Our friend, filmmaker Joe Sabia, made this video with Joshua Foer, the ex-US memory champ, on how to memorize the first 100 digits of Pi. "A while back, said Joe," "I reached out to my miniature figure making friends, Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber, and asked if they wanted to visualize Josh Foer's brain, by making an actual memory palace. They spent months crafting miniatures, and in the end we were able to make this video."
Joe was inspired to improve his memory, too! He is using the Person-Action-Object (PAO) system to memorize a randomized deck of cards. Here's how de described it to me:
PAO has each card representing a PERSON doing an ACTION with/on/around/inside an OBJECT
So, for example.
9 of hearts:
To make it easier, my "9's" are other badass women.
So my 9 of spades is
LIGHTING ON FIRE
My "2" section is male comedians. for example,
2 of diamonds is…
If I do that 52 times, and memorize all PERSON/ACTION/OBJECT for every card, I am then able to see the random cards in TRIOS.
Let's say the first three cards in a random deck were..
2 of diamonds / 9 of hearts / 9 of spades
I treat the FIRST card, as "PERSON"
I treat the SECOND card, as "ACTION"
I treat the THIRD card, as "OBJECT"
So, the first visual in my palace would be…..
LOUIS CK…………………… KISSSING ……………………….. A THONG!
Although you have to memorize 156 combined PAO's, this system makes it so you only need to memorize 17 images using this method for one deck, (51 cards) and then just one card remains, which is the actual PAO for that one card…. so, 18 images total!
This is how all the big shots memorize like 10 decks!
Josh Foer was the first to promulgate this system in his book, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, and people like Tim Ferriss have gone further in blog posts.
In 2012 I interviewed Josh at TED about his book. Here's the video: