How To Teach Your Mind To Remember Everything

While there are lots of different tricks for remembering better, all of the techniques used in memory contests ultimately come down to a concept that psychologists refer to as elaborative encoding. And it’s well illustrated by a strange kind of forgetfulness that psychologists have dubbed the “Baker/baker paradox:”

A researcher shows two people the same photograph of a face and tells one of them that the guy is a baker and the other that his last name is Baker. A couple of days later, the researcher shows the same two subjects the same photograph and asks for the accompanying word. The person who was told the man’s profession is much more likely to remember it than the person who was given his surname. Why should that be?

When you hear that the man in the photo is a baker, that fact gets embedded in a whole network of ideas about what it means to be a baker: He cooks bread, he wears a big white hat, he smells good when he comes home from work. The name Baker, on the other hand, is tethered only to a memory of the person’s face. That link is tenuous, and should it dissolve, the name will float off irretrievably into the netherworld of lost memories.

It’s about taking information that is lacking in context, lacking in meaning and figuring out a way to transform it so that it makes sense in the light of all the other things that you have floating around in your mind. If you want to make something memorable, you first have to make it meaningful.

What technique do you use to remember important details? Share them with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Ayushveda

A Million Spiders Create Golden Cape

A golden cape woven from the silk of 1.2 million Golden Orb spiders has gone on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Using long poles, a team of 80 people worked to collect the spiders from their webs each day and harvest their silk before returning them to the wild. The project was the brainchild of American fashion designer Nicholas Godley and British art historian and textile expert Simon Peers, who have both lived in Madagascar for many years.

Scaling the project up proved a huge challenge — only female Golden Orb spiders make silk. Hundreds of thousands of them were needed, and their cannibalistic nature meant the creatures had to be separated to prevent them from eating their neighbors. Godley admits that the properties of spider silk — and the practicalities and costs involved — mean that industrial-scale production for use in textiles is unlikely ever to succeed. Instead, they simply wanted to prove that it could be done, and to create two items which could help revive traditional Malagasy weaving techniques and embroidery skills, and to showcase the talents of people working on the island.

The four-meter-long brocade scarf, which was first shown at New York’s Natural History Museum in 2009, was created using old Malagasy patterns, but as Godley points out, the inspiration for the cape, which made its debut at London’s V&A Museum today, came from the spiders themselves. The cape is covered in images of spiders, plants and flowers, which took 6,000 hours to embroider, and those lucky enough to get up close have discovered that it is virtually weightless.

But despite working so closely with them for so many years, Godley admits he is still afraid of spiders.


Source: CNN

Image: Huffpost Culture