Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

The Lost Art of Memory: Moonwalking with Einstein

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Pragmatic Education


Dominic O’Brien failed his O levels and left school aged 16. Not long after, he saw someone memorise a pack of cards in under three minutes. With discipline, effort and bucketloads of practice, he beat the record and became the first and eight-times World Memory Champion. ‘Memory comes down to desire and 2,500 year-old techniques.’

Ben Pridmore can permanently remember what happened on 96 historical dates in 5 minutes. ‘It’s all about understanding how memory works.’

Ed Cooke can remember 99 names and faces in 15 minutes. ’My memory is quite average. But even average memories are remarkably powerful if used properly.’


Joshua Foer covered the World Memory Championships in 2005 as a journalist. Fascinated, he decided to enter in 2006: ‘I didn’t have a clue how my own memory worked. Perhaps the best way to understand human memory would be to try very hard to…

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