… and it seems like this is a great time to practice as the world has gone into temporary stasis.

Using the Dominic system, I’ve memorised a person/action for 00-99. I also have an object for each single digit from 0 to 9. I’m having a little trouble though when trying to memorise a long number with an uneven number of pairs. Say: 2058393742. I’d break this into 20-58 (person-action), 39-37 and then I’m left with a single pair of digits, 42. In my imagination I suppose I could have the final “person” holding some kind of prop which I could interpret as meaning “end of sequence” and I could always use the same prop. Just wondered if anyone using this system has an elegant way of achieving this? If it were a single digit then I could simply use the object I mention earlier.

Whenever I try to put this system into use I seem to find myself with endless questions about how to do things and why. It seems like a lot of thought needs to go into how to do things so that backtracking and wasted effort isn’t constant thorn in my side. Not sure if this is just me!

Thanks in advance for any assistance/tips.

  • stungun

That‘s exactly the same approach I‘ve been using for quite a while now. The image that tells me that it ends with the last person is a flag like they use in formula 1 races (black and white chequered) to indicate the finish.

There‘s never one „right“ way to memorize something; some techniques work better for some people than for others. It‘s best to try out different approaches for yourself. This way you‘ll find out what works best for you.

Thanks! Appreciate that. The checkered flag is a nice way of doing it.

Another question I have pertaining to the Dominic System concerns the actions of the characters involved. Do you use multiple actions for each character or just a single action? For instance, I might have 07 as James Bond. His signature action is mixing a Martini but I realise while creating character/action combinations in certain locations that this action either doesn’t work, clashes with another action which is too similar and too near or becomes confusing if multiple instances of the same number occur in a row. Could/should I give him several actions (hiding behind a cello for instance - makes sense if you’ve seen the one with Timothy Dalton - or perhaps using a laser from his watch or something else very Bond specific) and choose the most appropriate one for the environment I’m placing him in? The issue I see with this is that it breaks continuity and that might affect linkage in my mind. Also the more different actions you have for each character the more likely it is that there would be some unwanted crossover into the actions of the other characters I suppose.

I’d be really interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on this.

You’re right about multiple actions breaking continuity. Once you know your system well, you’ll instantly see the action without any effort. So it’s probably better to have one distinct action for each person, not multiple actions. I’ve run into some problems with actions being too similar sometimes, so I just changed some of the actions to something completely different. In the end it really comes down to trial and error. I’ve had some actions that I thought I’d probably confuse, but didn’t. On the otherhand I confused actions that weren’t even that similar. So you can’t really know what works without trying.

A bad example which I had in my system in the very beginning:
03: action = drinking orange juice
43: action = drinking martini

When I noticed that these were just too similar, I changed 03 to spilling the orange juice. Since then I’ve never confused the actions again. Sometimes it doesn’t take very big changes.

That being said, I’ve used my PA for like 3 years now, and I’ve still got some people/actions in there which I’m not 100% happy with. I guess a PA system is always a bit of a work in progress until you find people and actions you’re comfortable with.

Thank-you, Silvio for the insights. It’s interesting that simply drinking is too similar even if it’s different beverages. I suspect I will also need to do some further work to revise my characters. You’re right about it always being a work in progress, gradually being refined. I’m in the process of memorising all my contacts from my phone so I’m sure weaknesses will be revealed. Not quite brave enough to delete all the contact names yet.

A few groups of my characters are from the same fictional universe (The Simpsons, for example) which I don’t think is necessarily a problem but I do wonder whether this is a bad idea. The way they react to things is very different though. Something about the simplicity of cartoon characters makes them easier to visualise for me so perhaps that’s why I have so many.

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I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. I used a lot of people from tv series and such. I tried to only use one person per tv show, though, because I might extend my system sometime in the future: let’s say my number 86 is Homer Simpson. If I had 9 other people from the same fictional universe, I could use Homer as 086, Bart as 286, Marge as 386, Lisa as 586 etc. If I do that for all 100 people, I get 1000 people and therefore I could potentially have a 3-2 Person/Action system, instead of just 2-2. But that’s a project for the future, since I don’t see any necessitiy right now to do this. Just thought I’d let you know why I only chose one person per “universe” in my Dominic System. There’s really no other reason than that :slight_smile:

Hah! Now we’re into that “pre-planning” issue I talked about. I suppose in the long run it makes sense to do 1-1000 but unless you’re memorising huge swathes of material it seems like the work of getting those 1000 into your head and maintaining them is almost more work than it’s worth.

Also Bart works for 286 but my 3 is a C so Marge isn’t very logical and I can’t think of a C Simpsons charater. I guess Krusty is a hard C. Failing that I guess you could arrange them in some kind of memorable order. What you say makes sense though. Perhaps another way of doing it would be to have someone from the same category of character, e.g. rebellious children for the X86 category. It’s not quite so good though. The more time goes into a system the less likely I’d be to change anything so I find myself torn between wanting to use the system so I can practice but also not wanting to commit to anything because I don’t want to go wrong. I think perhaps it’s fine because memorising the same data with two methods will only add to your memory of it rather than being confusing.

I couldn’t think of a character with C either, so I used M as in the major system which is 3 there. Of course these were just examples that I came up on the spot without much thinking it through. There probably are many ways to approach this.

It’s the same for me :smiley: I had to overcome my perfectionism a bit at first and just go for it. Now I’m stuck with Kiefer Sutherland for 24 and Alfred Nobel for 19 even though these two are the worst (as in least memorable) people in my system. I could change these, but I’ve got them for 3 years now so I know that they’re not so good, which makes them memorable again in a paradoxical way.

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