Below follows my amazing 882 word life story and how I ended here with all of you incredible people!
Trying to follow the introduction questions Josh made, however I do not know who I am, so a tricky question to answer. Nor very certain of what I do, a little bit of everything.
I am from Denmark! That I know (well, technically I could be born anywhere without knowing, I cannot quite remember my early years, so I blindly trust my parents words). Having also temporarily called Australia my home for roughly two years combined, China for a year and Canada (Quebec) for about 6 month.
I came to find all these extraordinary memory techniques by reading the future bible(?) of memory techniques – Memory Craft by @LynneKelly I remember how a decade or so ago I was looking for memory techniques, but that it was too overwhelming with the techniques spread out over hundreds of different books with hundreds of different techniques, none of them combined in a single book. – Also, the internet never did help me out with that.
Then finally! In August 2019 I was in the Sydney airport heading to Bali, browsing the book section of a random airport shop and there it was, Memory Craft, the book I had been searching for for over a decade! (I bought it upon my return to Australia in September!)
I finished reading it at a point in March 2020 and wrote to Lynne about its impact on me (including my discovery of a minor mistake in one of her Major System examples (get it, minor in the major system :P). Initially I did not want to tell where the error was, however the pun is just too good!
Lynne was the one suggesting to me to use MemoryLeague.com for training, which have lead me here – though taken me a while to use the forum. (And currently not using MemoryLeague either).
My memory history:
I began with the basics of creating a memory palace and began memorizing countries, though I have had a gap near the 60th country for a longer period, I recently recommenced the encoding and have come up to the 110th or so. I choose to read about every country though, so each encoding take 1-2 hours for me. Currently taking a break from countries as I focus on other feats as I’ll elaborate on below. I suppose it is more the Memory Journey aspect than the palace.
Simultaneously I build my Visual Alphabet of the 26 letters, well actually 29 since I added the extra 3 letters we have in Denmark. Though I tend to forget the last 3. Plus, I do not use it so much. (I encoded only animals (in English, except for the 3 danish letters, Æ,Ø,Å), as a way of also remembering animals, Xantus’s Hummingbird is X for all who doesn’t know that exists)
The Rappscallions of Lynne; I have two for practicing my French as well, I do not have any others yet.
The newest I have started on is memorizing the periodic table, wait, second newest, numbers is the newest. For the periodic table I am associating indicators rather than encoding them into a memory palace. I want indicators because I will be adding the elements into which countries are good for mining them. Rather than remembering that Iron is good to be mined in 70 specific countries and encoding 70 countries into 1 loci, I want the indicator to be present in the 70 countries.
I am using the first 118 Pokemon as indicators (when I was a kid I remembered all 151 Pokemon in order, so I figured I should be able to remember them again without much trouble).
Numbers… Dominic System. Amazing thing, takes a bloody long time for some of those letters. Only just starting, have some 20 names by now. (Was thinking of the Major System, however I am horrible with phonetics).
My biggest challenge, which is slowly getting better, is being creative with my associations and letting the imagination run wild. Often I stop my imagination from “running wild” due to a systematic thought process bias I think. Living in a system.
I also tend to try and focus much on “sticking to the guidelines given” rather than follow what works for me. It helps when I see examples of people tweaking the guidelines to their own personality, it gives me the push to breakout of the guidelines myself.
Oh, and making new palaces is a bit of a struggle too. As to rather I should map the whole palace before I start making loci’s or if I should just start encoding loci’s when I have a rough idea of the palace / journey.
The things about me
Okay, if you made it this far I might as well talk at lengths about what I do:
Currently figuring out what to do in life, been searching for about a decade now without luck. Therefore, I have decided NOT to actively search, instead I simply do whatever I please and enjoy. Then eventually something will come up.
My days are then mixed between investing (in the stock market), keeping up with my mechanical engineer degree, pivoting toward resource extraction (hence which countries are good for element extraction), enhancing my memory techniques, reading news, educating myself on investing (currently most of what I do) and educating myself on random things.
Phillip A. W. Olsen