Monday, January 03, 2011

Memory training!

I've added historic dates and random words to my training schedule - I don't normally practice those at all, but I figure it can't hurt. I might even throw in a bit of names and faces practice too, if I can really force myself to (because, as we all know, I'm rubbish at names and faces and consequently don't like doing it). I've put together word-o-matic and date-o-matic Excel files, using a random words list from the internet, and all the available former dates papers I could find. It's harder to make a names-and-faces-o-matic, although that's a pretty poor excuse since there's a perfectly good training thing at But I don't really like training on the computer so much. I spend so much time staring at a computer screen, both at work and at home, that memory training is practically the only rest my poor long-suffering eyes get.

We'll just have to see how I feel.


Anonymous said...

I think names and faces are the one area where the old-school memory guys like Arthur Bornstein or Harry Lorayne might still have relevance. Lorayne could rattle off the names of 1500 people in an audience he had met for one a second of two.

The old school guys focused on practical memory skills, like remembering people you meet at a business meeting or numbers at the length of a telephone number.

Though, I must admit that Scott Hagwood has a good suggestion in his book. He suggests getting the thousand most common surnames and first names from the U.S. Social Security Administration or Census Bureau websites. These thousand surnames cover nearly all countries and cultures.

Anonymous said...

Same for me with mental calculation. I prefer doing it on paper even though all the tourneys are using memoriad software now. The whole community supports you for focusing on your weaknesses.

Matthew Broderick said...

Give up on this memory sport stuff, focus more on achieving infamy through the ukulele.

Josh said...

Same here -- memory techniques are a way to get away from the computer. I hope the competitions never go electronic, otherwise I think people will have to train with the software to perform well in the competitions.