Jeremy Keeshin's Reviews > Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
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really liked it

A fun easy read. Foer starts reporting on the memory championships and then practices and joins them himself. Along the way the story introduces some of the quirky characters in the mental athlete world, some of the history of memory, and shares some of the mnemonic techniques he learned. It was entertaining and got me to look a bit more into some of the mnemonics. I think education has moved very far away from the idea of 'rote memorization' - which has to me quite a negative connotation- but I think overall parts of the book make a good argument that having a good memory of certain things actually helps give you context and a place for new facts, ideas, and concepts to hook into, making them more meaningful. And they make a good argument that once you become an expert in certain areas, you are able to memorize things within that area more easily because you are able to make those patterns more meaningful.

And the short version of some of the mnemonic techniques is to take something you want to remember, really try to convert it into images or spatially in some way and take advantage of the ways your brain is good at remembering things. Overall, it's a compelling case that superhuman memory- like people memorizing 40,000 digits of pi or similar, is just another case of really practicing and learning techniques, not really an innate skill.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 29, 2018 – Shelved
June 29, 2018 – Finished Reading

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