I’m a 21 year-old guy, recently got very interested in memorization and its implications, first wanted to re-learn a few dozens pi digits and couldn’t stop going since then.
I really enjoy going through my mind palaces, being the spectator of an improbable story I created. I am kind of in a meditative state when I recite them. I feel like finding ways to link the images in a certain way makes my creativity work. Moreover, I feel like it’s a great challenge, and I wanna see how far and how accurate I can go.
I’m gonna tell what I’ve been through in regards to memory stuff. (I’m primarly interested in remembering numbers.)
Several months ago, I wanted to learn digits of pi, but my method was not that great. I had planned to group digits by 3, create a 3-digits number system and create a big story based on that. But as I see it, there were two major flaws.
Firstly, my number system was severly incomplete, and my idea was to add a number to it when I encountered it in the digits of pi, so when I needed it. Secondly, my story had no ground, it was not placed in any physical place, so it was hard to keep track of the story, and to remember it.
Those points made it quite difficult to progress, and I think at one point I knew about 200-300 digits, but I lost motivation and stopped it there.
A few weeks ago, I wanted to try again, and placed the first hundred decimals of pi in my house, 10 digits per location, 10 locations. I only had my incomplete number system, so I used it as much as I could, but I also had to fill the gaps with 1, 2 or 4 digits chunks which made sense to me (1885 is Victor Hugo because he died in 1885, 4 is a cat because it’s spelled similarly in french, etc.) I spent quite a lot of time creating the 10-digits stories, obviously, as I had to find references and make sense of them. But it allowed me to have a very large set of possibilities for the stories, so once it was done, it was very easy to learn and remember. As it worked well with the first 100 digits, I kept going, continuing the story outside in the streets of my town, placing a 10-digit-story on every significant place. Up to 1100 digits.
In the meantime, I learned more about memory methods, the method of loci, number systems, PAO, spaced repetition, the major system, etc. And I thought that it was time to go to a next level. So I decided to finally complete my 3-digits number system (which was ~65% incomplete at the time), and go with 3 images (9 numbers) per location. Loosing one digit, but making the upcoming stories way easier to create. I decided to go with that particular method because I felt like it fits me very well. I don’t really like the idea of “action” of the PAO system, nor the sound-based idea of the major system (translating numbers into sounds, sounds into words, and words into images feels way too much to me, let alone finding 1000 different enough images with proper sounds). Also, I felt like a 2-digits number system (even several of them) would be too repetitive and inefficient in the middle-long run.
Right now, I know about 2300 digits of pi, adding 225 per week, and it’s going very well. I recite them from time to time, and try to get full benefit of spaced repetition. I still don’t know my number system by heart, but I’d say that I know about half of it. (Currently drawing flashcards, it’s painful to create but I feel like it’s the only way to learn it rigorously. Some 3-digits numbers don’t appear in pi before the decimal 16 000 or so. Because yeah, my only way of learning my number system right now is to encounter the number in the digits…)
My second memory palace (a real place, from digit 1099) will get me to 3555 digits, once it’s used up I will go to my third memory palace : The Stadium, a completely imaginary place. I’m currently conceiving it, I’ve thought of 20 different “zones” (tribune stands, reception, football field, roof, etc), with 20 locations in each, so 3600 digits in total. I detailed 3 out of the 20 “zones” in this palace (attributed the 20 exact locations, drew them) and I’m feeling comfortable with it. But if someone has advices about how to create an efficient imaginary memory palace, I’d be glad to hear it, as I couldn’t find much information or advices about it on the internet.
So yeah, that’s where I am today. My goal is to remember 10 000 digits, will be done in about 8 months if I keep the pace of 225 per week. There are strings of 9 digits in the late 9000 that really mean something to me, and I really wanna go that far I’m also interested in creating a 4-digits number system once I know my 3- very well. Not that I really wanna learn it or use it, but just for the sake of creating it If I do it one day though, it will be way more organized than my current 3-digits system (in which I went for what the object, as well as the number, feel like : 8 is big, 3 is round, 2 is symmetric, the London’s Eye is big, round and symmetric so te London’s Eye is 832). I would create 100 little number systems of 100 images each, organizing the things as much as I could to make the memorization easier.
Oh, well, I don’t know… I’m not there yet. But as well as with the imaginary palace thing, if someone has advices about a 4-digits number system, I’d gladly take it
So that’s it, kind of an impressive wall of text for a presentation, but I figured it’d be interesting for someone here to know in detail what I’ve been through. Anyways, I wish you a great day