Newbie questions on MoL + PAO

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#1 10 August, 2017 - 07:17
moo
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Newbie questions on MoL + PAO


Hi All,

First of all, thanks of everyone who posts here, it’s really helped me a lot. I have some questions about MoL and learning a PAO. I also wonder how all this stuff feels for you guys who have trained your memories for a good while already.

1. How long does it take you guys to create memory places? It takes me about ~ 2-3 hours to create a new memory palace if I can revisit the place. If I can’t revisit, then I spend another couple of hours on google maps and photo sites.

2. Does my method seem correct? After visiting or googling, I try to draw the floor plan (pencil & ruler), number the stations/rooms, & plan a pathway. Finally, I mentally walk through it (and usually find that I forgot a room or something important). I use the roman room method with 5 loci/room.

3. How can I create memory palaces faster? Is it just practice or are there tricks? It seems like creating new memory palaces is the “rate-limiting step” for being able to easily memorize info.

4. Do you have an tricks to optimize revising stored memories and palaces with respect to the forgetting curve? What I love about memory palaces vs. Anki/flashcards is that I can review anywhere & without a computer or other materials! I thought of using Anki with a simple Subject + Palace-Name flashcard, as a queue to revise it. Does anyone do anything like that? Are there smart systems that avoid the computer?

5. What speed should I go at while initially memorizing my PAO. Yesterday I spent ~ 5-10 minutes to memorize the first 30 scenes using MoL. I can picture the movement and the scene well, but I can’t always seem to visualize the faces of people.

10 August, 2017 - 20:39
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1. The intial creation of a palace only takes me a few minutes. It takes a few practice trials with it to solidify the palace though. I just imagine the place and add loci, revisiting is not necessary for me. I often get details wrong but those can be fixed later or I can just keep my details, no big deal.

2. That method is so different from mine, I can't really say if what you are doing is right or wrong for you. The best advice I can give here is that try to experiment with faster methods and see what works for you. Perhaps you can do this for now but gradually decease the preparation you need to do as your visual memory gets stronger.

Personally when I sit down to practice and decide I want a new palace, I just arbitrarily think of some place and add loci around landmarks and corners, wherever they feel right and test if it works in practice.

3. The word you are looking for is limiting factor. I just do memory sports, I have little experience using non-reusable palaces so I may not be the person to answer this question. The time it takes is nowhere near a limiting factor for me though as you can probably guess from my answer to no. 2.

4. I don't have anything like that. Maybe you could provide original experimentation, there are many aspects of memory techniques that are unexplored. We know that they can be used to memorize ludicrous amounts of random information with speed but there isn't a whole lot of research, academic or otherwise, that compare the effectiveness of applied MoL vs SRS or anything similar to that. In fact there isn't a lot of material out there that shows practical uses of MoL used by people to a great deal of success. This is just me ranting at this point but suffice it to say this needs to be explored before we really know anything.

5. As fast as possible. You won't get any faster if you aren't stretching your abilities. You may think you aren't really stretching your abilities when you get more than half of the digits wrong, but that would probably be incorrect. Memorizing at speed is hard and serves as exercise that will improve your memory. As some people say, go faster than you really can go and your brain will try to catch up.

13 August, 2017 - 19:07
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@Grandzam, thanks for all the tips!!! I'm not sure why I'm find it hard to initially memorize the PAO characters. I'm going to try visualizing them faster, and try using Anki to quiz myself too. :)

14 August, 2017 - 13:33
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Here is an odd thing. When I see a number, say 58, I (mentally) sound out the (visual) major system sounds. "sss+p", "sss+b" ... trying all the while to think up the character. But that doesn't work... I just draw a blank.

Since my memory palace has 5 loci/room, I go hunting in the appropriate room. I realize that 55-60 are in the upstairs bathroom, and 58 must be one loci way from the last loci in the room. It's the sink. I think of Usain Bolt running around the sink with track blocks and for a split second I sort of imagine it and almost see it. Why does that work so well (?!) but mentally (or even out loud) saying "Sss+B" and "Ssss+P" sounds doesn't trigger it. It takes me 60-90 seconds to do that. However, the reverse direction "Usain Bolt --> 58" is 2 seconds.

Anyways, a strange side effect of this is that I'm getting "numeric" access to this memory palace.

21 August, 2017 - 14:25
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In case other newbies read this in the future, here is how I got over my problems with MoL and PAO.

@Grandzam's advice helped and so did the material at mullenmemory.com, especially "Refining your technique" and the examples of Alex going though English and Chinese vocab.

I got through my block by
(1) adding PAO images to Anki and reviewing them every daily. Anki helps with interleaving (quizzing the PAO characters are in random order) and will test generation (you need to go from ## to person and vice versa in separate flashcards.)
(2) Using the techniques in regular life. I started memorizing my gym loaner padlock codes instead of writing them down. (Scary) I also memorized my bank credit card number.
(3) For important stuff like my credit card, I created an anki flash card with "see your card" on the answer side.
(4) For MoL generally, I've been trying to add elements in a more "on-the-fly" way like Alex does in the example videos. This works okay and has a better results vs. effort than what I was doing. It seems like I can memorize about ~ 20-50 items in 10 minutes.
(5) I think "trying really hard" to memorize hinders you. Somehow if it's relaxed, fun, and sort of interesting, the brain has better conditions for memorizing than if you're "trying hard" and or partially judging yourself.

Okay, that's what seemed to help me.

Man... I wish I knew this when I was in school!

Best
moo

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