Proselytism Spasm

Imagine if you will the following scene: “Good Morning Sir” says the well dressed young man who knocked on your door, "My name is Elder Levayne II and I’m from The Mnemon Church Of St.Simonides The Unforgetting , have you heard The GOOD NEWS about your memory? If you would like to take this broschure “The 7 Steps To A Divine Memory”…? "

In other words, Johnny Briones has posted a video “How to Convince People To Use Memory Techniques”. Don’t get me wrong , I have a lot of respect for Johnny Briones and even more for those flavours of Christianity that are prone to door knocking but the last thing this world needs is mnemonists trying to convince people to use memory techniques. If for no other reason than it is a WASTE of your time.
Trying to convince anyone to do anything is pretty much a mug’s game.Sure,people will bitch all day long about their lousy memories, but the stone cold truth is that most people are happy enough with their lousy memories and until those people have a real NEED (“Learn French or lose your job” says the boss) or DESIRE ("I’ve fallen in love with a French girl) or reason (My Granny died of dementia ) to start training their memories, they won’t. At best they’ll say ‘maybe I’ll give it a go’ which is ‘polite’ for ‘NO WAY, I’d rather chew my own feet off’ . BTW that’s one of the reasons getting mnemonics into schools would be so important, kids are far more receptive to trying out new stuff, especially ‘new stuff’ that requires some effort.
/rant

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I copy pasted Johny’s name in youtube and I saw a videos oh him participating in the Chinese TV-show “Super Brain” in which Alex Mullen also has participated. My Chinese is a bit rusty, but I sort of understood he had te memorise the skin patterns of cows. Than later in the show he had to identify the right jigsaw piece foto (showing a tine part of a certain cow skin) with the requested cow number. I it rather obvious to me that the visit to the farm (and a meet and greet with the dairy ladies) was just for show; “All” (not saying it’s easy) he had to do was memorise the jigsaw foto pieces to the extend that he can identify the number with the foto (like abstract images event).

This leads me to reflect on the nature of memory sports events in general. A lot of the events feel to me like “same content, different wrapper” kind of thing. like:

  • binary numbers: nothing more than decimal numbers written in a somewhat inefficient way;
  • random images/words: just about every competitor memorises images when memorising numbers anyway;
  • abstract images: does picture looke like a banana, then memorise word/image banana.
  • playing cards: can be done with a small adjustment of your number system.

I would like to know if other forum members share this opinion and if so what kind of memorisation events do you think would be really diferent and interesting to add to memory contests?

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I like your ideas, it’s making memory sports interesting and fun. I think this could be a post in itself and can be further discussed with more ideas.

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I’ve made a comment on the video. The first one is mine. I have the experience of teaching some friends some basic and easy methods, but soon as I start talking about Memory palaces, pegs, locis, PA and etc, I’ve noticed they lost interest because it was not easy for them to understand and apply. And they lost interest altogether. As you said most people are happy with their existing memory.

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Or as was said of Buzan’s canon “same meat , different sauce”. Personally I think it a shame ‘the poem’ was dropped (as far as I am aware) from Memory Competitions. Memoria Verborum seems to me to be the discipline that caused mnemonists the most ‘grief’, that people found the hardest. I’d like to see the poem reinstated and maybe made fairer to all by a rule that you couldn’t memorize a poem written in your native language. Random words is all well and good but compared to a poem written specifically to ‘be a bitch’ to learn…

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Yep, give people Quick N Dirty solutions, insta-fixes or ‘hacks’ to memory problems (I’m thinking of things like “Spring Forward, Fall Back” or "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain) and they’ll love you…and then they’ll ignore (but nod) to anything you say after. By the time you get to ‘loci’ they’ll be wondering how they can escape.

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I tried explaining my system to my mother. Yes was like: "why is the number 8 an “f”? I responded : “because the 8 looks exactly like the way I was thaught to write an “f” in elementry school”. My mother: "No, this an “f” (waves hand in air). Me: let’s watch the “Black panter” dvd I bought. My mother: “Is it a movie about panters?”. Me: “damn right, it is”.

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ROTFLMMFAO! Just the thought of trying to explain even the simplest mnemonic technique to my own Aged Mother…

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I told here to me 5 2-digit-numbers to show how my system works. My mother: "12, 14… no wait 24, and than, … what numbers did i already say…? Me: “Sorry, I forgot also”.

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…to give me…; typed to fast

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Hah! I ‘see’ your Moeder and raise you mine. Mine managed to get herself a First in History when she was my age now. She’s got a very good but mildly ‘autie’/‘aspie’ academic’s brain on her…unfortunately its an academic’s brain stuck in the 50s when she went to school or the 60s when she trained to be a teacher. She would be unable to grasp the reason why her Eldest Son (me) sits there, while she uses the Therapy Swimming Pool, frivolously playing with a deck of cards…just like she couldn’t understand why I should choose to study a dead language that is ‘of no use’ and just like she couldn’t comprehend why she shouldn’t have put potatoes with metal skewers through them in the microwave

Blockquote just like she couldn’t comprehend why she shouldn’t have put potatoes with metal skewers through them in the microwave

First thing we did when we got a microwave (long time ago) is put a metal fork in it to see what would happen.

Trying to convince anyone to do anything is pretty much a mug’s game.

Yeah, I’ve tried convincing people to use memory techniques to no avail. Memorization gets a bad rap, especially in higher education, where “understanding” is pushed over memorization. I understand why people say they prefer understanding over memorization, but they fail to understand how vitally important memorization is to the whole understanding process. I rarely mention my use of mnemonics unless it’s somehow related to what I’m talking about (which is rarely) since it tends to get people really opinionated and angry. Whenever I do credit mnemonics to contributing to about 80% of my academic success, for some reason people don’t see it as the reason why I always make top marks in class and study significantly less than them.

Sure,people will bitch all day long about their lousy memories, but the stone cold truth is that most people are happy enough with their lousy memories and until those people have a real NEED (“Learn French or lose your job” says the boss) or DESIRE ("I’ve fallen in love with a French girl) or reason (My Granny died of dementia ) to start training their memories, they won’t.

Something similar to this has been mentioned many times before, and I tend to agree with it from personal experience. I myself had a moment like this when stressing in high school over how I’ll memorize so much information during college. I assume that you had an experience like this as well, would you mind sharing it if you did?

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I like to think having more people learning memory technique will reduce the number of experiment I have to do. But ultimately, the best way to convince one to do memory is to completely and utterly amaze them with your training results.

When I was in high school all I cared about was math math math, cos there is only the right answer for academic math (excluding proof questions here). Hated everything else, physic was good until we are told how to estimate sin,cousin,tan lmao.

Call me crazy optimistic(I m usually known for being too pessimistic), but I actually believe that it’s just a matter of time before many of these techniques become Mainstream.

I think the need is being created as we speak, in the workplace and in learning

There will be more and more people like Alex Mullen who focus on developing hacks and tools of all sorts to learn Real Life things with memory techniques that help lead to comprehension, to practicing something that is a real need in this world.

I myself would be much more interested in a learning competition, rather than a memory competition, showing the world how memory techniques really can change the whole game. Anyone participating would use some of these techniques.

Unfortunately, most of that people choose to think that any unordinary abilities are some kind of magic, tricks or given with birth to someone. And even if you explain them all the details, they will keep finding excuses not to even try. It’s just enough to read comments under any video about memory athletes on TV show to understand it. It’s easier to live being ignorant.

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Lol there is a reason why memorising a deck of card in 30s is impossible long ago, we need more little experimenters to find better ways and so we improve as a whole. Most will make the excuses, yes, but there are some who refuse to accept that others are better than them, they then burn and go unimaginable length to break the records. I need more of myself thank you, although I am a bit lazy to say that I go through unimaginable length XD

Who knows, perhaps in 10years the record will be pushed to Under 3s for a deck of card :slight_smile:

That would almost certainly require the deck to be a virtual deck on a computer screen flashed up at micro second intervals. Physically manipulating and scanning an actual deck in under 3 secs is probably an impossibility.

Yeah, though under 5s is possible if you flip from back, so you always see the last card.

And yeah, kiddos are way more acceptant to new things than adults generally.