1. Jo says...

    I’m lost. It’s truly fascinating but I’m honestly lost. ;-)

    I’ve definitely heard of the house (palace?) concept in the past but for some reason, this video is just way too overwhelming. Maybe I should try his book instead…

  2. I’m learning Japanese so this is actually SO helpful right now! Thanks, Joanna!!

  3. Jon limbird says...

    Simpler. Can you remember 10 digit phone numbers? Pick a 10 letter unique letter word, like binoculars, assign a name to each letter (eg Ben, Ida, Nick, Olive, etc), now memorize the associated 10 digit “phone number”. and just think you only have to remember 10 names/phone#. Of course with smart phone technology no one practices memorizing phone numbers any more.

  4. Laura says...

    Read his book, “Moonwalking with Einstein!” It is fabulous, fun read. He has you memorize a grocery list – I read this book in 2011 and I still remember parts of that list.

  5. cjkeys2 says...

    this is 100000% a joke right?

  6. Way too complicated for me but it was fascinating to learn his process. I guess I’ll just have to settle for my 17 memorized digits of pi that I can still remember from high school. =D

  7. This is so interesting! Agreed that it seems like more to memorize, but I suppose we all have our methods! I’d have to sit and write out all of the numbers and memorize the repetition of writing them…also a time consuming method :)

  8. Sasha says...

    This was fascinating! A friend taught me part of the memory palace technique in order to remember things that I have to do. I’m really great about waking up in the night anxiously thinking of something I MUST DO tomorrow and getting up to write it down makes me wide awake so I can’t go back to sleep. This technique relies on placing an absurd image related to the task you must do, inside a familiar place, your house. Somehow the absurd image is easier for the mind to hold on to than the words related to a task.

    So let’s say I wake up in the night and remember that I must call my grandmother for her birthday tomorrow. I’d think of walking into my house, and sitting on the front table is a huge old fashioned telephone with a wig of Grandma’s curly grey hair on top, blowing confetti through the hand set. I go to sleep and in the morning I feel like there’s something I’m forgetting. So I imagine opening the door to my house and Oh yeah, there’s the strange old fashioned phone sitting there, reminding me to call her because its her birthday. It works really well for me!

  9. JPB says...

    This is just confusing. I’m a synesthete which generally helps with memorizing, especially numbers. But this just seems way more complicated than just remembering the numbers.
    I could imagine it working much better for memorizing things in the area of the natural sciences.

  10. Jen says...

    Okay, this makes me think of two things. First of all, have you seen the British series “Sherlock” with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes? If you haven’t, you must (it’s the Sherlock Holmes stories, but set in modern-day London). Anyway, in it, Sherlock talks about his “mind palace,” so of course this video reminded me of him. Except that this guy is not as weirdly charming as Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Secondly, when I was a kid, my dad bought me a set of memorization technique tapes to help me become a genius (only half kidding). The only thing I remember from those tapes now was that in order to memorize boring things, you had to make them unusual. Like, if my shopping list had bread and milk from the grocery store, then a replacement lightbulb and some wood glue from the hardware store (or whatever), I’d have to imagine something like being a loaf of bread diving into a pool of milk, resurfacing to find that I’m actually swimming inside of a light bulb, and the liquid isn’t milk after all, it’s wood glue. Something crazy like that.

  11. Andrea says...

    I feel so dumb! Oh my word……….

  12. It’s fascinating, I’m so often feeling like Dory in “Finding Nemo”. With technic, and work, it could pay, but as days still only have 24 hours maybe I will continue to read your blog instead and still feel sometimes “lost in translation”.

  13. Whitney says...

    I had a friend who did exactly this in law school. I didn’t know that it was an established technique (and neither did he). However, instead of random images, he pictured lewd sexual acts. It worked very well for him though!

  14. My reaction in letters: OMG. (and then) WTF!? Haha. I’m too lazy to figure out the number associations ;)

    Seriously though, that was pretty crazy and pretty amazing. So funny that he considered this a sluggish performance!

  15. I’m really bad at numbers and could never be bothered to remember the number – letter association (besides a and z probably ;) ) And then making three letters into a different random word each time seems like work, and then remembering the image that I’m associating with the word that I’m supposed to be associating with the letters that I’m supposed to be associating with the number…it seems like much more work than straight memorizing!

    I understand the visualization technique in theory, though.

  16. I feel like I just had a psychedelic trip. Additionally, I feel very stupid.

  17. This makes me realize that I am just too lazy to even think about using a technique to memorize things.
    If only I spend as much time learning this technique as I spend reading your blog, this could actually work :)

  18. Samantha says...

    I read Moonwalking with Einstein and LOVED it! I’m not normally big on non-fiction but I found it so interesting!

  19. Alice Quin says...

    Wow!! I love this kind of stuff. There is a world for anything you get into. My brother was into unicycling of all things growing up and there was a whole world for that too. I guess the lesson is, find your interest or talent and go with it !

  20. dawn says...

    This concept is so interesting! I have a neighbor who has Aspergers and has a photographic memory. He won a pi memorizing contest when he was in high school…I’ll have to compare his technique! Also, William Alexander, the author of ‘Flirting with French’ used a similiar process to learn all the words in a French dictionary.

  21. liz says...

    I think this is lovely, the feminist callout at the end of his mind palace was amazing! (fish riding a bicycle)

  22. Laura says...

    He has a great book about how he learned the process and his winning the US memory championship, that explains the concept a bit more clearly (“Moonwalking with Einstein”) This video is definitely a bit overwhelming the but the technique is actually pretty simple = just lots of practice to perfect it!

  23. Uggghhhh this guy bored me to death. I’m fine with losing my keys and forgetting my grocery list ;)

    • Nicky C says...

      I was about to say the same thing. His book is a nice read and less intimidating than this. It’s funny finally putting a face to the name though.

  24. Christie says...

    I got tired just watching that video, much less imagining and entire house full of random objects in a precise order.

    It’s a good idea though, lots of people learn in different ways and I’m sure this would be a great method for someone.

  25. It certainly works for him, but it could never work for me. The original letter/number associations mean nothing to me, that would have to be memorized. Then him putting together words with those letters, I would remember the word, but not which specific letters of the word are important, so that would have to be memorized too. Since I suck at the original aforementioned memorizing…I guess I just shouldn’t quit my day job. lol

    • Maria says...

      Is not the memorising part (too much components) is the “palace” association technique. Because I’m introverted, I’ve attended some courses and the house technique is also used to start a conversation, so you can enter into your “mind palace” or house and ask the right questions. That is what I get from the video.

  26. Rosie says...

    there was a TED Radio Hour on NPR featuring him. I still think there are too many associations and components to this particular example – almost twice the stuff to memorize!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I agree! It seems like triple the stuff to memorize but I guess you’d get used it to with practice. So fascinating!