New member, 62, JamesW, from the UK

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#1 4 December, 2016 - 06:53
Joined: 11 months 2 weeks ago

New member, 62, JamesW, from the UK

Hello everyone

Tell us about yourself: who are you, what do you do, where are you from?

I’m 62 years old, male and from the UK. I index books for a living. I’m also a part-time magician and writer. (By which I mean, I occasionally earn money from performing magic – children’s parties, weddings, corporate etc – and also from comedy/crime books I’ve published on Amazon kindle.)

How did you find out about memory techniques? What do you like about them most?

I first came across memory techniques in, I think, a Harry Lorayne book when I was about 16. I thought they were utterly ridiculous and promptly abandoned them. (More fool, me!) About 12 years ago, I wanted to perform a magic trick (one I’d invented and subsequently published) that could only be done by memorising a lot of information in advance. I came across two books by Tony Buzan – and I was off.

What I like about memory techniques is the use of imagination (I’ve always been an avid reader/writer) and the sense of achievement in memorising information. It can be hard work – but great fun, too. I just wish I’d stuck at them when I was in my teens and not thought the whole thing was so boring and pointless.

What are your current best memory feats?

Among other things, I’ve used memory techniques to memorise all the UK’s prime ministers, and every FA Cup Final (football/soccer) result from 1872 to the present day. I also perform a ‘magic’ trick for which I’ve had to memorise 400 words in a dictionary and the page on which each word appears.

What's the big goal you want to achieve? What have you tried so far? What worked, what didn't?

I want to memorise a deck of cards in under two minutes. I’ve only started on this goal within the last month. My best effort to date is 4:52 with 6 wrong, and 7:23 with one wrong. I don’t think my images are strong enough, and I struggle with my ‘journey’. I have 52 locations around my house, but – I feel – they’re not always imaginative enough.

It may be that I use an out-of-date approach in that I use images created by the letters of the Major System, rather than POA. (Ie mostly objects not people.) I’d be interested to hear other people’s views on this and/or their approach.

More generally, I want to set myself targets – lists of binary numbers/words etc – and do my best to push my limits. I have a competitive nature – even if it’s just me against me!

Why did you decide to become an Member?

I thought it would be fun and helpful to meet up with others who are interested in these techniques. If I keep up the work, I’m sure being here will help me enormously. 

5 December, 2016 - 19:52
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Welcome to the site! :)

The Major System is fine. I think that many of the current top memory competitors use a 3-digit system based on the Major System.

6 December, 2016 - 03:45
Joined: 11 months 2 weeks ago

Thanks, Josh.

I like the Major System, though am thinking about trying out the Dominic system as well. The 3-digit system sounds as if it's worth investigating. I generally only use two - but it does mean I have to use more images.

I find the training programs very useful for having to think at speed. I'm hoping I'll be able to improve my ability to quickly put together images and stories, and that it will help my card memorisation in particular.

12 December, 2016 - 16:23
Joined: 2 years 4 months ago


13 December, 2016 - 09:52
Joined: 11 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you.

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