Bebu intones: I tried a system like that, too, Terry... it didn't take very well. Seriously! Can't even remember the number system! All I remember is, the need for "hooks". My memory was getting clogged with some very unusual visuals and I couldn't keep them straight...
...long before I even started learning that system!
The memory system I learned was given to me by my Grandad. It was invented by Dr. Bruno Furst. After he allowed the copyright to lapse other people, in effect, stole it and put their name on it.
Here is the basic principle involved.
Imagine you are standing on a corner waiting for a traffic light to change. A ordinary black two-door sedan pulls up to the light when it changes. Inside is a non-descipt man in a business suit with glasses. You glance at him for a second or two and cross the street. He drives away.
Two years later could you identify him if he drove up in the same car and same business suit? No, of course not.
The Memory course addresses the reason why. It gives you strategy and tactics for handling the way the human brain works.
Now, back to our example...
Imagine now, if you will, that you are waiting at that same traffic light the next day. The light changes just as a long pink cadillac convertible pulls up. Inside is a man with a propeller beanie on his head with a shocking pink propeller blade spinning madly on top. He is wearing a clown nose and has prank glasses on (the kind where the eyeballs pop out on wiggly springs). His coat is bright yellow with shocking pink polka dots and his pants are leopard skin with smiley faces. He is smoking a two foot long cigar that is as fat as a weightlifter's wrist.
You glance at the man just as long as you did the previous fellow in the two door sedan.
Two years pass. Do you think you'd remember the second fellow?
Of course you would! Why?
The human brain deals with patterns. One of the basic patterns is SAME/DIFFERENT. Primitive man used that pattern recognition to hunt and avoid predators. Imagine standing in a field of grass. You look out across the field and see a movement of something that is not grass, but, has a tuft of fur on the end of it and it is waving. This is where your focus would go AUTOMATICALLY. Because it is __different__you notice it. It could be a predator, such as a lion, waiting to pounce. It could be an animal you could hunt for food. The point is that you automatically focus on ___what is different__.
Memory systems give you a way to use a strategy for that natural pattern mechanism.
The only real work involved is laying down the hooks.
The number 1 you would put a horizontal line on top of and make a letter T which would suggest TEA. Whenever you wanted to memorize a series of things you'd associate a giant cup of TEA with that item. You'd imagine a cup of TEA the size of your house with those object floating in it and perhaps a helicopter with a long rope dipping that object like teabags into it. It would only take you a second to form this silly, awkward and unusual association. It is the absurdity that makes the memory task DIFFERENT in pattern.
The hooks always stay the same; it is the new associations that change.
It takes practice. What skill doesn't? There are two choices, the way I see it. I could struggle like everybody else when memorizing things I'm not particularly interested in. Or, I could learn a skill that would enable me to easily achieve my goal and make it fun and silly at the same time.
My mother-in-law's phone number; the example I gave previously, all my kids learned PEANUT PET CHEF and can covert it easily when they want to call her. It is fun saying the phrase and watching how puzzled bystanders are when they can perform these silly feats of memory.
My son memorized four pages of LATIN homework for a test in fifteen minutes and made a perfect score on it while others struggled, moaned and complained that it was too hard and unfair!
My daughter can memorize a long list of groceries and work out the costs as she goes through the grocery store. She knows at the checkout stand how much it should be. If they try to overcharge her she spots it immediately. This never fails to save her money and astound the clerks.
It is a very practical thing to learn. It should absolutely be taught in school.
Each and every number (speaking of math) has a personality. If you learn the personality of numbers you can deal with their effect when multiplied, divided, etc more easily.
Just as a quick and fun example: the number NINE (9) has an unusual characteristic. Whatever you multiply 9 by you get an answer whose digits add up to nine!
9x2=18 (eight plus one equal nine)
9x3=27 (two plus seven equal nine)
9x32= 288 (two plus eight plus eight equals 18 which further reduces to one plus eight equals nine).
By getting to know numbers not as NUMBERS, but, rather as personalities with effects you can use them with a different mindset.
I won't go on about this; but, it is alot of fun.
I can tell you a quick way to amaze people using the number 99.
Tell somebody you can multiply 99 times any two digit number and give them the answer immediately.
Let's say they give you 45. Here is what you do.
1. Reduce the number given to you by one. (45-1=44)
2.That result will be the first two numbers of your answer!
3.Ask yourself "What digits added to the ones I've got already would add up to nine?" That will be the answer to the last part of your answer. (44 would require 55 since 4+5 in each case equals 9).
Consequently, 99x45= 4455. Easy, fast and fun.
Now try it with 69.
1.Reduce it by one. (69-1=68) This is the first part of your answer (68)
2.What is the complimentary digit required to reach nine? (6+3) (8+1) =31.
Nothing to it once you get the knack.
This also works for 3 digits. 999x432=
1.Subtract one and right the digits (432-1=431) 431
2.Find the complimentary digits that add up to nine. 568