Friday, June 12, 2009

The train of thought is late again

I just thought to myself something along the lines of "Right, finished my hastily-knocked-together costume for my brother's party tomorrow, now for the more important task of..." and there was some word or phrase after that. But now I've got no idea what it was that I was going to do. I'm pretty sure it was something very significant that probably won't wait until tomorrow morning. But never mind.

Anyway, what I was going to blog about tonight was the idea of technologising the memory competition world. Check out the latest interview on, the extremely cool website that I might have mentioned before. On the one hand, it's a good idea to save the arbiters the hassle of marking (and avoid the mistakes that causes), and the idea of spectators being able to see live updates is fun (although I think people would prefer to see updating numbers rather than animations of people running).

On the other hand, there are definite health and safety issues with requiring competitors to stare at a computer screen for an hour. I think it'd still be better to have the memorisation done on paper, and the recall on computer. But then, that would probably lead to more possibility of technical problems, and that's the wider issue - the cost of setting up computers for everyone is something the organisers could maybe deal with, if they get a bit more money from somewhere, but there would inevitably be something go wrong with it. Probably a power cut in the middle of a competition that causes all the numbers the competitors have spent the previous two hours typing in to be lost. I remain sceptical.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't stare at a computer screen for the length of time necessary. I hate staring at lights be it computers, bulbs, camera flashes or the sun. I'm the only member of my family that doesn't wear glasses and I prefer to keep it that way :-)

I think it's a good idea for the spectators though and it would be ok if it was just the recall stage.


Mike said...

I have spent a lot of my free time recently, working on a simultaneous competition online tool. It has no nice visual look yet but I am nearly ready to ask a few friends to compete with me and see if the internet breaks as a result.
I posted a comment on Memory-Sports about presenting binary as a picture drawn by instructions which match binary sequences.
That is the kind of thing that I would like to aim for IF I had the free time: making memory activities more visual or louder so that it is a 'spectacle' - in the good sense of the word.

Mike Carroll said...

Pencil and paper is definitely the way to go. Although computers would make the scoring much easier, paper feels much more tangible.