Hi friends! I’m Roberto. I thought I’d write and say hello as others have done, and share my appreciation for the art of memory. I first came by the idea years ago when reading about Giordano Bruno (Yates’ books) but it wasn’t until I heard Lynne Kelly (hi Lynne!) on Sean Carroll’s podcast that I thought to try working with memory techniques myself. Like many others, I feel like I read a lot but can’t seem to retain much of what I read, so I was excited about Lynne’s testimony and her Memory Craft book was full of great ideas to get me going. I was primarily interested in the memory palace/journey technique for getting a handle on History.
I’m so delighted by how this is working! I’ve been at it since March and I now have a memory walk of about 4-5 kilometres (combining regular dog walks around the n’hood and the walk to my daughter’s school) that starts with the “Big Bang” of my screen porch door slamming and well, at this point I’ve gotten up to 359 BCE with Philip II becoming King of Macedonia. And it’s all way more detailed than I ever imagined it could be, and it’s so wonderful to finally feel like I have a good sense of chronology and that I have a real thread to hang new information on, too. So if someone mentions the Devonian extinction I know that’s about 2.5 blocks from my house, and if I read about some new discovery in Egypt dating back to 1350 BCE, I know that’s right near Akhenaten’s reign, etc. And actually there have been times when I’ve done some of this walk and I’ve been really moved by this sweeping sense of history – how our species has struggled and done great things and terrible things and overcome incredible challenges, and on we go… The act of walking and working to fix historical data on to houses and buildings makes it all so much more alive than memorizing dates from a textbook! It’s so much more than just “memorizing data” because you start to see patterns and make connections, and realize where you don’t understand enough about what you’re trying to learn…
So, in short, I’m thrilled by how well this all works and can highly, highly recommend it to anyone thinking of doing something similar. My 9-yr old daughter has memorized data about the planets and dwarf planets, too, with her own walk – I wish I’d learned this stuff when I was a kid!
I’ve developed a Dominic system as well, but tbh I don’t really find much use for it.
So anyway, thanks to all of you for this great forum and a special thanks to Lynne K for her enthusiasm and her great book.