Hi Urfin, Yes, you have understood what I am doing. I am not sure if it is the method of loci strictly speaking. I encode very little at a time. I find five or so events the most I can do reliably in a single session. I am after long term reliability, not short term speed. It depends on the purpose of the memorisation as to the techniques I use. Let me compare two journeys I am doing to make it clearer.
The 242 countries of the world. I have done these in population order, because that gives me more information built in than doing them in alphabetical order. Each location is one country. Straight Method of Loci. I then add more and more data to each location, but there are distinct loci.
The History Journey. This is continuous. The whole journey matches time, which is also continuous. I started by dividing up the block I walk into 100 year divisions and learnt those loci. Mostly, that is 500 years per block. I start on the corner nearest to my home. So the corners are 0, 500, 1000, 1500 and back to the start which I have as 1800 AD, because I need more room for more recent events. The journey continues on back to my home (1900) and then every year around the house and garden. I then subdivided the edges of the the block, finding something each hundred years, such as the start of a house or side road, bus stop or tree. I memorised those locations. After 1400, I subdivided again, giving me 25 year jumps between loci from then on.
Then I started adding events or people, just a few at a time. The Pueblo Revolt is in 1680. It happened there is a Private Keep Out sign on the fence. Perfect - the Pueblo were keeping out the Spanish. The sign is between 1675 and 1700, nearer the former, so I am going to guess the date at about 1680-1690. Just a bit earlier is the start of the Qing Dynasty in China at 1644. I have placed a picnic on the ground there. It is also the Manchu dynasty. So I have a man chewing on his picnic and calling (with a Qing sound) for more food from the house across the road. I won’t get the exact date, but I know that the Qing Dynasty is going on right around the corner and into my garden to 1912 when the Chinese Republic finishes it. Meanwhile, the Pueblo Revolt is happening in New Mexico, William and Mary (mesh fence) are turning up in England (1689)…
This would not work if I was using five locations in a room. There would be too few places too close together. I am using 100 metres for 500 years, 5 years per metre is plenty. There is so much stuff at each point in terms of what I can see on both sides of the road, and on the road surface at every year, that I can go on adding forever. At one stage I have the Ottoman Empire on one side of the road and the West on the other. I just keep playing with it depending on what I need to encode.
However, I mentioned in the later post that I have chosen 130 ‘ancestors’. That was partly because there is a lot of talk on this forum for using characters for playing cards. I use a normal deck and a tarot deck giving me 130 cards. I assigned 130 major characters from history to the cards. I have placed them all in the history journey, but I am also using the cards to add lots of detail about them which would just crowd the history journey. I link nested journeys as has been described elsewhere in this forum. I sometimes use handheld objects such as the cards and sometimes other little landscape journeys.
I just keep adding. Joan of Arc dies in 1431. There happened to be a wood pile there, which amused me greatly. But then they removed the wood pile and put a water tank covering the spot. Later, I had to add an ancestor, Mehmed the Conquerer, being born in 1432 (6 diamonds). Wonderful, I now see the tank falling from the heavens and smashing poor dear Joan to pieces as the water puts out her fire. Mehmed had conquered her. The 6 dropping onto the diamond point looks like a tank dropping onto her post on the pyre - well it does to me now.
Isaac Newton needed to get born in at 1642. There’s a tree at the Manchu picnic spot. It is a eucalyptus, but in my mind it has become and apple tree. The apple drops on the man chewing’s head, but Newton ignores the poor guy’s injuries and starts waffling on about gravity.
I my mind, I might walk the block just drawing out the kings and queens, or the Chinese dynasties or my ‘ancestors’. Or I might stop at one location, say 1200, and see King John in England and Great Zimbabwe flourishing in Africa. I like to ponder on one spot and enjoy it, looking forward and back in time. I am forever playing with the journey mentally. I only physically walk it when I am encoding new information. Otherwise it is all just imagined. I never do the whole journey with all events or person at one time, because it would take hours upon hours and be boring. I do have a spreadsheet which I keep up to date with everything I’ve added which I sometimes scan to check I haven’t lost anything.
I can add information forever, because there is plenty of stuff which can be seen from any point on the journey to connect to an event or person. Then I just walk through time, not from event to event, from loci to loci, but smoothly through the years.
I have also done prehistory on the block in the opposite direction so they join. I didn’t do every 25 years, starting from 4.5 million years ago! Setting the time divisions initially was much more complicated, but now they are done, it works a treat.
I can place anything in the life of this earth in my journeys, which is in time. I shall be adding to them forever. I can never again move house - I couldn’t bear to lose my walks.
Does that make sense?