Who hasn’t lamented the flighty, oftentimes unreliable, nature of memories? Though we live in an age rife with readily available information, we often have trouble retrieving basic facts from our minds, whether it be the name of a person we just met, grocery lists, or where we left our keys.
Luckily, this isn’t an insurmountable problem. As competitors in the U.S. Memory Championships well know, memory is a skill that can be learned and honed by anyone with time and reasonable intelligence.
Author Joshua Foer set out to test this premise himself by going on a personal journey into the world of competitive memory. Here he writes about what he learned along the way and offers tips for others interested in sharpening their recall skills. He delves not just into his own mind and contemporary ideas about memory, but explores what humans believed to be the limits and possibilities of memory throughout history.