Saturday, September 08, 2007

They really are getting earlier every year!

The great thing about writing a trivial and pointless blog entry every night is that you can check back on the dates when I noticed the 2008 comic annuals were in the shops in the previous two years - September 10th in 2005, September 23rd last year (although they might have been out for a couple of weeks before that without me noticing) and September 8th this year! I really need to write about something more, well, pointful. But I think it's funny that as with the last revamp of the Dandy, the annual hasn't kept pace with developments. Do they really make these changes at the last minute? Or write the annuals so far in advance that changes to the lineup and style of strips in the weekly (or now fortnightly) comic don't get reflected in the annuals for another year? The Beano book has a rather good Billy-the-Cat-fights-General-Jumbo story that almost makes it worth buying, but not quite. And the latest nostalgia book gives a deserved namecheck to the artist who did those wonderful Baby-Face Finlayson strips in the eighties (although I didn't buy the book and now I can't remember his name, so I'll have to flick through it again in another shop. Or buy it, but we don't want to go mad here).

I did my flicking-through-annuals in Stoke-on-Trent today. I decided to spend the day browsing shops in a town I've never been to before, as an alternative to all the hustle and bustle of the previous couple of months (or as a way to stop myself doing nothing but play on the internet all day, as has been my habit much too much of late), so I went to the train station and picked the nearest town that was a shortish and cheapish train journey away. That turned out to be Doncaster, but then although the train arrived on time, it was announced that it would be staying in Derby for the foreseeable future because of signal problems, so I got off again, found the nearest and cheapest place in the other direction that I hadn't been to before, and splashed out on another £6.60 to go to Stoke. It's an unexceptional place, with a city centre even farther away from the train station than Cambridge. But at least now I can say I've been there!


Gregory said...

I currently do the dominic obrien method of card memorization where I attach a image and an action to each card. When I go through the deck I create a 26 stage journey and take the cards of into pairs assigning them their respective person and action. So if I get
4H-9H I have Mogwai from Gremlins playing the piano.

However I am really stuck and afraid that i will never be able to do it in under the 30 seconds.

I am therefore contemplating embarking on a very ambitious new method of approachign memorization. I am thinking that perhaps assigning every two cards a unique image and object and then creating only a 13 stage journey will be twice as fast. This would necessitate my creating 2652 unique images and actions. Do you think that this is even feasible?

If it is possible surely this would be the most succesful strategy one can apply to card memorization.

I have attempted the Person/action/object that I believe Andi Bell uses approach which allows you store 3 cards on each stage of your journey, but found it much more cumbersome than just the straight up person/action approach that Obrien uses (with perhaps an accompanying object, but not a seperate card for the object). I think the person/action/object approach requires you to spend more time working out a way to combine the disparate elements into a memorable image whereas the image/action approach is self-evident (just have the person perform the action.)

So I now need to take every card in the deck and come up with fifty-one images for each. So my example earlier of 4H9H will now just be Mogwai with a as of yet to be determine actioned. If i get a sequence of 4H-9H-7C-AS I will use 4H9H as the person and 7C-AS for the action. Right now I just would create two different images with 4H as one person and 9H their action and 7C as another person and AS their action.

What do you think of this idea? If you want to do it yourself that would be great. Obviously some of the images are personal, but some of them I think we could both use (Chef Boyardee, Bart Simpson, George Bush etc. ) I suppose you have no desire to go any faster though. But you must admit have to create only 13 simple images for an entire deck is very appealing.

I cannot emphasize enough that the superiority of this approach lies in the simplicity of its images.

This is what differentiates from other methods of 13 image deck memorization. One other method I can think of would be to give every card four different elements. For example assign all fifty-two cards a person/action/object/animal. Then go through the deck in groups of 4. However this approach has the same problem as the Andi Bell method in that it requires a the images are much harder to form and make memorable as you are forced to juggle all these different things and combine them.

I am just musing here so perhaps there is some giant flaw in my logic that I stupidly missed. But it sounds to me like this method I am outlining would be the fastest approach to card memorization yet advocated.

Gregory said...

I apologize for not reading over my post before posting as I can see now that it is replete with grammaticale errors and awkward phrasing. My enthusiasm got the better of me and I rushed through it. Hopefully what I said was clear though. If not I will gladly try and explain whatever it is that you found confusing.

Gregory said...

There are other disciplines to which this method could be applied.
In number memorization you could create 10,000 unique person/objects for each number. Then you each image would be EIGHT!! numbers, four devoted to the person, four to the object. In the spoken numbers discipline (which in my opinion impresses outsiders even more than cards) you would only need 24 images to break Clemens Mayer record of 188 by 4.

In essence both the methods I am suggesting have a heavily front-loaded workload. They require a monumental amount of work in the start, but once you have them down I think they have unparrelled in their effectiveness.

Zoomy said...

I've never been a fan of the person-action method. It seems to take a lot more time to visualise the images than to do the same for two people/objects and have them interact in a way that makes sense for the characters involved. Some people like actions, but I'm happy to do without them.

I think you might struggle to create 2652 distinct actions - people have tried 1000-action lists before and always found it very difficult. But if it works for you, let me know what kind of results you get!

And why not post this on the 'memorysports' group, rather than my blog? That way, the whole world of memory people can offer their views.

Gregory said...

Oh I am very very sorry. I must have misrepresented my system. I actually have a

Person/Action,object, whatever clues can be used to remember system!

For example my person for the 7H is Osama Bin Laden and his action is shouting "allahu akbar" with a turban on his head and dynamite strapped to his chest. I have pianos in other images, saxophones, weights, guns, etc.

Perhaps this is not a very good method although I actually did have some strictly object oriented images and found those the most difficult to remember. For example I used to have 6Clubs
Mel Gibson/Bagpipes in kilt. I also had AS Darth Vader/ Light Saber. I changed these though to
Mel Gibson/ Pie in the face wiping frosting from eyes (I often include a racial slur as well to link it back)

and Ace of Spades Darth Vader/Light saber was also proved to be extremely difficult for me to remember. I still havent worked out a complete solution to this one yet.