31 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Carl Otto Reventlow (1817-1873) and the history of the Major System

      I was delving into the history of mnemonic techniques earlier hunting down some of the origins of the major system and ran across a reference to Reventlow from the late-1800s. He apparently borrowed much of his work from Aime Paris, but helped to popularize a variation of the method in Germany and Prague.

      A sketch with some great references (in German) was already hiding on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Otto_Reventlow

      Bonus points for anyone who can track down a digital edition of his 1843 textbook.

  2. Aug 2022
    1. After publishing a textbook on his mnemonic system in 1843,[2] he travelled widely in Germany to popularize it. His most notable lectures were given in Leipzig, but also in Prague. A dictionary that substituted mnemonic terms for numbers[3] and a guideline for the use of mnemotechnics in schools[4] which listed some 3,000 mnemotechnically annotated facts from history and geography courses followed in 1844 and 1846, respectively. The novelty of Otto's "substitution method" was disputed almost immediately,[5][6] his opponents stating it to be just one more derivative of the method proposed by Aimé Paris. However, it received highly favorable reviews as well.[7][8]

      Karl Christian Otto (aka Carl Otto Reventlow) published a textbook on a mnemonic system in 1843 and then travelled to publicize and popularize it including notable lectures in Leipzig and Prague. His system, likely broadly similar to the major system, may have been take from Aimé Paris' method.

      Sources indicate that it was borrowed from Paris, but it received favorable reviews.

      Sources to look into (likely needing translation from German): - Otto, Carl Christian (Pseudonym: Carl Otto Reventlow): Lehrbuch der Mnemotechnik nach einem durchaus neuen auf das Positive aller Disciplinen anwendbaren Systeme. Ed.: J. G. Cotta, Stuttgart und Tübingen 1843; 240 p.<br /> - Reventlow, K. O. Wörterbuch der Mnemotechnik nach eignem Systeme. Ed.: J. G. Cotta, Stuttgart und Tübingen 1844.<br /> - Otto, C. Leitfaden der Mnemotechnik für Schulen. Ed.: J. G. Cotta, Stuttgart und Tübingen, 1846.<br /> - Rauk C. W. Reventlov und die Mnemonik, und die Mnemonik und die Schule. Cottbus 1844.<br /> - Pick E. Mnemonik und ihre Anwendung auf das Studium der Geschichte. Ed.: Steiner'sche Buchhandlung. Winterthur 1848.<br /> - E. M. Oettinger, Karl Otto genannt Reventlow oder die Mnemonik in ihrer höchsten Ausbildung. Leipzig 1845. Charivari, 1847, Ausgabe 222, p. 3546.

    2. Carl Otto Reventlow (actually Karl [Carl] Christian Otto; born 1817 in Store Heddinge (Denmark); died in 1873) became notable as the developer of a mnemonic system.


      Carl Otto Reventlow (1817-1873)

      Source used by Edward Pick for some of his history of memory.

    1. ConradCeltes, a German poet of some renown,‘born in 1459, made the great discoverythat the alphabet could be substituted in

      Mnemonics for the places or pictures used by his predecessors. The historians of Mnemonics, especially Aretin, Reventlow, and the learned and famous bibliographer, Edward Marie Oettinger, in Leipzic, to whom I owe the above-mentioned and some of the following details on the history of Mnemonics, give a dozen other names of authors on Mnemonics belonging to this epoch.*

      Edward Pick mentions Conrad Celtes in passing for having "made the great discovery that the alphabet could be substituted in Mnemonics for the places and pictures used by his predecessors. He doesn't provide a textual source for the information.

      Pick indicates that his primary sources were Edward Marie Oettinger, (Johann Christoph Freiherr von) Aretin, and (Carl Otto) Reventlow who may have more detail on Celte's potential influence on the major system as well as potential alternate names from that era.

      see also: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Maria_Oettinger<br /> - History of Mnemonics by J. Ch, Baron von Aretin

    1. The first important modification of the method of the Romans was that invented by the German poet Konrad Celtes, who, in his Epitoma in utramque Ciceronis rhetoricam cum arte memorativa nova (1492), instead of places made use of the letters of the alphabet.
    2. Reasonable overview of history. Worth digging into to flesh out more fully with respect to the major system in particular.


  3. Jul 2022
    1. the conquest of the Americas was also a second human transition: an escape from agriculture to profit-driven enterprise: “Western Europeans began colonizing large areas of the rest of the world, creating the first globalized economy.” Lewis and Maslin call this the “Columbian exchange,” when humans, animals, plants, and microbes established themselves in places they had never been before. Energy from new foods, and information from printing, helped drive this new transition. Farming resumed in the Americas to feed and clothe the Europeans, using the labour of African slaves.

      Second Transition: Columbian Exchange

      In evolutionary biology, there are also another type of transition, Major Evolutionary Transitions (MET). Robin et. al propose that the introduction of writing (inscribed language) was a major information improvement that played an important role leading to a major system transition (MST).

      Major Evolutionary Transitions and the Roles of Facilitation and Information in Ecosystem Transformations https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.frontiersin.org%2Farticles%2F10.3389%2Ffevo.2021.711556%2Ffull&group=world https://hyp.is/go?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocdrop.org%2Fvideo%2F6J-J72GoqhY%2F&group=world

  4. May 2022
    1. This is the vision of OP Sapiens Star—that human’s evolution is not finished, and that the hyperthreat provides the impetus for a quantum leap into a new way of being. Through achieving a galactically significant mission—saving Earth’s ecological integrity—the Homo sapiens species “stars” within the universe. Humans go from being a menace and fighting one another to being heroic, creative, and tolerant.    

      This can be interpreted as an instantiation of the hero's journey, in the context of research that combines evolution with ecology as in the research paper: Major Evolutionary Transitions and the Roles of Facilitation and Information in Ecosystem Transformations (Robin et al., 2021).From this lens, cumulative cultural evolution (CCE) was first made possible through spoken language, then accelerated through written language. The authors claim that another Major System Transition (MST).is emerging, which they posit to be abiotic in nature involving Artificial Intelligence.

      Faced with a self-induced civilization-scale threat, we may ask whether a major cultural evolution may be necessary to avoid catastrophe and whether it may constitute another MST. Could a rapid higher level global understanding of the epistemological dualism of self and other which undergirds normative alienation, othering and conflict, both with others of our own species, of other species and with the planetary system itself play a major role in the transition?

  5. Apr 2022
  6. Nov 2021
    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_alphabet

      I was sort of hoping that there would be a more linguistic structured correspondence between the alphabet and numbers as a potential precursor of the phonetic major system, but alas no.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Chris Aldrich</span> in Chris Aldrich on Twitter: "@HeghnarW Great job on at the "Loss" conference! I'm curious about the alphabetic correspondence to numbers you mentioned in the canon tables of the Zeytun Gospels. Is it a 1 to 1 alphabetic correspondence as in Hebrew or 1-A, 2-B, 3-C, etc. or more complex? #sberg" / Twitter (<time class='dt-published'>11/19/2021 10:42:31</time>)</cite></small>

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Heghnar Watenpaugh</span> in Heghnar Watenpaugh on Twitter: "@ChrisAldrich Chris, thanks so much for your interest! a table of the numerical values of the Armenian alphabet is here: https://t.co/cB1qFgNI3i" / Twitter (<time class='dt-published'>11/19/2021 10:42:31</time>)</cite></small>

    1. So to sum things up what caused life's major evolutionary transitions the answer is cooperation major transitions begin when a group of organisms join forces to better survive and reproduce if cooperation continues long enough a new super organism may Emerge one that can then go [on] to reproduce and evolve as a whole and 00:07:42 The pathway that led [to] animals along with humankind [at] least three major transitions have been identified resulting in four layers of Life within your own body

      Within this human body, we embed 4 different stages of Major Evolutionary Transitions (MET).

      Our human body is the product of billions of years of evolution, embodying various outputs from each major stage of a Major Evolutionary Transition (MET). We are a multi-cellular being, a colony. Yet,at the same time, we have living elements that at one time in history, were independent living beings which were NOT part of a multi-cellular colony!

      In the deep history of the evolution of the human body, genes, mitochondria, eukaryotes were all once autonomous living entities, each a biological self with its own boundary separating inner from outer. Virus's helped to catalyze their mutualism over deep time.

      Now, over billions of years of evolution, they are all integrated together by the extra-cellular matrix and laminin protein into our multi-cellular human body, replicating as one super, super, super organism.

      Finally, inscribed language has allowed us to undergo another kind of transition, a major system transition (MST) where human beings now dominate the entire biosphere, for better and for worse.

    2. Each new layer of Life is the result of what scientists call a major evolutionary transition? What was the cause of these transitions the answer is? Cooperation a Major Transition starts when free living creatures team up to form a cooperative group in the early stages of cooperation Participants are free to come and go as they [please] [if] a group sticks together long enough however 00:04:51 Division of labor will often evolve different participants begin specializing in different tasks as time goes on Individuals may become so specialized that they can no longer survive on their own [if] the entire group becomes locked into cooperation Depending fully on one another to survive and reproduce a new super organism has been forged and they made your evolutionary transition is complete 00:05:16 From this point on the entire group will evolve together as one Models describing natural situations that might promote the evolution of major transitions have been put forth by scientists such as John Maynard Smith [fior] Sonck Mary stuart West and w d hamilton using these models Researchers have been able to Mimic natural scenarios in the lab Allowing us to directly witness the beginnings of major transitions [evolved]

      This is the key to Major Evolutionary Transition - a population of free living individual creatures discover that in teaming up, there is a greater resultant evolutionary fitness, mutualism symbiotic relationship emerges. It becomes so strong over time that the many become a self-replicating one.

      The biological self is always defined by a boundary between inner and outer, but in this act of mutualism, the many biological selves join to form a new higher order biological self.

      In this way, a multi-cellular species like ours is somewhat like one of those nested Russian dolls.

      Indeed, Amanda Robins hypothesizes


      that our species has undergone what she and Peter Nonacs calls Major System Transition (MST). The cultural artifact of inscribed language has made possible a superorganism / supraorganism that has spread across the globe.

    1. we want to focus on how humans fit into our category goal framework here and we'll use this figure as a roadmap 00:42:18 starting with the center section looking that looks at how events that affect the species and clay level and so what stands out here for humans is our 00:42:28 complex spoken language which greatly enhances our communication and has long been thought of as a met due to leaps in the way that we transmit information between individuals 00:42:40 but this met really wouldn't have been possible without a major competitive transition so the specific regions in the brain that are associated with greater cognition and language ability 00:42:52 and also our larger brain size which is correlated with functionality and our spoken language allows human societies to gather greater amounts of level 3 or learned 00:43:07 information than would ever be possible within any one individual's lifetime and this really turns up the dial on the magnitude at which cultural evolution affects us as a 00:43:19 species and allows us to adapt and construct our environments in different ways cultural innovations are also not dependent on random beneficial mutations but can 00:43:32 arise intentionally and this has major impacts for how quickly and at what level we can affect our ecosystems 00:43:43 so when we come back to the figure and we've layered on complex spoken language now we can look at the level of ecosystem change that's occurred because of this and see if it's enough to bring 00:43:55 us to a major systems transition and here we argue that the answer is no if we would have just stopped at spoken language our global impact would never have reached the level 00:44:07 that it takes to drive an mst but we do argue that this spoken language was actually a facilitating evolutionary transition for events that directly paved the way 00:44:19 for an mst so human spoken language is a facilitating transition for symbolic representation of instructional information so the met and the mechd that make up 00:44:33 complex spoken language are actually a fit for being able to write things down and being able to write things down onto abiotic mediums allows us to increase the amount of information that 00:44:47 we can store the accuracy of the stored information and the efficiency of transmission and this has an especially high impact for oblique transmission because 00:44:59 being able to inscribe information can potentially immortalize it and then individuals far in the future can build upon it and so being able to build upon 00:45:12 uh generations of information through symbolic representation of language is really a key for the expansion of technological innovations that have expanded the realized niche of humans so 00:45:25 we have spread across every continent made major impacts on most ecosystems and a part of what has allowed us to do this is the technology that we've designed uh based upon large amounts of 00:45:39 inscribed language and some of these technologies actually allow us to manipulate or avoid the processes of natural selection and some of the those examples are listed here 00:45:53 and so when we go back to our figure and layer on the potential to inscribe language and then re-look at ecosystem level changes we think that here due to due to the 00:46:06 technological innovations and global expansion that's come with being the only species to store this much level three information that the answer is now yes 00:46:19 and when an mst occurs the context in which this entire cycle takes place completely shifts because now the global ecosystem is playing by a modified set of rules that are 00:46:33 set forth by the mst so this brings us to the question are humans the last mst or are there other mets and mechs forthcoming that will drive a new 00:46:45 major systems transition

      Robin argues that spoken language alone, while a MET does not constitute a MST because spoken language could not have resulted in the global spread of ideas that made our current globalized modernity possible. However, it is a Facilitating Evolutionary Transition (FET) which paved the way for inscribed language which did enable the global spread of technology.

    2. you are looking at major 00:12:17 evolutionary transitions so one can start with the idea that initially what has to happen is individuals kind of have to tolerate each other so in other words competitors 00:12:31 have to be willing to form into those simple groups and those groups have to have some kind of benefit for their existence and continuance then berkshire said well the next step 00:12:44 in this transition is what can go from formation to maintenance so if you go from a simple group to society again there are there are rules there are maybe individuals that belong to certain 00:12:56 societies and rather than sort of a fission fusion kind of uh coming together going apart these societies maintain themselves these groups maintain themselves over 00:13:08 longer periods of time and there are more benefits and there may in fact be more conflicts that have to be worked out to keep the societies to maintain the societies 00:13:19 finally there would be the step into this group transformation again what what what kuala and strassmann might have called organismality so now that the groups subsume their kind of 00:13:32 individual goals into a collective goal for all of them and again the idea here is that that that one has to happen is conflict has to be somehow managed and reduced 00:13:44 such that the groups can actually transform into this coherent whole single individual and some of the key points in in in burke's sort of 00:13:55 pathway to to to transformation is that the first two steps are can truly be bidirectional in other words uh societies can go back to being simple groups and simple groups can go 00:14:10 back to being competitive just competitors so in other words those aren't sort of absorbing states but the argument is that once once you sort of get to that group transformation that last blue arrow you 00:14:23 have transformed in a way that it is hard or impossible to really go backwards and what burke argued is that that process those those various steps and 00:14:34 particularly that last transformative step is strongly driven often by inclusive fitness kin selection so in other words going back to that continuum 00:14:46 of the types of groups that they can form fraternal groups are much more likely to to transform into these higher level organisms than 00:14:58 uh egalitarian groups

      The transition from competing individuals to a coherent unity is a fascinating journey.

      Applied to human society at a time of the Anthropocene, these principles of evolutionary biology may be salient to apply to the superorganism/supra-organism of humanity undergoing a process of rapid whole system change.

    1. Professional musicians, concert pianists get to know this instrument deeply, intimately. And through it, they're able to create with sound in a way that just dazzles us, and challenges us, and deepens us. But if you were to look into the mind of a concert pianist, and you used all the modern ways of imaging it, an interesting thing that you would see 00:11:27 is how much of their brain is actually dedicated to this instrument. The ability to coordinate ten fingers. The ability to work the pedal. The feeling of the sound. The understanding of music theory. All these things are represented as different patterns and structures in the brain. And now that you have that thought in your mind, recognize that this beautiful pattern and structure of thought in the brain 00:11:52 was not possible even just a couple hundred years ago. Because the piano was not invented until the year 1700. This beautiful pattern of thought in the brain didn't exist 5,000 years ago. And in this way, the skill of the piano, the relationship to the piano, the beauty that comes from it was not a thinkable thought until very, very recently in human history. 00:12:17 And the invention of the piano itself was not an independent thought. It required a depth of mechanical engineering. It required the history of stringed instruments. It required so many patterns and structures of thought that led to the possibility of its invention and then the possibility of the mastery of its play. And it leads me to a concept I'd like to share with you guys, which I call "The Palette of Being." 00:12:44 Because all of us are born into this life having available to us the experiences of humanity that has come so far. We typically are only able to paint with the patterns of thoughts and the ways of being that existed before. So if the piano and the way of playing it is a way of being, this is a way of being that didn't exist for people 5,000 years ago. 00:13:10 It was a color in the Palette of Being that you couldn't paint with. Nowadays if you are born, you can actually learn the skill; you can learn to be a computer scientist, another color that was not available just a couple hundred years ago. And our lives are really beautiful for the following reason. We're born into this life. We have the ability to go make this unique painting with the colors of being that are around us at the point of our birth. 00:13:36 But in the process of life, we also have the unique opportunity to create a new color. And that might come from the invention of a new thing. A self-driving car. A piano. A computer. It might come from the way that you express yourself as a human being. It might come from a piece of artwork that you create. Each one of these ways of being, these things that we put out into the world 00:14:01 through the creative process of mixing together all the other things that existed at the point that we were born, allow us to expand the Palette of Being for all of society after us. And this leads me to a very simple way to go frame everything that we've talked about today. Because I think a lot of us understand that we exist in this kind of the marvelous universe, 00:14:30 but we think about this universe as we're this tiny, unimportant thing, there's this massive physical universe, and inside of it, there's the biosphere, and inside of that, that's society, and inside of us, we're just one person out of seven billion people, and how can we matter? And we think about this as like a container relationship, where all the goodness comes from the outside to the inside, and there's nothing really special about us. 00:14:56 But the Palette of Being says the opposite. It says that the way that we are in our lives, the way that we affect our friends and our family, begin to change the way that they are able to paint in the future, begins to change the way that communities then affect society, the way that society could then affect its relationship to the biosphere, and the way that the biosphere could then affect the physical planet 00:15:21 and the universe itself. And if it's a possible thing for cyanobacteria to completely transform the physical environment of our planet, it is absolutely a possible thing for us to do the same thing. And it leads to a really important question for the way that we're going to do that, the manner in which we're going to do that. Because we've been given this amazing gift of consciousness.

      The Palette of Being is a very useful idea that is related to Cumulative Cultural Evolution (CCE) and autopoiesis. From CCE, humans are able to pass on new ideas from one generation to the next, made possible by the tool of inscribed language.

      Peter Nonacs group at UCLA as well as Stuart West at Oxford research Major Evolutionary Transitions (MET) West elucidates that modern hominids integrate the remnants of four major stages of MET that have occurred over deep time. Amanda Robins, a researcher in Nonacs group posits the idea that our species of modern hominids are undergoing a Major Systems Transition (MST), due specifically to our development of inscribed language.

      CCE emerges new technologies that shape our human environments in time frames far faster than biological evolutionary timeframes. New human experiences are created which have never been exposed to human brains before, which feedback to affect our biological evolution as well in the process of gene-culture coevolution (GCC), also known as Dual Inheritance theory. In this way, CCE and GCC are entangled. "Gene–culture coevolution is the application of niche-construction reasoning to the human species, recognizing that both genes and culture are subject to similar dynamics, and human society is a cultural construction that provides the environment for fitness-enhancing genetic changes in individuals. The resulting social system is a complex dynamic nonlinear system. " (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048999/)

      This metaphor of experiences constituting different colors on a Palette of Being is a powerful one that can contextualize human experiences from a deep time framework. One could argue that language usage automatically forces us into an anthropomorphic lens, for sophisticated language usage at the level of humans appears to be unique amongst our species. Within that constraint, the Palette of Being still provides us with a less myopic, less immediate and arguably less anthropomorphic view of human experience. It is philosophically problematic, however, in the sense that we can speculate about nonhuman modalities of being but never truly experience them. Philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote his classic paper "What it's like to be a bat" to illustrate this problem of experiencing the other. (https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/study/ugmodules/humananimalstudies/lectures/32/nagel_bat.pdf)

      We can also leverage the Palette of Being in education. Deep Humanity (DH) BEing Journeys are a new kind of experiential, participatory contemplative practice and teaching tool designed to deepen our appreciation of what it is to be human. The polycrisis of the Anthropocene, especially the self-induced climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have precipitated the erosion of stable social norms and reference frames, inducing another crisis, a meaning crisis. In this context, a re-education of embodied philosophy is seen as urgent to make sense of a radically shifting human reality.

      Different human experiences presented as different colors of the Palette of Being situate our crisis in a larger context. One important Deep Humanity BEing journey that can help contextualize and make sense of our experiences is language. Once upon a time, language did not exist. As it gradually emerged, this color came to be added to our Palette of Being, and shaped the normative experiences of humanity in profound ways. It is the case that such profound shifts, lost over deep time come to be taken for granted by modern conspecifics. When such particular colors of the Palette of Being are not situated in deep time, and crisis ensues, that loss of contextualizing and situatedness can be quite disruptive, de-centering, confusing and alienating.

      Being aware of the colors in the Palette can help us shed light on the amazing aspects that culture has invisibly transmitted to us, helping us not take them for granted, and re-establish a sense of awe about our lives as human beings.

    1. ste-nography was only developed for German in 1834); st

      Ann Blair indicates that stenography was only developed for German in 1834.

      Is there a reference for this? When was it developed for other languages? How does this fit in with the timeline for memory and the major system?

  7. Aug 2021
    1. I'd start with the basics of 0-9 of the Major System and then introduce the method of loci. Once they've got those two basics down reasonably I'd expand their Major system up to 99 at a minimum.

      The tougher part then is expanding your pedagogy to build these tools into the curriculum so that you're actively using them with your content.

      You might appreciate the experience from Lynne Kelly here: https://www.lynnekelly.com.au/?p=4794. Her excellent book Memory Craft also has some interesting examples and stories for children including the use of what she calls rapscallions for use in multiplication tables, languages, and other educational applications. Her book also has a wealth of other methods and potential applications depending on the subjects you're teaching.

      I'd love to hear your experiences as you progress with your class.

  8. Jun 2021
    1. Yet even thisdecline is followed by an unexpected resurgence in mnemonics in the 1800s, when Connors claimsthat writing was replacing speaking in school settings (127).

      I would question this statement, as annotated separately in this article. I have a feeling that the mnemonic tradition into the 1800's was more heavily influenced by the rise of the idea of the major system and not so much by the memory palace or the method of loci. This definitely seems to be the case in the United States based on my readings.

    2. Herdson also discusses how toconvert numbers and letters into such uninspiring mental pictures as a candle, a foot, a pipe, and similarhousehold items.

      What relation does Henry Herdson's The Art of Memory Made Plaine (1651, 1654) have to the potential development of the major system. The description here sounds like it's relatively similar. Who/What were his precursors, and who may have been influenced by his version of this system which sounds very similar.

    3. Willis’s primary interest was shorthand writing—he is chiefly noted forArt of Stenographie—andhis memory treatise is clearly influenced by shorthand’s mechanism of one-to-one correspondence.

      John Willis's Mnemonica (Latin 1618, English 1621, 1654, and 1661) covers memory, but he was apparently more interested in shorthand writing and also wrote Art of Stenographie.

      I'll have to read this for a view into the overlap of memory and shorthand with respect to the development of the major system. Did this influence others in the chain of history? It definitely fits into the right timeline.

    4. Memory treatises published in Europe, by half-century.

      In looking at this, I immediately wonder about the nature of the treatises. I would suspect there's a slow decline of treatises on the method of loci while the 1800's sees an increase of those writing about the major system and which I've found generally aren't aware of the method of loci or earlier methods.

  9. May 2021
    1. After 10 minutes, the word lists were collected and students were asked to write down as many of the list items as they could recall within five minutes.

      Were students asked or told if they'd be tested with this on long-term memory?

      Personally, I'd have used a simple major system method to memorize such a list for short term memory, but would have used other techniques for long term memory.

  10. Apr 2021
  11. mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk
    1. Hérigone’s only published work of any consequence is the Cursus mathematicus, a six-volume compendium of elementary and intermediate mathematics in French and Latin. Although there is little substantive originality in the Cursus, it shows an extensive knowledge and understanding of contemporary mathematics. Its striking feature is the introduction of a complete system of mathematical and logical notation, very much in line with the seventeenth-century preoccupation with universal languages.

      Interesting that this links the idea of universal languages to his mathematical notation and NOT to the idea of translating numbers into words using and early form of the major system.

    1. He also introduced a code by which numbers were translated into words to aid memorising them. The code was as follows: 1=p,a;2=b,e;3=c,i;4=d,o;5=t,u;6=f,ar,ra;7=g,er,re;8=l,ir,ri;9=m,or,ro;0=n,ur,ru1 = p, a; 2 = b, e; 3 = c, i; 4 = d, o; 5 = t, u; 6 = f, ar, ra; 7 = g, er, re; 8 = l, ir, ri; 9 = m, or, ro; 0 = n, ur, ru1=p,a;2=b,e;3=c,i;4=d,o;5=t,u;6=f,ar,ra;7=g,er,re;8=l,ir,ri;9=m,or,ro;0=n,ur,ru. So to remember a number such as 314159 one produced a word such as 'cadator' which then translated back into 314159. The assumption here was that 'cadator' was easier to remember than 314159.

      Sadly no reference to which book or portion in which this segment appears.

    1. Read chapter 11 "Memorizing Number" to see what Gardner says about available techniques. He only covers the phoenetic major system and some basic associative techniques.

      No mention of the method of loci. Some interesting references listed for the chapter however.



    1. To help himself to remember dates, he devised a system of mnemonics, which he circulated among his friends. As it has never been published, and as some of my readers may find it useful, I reproduce it here. My "Memoria Technica" is a modification of Gray's; but, whereas he used both consonants and vowels to represent digits, and had to content himself with a syllable of gibberish to represent the date or whatever other number was required, I use only consonants, and fill in with vowels ad libitum, and thus can always manage to make a real word of whatever has to be represented.

      Lewis Carroll aka Dodgson never published his own version of his memory system.

      N.B. He indicates here that he filled in his vowels ad libitum which is now the common practice for the phonetic major system. As this indicates he never published it, it then becomes a question as to whether or not he was the originator of this part of the technique or if it was later re-invented/discovered by others.

  12. Mar 2021
    1. In 1648 Stanislaus Mink von Wenussheim or Winckelmann made known what he called the "most fertile secret" in mnemonics - namely, the use of consonants for figures, so as to express numbers by words (vowels being added as required); and the philosopher Leibnitz adopted an alphabet very similar to that of Winckelmann in connexion with his scheme for a form of writing common to all languages. Winckelmann's method, which in fact is adopted with slight changes by the majority of subsequent "original" systems, was modified and supplemented in regard to many details by Richard Grey (1694-1771), who published a Memoria technica in 1730.

      Apparently the beginning of the phonetic major system? Was there any relation to Celtes?

  13. Oct 2020
    1. The only exception is the letter A, which appears in the list – unlike the other vowels – and contains fi ve words beginning with the fi ve vowels: a – abbas (abbot), e – eques (knight), i – institor (tax-collector), o – offi cialis (ecclesiastical judge), and u – usurarius (usurer).

      Here he's interestingly removed the vowels, which is certainly reminiscent of the later Major System structure in at least some respect.

    2. As Celtis said, “it helps the memory a great deal, if someone knows the things of the world,”37 and Valentinus followed this advice when he refi lled the table of Celtis with meanings of his own.

      This seems to be very common practice in the modern art as many writers suggest using or modifying techniques so that they suit your experience and lived memory. If a different key word comes to you more quickly, then why not use that instead of one supplied by the creator of the system.

      There's also an echoing of this in Beniowski's idea of notions in "A Handbook of Phrenotypics" on the closeness of ideas.



    1. All we know for certain, through forensic testing, is that the manuscript likely dates to the 15th century, when books were handmade and rare.

      This may provide some additional proof that it's a memory aid in the potential form of a notebook or commonplace book. What were the likelihoods of these being more common that other books/texts? What other codes were used at the time? Was the major system or a variant in use at the time?