Morning Nugget- Enhancing Your Memory, Pt 1

Albert Einstein never took a modern IQ test, but we can imagine he would have received a high score!
Taking Einstein’s words into account as we explore the world of memory…


We are now moving onto another section of the series on Optimizing Brain Fitness by The Great Courses. The instructor for this course is Richard Restak, M.D. from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The next several posts will be on the topic of memory. For some time now, I’ve been on the fence concerning this topic: To memorize, or not to memorize…

On one side, I recall some phrases attributed to one with a notable use of brain power- Albert Einstein. A common idea he expressed about memorization is recounted this way: “Never memorize what you can look up in books.” He actually said, however, “[I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books,” when he was asked, but did not know the speed of sound as included in the Edison Test.

He also said, “…The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.”

How about this one: “Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so [#@#@] full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.”

Well, that seems to stack a case against memorization, at least of “useless” information.

On the other hand, however, there is an abundant wealth of research and opinions on the benefit to the brain through memorization.

Stick around for the next set of posts to explore this topic of memory further, and make your own conclusion.

I’m looking forward to examining the facts. How about you?

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