378 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. How do you remember what you read?

      I too keep a commonplace book. First it was (and in part still is) on my personal website. Lately I've been using Hypothes.is to annotate digital documents and books, the data of which is piped into the clever tool (one of many) Obsidian.md, a (currently) private repository which helps me to crosslink my thoughts and further flesh them out.

      I've recently found that Sönke Ahrens book How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers is a good encapsulation of my ideas/methods in general, so I frequently recommend that to friends and students interested in the process.

      In addition to my commonplace book, I also practice a wealth of mnemonic techniques including the method of loci/songlines and the phonetic system which helps me remember larger portions of the things I've read and more easily memorized. I've recently been teaching some of these methods to a small cohort of students.

      syndication link: https://drkimburns.com/why-i-keep-a-commonplace-book/?unapproved=4&moderation-hash=d3f1c550516a44ba4dca4b06455f9265#comment-4

    1. In the Western tradition, these memory traditions date back to ancient Greece and Rome and were broadly used until the late 1500s. Frances A. Yates outlines much of their use in The Art of Memory (Routledge, 1966). She also indicates that some of their decline in use stems from Protestant educational reformers like Peter Ramus who preferred outline and structural related methods. Some religious reformers didn't appreciate the visual mnemonic methods as they often encouraged gross, bloody, non-religious, and sexualized imagery.

      Those interested in some of the more modern accounts of memory practice (as well as methods used by indigenous and oral cultures around the world) may profit from Lynne Kelly's recent text Memory Craft (Allen & Unwin, 2019).

      Lots of note taking in the West was (and still is) done via commonplace book, an art that is reasonably well covered in Earle Havens' Commonplace Books: A History of Manuscripts and Printed Books from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century (Yale, 2001).

  2. Jul 2021
    1. Facebook AI. (2021, July 16). We’ve built and open-sourced BlenderBot 2.0, the first #chatbot that can store and access long-term memory, search the internet for timely information, and converse intelligently on nearly any topic. It’s a significant advancement in conversational AI. https://t.co/H17Dk6m1Vx https://t.co/0BC5oQMEck [Tweet]. @facebookai. https://twitter.com/facebookai/status/1416029884179271684

    1. "The earlier systems of writing were extremely difficult to learn," says Schwartz, the Whiting Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. "There were thousands of symbols used in very complicated ways, which meant that only a very small group of people could ever learn how to write or read. With the invention of the alphabet, it meant that a much larger number of people could, in theory, learn how to read and write. And so it ultimately led to the democratization of writing. And of course it is the system that all Western European writing systems used because Greeks, who borrowed the Semitic alphabetic system, then used it to write their own language."

      Early writing systems used thousands of symbols and were thus incredibly complex and required heavy memorization. This may have been easier with earlier mnemonic systems in oral (pre-literate societies), but would have still required work.

      The innovation of a smaller alphabetic set would have dramatically decreased the cognitive load of massive memorization and made it easier for people to become literate at scale.

    1. Bird sound encoding

      I was at the bookstore yesterday and ran into two new useful resources that looked interesting in this space.

      Specific to birdsong, there was

      200 Bird Songs from Around the World by Les Beletsky (Becker & Mayer, 2020, ISBN: ‎ 978-0760368831)

      Read about and listen to birds from six continents. A beautiful painting illustrates each selection along with concise details about the bird's behavior, environment, and vocalizations. On the built-in digital audio player, hear each bird as it sings or calls in nature with audio of the birds provided by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

      This could be useful in using the book itself as a memory palace in addition to the fact that the bird calls are built directly into the book for immediate playback while reading/memorizing. There are a few other related books with built in sound in this series as well.

      The other broader idea was that of

      "A bird a day"

      I saw the book A Bird A Day by Dominic Couzens (Batsford, 2021, ISBN: 978-1849945868) to help guide one towards learning about (or in our context maybe memorizing) a bird a day. It had names, photos, and other useful information which one might use to structure a palace to work at in small chunks. I know there are also many other related calendars which might also help one do something like this to build up a daily practice of memorizing data into a palace/journey/songline.

      The broader "Thing-a-day" calendar category might also be useful for other topics one might want to memorize as well as to have a structure set up for encouraging spaced repetition.

    1. Has anyone read The Memory Arts in Renaissance England 16?

      @Josh I'd picked up a copy of this recently and have started into it. The opening is a quick overview of some general history, background, and general techniques.

      The subtitle is solidly accurate of the majority of the book: "A Critical Anthology". The bulk of the book are either translations or excerpts of pieces of memory treatises in English throughout the Renaissance. They also include some history of the texts, their writers, and some analysis of the pieces.

      Some of us have been digging up old editions of books and struggling with reading and creating context. These authors have done yeoman's work on a lot of this and collected some of the more interesting historical works on the memory arts and added lots of context, at least for works in English (and focused on England) during the Renaissance. It's a great text for those interested in the history as well as more readable versions of some of the (often incomprehensible) middle/late English. They also have some analysis often conflicting with statements made by Frances Yates about some of the more subtle points which her broad history didn't cover in detail.

      Given it's anthology nature, its a nice volume to pick up and read self-contained portions of at leisure based on one's interest. It isn't however comprehensive, so, for example, they've got "translated portions" of part of Peter of Ravenna's The Phoenix, but not all of it, though they do outline the parts which they skip over. (Cross reference https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/peter-of-ravenna/27737.) Other segments are only a page or so long and may contain tangential passages or even poems about the art to better situate it for scholars/students looking at it historically.

      I've corresponded a bit with Bill Engel, one of the authors who has been wonderfully helpful. He said he's got another related book Memory and Morality in Renaissance England (Cambridge) coming out later this summer as well as a few other related books and articles thereafter. Some are mentioned on his site: https://www.williamengel.org/.

    1. Has anyone here read the book Excavating the Memory Palace: Arts of Visualization from the Agora to the Computer by Seth Long? It looks interesting.

      I picked up a copy of it in April and have made it through the introduction and first chapter. He’s a professor writing from the perspective of a rhetorician and is generally extending some of the academic research started by Frances Yates. I’ll write more as I have time, but I’m in the midst of a few dozen books at the moment. I wish I could focus on this and one or two others.

      I’ll note that for those interested, it’s likely based on a shorter journal article that the same author wrote in 2017 with a similar title: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07350198.2017.1281691 A little digging around should uncover a free copy of it. If you’re desperate, I have a digital copy he emailed me a while back.

    1. For the second keynote, I took copious notes and followed the spaced interval formula. A month later, by golly, I remember virtually all of the material. And in case if you're wondering, both talks were equally interesting to me--the difference was the reversal of Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve.

      Not exactly a real scientific trial, but...

      Note also that the other part was his having taken notes and actively engaged with the material as he heard it. The notes also formed the basis of his ability to do the spaced repetition.

      Mnemonic methods could be used in place of the note taking for the properly trained. Visual memory just goes to expand on it.

      This is an awfully fluff article that's probably too prescriptive. I wonder how many people it influences to try it out? How successful will they be without a more specific prescription?

    1. Ebooks don’t have those limitations, both because of how readily new editions can be created and how simple it is to push “updates” to existing editions after the fact. Consider the experience of Philip Howard, who sat down to read a printed edition of War and Peace in 2010. Halfway through reading the brick-size tome, he purchased a 99-cent electronic edition for his Nook e-reader:As I was reading, I came across this sentence: “It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern …” Thinking this was simply a glitch in the software, I ignored the intrusive word and continued reading. Some pages later I encountered the rogue word again. With my third encounter I decided to retrieve my hard cover book and find the original (well, the translated) text. For the sentence above I discovered this genuine translation: “It was as if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern …”A search of this Nook version of the book confirmed it: Every instance of the word kindle had been replaced by nook, in perhaps an attempt to alter a previously made Kindle version of the book for Nook use. Here are some screenshots I took at the time:It is only a matter of time before the retroactive malleability of these forms of publishing becomes a new area of pressure and regulation for content censorship. If a book contains a passage that someone believes to be defamatory, the aggrieved person can sue over it—and receive monetary damages if they’re right. Rarely is the book’s existence itself called into question, if only because of the difficulty of putting the cat back into the bag after publishing.

      This story of find and replace has chilling future potential. What if a dictatorial government doesn't like your content. It can be all to easy to remove the digital versions and replace them whole hog for "approved" ones.

      Where does democracy live in such a world? Consider similar instances when the Trump administration forced the disappearance of government websites and data.

    2. Libraries in these scenarios are no longer custodians for the ages of anything, whether tangible or intangible, but rather poolers of funding to pay for fleeting access to knowledge elsewhere.

      A major archiving issue in the digital era is that libraries are no longer the long term storage repositories they have otherwise been for the past two thousand years.

      What effects will this have on the future? Particularly once the financial interests of the owning companies no longer exists?

    1. How a memory palace works When we’re learning something new, it requires less effort if we connect it to something we already know, such as a physical place. This is known as elaborative encoding. Once we need to remember the information, we can “walk” around the palace and “see” the various pieces. The idea is to give your memories something to hang on to. We are pretty terrible at remembering things, especially when these memories float freely in our heads. But our spatial memory is actually pretty decent, and when we give our memories some needed structure, we provide that missing order and context. For example, if you struggle to remember names, it can be helpful to link people you meet to names you already know. If you meet someone called Fred and your grandmother had a cat called Fred, you could connect the two. Creating a multisensory experience in your head is the other part of the trick. In this case, you could imagine the sound of Fred meowing loudly. To further aid in recall, the method of loci is most effective if we take advantage of the fact that it’s easiest to remember memorable things. Memory specialists typically recommend mentally placing information within a physical space in ways that are weird and unusual. The stranger the image, the better.

      This notion of using spatial memory to encode other concepts - or even the P-A-O sytem where a 2 digit number encodes a person performing an action is an interesting idea for someone like me who forgets quite a bit.

    1. Ohne zu schreiben, kann man nicht denken; jedenfalls nicht in anspruchsvoller, anschlussfähiger Weise.

      You cannot think without writing; at least not in a sophisticated, connectable way. —Niklas Luhmann

      (Source of the original??)

      This is interesting, but is also ignorant of oral traditions which had means of addressing it.

    1. “It certainly makes me want to improve my own record-keeping and organization,” he says. “I think there’s a lot people can learn not just about building a comedy routine but about approaching mortality honestly. There’s a real sense of impermanence in all of what he saved.”

      This links together the ideas of memory, commonplace books, and mortality.

      This also underlines the idea that commonplaces could be very specific to their creators.

  3. Jun 2021
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Art Kavanagh </span> in note (<time class='dt-published'>06/16/2021 06:24:59</time>)</cite></small>

    1. One cannot hope thus to equal the speed and flexibility with which the mind follows an associative trail, but it should be possible to beat the mind decisively in regard to the permanence and clarity of the items resurrected from storage.

      the idea of an "[[associative trail]]" here brings to mind both the ars memorativa and the method of loci as well as--even more specifically--the idea of songlines.

      Bush's version is the same thing simply renamed.

      <small><cite class='h-cite ht'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Jeremy Dean</span> in Via: ‘What I Really Want Is Someone Rolling Around in the Text’ - The New York Times (<time class='dt-published'>06/09/2021 14:50:00</time>)</cite></small>

    1. In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the dialogue’s characters, “cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.” And because they would be able to “receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,” they would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.” They would be “filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.” Socrates wasn’t wrong—the new technology did often have the effects he feared—but he was shortsighted. He couldn’t foresee the many ways that writing and reading would serve to spread information, spur fresh ideas, and expand human knowledge (if not wisdom).

      I feel like Western culture has lost so much of our memory traditions that this trite story, which I've seen often repeated, doesn't have the weight it should.

      Why can't we simultaneously have the old system AND the new? Lynne Kelly and Margo Neale touch on this in their coinage of the third archive in Songlines.

    1. Seth Long takes a closer look at the number of memory treatises from 1550-1650 to come up with a more concrete reason for the disappearance of mnemonic imagery (and the method of loci) in English rhetoric and pedagogic traditions. Some writers have attributed it to the rise of more writing and publishing. Long extends Frances Yates' idea of its decline to the rise of Ramism by presenting some general data about the number and quality of memory treatises published during the time period in question. Comparison of this data with European continental publications helps to draw some more concrete conclusions.

      In particular, he highlights an example of a Ramist sympathizer re-writing a previous treatise and specifically removing the rhetorical imagery from the piece.

    2. in the early1600s, the encyclopedist Johann Heinrich Alsted, a Calvinist, published treatises on both Ramus and Giordano Bruno, whosemnemonic system utilized zodiac imagery. To my knowledge, there is no English equivalent of a scholar who found value inboth Ramus and Bruno.

      It would be interesting to note other authors who found value in both Ramus and Bruno.

    3. Green and Murphy,Renaissance Rhetoric; Plett,English Renaissance; Middleton,Memory Systems; British Library,Incunabula Short Title Catalogue. Green and Murphy were the primary source. Middleton and Plett, who compiled memorytreatises as a distinct category, allowed me to add extra titles to Green and Murphy’s listings. An Excel file containing the266 early modern treatises graphed here can be emailed upon request.

      Sources of data for this paper. I'd definitely love to get a copy of this Excel file. Might be worth expanding to other languages, countries, and timeperiods as well.

    4. 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.

    5. Quintilian is skeptical of the art of memory. His preferred scheme is to divide words on the page intosmall, memorizable chunks, each subdivision serving as a sort oflocusin page-space. Indeed, Quintilian even suggests thatthe best mnemonic image one can construct is simply an image of the tablet or papyrus on which one wrote (11.2.27–32).

      And for renaissance scholars, this quote may be the reason that drolleries are so widespread in illuminated manuscripts.

    6. Not only does England fail to producemany memory treatises post-1600, the memory treatises she does produce are largely devoid of theinventive images that mark earlier English treatises and that continued to mark treatises on thecontinent

      Are these methods still heavily used on the continent (aka Europe)? Surely these methods waned there as well at some point as I don't think they're still heavily used in modern times.

    7. Butler then moves on toquote—not Cicero, as Wilson does—but Quintilian, who among classical authorities is the mostskeptical about the art of memory’s efficacy (see endnote 4). Echoing Quintilian’s complaint, Butlersays that it is probably more difficult to construct a memory palace than simply to remember thingsby rote (54–55).

      Construction is definitely work. The question about how much it may be should be addressed on a continuum of knowing or understanding particular concepts as well.

      Creating palaces for raw data de-novo, as in a memory championship, takes a lot of practice for speed and the lack of relationships. However in a learning setting, it may be better to read, grasp, and understand material and then create a palace to contain the simple raw facts which might then also bring back other bits of the knowledge and understanding.

      This might be a useful idea to explore further, gather some data, and experiment with.

    8. 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.

    9. Other treatises exemplifying the retreat of imagery from the fourth canon include Henry Herdson’sThe Art of Memory Made Plaine, which saw two printings in 1651 and another in 1654, and ThomasFuller’s 1641 bookThe Holy State and the Profane State, which contains a section“On Memory.”

      Add these to our list.

    10. Willis is more concerned with the construction of a perfectly orderedmental place system than with imagery.

      How similar or dissimilar is this over description in Mnemonica by John Willis to the palace built using Noah's Ark by Hugh of St. Victor?

    11. 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.

    12. Another English memory treatise that diminishes the role of stimulating imagery is JohnWillis’sMnemonica, published in Latin in 1618, with English translations printed in 1621, 1654,and 1661.
    13. William Fulwood’sCastel of Memorie—printed in 1562, 1563, and 1573—is a curious treatisededicated almost entirely to medicinal and herbal remedies for improving the memory
    14. Methodaids the mental grasping—the memory—of the complex content with which one is engaged; it“relieve[s]theburdenplacedonmemory,”writes Sharon Crowley,“by calling on the assistance of reason”(35).

      I definitely use reason as a memory technique this way.

    15. Though he doesnot discuss mnemonics, Thomas Sloane similarly argues that classical invention—a process thattakes not only logic but also“sense, imagination, and emotions”into consideration—is irreparablyneutered by Ramism (137).

      This makes me wonder what the relation of this mode of "limited" thinking (represented by Ramism) has with Max Weber's ideas of Protestant work ethic? If we're not being creative like we may have been in the past, does it help us to focus on the mundane drudgery of our work at hand?

    16. Though it is often assumedthat mnemonics were used to memorize speeches, the importance of memory to theinventionofspeech was readily apparent to ancient orators—thus the famous praise of memory as athesauruminventorum(Herennium3.16.28). As Cicero writes inDe Oratore, the orator must commit tomemory“the whole past with its storehouse of examples and precedents,”as well as a knowledgeof all laws general and civil, for without such memories, the orator is left speechless (1.17–18).Expanding on Cicero’s point, Quintilian claims that“it is the power of memory alone that bringsbefore us all the store of precedents, laws, rulings, sayings, and facts which the orator must possessin abundance . . . and hold ready for immediate use”(Institutio11.2.1). The art of memory was thusto be used to recollect not only pre-written orations but also knowledge from a variety of sources tobe called upon when constructing new texts, speakingex tempore, or responding to an interlocutor’sarguments.

      Too often, this seems to me to be a missing piece that few talk about now. Those posting to the Art of Memory forum are usually talking about the need to memorize for memorization's sake. Rarely are they talking about or noticing the second or third level order changes as the result of an improved memory.

    17. In my view, the most detrimental result of this change to rhetorical theory is the loss of theclassical outlook that imagination and memory are central to invention

      I can agree with this.

    18. William Perkins, an influential Puritan theologianknown today for having tutored John Robinson, founder of the Congregationalist Church.
    19. Regarding theinfluence of iconoclasm, the inaugural moment can be set circa 1536–1541, during Henry VIII’sdissolution of the monasteries.

      Long places the influence of iconoclasm in the destruction of the method of loci at the time period of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries around 1536-1541.

    20. I offer general remarks on the need for a more detailed history of the canonof memory, which is often (but erroneously) assumed to be a casualty of writing (Corbett andConnors 22) or“modernist”ideologies (Crowley; Pruchic and Lacey). The former argument isdemonstrably untrue; the latter is on the right track but incomplete.

      I've often heard mnemonists talk about the effects of writing as being part of its downfall in western traditions. Are their guesses simply that, or had they read works like these?

    21. contemporary scholars have instead analyzed these arts as“logical tool[s],”early examples of iconic logic and cipher encryption (Gatti 5). Mary Carruthers, Lina Bolzoni, andJanet Coleman are among those who have removed the magical charm from Yates’s dreamlike arts ofmemory, describing mnemonic precepts as manifestations of psychological processes, not invitationsto explore the occult skeletons in rhetoric’s closet.

      I've generally gleaned most of the gist of this from Yates directly myself.

      I've dipped into some of Carruthers' work, but not the others yet, though based on our present situation of memory, I can see that this is likely the case.

      I want to pull up the other researchers he mentions here to read their material as well.

  4. May 2021
    1. Polar is an integrated reading environment to build your knowledge base. Actively read, annotate, connect thoughts, create flashcards, and track progress.

    1. To more easily memory text verbatim, practice methods for reclling the information rather than simply repeating it.

    1. With some continued clever searching today along with some help from an expert in Elizabethan English, I've found an online version of Robert Copland's (poor) translation from the French, some notes, and a few resources for assisting in reading it for those who need the help.

      The text:

      This is a free text transcription and will be easier to read than the original black-letter Elizabethan English version.

      For those without the background in Elizabethan English, here are a few tips/hints:

      For the more obscure/non-obvious words:

      Finally, keep in mind that the letter "y" can often be a printer's substitution for the English thorn character) Þ, so you'll often see the abbreviations for "the" and as an abbreviation for "that".

      Copland's original English, first printing of Ravenna can be accessed electronically through a paid Proquest account at most universities. It is listed as STC 24112 if you have access to a firewall-free site that lets you look at books on Early English Books Online (EEBO). A photocopy can be obtained through EEBO reprints on Amazon. Unless you've got some reasonable experience with Elizabethan black-latter typography, expect this version to be hard to read. It isn't annotated or modernized.

      @ehcolston I'm curious to hear what the Wilson/Pena text looks like. I'm guessing it's not scholarly. I think Wilson is a recent college grad and is/was a publishing intern at a company in the LA Area. I'm not sure of Pena's background. I suspect it may be a version of the transcribed text I've linked with a modest updating of the middle English which they've self-published on Amazon.

      Of course, given the multiple translations here, if anyone is aware of a more solid translation of the original Latin text into English, do let us know. The careful observer will notice that the Latin version is the longest, the French quite a bit shorter, and the English (Copland) incredibly short, so there appears to be some untranslated material in there somewhere.

    2. I haven't searched all the versions of Peter of Ravenna's name (yet) in all locations, but I recall hearing of an Italian version as well (and it's likely that there was one given its popularity).

      A bit of digging around this morning has uncovered a digital copy of a French translation in the Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de santé (Paris).:

      Given the date and the scant 16 pages, this is likely to be the edition which was the source of Robert Copland's English translation. As the edition doesn't appear to have an author, it's possible that this was the reason that Copland's translation didn't list one either.

      The Latin -> French -> middle English -> modern English route seems an awfully muddy way to go, but without anything else, it may have to suffice for some of us for the moment.

    3. As someone who knows both methods and has likely practiced them in reasonable depth, I'm curious what Dr. @LynneKelly thinks. I'd love to see this same study done to include song, dance, painting, etc. to expand the potential effects.

      If nothing else, it's good to see some positive research on the methods which will hopefully draw more attention to the pedagogy and classroom use.

      Dr. Reser said the Monash School of Rural Health is considering incorporating these memory tools into the medical curriculum once teaching returns to a post-COVID normal. “This year we hope to offer this to students as a way to not only facilitate their learning but to reduce the stress associated with a course that requires a lot of rote learning,” he said. —https://scitechdaily.com/ancient-australian-aboriginal-memory-tool-superior-to-memory-palace-learning-technique/

    1. hazelfaceHazel3dAs you likely know, “back in the day” stories, poetry, and religious texts were passed down from generation to generation. My big question is “how”. Does anyone know how this was done historically? Or how you would do it yourself today? I do some verbatim memorization for fun and have a process/formula I’m comfortable with. I’m really curious what sort of procedure I could build if I was limited Thank you!

      In both older and current cultures we see stories, songs, poetry, and a variety of knowledge passed down orally. Some of these, like Homer, were eventually written out and passed down using the written word. Texts, once extant, were generally passed around by copying out or mass printing, but generally were not memorized and passed along via orality or memory techniques. Obviously there are examples of people memorizing large portions of text personally, but this has generally not been the major mode of passing knowledge from one generation to the next.

      Dr. Lynne Kelly's text book Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2015) does a solid job of covering some of the techniques in the archaeological and even contemporary records on this score.

      We have modern anthropologists attesting the oral methods you describe from several peoples around the world. Kelly's book, based on her Ph.D. thesis, does a good job of summarizing many of these. She and Dr. Margo Neale also recently published Songlines: The Power and Promise (Thames & Hudson, 2020) which covers current Australian Aboriginal tribes which use these oral techniques for knowledge transmission as well. The techniques do vary from culture to culture, but on the whole they tend to share many features.

      As others have mentioned, Walter Ong's work, and the book Orality and Literacy (Routledge, 1982) in particular, will provide some additional context.

      On your question of practicality, I'd recommend Kelly's book Memory Craft which currently outlines the broadest number of mnemotechniques out there and provides some advice about which methods are best/better for particular applications. Following this, if necessary, you might focus in on the methods you're interested in most and hone in on other texts, audiobooks, or posts here in the forum.

      Everyone's abilities and needs are slightly different, so experiment a bit to see what appeals to and/or works best for you.

    1. @chrisaldrich, I’ll be intested to see how you help bring together your knowledge to create a more mnemonic way to visualize and remember bird calls and traits. I’ve also added your blog to my news reader with all the good ideas there as well. Thanks for all your great feedback!

      https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/bird-sound-encoding/63013/15

      I'll apologize in advance for the noisy-ness of my website. I use it as a commonplace book and post almost everything I do on the web there first (including social media). If it gets to be too much, you can subscribe to individual topics of interest (like https://boffosocko.com/category/Memory/feed/, which is sure to include any bird related work) so that you're just getting what you want instead of the overzealous firehose which can be upwards of 10 to 20,000 posts a year, depending on how much of my stream I make public.

    1. I must stop equating songlines and memory palaces - the professor and student involved see the complexity of songlines as a level higher than memory palaces because so much knowledge and understanding is layered. The first post-grad working on my stuff, and she’s found fault already! And rightly so. They are also arguing against some researcher who claims that the peg system and the method of loci are equivalent. That is part of the research project, but I haven’t read the psychology papers they have sent yet.

      songlines != memory palaces

    1. Consistent with the notion that exploitation of spatial memory is among the most effective memorization techniques, an early MRI study of competitors in the World Memory Championships showed that 90% of the memory athletes employed some variation of the method of loci for rapid learning and accurate recall of information [30].

      What were the others using? Only the major system perhaps? Or were they the marginal under-performers?

      If there were solid performers in the other 10%, what method(s) were they using?

    2. structural imaging studies of a group of highly trained spatial learners (London taxi drivers) has demonstrated enlargement of specific hippocampal regions corresponding to spatial memory [30],

      Nice to see the taxi driver study pop up here.

      Maguire EA, Valentine ER, Wilding JM, Kapur N. Routes to remembering: The brains behind superior memory. Nature Neuroscience. 2003;6(1):90–5. pmid:12483214 https://doi.org/10.1038/nn988

    3. It is worth noting that no instructions were provided to the participants with respect to sequence, yet this measure exhibited the largest effect size of any of the parameters measured

      They should have mentioned this before. Not knowing what the function does, I'm curious to see how abysmal the sequence numbers were for the control group.

    4. Both methods of loci improved upon the already high level of recall among medical students relative to those who received no memory training.

      I'm saddened to see the erasure of the Australian Aboriginal approach (possibly better termed Songlines or Dreaming for specificity) here only to have it lumped into the Western method. This is worse when their general results show the Australian approach to be significantly better.

      This may be due to over-familiarity with the techniques which are broadly similar, but for rigor and respect they should remain separate in this paper.

    5. 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.

    6. These “Songline” stories are ancient, exhibit little variation over long periods of time, and are carefully learned and guarded by the Elders who are its custodians [7].

      What is the best way we could test and explore error correction and overwriting in such a system from an information theoretic standpoint?

    1. “Monetising what we see as sacred knowledge, our way of being – driving, walking – is sacred knowledge and the only people who should have any purview over that is our community. … What if we look at what the data could do for our community and how to achieve that? … We are gathering our data because we love our people, we want a better future for the next generations. What if all data was gathered for those reasons? What would it look like?”

      A great quote and framing from Abigail Echo-Hawk.

      This reliance on going to community elders (primarily because they have more knowledge and wisdom) is similar to designing for the commons and working backward. Elders in many indigenous cultures represent the the commons.

      This isn't to say that we shouldn't continue to innovate and explore the evolutionary space for better answers, but going slow and fixing things is far more likely to be helpful than moving fast and breaking things as has been the mode for the last fifteen years. Who's watching the long horizon in these scenarios?

      This quote and set up deserves some additional thought into the ideas and power structures described by Lynne Kelly in Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture

    1. There’s this thing I simply call “365”. With each new year (or sometimes at the end of a notebook, when I feel like it), I make a 2-page spread mind map of things that kept me busy. It’s more or less an analog tag cloud and it’s extremely rewarding to make. You get to browse through previous journals, look at things you’ve written down and actually managed to pull of, and take note of that in one or two words. That creates a thick cloud full of the things that defined you for the last year. It’s actually quite incredible to look at. When I’m done doing that, I try to underline the words that meant more to me than others. Applying the retrospective principles from software development on your own personal life and writing down what made you glad, mad or sad actually helps you do something about that.

      This is an example of spaced repetition being done as retrospective and hiding some of the value of making the important things stand out and reviewing them for better long term retention.

    2. The palest ink is better than the best memory - Chinese proverb.

      Faint ink and faint memories compared....

    1. Petrus Ramus

      Just making note of the fact that Petrus Ramus was the advisor of Theodor Zwinger and apparently influcnced Jean Bodin, about whom Ann M. Blair writes about in Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age.

      I suspect these influences may impinge on my work on the history of memory and its downfall due to Ramism since the late 1500s and which impacts the history of information.

    1. We still do not understand how information practices from the worlds of learning, finance, industry, and administration cross-pollinated. From the fourteenth century onward, accountants developed complex instructions for note-taking to describe holdings and transactions, as well for the recording of numbers and calculations. By the seventeenth century, merchants, and indeed ship captains, engineers, and state administrators, were known to travel with trunks of memoranda, massive inventories, scrap books, and various ledgers and log books that mixed descriptive notes and numbers. By the eighteenth century, tables and printed forms cut down on the need for notes and required less description and more systematic numerical notes. Notaries also were master information handlers, creating archives for their legal and financial documents and cross-referencing catalogue systems.

      I'm noticing no mention here of double entry book keeping or the accountant's idea of waste books.

      There's also no mention of orality or memory methods either.

    1. He remembered

      childhood memory finally returns, of mother and sister

    2. It was rather more of a shock to him when he discovered from some chance remark that she did not remember that Oceania, four years ago, had been at war with Eastasia and at peace with Eurasia. It was true that she regarded the whole war as a sham: but apparently she had not even noticed that the name of the enemy had changed. 'I thought we'd always been at war with Eurasia,' she said vaguely. It frightened him a little.

      Julia's memory issues with war

    1. Orbis Pictus, or Orbis Sensualium Pictus (Visible World in Pictures), is a textbook for children written by Czech educator John Amos Comenius and published in 1658. It was the first widely used children's textbook with pictures, published first in Latin and German and later republished in many European languages.

      This would seem to be the sort of ancestor of the bestiary that might be used as a mnemonic tool, but given it's 1658 publication date, it's likely the case that this would have been too late for it to have served this purpose for most (without prior knowledge).

      Apparently the Encyclopaedia Britannica labeled it as “the first children’s picture book.”

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>JHI Blog </span> in Collective Memory - JHI Blog (<time class='dt-published'>05/12/2021 21:55:54</time>)</cite></small>

    1. “He who hasn’t lost anything in his head can’t find anything in there either,” Lichtenberg joyfully declared (a few days after praising the word ‘nonsense’ over weightier notions such as ‘chaos’ or ‘eternity’).
  5. gordonbrander.com gordonbrander.com
    1. There are rumors Pascal wrote the Pensées on notecards, and pinned these cards to a wall, connecting related thoughts with yarn. An early example of hypertext?

      This certainly fits into the broad general ideas surrounding note taking, commonplace books, and zettelkasten as tools for thought. People generally seemed to have used relatively similar methods but shoehorned them into the available tools they had at the time.

      This also, incidentally isn't too far off from how indigenous peoples the world over have used memory techniques (memory palaces, songlines, etc.) to hold together and pollinate their own thinking.

      Raymond Llull took things a step further with his combinatoric methods, though I've yet to see anyone attempting that in the area of digital gardens.

    1. As the author Ursula Le Guin once put it, if you wish to understand that which is enduring, you’re better off exploring the capaciousness of myths than fine-tuning present lines of reasoning. “True myth may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is.”

    1. Exact memorization of individual lines like this is difficult at best, even with these methods.

  6. Apr 2021
    1. The creation of the permalink built-in memory – links that worked and remained consistent over time, conversations that could be archived and retraced later. The permalink stopped all weblog conversations being like that guy in Memento…
      • Llyn Bochlwyd (lake gray cheek)
      • Foel Fawr
      • Coed Llugwy
      • Cwm Cneifion

      Erasure of culture

      Memory and place names

      "A nation which forgets its past has no future." - Winston Churchill (check quote and provenance)

    1. He adds that the ethnographic record shows that with rare exceptions, rock art is indeed associated with ritual and beliefs. “The concept of ‘art for art’s sake’ is a relatively recent western attitude,” he says – and if anything, the propensity for drawing in the dark seems to support that assumption.

      Here again, the sentence reads well if we replace rituals and beliefs with mnemonic practice.

    2. Whitley says: “The conceptual and practical division between the supernatural/sacred/religious world  and the mundane realm is a largely modern and western conceit that has become especially prominent since the Protestant Reformation. Many traditional peoples saw/see no separation between daily versus religious life; many don’t even recognize that they have a ‘religion’ per se. I then concur with the notion that many prehistoric peoples felt a strong connection to the supernatural and the cosmos.”

      This fits into a mnemonic perspective of life as being something greater than religion or ancestor worship. The ancestor worship part comes in because they're a thing to attach our memories of needed culture and knowledge to. They're also important because they're the ones that discovered the knowledge and helped to hand it down.

    3. “In western North America alone, for example, rock art was exclusively made by shamans among some tribes. But in others it might also be made by puberty initiates – boys and/or girls – and in others include adults experiencing life crises too (e.g., the death of a spouse),” Whitley says. But throughout North America, it seems artistic creation was associated with visionary experiences and the perceived receipt of supernatural power.

      Shamanic instances could support knowledge preservation and communication to following generations.

    4. “We also commonly see repetitions of motifs – an iconographic system – in corpora of rock art, again indicative of communicative rather than purely decorative intent,” Whitley says. “By this I don’t imply that rock art has no aesthetic component. In many cases it clearly does. But that doesn’t seem to have been its goal or main justification.”

      The fact that it was just for "art's sake" is a motivating clue for supporting use of these as mnemonics.

    5. Arguing in favor of cosmic connectivity, à la Whitley: why would anybody create art in places that are very difficult to see and dangerous to enter, if the goal is purely aesthetic or decorative?

      If these were used for societal memory purposes, the privacy of the caves as well as the auditory and even halucinatory effects could have helped as well.

      What sorts of other things would we expect to see in such instances? Definitely worth looking at Lynne Kelly's ten criteria in these situations, though some of them are so old as to be unlikely to have as much supporting evidence.

    1. In 2019, an unusually dry summer caused the waters of the Valdecañas Reservoir to recede, revealing a monument that has come to be referred to as the “Spanish Stonehenge.” NASA satellites captured images of the exposed stones known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, which experts suspect may have been built sometime in the second or third millennium BCE.

      Might be worth looking this up to see how it might or might not relate to pre-Celtic migration patterns as they relate to other standing stones in the Celtic and Celtic fringe areas.

      Sad that the markings are wearing away in addition to making studying the area much more difficult.

    1. I asked Seyal if Pinterest had ever considered a feature that let users mark a life event complete. Canceled. Finished. Done. “We would have to have a system that thinks about things on an event level, so we could deliver on the promise,” Seyal said. “Right now we just use relevance as a measure.” But had Pinterest considered that, in the long run, people might be more inclined to use the app if it could become a clean space for them when they needed it to be, a corner of the internet uncluttered with grief?

      This would be a great feature for IndieWeb creators to consider.

    2. And, Eichhorn notes, there’s been surprisingly little written about the specific impact of our digital culture on memory.

      This is definitely a ripe area for research.

    3. “Forgetting used to be the default, and that also meant you could edit your memories,” says Kate Eichhorn, who researches culture and media at the New School in New York City and wrote the book The End of Forgetting. “Editing memories” in this context refers to a psychological process, not a Photoshop tool. The human brain is constantly editing memories to incorporate new information and, in some cases, to cope with trauma.

      Possibly worth reading for some of my research?

    4. To hear technologists describe it, digital memories are all about surfacing those archival smiles. But they’re also designed to increase engagement, the holy grail for ad-based business models.

      It would be far better to have apps focus on better reasons for on this day features. I'd love to have something focused on spaced repetition for building up my memory for other things. Reminders at a week, a month, three months, and six months would be a useful thing for some posts.

    5. Our smartphones pulse with memories now. In normal times, we may strain to remember things for practical reasons—where we parked the car—or we may stumble into surprise associations between the present and the past, like when a whiff of something reminds me of Sunday family dinners. Now that our memories are digital, though, they are incessant, haphazard, intrusive.
    6. I still have a photograph of the breakfast I made the morning I ended an eight-year relationship and canceled a wedding. It was an unremarkable breakfast—a fried egg—but it is now digitally fossilized in a floral dish we moved with us when we left New York and headed west. I don’t know why I took the photo, except, well, I do: I had fallen into the reflexive habit of taking photos of everything. Not long ago, the egg popped up as a “memory” in a photo app. The time stamp jolted my actual memory.

      Example of unwanted spaced repetition via social media.

    1. We cannot transfer beliefs or customs from one culture to another, but we can transfer generalisations from multiple cultures about how humans maintain critical knowledge when they are dependent on memory.

      Almost every anthropology source I've read in the last six months has highlighted some version of this.

      If our short history of experience with archaeology is any indicator, it can be very dangerous (and painfully wrong) for us to transfer our customs and beliefs onto other cultures and civilizations which don't have our culture or knowledge base.

      However we can more easily transfer broad generalizations from and across various cultures when we discuss how humans used memory and orality (within their cultures) particularly when they would never have interacted with each other.

    2. In Australia, we are so fortunate to be able to learn from a continuous culture dating back over 60,000 years. We have ample evidence from our Aboriginal cultures of robust knowledge of landscape and skyscape events dating back 17,000 years. (See Patrick Nunn’s amazing book, The Edge of Memory). That is how powerful these methods can be and why they have developed in so many disparate cultures.

      bookmarking Patrick Nunn's The Edge of Memory for future reading

    3. Firstly, an entire tribe moving from Wales to the Salisbury Plain took their encyclopaedia with them. This would require the circle to be erected in the same order as in Wales and oriented in the same direction. In effect, these people were taking their database of knowledge with them, the structure in the stones, and the data in their memories. Secondly, a different tribe conquering those in Wales might identify just how effective this memory technique is and steal only the technology. Essentially, they stole the database structure and filled it with their own data. The bluestones are particularly suited to a mnemonic purpose due to the blotches and blobs in their material makeup.

      Perhaps there's a third possibility not mentioned here?

      Perhaps the group at Waun Mawn, traded a portion of their knowledge and database to a more powerful and potentially more central nearby group of people? The evidence indicates that many of the people buried at Stonehenge were originally from the area of Wales where some of the stones originated. The fact that some stones remained behind may mean that some of the needed local encyclopedia stayed behind.

    1. Equally, Waun Mawn did not become the core of a monument complexof the kind known around other great stone circles, such as the Ring of Brodgar, Aveburyand Stonehenge. Its development as a major centre in the earlier Neolithic (seeFigure 1)appears to have been curtailed by early dismantling. Although the region was probably notentirely evacuated—the four remaining stones at Waun Mawn possibly symbolise the iden-tities of those groups who remained local—it may have been extensively depopulated. Onlyfurther research into settlement and land-use employing other lines of evidence, such as paly-nology, will provide answers.

      Interesting to think that some of these stones may have stayed behind to represent the knowledge of the group that stayed behind. If the stones can be thought of as "books", some of the extra empty ones were relocated with the knowledge of other books moved into them in new contexts.

    Tags

    Annotators

    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. I know I've read this before, but worth a revisit. I'll also note that I recall Michael Nielsen has a Twitter thread about the idea and people's reactions to the idea.

      https://twitter.com/michael_nielsen/status/1144377697985892352

    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.

    2. Bibliography of Memory. Dr. Morris Young. Chilton, 1961. More than6,000 references are cited in this bibliography by a Manhattan oph-thalmologist and collector of books on memory systems.

      This looks fascinating and I don't think I've seen a reference to it before.

    3. The Art of Memory. Frances Yates. University of Chicago Press, 1966.

      I wonder if he really referenced this at all? To my knowledge there isn't anything from her text written here.

    4. “Mnemonics.” John Malcolm Mitchell inEncyclopedia Britannica. 11thed. 1911. Excellent history, with references to earlier books and bibli-ographies.

      I remember having found this article quite valuable myself.

    5. Among the many responses to my request for a mnemonic sentencefore, the following seemed to me particularly noteworthy:To expresse, remember to memorize a sentence to simplify this.( John L. Greene, Beverly Hills, California.)To disrupt a playroom is commonly a practice of children.( Joseph J. Guiteras, Baldwinsville, New York.)By omnibus I traveled to Brooklyn. (David Mage, New York, NewYo r k . )It enables a numskull to memorize a quantity of numerals. (GeneWidhoff, Burbank, California.)TheEnciclopedia universal ilustrada, in an article on “Mnemo-tecnia,” gives the following Spanish sentence fore:Te ayudar arecordar la cantidad a indoctos si relesme bien. Several Italian versesforewill be found on page 755 ofMatematica Dilettevole e Curiosaby Italo Ghersi.

      Mnemonic sentences for the number e.

    6. To aid the students of his memory school in New York, Bruno Furstprovides them with a printed number dictionary listing a variety ofappropriate words for each number from 1 to 1,000. Such lists arenot necessary, however, unless you intend to develop great profi-ciency in the art.

      Solid evidence that Martin Gardner was at least aware of a portion of Bruno Fürst's work.

      It's been a while, but I'll have to look back to see what Furst says, if anything, about increasing speed.

    7. It is usually best,in fact, to work out your own key words and mental associationsrather than adopt those of someone else; your inventions will becloser to your own experience and therefore easier to recall.

      Incidentally, this is sometimes what makes the system harder to teach/describe to others. It also means a slightly higher threshold of work on the part of the learner.

    8. A reproduction of Carroll’snotes on his number alphabet will be found in Warren Weaver’s arti-cle “Lewis Carroll: Mathematician,” inScientific Americanfor April1956.)

      I need to track down this reference and would love to see what Weaver has to say about the matter.

      Certainly Weaver would have spoken of this with Claude Shannon (or he'd have read it).

    9. In Germany the great Gottfried Wil-helm von Leibniz was sufficiently intrigued by the notion to incor-porate it into his scheme for a universal language;

      I wish he'd written more here about this. Now I'll have to dig up the reference and the set up as I've long had a similar thought for doing this myself.

      I'll also want to check into the primacy of the idea as others have certainly thought about the same thing. My initial research indicates that both François Fauvel Gouraud and Isaac Pitman both wrote about or developed this possibility. In Pitman's case he used it to develop his version of shorthand which was likely informed by earlier versions of shorthand.

    10. Reading just chapter eleven about "Memorizing Numbers"

      Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi by Martin Gardner (Cambridge University Press, 2008) (The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library, Series Number 1)

    11. Although the art of mnemonics goes back to ancient Greece (theterm comes fromMnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory), it wasnot until 1634 that a Frenchman named Pierre Hrigone published inParis hisCursus Mathematici,which contained an ingenious systemfor memorizing numbers.

      Curious what sort of research he may have done to date this back to Pierre Hérigone? Looking at many of his sources, I've seen many of the same. I love that he's used the same 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica that I've also run across.

    12. I know of no similar aids in English to recalle, the other commontranscendental number. However, if you memorizeeto five deci-mal places (2.71828), you automatically know it to nine, becausethe last four digits obligingly repeat themselves (2.718281828). InFranceeis memorized to 10 places by the traditional memory aid:Tu aideras rappeler ta quantit beaucoup de docteurs amis.Perhapssome reader can construct an amusing English sentence that willcarryeto at least 20 decimals.
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Martin Gardner </span> in Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes & the Tower of Hanoi in Chapter 11 Memorizing Numbers (<time class='dt-published'>04/02/2021 14:31:10</time>)</cite></small>

    1. My "Memoria Technica" is a modification of Gray's;

      Because of the likelihood that Gray is a misspelling, it is most likely the case that he's referring here to Richard Grey)'s method from the book Memoria Technica, or, a New Method of Artificial Memory (1730).

      Could they have known each other personally? Might be worth checking his massive correspondence.

    2. 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.

  7. Mar 2021
    1. As I think back on this a few minutes later, I'm reminded that many of these sorts of abstract art forms are found not only in totems, but are seen in neolithic stone balls, European neolithic decorative art, or could have been used to decorate lukasa memory boards).

      This may make them more valuable within a system for using these individual art pieces as memory devices.

    2. I love the ideas hiding in some of these design elements. The pieces are very atomic, but can be built up into some fascinating bigger designs.

      I'm curious if there are any mnemonics attached to these that add additional levels of meaning in the art in which they're embedded?

      The attached video was incredibly helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc3K-MyH3xg

    1. He talks about stories being important to us.

      This is because there's an organization and order to our stories, which is important to our memory, individually and culturally.


      The idea of photographs helping to spark our memories of times and spaces.


      Urgency vs. acceptance


      h/t Jacky A.

    1. I've broken down each base medium with some of its benefits, tips, and opportunities to make your content more accessible.

      Accessibility is definitely a great goal, but how can one also make it more memorable/rememberable or more sticky?

      What methods are there outside of [[Made to Stick]]?

    2. No matter how engaging, funny, well-produced the video is, I will not be able to retain it unless I cannot read along.

      I'm wondering how people of various stripes like this and other versions may or may not relate to the variety of mnemotechniques out there.

    1. Reasonable overview of history. Worth digging into to flesh out more fully with respect to the major system in particular.

    2. BIBLIOGRAPHY. - A large number of the works referred to in the text contain historical material. Among histories of the subject, see C. F. von Aretin, Systesnatische Anleitung zur Theorie and Praxis der Mnemonik (Sulzberg, 1810); A. E. Middleton, Memory Systems, Old and New (espec. 3rd rev. ed., New York, 1888), with bibliography of works from 1325 to 1888 by G. S. Fellows and account of the Loisette litigation; F. W. Colegrove, Memory (1901), with bibliography, pp. 353-3 6 1. (J. M. M.)

      This is likely worth checking out for its history.

    3. 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?

    4. About the end of the 15th century Petrus de Ravenna (b. 1448) awakened such astonishment in Italy by his mnemonic feats that he was believed by many to be a necromancer. His Phoenix artis memoriae (Venice, 1491, 4 vols.) went through as many as nine editions, the seventh appearing at Cologne in 1608. An impression equally great was produced about the end of the 16th century by Lambert Schenkel (Gazophylacium, 1610), who taught mnemonics in France, Italy, and Germany, and, although he was denounced as a sorcerer by the university of Louvain, published in 1593 his tractate De memoria at Douai with the sanction of that celebrated theological faculty. The most complete account of his system is given in two works by his pupil Martin Sommer, published at Venice in 1619. In 1618 John Willis (d. 1628?) published Mnemonica; sive ars reminiscendi (Eng. version by Leonard Sowersby, 1661; extracts in Feinaigle's New Art of Memory, 3rd ed., 1813), containing a clear statement of the principles of topical or local mnemonics. Giordano Bruno, in connexion with his exposition of the ars generalis of Lull, included a memoria technica in his treatise De umbris idearum. Other writers of this period are the Florentine Publicius (1482); Johann Romberch (1533); Hieronimo Morafiot, Ars memoriae (1602); B. Porta, Ars reminiscendi (1602).

      Hunt down copies of all these.

    5. 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.
    6. Among the voluminous writings of Roger Bacon is a tractate De arte memorativa.
    7. Memory is commonly classified by psychologists according as it is exercised (a) mechanically, by attention and repetition; (b) judiciously, by careful selection and co-ordination; and (c) ingeniously, by means of artifices, i.e. mnemotechny, mnemonics. It must, however, be observed that no mnemonic is of any value which does not possess the qualities of (a) and (b). A mnemonic is essentially a device which uses attention and repetition, and careful selection is equally necessary. A more accurate description of mnemonics is "mediate" or "indirect" memory.
    1. <img alt="" class="fj et ep iu w" src="https://via.hypothes.is/im_/https://miro.medium.com/max/7116/1*VE2_0XWErGKsDxXk5ItdMw.png" width="3558" height="1992" srcset="https://via.hypothes.is/https://miro.medium.com/max/552/1*VE2_0XWErGKsDxXk5ItdMw.png 276w, https://via.hypothes.is/https://miro.medium.com/max/1104/1*VE2_0XWErGKsDxXk5ItdMw.png 552w, https://via.hypothes.is/https://miro.medium.com/max/1280/1*VE2_0XWErGKsDxXk5ItdMw.png 640w, https://via.hypothes.is/https://miro.medium.com/max/1400/1*VE2_0XWErGKsDxXk5ItdMw.png 700w" sizes="700px" role="presentation"/>A screengrab from Microsoft’s Productivity Future Vision film, via Nick Foster’s Future Mundane

      It dawns on me that these sort of virtual reality-type images that have been around for ages aren't too dissimilar to how I see the world with various mnemonic techniques. They're also the closes way of potentially helping modern first world Western cultures better understand how many indigenous societies have seen the world in the past.

    1. nucleus accumbens

      RESEARCH MORE. What is this? What it's role in memory storage?

    2. Now, where the emotional memory is stored in response to these survival-enhancing positive memories is not yet entirely clear.

      I have heard this from several of my sources. This one is a bit more dated than some of the others I've used, so I need to look at something more recent and see if this has changed.

    1. If eye movement were consciously controlled, the dreamer’s eyes could become a vehicle for getting a message to the waking world.

      iirc this is relatively old news, the more novel bit is being able to communicate with sleeping people

  8. Feb 2021
    1. Maryanne Garry 🐑🇳🇿. (2020, December 12). A person with the virus who, say, has lunch with friends is a witness to an event in which the virus was possibly transmitted, and a suspect who might have transmitted it to others. Our new paper in PoPS @lorraine_hope @rachelz @drayeshaverrall and Jamie Robertson https://t.co/FoOlx78HB2 [Tweet]. @drlambchop. https://twitter.com/drlambchop/status/1337676716936896512