Joshua Foer, a freelance journalist, wrote the book “Moonwalking with Einstein, the Art and Science of Remembering Everything”. There has been lots of positive reviews of this book. Bill Gates said it was “absolutely phenomenal and one of the best books he had recently read”. No one seems to know what Einstein or even Moonwalking have to do with the substance of the book is but it really does open up your thinking about memory.
The author in preparing to write the book also spent a year in memory training preparing for the U.S. Memory Championship and learning about memory and its importance. He points out that we don’t need to remember as much today with all the help we have and that we only need to know where to find the answer. That may explain the books focus on remembering lists, numbers, playing card numbers and other things like that. The methods of association and the fact that mental athletes are neither geniuses or savants, but just people who have mastered techniques of understanding space and image was the books focus.
It seemed to me that a most interesting question raised was if “experience is the sum of our memories and wisdom the sum of experience,” then as the author asks, what does it mean that “we’ve supplanted our own natural memory with a vast superstructure of technological crutches”?
There are many reviews of this book but my own experience has a component that for me is a little embarrassing. It leads me to rate the book a little lower and question the overall book perhaps more than I should.
I found the book in my "to read" pile. The stack of books had become a little scrambled and I wasn’t positive whether I had read it. A couple of pages should answer that question but as you may have already guessed it didn’t for me. I read almost half of the book before I remembered that I had read it already? I had just finished a section explaining that if 100 pictures where held up for a few seconds each that I should be able to remember, if shown the pictures later, almost all of them. Even a year later I should be able to remember most of them.
I can laugh at myself for not remembering having read the book right off. I didn't like discovering it while learning how powerful our brains already are. If this is going to happen to me why did it have to be with a book on memory. I can’t answer that but I rated it lower