Her TED talk shows quickly how she did something similar, but with birds and bird identification. Her work has examples of how many other cultures did this as well.
I love some of the things she’s documenting here though I’ll have to dig into her references. She’s much better versed in memory practice than Yates, in part because she actually makes a practice of using the techniques. There are pieces I wish she went into greater depth on.
Syndicated to Goodreads on March 15, 2020 at 11:52AM
I’m loving all these examples of memory devices she’s discovered and describing in this section. Not much of this is covered in much (any?) of the other common literature on memory.
I think her work has some profound impact on the arc of Big History, particularly with respect to Threshold 6, well into Threshold 7, and continuing into the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. In true big history fashion, her thesis also touches heavily on a broad array of topics including anthropology, archaeology, psychology, neuroscience, history, and education.
A broad, reasonable introduction to her work can be had in CalTech physicist Sean Carroll’s recent podcast interview.
Another short introduction is her TEDx Melbourne talk:
A solid popular science encapsulation of her work can be found in her book The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments (Pegasus Books, 2017).
A more thorough academic treatment of her work can naturally be found in:
- When knowledge was power (Ph.D. thesis, 2012)
- Knowledge and power in prehistoric societies: orality, memory and the transmission of culture (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
With some work, I think her research could become a better foundational basis for a stronger bridge from threshold 6 into threshold 7 with dramatic impact on how we view origin stories, mythology, religion. It also has some spectacular implications for improving pedagogy and memory within our educational systems and how we view and use collective memory and even innovation in the modern world.
Today, we explore whether memory still has a practical place in the world of big data and computing.
As a science writer, Lynne has written 18 books including The Memory Code. Her research showed that without writing, people used the most extraordinary suite of memory techniques to memorise massive amounts of practical information. This explains the purpose of monuments like Stonehenge, the Nazca Lines and the statues of Easter Island. Her next book, Unlocking The Memory Code explains the most effective memory methods from around the world and throughout time. Lynne shows how these can be invaluable in modern world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Originally bookmarked on December 14, 2019 at 08:42AM
Not only is Lynne Kelly the author of several books on memory, but she is a highly skilled researcher, science educator, author and memory competitor.
Most known for her theory about Stonehenge’s purpose, she has also contributed to work in popular science and is a promoter of skepticism.
Lynne’s critical thinking and contributions to such a wide range of science subjects has led to awards from the Royal Zoological Society of South Wales among others. As a memory expert, Lynne Kelly is that rare practitioner who takes on large learning projects and shares the journey in addition to attending memory sport activities.
- The real reason why stores play such upbeat, catchy music.
- Why outdoor Memory Palaces can be so helpful for memory retention.
- The benefits of “setting aside” time for memory training versus incorporating practice into everyday life.
- How vivid, violent, or vulgar imagery can bring abstract concepts to life.
- Why “rapscallions” are useful memory tools and not just mischievous little creatures.
- How art can help you remember more in a Memory Palace.
- The pros and cons to living with aphantasia.
- The key to using hooks and layering to create dynamic visuals.
- How to “dialogue” with your memory aids.
- Why we should encode using music and places for maximum mental skill (and possible mental health) benefits.
- The usefulness of memory techniques for school aged children and their long-term effects.
- The secret to overcoming “ghosting” when using memory techniques.
There’s an interesting segment on aphantasia and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the middle here. I’d definitely be interested in looking into the research on aphantasia more. There’s also some more material here on memory methods for education (compared with other interviews with Dr. Kelly). She does use a physics example on force and the idea of push/pull with respect to Star Wars which I’ve heard her mention before.
Originally bookmarked on December 07, 2019 at 01:11PM
I started out using Huffduffer to collect a handful of podcast interviews with LynneKelly on her work with mnemonics, but noticed a handful of others that had already been using various tags like “memory” and “mnemonics” on the service as well.
While I know there are some podcasts dedicated directly to memory, most of the ones I’ve tagged/highlighted in my list are one-off episodes or radio interviews that stand alone. I’ve also gone through a few past posts on the forum about podcast episodes relating to memory and tagged them as well.
I’ve seen a dozen or so other posts on the forum here in which people have mentioned particular podcasts, so I’ll mention that Huffduffer is a great audio-based web tool for finding, discovering, and collecting audio content. It also provides iTunes subscribe-able audio feeds for every account, collective, and even tag on the site.
If you’re interested in the topic of “mnemonics” you can subscribe to the public RSS feed on Huffduffer and you’ll automatically be updated in your podcatcher of choice whenever anyone else in the community uses Huffduffer and tags an audio file with the same “mnemonics” tag.
Happy listening and collecting.
Lynne Kelly is a science writer who was researching the methods used by ancient cultures to retain vast amounts of information about animals and plants.
She was looking into the way knowledge was recorded through stories, song and dance.
On a journey to Stonehenge in England, Lynne was struck by the thought that the makers of that monumental stone circle were doing the same thing.
Lynne's research suggests the stone circles of England, the huge animal shapes in Peru, and the statues of Easter Island, were not so much objects of superstition, but tools allowing people to create a huge storehouses of knowledge.
An academic with diverse interests including spiders, history, and scepticism, Lynne applies the memory 'code' to manage her own stores of facts and information.
Duration: 48min 28sec
Originally bookmarked on December 07, 2019 at 01:08PM
Traditional Aboriginal Australian songlines hold the key to a powerful memory technique used by indigenous people around the world.
Have you ever wondered how ancient indigenous cultures maintain so much information about the thousands of species of plants and animals—without writing it down? Traditional Aboriginal Australian songlines are key to a powerful memory technique used by indigenous people around the world. It's intricately tied to the landscape and it can be applied in our everyday lives.
Duration: 28min 49sec
Originally bookmarked on December 07, 2019 at 01:13PM
Eric wrote (quoted with permission):
“I recently heard your interview with Sean Carroll on Mindscape and want to say, as I’m sure many others have, that your discussion of memory and culture was eye-opening.
Maxwell’s Demon is a famous thought experiment in which a mischievous imp uses knowledge of the velocities of gas molecules in a box to decrease the entropy of the gas, which could then be used to do useful work such as pushing a piston. This is a classic example of converting information (what the gas molecules are doing) into work. But of course that kind of phenomenon is much more widespread — it happens any time a company or organization hires someone in order to take advantage of their know-how. César Hidalgo has become an expert in this relationship between information and work, both at the level of physics and how it bubbles up into economies and societies. Looking at the world through the lens of information brings new insights into how we learn things, how economies are structured, and how novel uses of data will transform how we live.
César Hidalgo received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Notre Dame. He currently holds an ANITI Chair at the University of Toulouse, an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester, and a Visiting Professorship at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. From 2010 to 2019, he led MIT’s Collective Learning group. He is the author of Why Information Grows and co-author of The Atlas of Economic Complexity. He is a co-founder of Datawheel, a data visualization company whose products include the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
I was also piqued at the mention of Lynne Kelly’s work, which I’m now knee deep into. I suspect it could dramatically expand on what we think of as the capacity of a personbyte, though the limit of knowledge there still exists. The idea of mnemotechniques within indigenous cultures certainly expands on the way knowledge worked in prehistory and what we classically think of and frame collective knowledge or collective learning.
I also think there are some interesting connections with Dr. Kelly’s mentions of social equity in prehistorical cultures and the work that Hidalgo mentions in the middle of the episode.
There are a small handful of references I’ll want to delve into after hearing this, though it may take time to pull them up unless they’re linked in the show notes.
hat-tip: Complexity Digest for the reminder that this is in my podcatcher. 🔖 November 22, 2019 at 03:28PM