Wednesday, January 07, 2009

With a krypton factor of 999!

I missed the relaunch of The Krypton Factor at the weekend, but I caught the repeat tonight (didn't go to the football, sounds like it was a good game, though. Yay Derby!) and it was fantastic!

I always loved KF in the old days, and it was pleasing to see that the new series is exactly the same (except, sadly, without the aeroplane-simulator round). I would love to be a competitor! The obstacle course would literally kill me, of course, but the rest of it would be fun.


Lewis said...

The krypton factor is a great show.

I read your blog often, nice job.

I was wondering if you have ever heard of the 'School of Phenomenal Memory'? . I consider myself to have a fairly good memory and have studied just about every book/site I can get my hands on.

The above course claims to be a step forward in memory training. I am sceptical and wondered if you have any experience of it?

For example one of the claims is related to language learning. In a testimonial on the site, one student claims to be able to learn 50 Mandarin words daily using SPM techniques. However this is achievable using techniques given in Harry Loraynes books written 40 years ago.

Is there still room for radical changes to existing techniques/systems for memory improvement? Surely it is just a case of tweaking something that is effectively cracked?

Even though I am sceptical about the above internet course, I am always on the look out for new systems. When is your book coming out?

Good luck this year.



Lewis said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention there are a few youtube videos about the School of Phenomenal Memory. I have a feeling the content in the videos could be learned using the major system/Dominc system just as effectively.



Zoomy said...

Yes, I've heard of the "School of Phenomenal Memory", and my advice in a word is 'don't have anything to do with it!'

The consensus among all the people who by the definitions of memory competitions have a 'phenomenal memory' is that it offers absolutely nothing that can't be found for free elsewhere on the internet, or at least in one of the books you've already read.

Their manual, which I think is available for free, teaches a few basic techniques that are widely known and taught better elsewhere, and the 'course' that you pay for apparently only teaches you learning exercises, which are probably not going to be much use to you.

The thing about a 'phenomenal' memory, however you choose to define it, is that everybody's brain works slightly differently, and a technique that is good for one person is no use for someone else. All the people with genuinely great memories have developed their own little twists to the basic systems, and this expensive course is very unlikely to help you to do that.

In short, go nowhere near the SPM! Save your money and spend it on a trip to a memory competition near you, you'll get lots of free advice and memory training tips there!

Lewis said...

Hello Ben,

I really appreciate your time making the post below. I had a feeling the course offered nothing more than could be found on the Internet, however fancy packaging can often make something seem better than it is.

I spoke to one person who has started the course and he is happy with its content. However when I started to quiz him about the course, everything he told me about its techniques can be found in various Buzan books.

Again, many thanks for your help. You have saved me £200 attempting to satisfy my curiosity.

lol, not sure about the memory competition, I will leave that to the experts. Perhaps as a spectator though.

Good luck


Rich said...

Hi just to add, I downloaded and read the free School of Phenomenal Memory 'book'. It doesn't contain anything useful just some vage references to the major system. The content is even out of date, here's an extract:

"Connection is formed very quickly. It is enough to keep two connected images in imagination for a couple seconds. The standard time is 6 seconds; the world record is 0.65 second (Andy Bell, memorizing 52 playing cards)."


Lewis said...

thanks Rich

Zoomy said...

In fairness, I should say that the people who have paid for the course and went into it not knowing anything about memory techniques, generally do seem to be satisfied with the results. They tend to get a bit defensive if you suggest that they didn't need to spend all that money, though.

And I was quite serious about suggesting you should come to a memory competition. You don't have to compete (although it's more fun if you do) and you certainly don't have to be an 'expert'! I can promise you'll have a good time and meet a lot of interesting people - if nothing else, it's a good opportunity to chat with the likes of Tony Buzan and Dominic O'Brien about memory and related subjects!