Topic: Memorization Machine (little web project)

It's not much, but this past week I've been working on a little web thing that simulates the non-linear memorization method I've been practicing now for a couple of years.

For me, that's looked like memorizing rather large portions of the Bible verbatim, but the method works for any text you feel like memorizing. Right now the project isn't great for *poetry*, because the paste process strips text of formatting and code for security reasons, and line breaks are code hmm

So either stick with prose, or be prepared to add the line breaks back in if you're working on more than one line of a poem.

Anywho, instructions are on the bottom of the page. Also please excuse the self-indulgent visual effects, I couldn't resist big_smile

If ya got time on your hands, give it a go! https://writhyn.github.io/memory/

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

This is a very practical tool to have in my toolkit, and I thank you for it.

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Writhynnnnnn. My duuuuuude.

Many thanks.

This is the coolest thing ever.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Oh wow, this looks great! What was the process behind it?

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

I also want to know.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

By process you mean method? or reason for it? Or both?

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Bit of both if you wouldn't mind! Would love to know the how and the why.

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Of course! I’ll try to be brief tongue
EDIT: Narrator: he would not, in fact, succeed in being brief

I’ve attempted to memorize chunks of the bible before. For a couple of years I worked off and on in the book of Romans, and eventually got about half of it down (six chapters), but it was intensely laborious and I ended up fizzling out and pretty much forgot everything I’d learned. Fast forward a few years and I had most of Galatians down (six chapters), but again it took me a long time and just felt like a chore.
The thing is, I personally derived a lot of spiritual benefit from this, it’s just that the process *itself* was a drag, so it was hard to continue. As of 3 years ago, I’d lost Galatians for lack of practice. So I’d kinda written off the whole thing as being for people who were “good at it”.

I’m biblically *literate*, I read the bible a lot, and I know a lot about the bible in general, and where stuff is in general, but I’ve always been dissatisfied with the fact that I believe it to literally be God’s word, but I didn’t actually *know* many of the words in it, especially in context...and especially because a lot of people quote the bible without knowing anything around the words that help understand them. That’s the backstory, the “why”.

About a year later (so, a couple years ago), I was studying James for a while, and one day at work I decided to print out chapter 1 on a small card and carry it around so I could read it….my job is not mentally engaging at all. But it was physically involved enough (packing boxes) that naturally I couldn’t stand around reading the card. I had to glance at it briefly and frequently while doing other things. The result was that I would pick up key words and phrases, and the in-between words would be filled in just from a peripheral glance. As I worked, I ended up having to glance less and less, and by the end of the day I was “reading” James 1 without actually looking at the card very much at all. I’d memorized it literally by accident. Totally blew my mind.

So I tested that out by being intentional, and ended up finishing the other 4 chapters of James in a week. The process was efficient enough that I wasn’t burned out, and enjoyed practice reciting it for the next week or so until it was firmly in my brain. At this point I can go a month between recitations and pretty much nail it word for word. I’ve since memorized quite a bit more.

The difference in this new way versus the old way was primarily the non-linear manner in which I went about it. I didn’t force myself to memorize a sequence of words in order: I organically learned key words and phrases in a paragraph, and gradually filled in the gaps. I didn’t get frustrated and start over every time I missed a word: I just looked back at the card and kept going. Going by paragraphs meant I would learn the *thoughts* and not just the *words*, which in turn helped fill in the words. Not that it was what I would call *easy*, but it was definitely much less difficult. It required *consistency* and *practice* more than *labor*, which helped a lot.

So there you have it: the original method involves carrying around a card and reading it aloud (I don’t really have people near me at work) by glancing at it, and doing so less and less until I just don’t have to glance at it anymore. I wrote this little web app because when I’ve tried to share the process with others, they’d end up kinda *forcing* themselves to jump straight from reading it to reciting it without looking, getting frustrated, and stopping. The app just automates the “glancing away” mechanic so they don’t go too fast.

Naturally, a lot of people memorize things for a lot of reasons other than mine, so I figured I’d share smile

Last edited by Writhyn (2020-04-08 19:38:05)

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Great stuff!

Have you found much of a difference between the card method and this app, or is it pretty similar?

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Good question! For me personally, the app works about as well, although at this point it's honestly hard to keep looking at the text: I keep instinctively glancing away because that's so honed in my brain at this point big_smile that is to say I'm probably not a good test case because of how much I've practiced.

The real difference between this and printing/writing it out is that this is something you have to focus on, while having a printout means you can carry it everywhere and learn while doing something else.

My guess is for a beginner, it'd be a good idea to start with the app to get a good handle on the text, and then carry a card around for less focused practice.

Last edited by Writhyn (2020-04-08 21:16:40)

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Well, I added a bunch of stuff to the page, with a whole review mode for when you think you've got the info in your head!

Unfortunately it doesn't work on mobile yet, because the stupid mobile version of chrome (and other browsers) takes in the wrong key code, so I need to figure out how to get around that.

But, should work on your computer

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Re: Memorization Machine (little web project)

Update:
fixed for Safari browsers, in case any of you use Apple products BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEY NEED SPECIAL PREFIXES ON ALL THEIR ANIMATIONS

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