Persevere


#1
  • I have returned; now, it’s time to persevere;

  • I believe that my old MP is a little “saturated”, so images are getting monotonous. I will use it for warm-up only for a while, and I will strive to create new memory palaces so that I can cycle through them and keep them “fresher”;

  • First pass in Memory League training: 22" / 13c (little less than 1’30" per deck) * (13 + 13 + 13 + 13 + 13 + 26) [13c divisions in old MP + first part of nem MP]

  • Result: 7 errors across all runs (poor concentration)

  • Second pass in Memory League training: 2 * 32c in new MP for trying to reach Level 8

  • Result: Level 8 reached in first 32c run!


#2
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 3 errors: saw Q♠, was Q♣; saw Q♦, was Q♥; saw Q♥, was Q♣; I guess this says something about the queens…

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP]

  • Result: 1 error: failed to visualize 10♦ (could have guessed simply because it is a very indistinct card)

  • Slow: 9♥

  • Hard to remember: J♣, K♥ versus 3♦ versus 4♦ (they all usually get turned into “giant images”)


#3
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 1 error

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (2 * 26c) + (13c in 13") [new MP]

  • Result: I was too slow in the first two runs, meaning I tried to rote memorize the last few cards and got most of them wrong at the first time plus another common error in the second. All other cards were firmly ingrained in my memory. Total = 4 errors. Tried to push myself too much in the last 13c run just as a preparation for trying to reach Level 9. Result was very poor with most cards wrong either at the number or at the suit, but at least I managed to flip through all the cards.

  • Third pass in Memory League training: 1 * 38c in new MP for trying to reach Level 9

  • Result: I got only to card #30, clearly following my usual training time interval of 2s per card. I perfectly recalled all 30. Must keed training with the current rate of around 1.7"/card, but until I don’t get reasonably proficient at 1.6"/card, I shouldn’t even try Level 9 lest I get too frustrated. Must take it easy.


#4
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 0 errors, but I had a couple of blanks during the mental review in the three first runs; the last run was flawless in 16"

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP]

  • Result:

  1. failed attempt for total lack of concentration
  2. 0 errors, 26c / (44", 1'08", 1'19")
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (36", 54", 1'28")
  4. 0 errors, 26c / (43", 56", 1'42")
  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c run in new MP
  • Result: 3 errors (1 confusion, 1 locus skip, 1 blank), 52c / (1’39", 3’29", 4’). It’s hard to make two passes in the same MP in the same training session; must build more MPs.

#5
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 2 errors in one run, 1 review blank in another, but two flawless sub-20" runs.

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP]

  • Result:

  1. 1 error (remembered K♦, but was K♣), 26c / (44", 45", 1'21")
  2. 0 errors, 26c / (44", 56", 56")
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (39", 1'10", 1'39")
  4. 1 error (a long time trying to remember one single card and getting it wrong; it was the fraction of a second near the end when I worried about the remaining time and didn't visualize the image well enough), 26c / (40", 51", 3'08")
  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c run in old MP
  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’38", 1’54", 4’). New PB!! I had recalled all but two cards with around a minute and a half left, but then stood a long time trying to guess the correct order; these two images were quite blurred.

  • Fourth pass in Memory League training: 52c run in new MP

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’40", 2’15", 4’). Well under 2’ again, nice! I skipped one card when recalling and that got me confused in the end and had to move left almost 20 cards, otherwise recall would have been much faster.

  • Fifth pass in Memory League training: 52c run in new MP

  • Result: 14 errors, 52c / (1’27", 2’17", 4’). I pushed the speed to sub-1’30" but no deal.

Nice way to start the year!


#6
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 0 errors; used the full 22" most of the time; K♠ hard to remember (not the first time it happens);

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP]

  • Result:

  1. 2 errors, 26c / (44", 38", 1'20")
  2. 3 errors, 26c / (44", 38", 54")
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (39", 35", 49")
  4. 1 error, 26c / (44", 1'17", 2'20")

#7
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 0 errors; used the full 22" most of the time again; time to force me to go faster for this amount of cards

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP]

  • Result:

  1. 0 errors, 26c / (44", 52", 1'14"): two blanks while reviewing, but no final errors
  2. 4 errors, 26c / (44", - , -): 4 errors, last 3 rote, too slow; went straight to recall; terrible run
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (40", 28", 1'49"): after 50" of recall I knew them all but was unsure about one, so took my time
  4. 1 error, 26c / (44", 56", 1'51"): saw it but thought it was from another run; too slow, kept last 3 in natural memory and mnemocoded in the beginning of review
  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52 in old MP

  • Result: 5 errors, 52c / (1’26", 2’38", 4’)

  • Fourth pass in Memory League training: 52 in new MP

  • Result: 8 errors, 52c / (1’41", 2’22", 4’)

  • Fifth pass in Memory League training: 52 in new MP

  • Result: 8 errors, 52c / (1’24", 2’49", 4’)

Bad day, but pushing the speed to the sub-1’30" realm…


#8
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP]

  • Result: 2 errors;

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP]

  • Result:

  1. 2 errors, 26c / (44", 35", 50"): didn't differentiate between Q♥ and Q♦ enough while memorizing (must revise these queens) and was too slow while memorizing (but very concentrated, which is good) as to not even have time to see the last card; but all other cards were well imprinted on my mind
  2. 0 errors, 26c / (44", 46", 2'18"): long doubt about two cards that, while memorizing, I knew I'd have trouble
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (40", 31", 1'22"): I skipped a locus while recalling, so had to rearrange a lot of cards, but I had all very well imprinted in my mind
  4. 0 errors, 26c / (42", 46", 58"):

Very tired, training at night after a long day, but figured bad training is better than no training. It was not that bad.


#9
  • First pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 13c) [old MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 2 errors, 13c / 19.8":
  2. 1 error, 13c / 20":
  3. 2 errors, 13c / 22.8":
  4. 2 errors, 13c / 21":
  • Comments: It was hard getting used to the metronome because it’s one more thing to think about (should I switch cards with the sound or after it?), but I think it will be good to practice with it; it makes you trust in yourself. But remembering was hard, especially the first two cards;

  • Second pass in Memory League training: (22" / 13c) * (4 * 26c) [new MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]

  • Result:

  1. 4 errors, 26c / (45"):
  2. 0 errors, 26c / (49"):
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (42.5", 57", 1'02"):
  4. 0 errors, 26c / (39.8", 51", 2'05"):
  • Comments: getting used to the metronome… I found that the best technique seems to be switching cards WITH the sound. Another day that I can’t practice during the morning; I don’t function well at night.

  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c in old MP

  • Result: New PB! First time sub-1’30"! (1’ 29", 2’45", around 1’ left) I wasn’t feeling very well, as stated above, but I already think that simply forcing myself to go fast with the metronome and then relaxing without it made me concentrate well this time. I was very certain of most cards after review, with only a little confusion among three placements which, thankfully, I solved in time.


#10
  • First pass in Memory League training: 4 * 13c [old MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 2 errors, 13c / 20.3": one loci swap
  2. 2 errors, 13c / 20.2":
  3. 0 errors, 13c / 19.3":
  4. 0 errors, 13c / 20": I had only the faintest impression of one of the cards, which took quite a while to trust; it was K♠ again
  • Second pass in Memory League training: 4 * 26c [new MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 1 error, 26c / (39", 1", 2'10"):
  2. 1 error (last card), 26c / (46", 1'07", 57"): delayed myself right in the beginning with this sequence - A♦, 9♠, 9♣
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (39", 1'05", 1'54"): difficult to remember Q♠
  4. 0 errors, 26c / (41", 1'17", 2'15"): difficult to remember 10♦/li>
  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c in old MP

  • Result: 8 errors, 52c / (1’28", 3’46", 4’); the memory palace had ghosts; bad memorization

  • Fourth pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: 7 errors, 52c / (1’31", 2’14", 4’); the memory palace had ghosts; bad memorization also

  • Comments: I was able to do so yesterday, but, usually, I can’t make good 52c runs after practicing with all the MPs first because of ghosts. I should build more MPs for longer practices during the weekend.


#11
  • First pass in Memory League training: 4 * 13c [old MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 0 errors, 13c / 21":
  2. 0 errors, 13c / 19.6":
  3. 1 error, 13c / 20":
  4. 0 errors, 13c / 25.6": I got confused with the metronome
  • Second pass in Memory League training: 4 * 26c [new MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 0 errors, 26c / (42", 51", 53"):
  2. 3 errors, 26c / (37.7", 57", 3'):
  3. 5 errors, 26c / (38", 55", 2'):
  4. 0 errors, 26c / (39.7", 54", 58"): difficult to remember 10♦/li>
  • Not feeling well; bad moment of the day; that’s all for today.

#12
  • First pass in Memory League training: 4 * 13c [old MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 1 error, 13c / 19.3":
  2. 0 errors, 13c / 19.3":
  3. 2 errors, 13c / 19.2": a small loss of concentration (thinking of the metronome) during memorization and 2 images simply went unnoticed
  4. 0 errors, 13c / 19.3": when I had to memorize K♠, I simply thought "That one I always have trouble remembering"; that plus a general impression of the card did the trick/li>
  • Second pass in Memory League training: 4 * 26c [new MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. failed attempt: didn't keep up with the metronome, spent most of the time looking at a card while trying to remember the previous one; ended up forgetting everything
  2. 1 error, 26c / (39", 47", 55"):
  3. 3 errors, 26c / (39", 1', 1'50"): same impression left by 2♠ and J♣
  4. 4 errors, 26c / (39.7", 1'16", 4'):
  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: 6 errors, 52c / (1’31", 3’09", 4’)

  • Fourth pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: 2 errors, 52c / (1’23", 2’46", 4’): only a weird swap of two cards; weird because it made no sense whatsoever with respect to what I remembered; surprisingly good run after a bad day, though.


#13
  • No formal practice today, just a casual demonstration of speed-cards in front of a small audience of friends. That was the first time I tried to speed memorize a deck of cards in front of people, so I wanted to play reasonably safe, without boring them to death;

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (2’55", 2’47", 6’03") [physical deck of cards and new MP]

  • I was actually satisfied with my memorization time and with my level of concentration. The problem was that I didn’t have the courage to try to recall the cards without first mentally reviewing them, and that took almost the same amount time. Moreover, I had two blanks while reviewing, which persisted throughout the recalling. I left these two cards for the end and eventually was able to recall them after going through the entire deck in “brute force mode”. Next time, I intend to play equally safe, but to skip the reviewing phase and go directly to recalling.


#14
  • First pass in Memory League training: 4 * 13c [old MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 0 errors, 13c / 21.3":
  2. 0 errors, 13c / 21.5":
  3. 0 errors, 13c / 20": 5♦ slow, but I forgot to warm-up today;
  4. 0 errors, 13c / 18.5": struggled to recall the first image, 9♥, not because of the image itself, but because I am not good with the first cards, nor with the last ones.
  • Second pass in Memory League training: 4 * 26c [new MP using metronome set to 40 bpm]
  • Result:
  1. 2 errors, 26c / (38", 1'05", 2'02"):
  2. 2 errors, 26c / (43.5", 1'18", 3'):
  3. stopped training in the middle: I can't concentrate; too much in my head

#15

Today, I’ve decided to gather some statistics while warming up.

  • 5 card visualization runs using a physical deck gave me an average of 43" just for “seeing” the cards with my mind’s eye;
  • 5 loci visualization runs using my old MP gave me an average of 29";
  • 5 loci visualization runs using the first half of my new MP gave me an average of 31";
  • 5 loci visualization runs using the second half of new MP gave me an average of 31".

This means that I take, on average, 1’14" for visualizing the loci and the cards, meaning, in turn, that I take only 15" to conjure any mnemonic linking across the loci (assuming my PB of 1’29"). In a per card analysis, this means 0.83" for card visualization, 0.58" for locus visualization, and 0.29" for linking (this would give me a 52c time of 88.4", which is close).

This is not my impression at all. Visualizing the cards does take a long time, but I feel that all the remaining time is spent creating the links, not moving across loci. Maybe this is a limitation of this kind of statistical analysis, which is applied to a phenomenon difficult to isolate. What I probably do is that (i) while I am switching loci I am already visualizing the next card, and (ii) while I am visualizing the locus I am already conjuring the link. So, in effect, there is a lot of overlap between the three phases of mnemonic encoding.

Anyway, even if I consider only half of the time obtained for visualizing both card and locus, that would give me a total of around 0.7", which would mean almost 37" for an entire deck, leaving 52" for linking. This actually seems more accurate with respect to my feelings. And if that’s true, assuming my next great milestone of 52c in 1’, it seems I would do best to practice exhaustively card and loci recognition, which is easier to do than to practice linking creation. I just need to figure out how to best do that.

  • First pass in Memory League training: 52c in old MP

  • Result: 4 errors, 52c / (1’32", 3’08", 3’50")

  • Second pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’37", 1’32", 1’43"): Very good recall

  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’29.74", 1’41", 1’24"): Very good recall again. This time was worse than my PB in the sub-second realm only, and my review and recall times were much better. I am consolidating sub-1’40" runs, which is great. Good day.


#16
  • This is an atypical second practice of the same day. I just got mad because of a certain situation and decided to try memorizing. Maybe my emotional state may assist in image formation, but most probably, I think it will make me less concerned with my own performance and make me go faster, even if it tanks performance;

  • First pass in Memory League training: 52c in old MP

  • Result: 12 errors and I got so mad that didn’t even take note of the times; memorization was about 1’30"; the old MP is usually full of ghosts when I use it too often;

  • Second pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: 2 errors, 52c / (1’26.8", 3’20", 3’45"): Swapped 3♥ and 6♥, because 6♥ was too slow and I had to race after it and there came 3♥ two loci afterward; pretty good time but not very good review/recall; almost a new PB;

  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c in new MP

  • Result: New PB! By a lot! First time sub-1’20" and a difference of 12" to my last PB. (1’16.9", 1’52", 1’33"); Great result. Just one sample for any real correlation analysis but it seems that my emotional state helped.


#17

I did some warm-up visualization runs this morning with the intent of actually practicing memorization, but had no time until now, when I am extremely tired. I then exported the times from www.chronme.com and that’s it for today, unfortunately.

  • Result: 10 card visualization runs using a physical deck:
    Lap,Task,Start,Time,Date
    10,9:07:18,00:00:39.821,2018-01-12,
    9,9:06:21,00:00:38.724,2018-01-12,
    8,9:05:08,00:00:39.579,2018-01-12,
    7,9:03:30,00:00:40.445,2018-01-12,
    6,9:02:24,00:00:39.468,2018-01-12,
    5,9:00:37,00:00:40.986,2018-01-12,
    4,8:59:17,00:00:42.268,2018-01-12,
    3,8:58:04,00:00:42.782,2018-01-12,
    2,8:56:52,00:00:43.365,2018-01-12,
    1,8:55:29,00:00:47.979,2018-01-12

  • Result: loci visualization runs using my old MP:
    Lap,Task,Start,Time,Date
    10,9:16:05,00:00:24.064,2018-01-12,
    9,9:15:36,00:00:25.842,2018-01-12,
    8,9:15:07,00:00:24.852,2018-01-12,
    7,9:14:33,00:00:24.121,2018-01-12,
    6,9:13:48,00:00:28.871,2018-01-12,
    5,9:13:10,00:00:26.773,2018-01-12,
    4,9:12:37,00:00:28.768,2018-01-12,
    3,9:12:03,00:00:26.685,2018-01-12,
    2,9:11:22,00:00:31.720,2018-01-12,
    1,9:10:49,00:00:29.845,2018-01-12

I will calculate averages tomorrow.


#18

Sadly, I’ve missed two days of practice because of my “Au revoir” party. I should say that, while I have always been able to count cards in Blackjack while drinking heavily, it is utterly impossible to do so with respect to speed cards. I tried both at a slow pace of around 52c in 3-4 minutes and a very slow pace, asking a friend to give me one card every now and then. For my shame, both proved impossible, what unavoidably got me thinking about the long-term alcohol-induced deterioration of my memory and what I should do about it.

Now, back to the grinding…

  • Warm-up:
  • Result:
  1. 5 card visualization runs using a physical deck gave me an average of 40";
  2. 5 loci visualization runs using my old MP gave me an average of 28";
  3. 5 loci visualization runs using the first half of my new MP gave me an average of 29";
  4. 5 loci visualization runs using the second half of new MP gave me an average of 27".
  • First pass in Memory League training: 4 * 13c [old MP]
  • Result:
  1. 0 errors, 13c / (18.76", 41", 44"): must improve loci #9 and #10 once and for all, but how?
  2. 0 errors, 13c / (19.3", 33", 24"):
  3. 1 error, 13c / (19.3", 42", 2'42"): terrible memorization with an almost useless review; no doubt I am still feeling the effects of the weekend;
  4. 0 errors, 13c / (18.61", 18", 1'02"): I thought this one would be good; review with one blank that took a long time to recall
  • Comments: I decided not to use the metronome because as yet it is one more thing to think about and I am not 100% today, but it turned out that I am going faster without the metronome set to 40bpm. I’ll keep getting used to it though so that I can use it to go ever faster. It just occurred to me that I should focus on using the metronome in the warm-up sessions and let myself go free in the actual memorization runs; hopefully, the metronome practice will “teach” me to go faster.

  • Second pass in Memory League training: 4 * 26c [new MP]

  • Result:

  1. 0 errors, 26c / (43", 50", 1'30"):
  2. 0 errors, 26c / (39.63", 33", 37"): finally a decent one;
  3. 0 errors, 26c / (40.67", 35", 47"): only one blank during review but easily recovered on recall
  4. 1 error, 26c / (38.3", 25", 1'45"): that should have been the best run; great memorization I thought, but then skipped one loci while recalling, and that took me a while to rearrange the cards but I knew perfectly well the card I had skipped; the real problem was that when checking the answer I learned that I had seen 5♦ when it was in fact 5♥.
  • Comments: It was a decent training session in spite of my physical condition; the good quality of memorization in turn suggests me that ghosts in my MPs have been an issue for good memorization; only these 2 days without using my MPs made a positive difference. I won’t force it today, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be in good conditions to attempt a new PM and profit from “cleaner” MPs. I must create more MPs.

#19
  • Warm-up: many card visualization runs using Memory League software and the metronome set to 80bpm, which is approximately my last average of 52c in 40". Much better using the software; I can go back and forth in the same deck or switch to a random one without losing much momentum; I also did a number of MP visualizations with the metronome set to 112bpm.

  • First pass in Memory League training: attempting to reach Level 9, 38c in 60" [old MP] - 6 errors

  • Second pass in Memory League training: attempting to reach Level 9, 38c in 60" [new MP] - 3 errors (swapped cards only)

  • Third pass in Memory League training: attempting to reach Level 9, 38c in 60" [new MP] - 5 errors

  • Comment: It seems too fast but my PB has a higher rate per card for the entire deck than this attempt (1.46"/c versus 1.58"/c). Not good.


#20

I had the (obvious) epiphany tonight that I can create memory palaces on the fly anywhere I am, as long I can quickly memorize the order of the loci. This is really obvious if you believe you are capable of using any object, small as it might be, as loci. But the truth is that most of the time I try to find real places with objects if possible so that never occurred to me. So, this time, I just looked around me (I was in my home-office) and decided on 52 loci. This is the result:

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (3’ 39", 2’24", 3’51"): I was pretty impressed by the clarity of the images. While reviewing I skipped two loci (my main desk and the smaller table to my left; I went directly to the objects on top of the tables and ignored the tables themselves), but, as soon as I realized that, the images were right there.

  • I liked the idea so much that I went to my little bar at home and decided to do the same thing. This time, I timed how long it took me to devise the memory palace. This is the result:

  • Result: 6 errors, 52c / (4’50", 3’26", 3’14", 6’22"): I took almost 5’ to create the MP on the fly, and, to constrain myself to the bar, I used very abstract loci such as continents in a world-map poster I have. These gave me trouble while reviewing and recalling, so two errors where real full-on memorization flaws, but the other two were weird confusion of the cards while memorizing (saw A♥, but was A♠ and saw 2♠, but was 2♣; these are not normal errors anymore, so the different kind of effort of thinking about the loci may have caused them somehow.

Now, I’ll do the normal runs, but trying to take it easy; I want to have good recall even if the time is not the best - I want to see more or less in what time I know I can memorize a deck.

  • First pass in Memory League training: 52c [old MP]

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’47", 2’05", 2’59")

  • Second pass in Memory League training: 52c [new MP]

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’43", 1’14", 1’22"): flawless review and recall, with very clear images

  • Third pass in Memory League training: 52c [new MP]

  • Result: 0 errors, 52c / (1’44", 1’11", 1’23"): one only blank during review but easily recovered during recall.

  • Comment: I managed to do exactly what I wanted: to aim for a perfect recall while sacrificing speed. My PB is considerably faster but now I know what seems to be the level where I can be consistent - around 1’45", which is great!