Joshua Foer: We are the sum of our memories

Joshua Foer (jounalist, mnemonist, winner of the 2006 USA Memory Championship, author of Moonwalking with Einstein) recently gave a TED Talk explaining that, once upon a time, the idea of having a trained, cultivated memory was commonplace; the great orators would give their speeches from memory. Then we invented writing and, eventually, the internet and no longer have a great need to memorise. However, his view is that our lives are the sum of our memories. He explains that amazing feats of memory are actually the culmination of technique and practice – like the ability to use the ‘memory palace’. Most of these techniques boil down to what psychologists call ‘elaborative encoding’… the ability to make material memorable.

These techniques compliment Revunote. These are the kinds of techniques that you need to use to actually learn material in the first place. Foer points out that these are not shortcuts, that memorising takes effort, that it requires a kind of mindfulness counter to our usual in-one-ear, out-the-other experience. Revunote with Evernote helps you focus on the things you are learning and then helps drive a review process that helps cement that memory into place.

 

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