Don’t worry, there is ZERO chance of memory techniques becoming popular.
I also felt this way for a long time and really kept it a secret so I would do well in school and then in college but if you think about it we’re not on this planet for a very long time and throughout our lives what type of people do we want to be? Do we want to be the type that hides things for ourselves for our own benefit or the type that helps others to succeed alongside us? My goal is to learn as much as I can and become a better man than I was yesterday not to be better than the person beside me by kicking them down:)
Reminds me of one of JBP’s 12 Rules for Life: “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who someone else is today.”.
His maps of meaning lecture series had a big impact on me so I may (accidentally) just be regurgitating that!
I’ve been near the beginning of that book for a while now. I should keep reading it; it’s really good; but it’s dense reading, so I haven’t been able to lately.
Actually I think we are all quite safe. Unless these techniques are taken up and forcibly taught to people in schools, they will never become widespread. You are in that elite group of people who are willing to work hard with their brains. This is quite unusual, IMO, and not likely to change. You are safe.
“Most men would sooner die than think. Most men do.” /Bertrand Russell
The barrier is not knowledge, its work. Nor is it intelligence, though that’s always an asset, it’s work. The techniques are easy. But they take work. It takes work to come up with effective images, work to review them and work to use them until you become facile. Techniques make you a lot more effective and they give you the confidence that you know you can memorize anything you like, but … it’s work. This is why most people dump all the algebra and even the arithmetic they’ve been taught at the first opportunity. Ask the average person how to add fractions when “the bottoms are different” - no clue, can’t even get started.
I’ve shown many people how easy it is to link and memorize a list of items, or to set up a little journey record using a very familiar walk. They try it and it works! I test them later, they still have it! Nobody - not one ever took this any further. It was like I had shown them a party trick. And even people who seem enthusiastic online sometimes fade away when they confront the effort required.
My friends complain about their declining memories, yet not one of them is motivated to do what people here are doing.
You can tell when people are doing the work. They have problems. They struggle. They come here and ask questions, “How do I setup a memory palace for this?”, “How do I make a sharp image for that etc…”
It’s my guess, that if you have enough English and are seriously interested in memory work, you inevitably end up at this site - and that the active members here are a significant part of the total population involved in this kind of effort. We aren’t that many.
This site has been around for a loong time. I think Josh had recently taken over when I joined. Before that, I found Harry Lorraine’s (sp) book on my own. And even without that, these memory techniques have been known forever. I suspect that, out of necessity, most Romans had better memories than people today but I wonder how many, even among the educated, Patrician class used memory palaces and displayed amazing abilities?
artofmemory.com used to be
mnemotechnics.org, which was launched in 2010. I’ve been here since the beginning.
I recall having to email you for some problem getting my account set up.
You’ve done a great job!
I can’t believe how many comments and replies I got on this! I really love the range of ideas