Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Memory Crystal Example

The number is 43893. To remember this, remember it several times. It has two sequences of numbers one apart, first going down, the second going up. Like this: \ /; I give it a tune, though for some reason it's / \ -. All numbers are in these two one-apart pairs, of which there are two. It also has a 3 - 9 - 3 sequence, although not in a row, which sequence itself is mnemonic. The chronologically first number in each pair is related, in ascending order. 4 - 8, 3 - 9.

I think my memory is good due to habitually using a technique I call a memory crystal, where I form complexes of memories that reinforce one another. The simplest way is to remember a thing, and then remember remembering it. The two memories drift independently, and can be used to correct each other's errors.

If I forget it starts with 4, then I can remember it has 3 - 9 - 3 and sequences one apart, so I can guess 4 and see if it feels right against the tune. If I forget the 3 - 9 - 3 I can remember the two pairs are related by one-ascending factors, 2 (with 4) and 3 (with 3). If I only remember they're one apart, I can remember there's two sequences - they're not both up or both down. Etc etc.

After correcting a dyad crystal once, the memory of correcting it forms a triad which is ridiculously stable. It's essentially impossible for a triad to drift together and lose information.

Cost: this does mean I read kind of slow, I think. I did it so consistently, starting in childhood, that it's nowe unconscious and automatic. Or rather, I read pretty fast except I'm reading every word 3-5 times so I can see all the sentences' properties and use them to remember each other.

Due to repetition, the techniques themselves are heavily chunked. I have like nine properties of this one number? It feels like fewer than 3, though, because the properties are so heavily compressed. I didn't mention some because the sentences describing the properties take up a order of magnitude more memory as the properties themselves do, which makes the description feel wrong. I've thought about a number before, after all. Once or twice.

(Make that ten properties, since there are nine "natural" properties and the 3 - 9 - 3 sequence.)

Likewise, I'm remembering so many properties I will remember enough of them by chance. Takes zero conscious effort.

The crystal feels meaningful. The number isn't just a random sequence of digits anymore - it feels a little profound, like there's something under there. After all, I went digging and found something under. The internal relationships are no longer trivial or nonexistent, de-fusing the natural tendency to discard pointless information.