I'll come up with something in a minute.

Not so much a palace as a badly maintained warehouse

Does anyone here know about The Memory Palace idea?

Put simply, you create a visual representation of the things you want to remember in a virtual house you keep in your head. You either have symbolic representations of the things you want to remember* or you just place the thing itself down and it becomes part of the tour. You do this for each memory, building the tour as you go along until you have a glorious palace of thoughts and ideas that you want to keep straight. Once you know how to do it, and you get comfortable with building the palaces, it really can help you remember things.

Well, I’ve got a memory trick like that, only it works differently. Actually, when I heard about the memory palace it was sort of, “Yeah, I’ve got something like that, only completely different.”

The deep memory, long-term stuff, is arranged in what I call a memory warehouse. Things aren’t set out for me to see, they’re in boxes. The problem is, that some of the boxes are badly marked. In fact, long experience has taught me that unmarked boxes contain nothing but trouble. Once you’ve smacked a snarling memory or two down with your thwacking stick, you quickly remember why it’s in a black box and far away from the other boxes. And of course, quite often things will have been crammed into boxes in what seems to be all higgledy-piggledy and I’ve got to work through why these items were placed together. I must say, it’s hardly as concrete as I’ve made it sound, it’s more like swirling mists and things popping up out of it.

And then sometimes, with other stuff, it’s like a rolodex. You flip through an age of stuff to get to what you want. This means that I roll through, happen upon a memory of when I was four, which is more like an article. I read quickly through the article, because the stuff is hidden in the hyperlinks in the article, and this leads me on a merry wikipedia like dance through one subject after another with deviations, hesitations and many repetitions. So, Clement Freud would totally buzz the hell out of my thought processes.

As I say, it doesn’t work like the memory theater trick, but it does work along the same process. As a result, you have another hint as to how my mind works and why sometimes you will get such a wide variety of subject. I start a walk through the old memory warehouse, open boxes at random and examine the contents before cross-referencing it with the rolodex and clicking a few links to get me to where I end up. If you’ve ever thought some of my thoughts are a bit random, they aren’t. It’s just the connections don’t always work for anyone else but me.

*This is why literary symbolism pisses me off so much. More on that later.

September 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment