6 de enero de 2017
Overall I liked it and YES, it is useful, here is what I have to say about this book, but first some premises.
- This is the first "memory" book I have read.
- I'm writing this review a week after reading the book completely and have done actual efforts to put in practice.
- I have never tried using techniques before, reading this books (peg system, memory palace, journey method, name it, I haven't)
- At first I don't believe mnemonics will work for "everything", more on that on my review.
Ok so let's get to the point.
First thing I have to say about this book is that it actually worked for me, and helped me figure out I'm a very visual person. To use the techniques described in this book(which the author himself mentions that they exist from a long time ago, and other memory books share the same basis, only told in a different manner), you need to learn some principles, these have to do with concentration, "visualization and creation of images in your mind", connecting those images to stuff already in your long term memory, and finally practice continuously.
The book contains very clear instructions on exercises, I have found out that after a week of reading a list over 10 items in one exercise, I still remember it, but one thing is certain. One has to be very serious about following the steps, and this takes effort and energy. Being openminded and taking this book seriously can have great positive results, but it will only be true if put in practice.
After reading the book I have used the techniques and tried to visualize several things that I find very very interesting for me, like the circles of hell in Dante's Inferno, some interesting quotes in the Art of War, in very little time.Still as I'm still beginning with this "way of thinking", I have found several struggles.
Here's the thing, the techniques requires you to create or imagine in your mind very visual vivid experiences, I only have done this naturally when reading fantasy/science fiction/horror(my preferred genres) books. As a result it is easy to remember what you imagine and related to memories already stored in your mind, however for me it is exhausting. Don't get me wrong, creativity and imagination is something that takes actual energy from your body, you get tired in a similar way as you do when doing actual physical exercise, it is no different. Some memory book authors compare memory championships to olympic sport competitions, these comparisons are far more true that what I had imagined.
Good news, continuous practice for me seems to be working out and I'm getting used to generating vivid images in my mind to apply the techniques. I had considered my self a person with a very bad memory, after applying the concepts(even a couple of days or a week later), I noticed an outrageous difference in my memory capabilities. I do feel as a more capable person.
Will it work for everything? - still unsure.
Before I finish, one thing to set up straight, I'm a software programmer, and often work with very abstract concepts, the book shows a way that gives one the possibility to potentially memorize a book verbatim (after practice and hard training). To talk in more realistic terms, let's try to memorize quotes, I have done that easily after reading the book, BUT, try memorizing programming source code... Certain things can be remembered but very abstract concepts have limitations when trying to apply the methods describes. At least, at this first month of practicing. The thing is, to best remember something, it needs to be linkable with a visual experience, keep in mind that linking some(not all, or at least after further practice) mathematical, abstract concepts will be a difficult task, still the techniques had helped me to easily remember essential "abstract" concepts related to algorythms, methods, and then I can fill in the gaps with reasoning, rather than remembering how to solve problems. Use the memory techniques wisely, and complement with other skills to solve problems.
Overall, a great experience, I will continue to apply concepts to my daily life, and even i my professional activities, complementing when needed with other functions of the brain.