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(The Week)   "The lost art of memorization," which relies on the expert use of polysyndetons, onomatopoeia, mnemotechnicism and a good ol' hapax legomena to grow on   (theweek.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Memory, Catherine Robson, recitation of literature, common practice, lines of poetry, great works, smidgen of knowledge, Geoffrey Nunberg  
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860 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 04 Feb 2019 at 7:50 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2019-02-04 7:21:40 AM  
In my life I've memorized several hundred lines of poetry, literature, and scripture. Because I was required to. It took a lot of effort. But I've also memorized several thousand lines of lyrics to songs. No effort whatsoever. It just happened.

/things that make you go hmmm
 
2019-02-04 7:56:16 AM  
Speak for yourself, subby.

I'm a past master of "I've got to memorize a lot of stuff for a test in two hours".
 
2019-02-04 8:00:05 AM  
s3.drafthouse.comView Full Size
 
2019-02-04 8:13:56 AM  
I'm learning German and it's been fascinating observing my brain rewire itself for memorizing nouns and verbs. At the very beginning it would take me up to a week to learn 10 words including conjugations for the verbs. Now I can blow through an entire chapter of 50 to 100 words in a day.

At one point I changed how I memorize the verb conjugations and it was difficult at first but I could observe my brain requiring over a few days to learn the new method until it worked.
 
2019-02-04 8:16:27 AM  
When I was growing up we had to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. A couple of years ago I was helping my grand daughter, who was in third grade, with her math homework which was just getting into multiplication. Apparently they no longer require memorization but teach methods based on Common Core. There are several methods to getting the right answer so apparently schools now think methodology is more important than the results. Recently I was driving her to school and she was telling me a story about a teacher who left in 2015 to teach in Guatemala for 7 years but returned to her school this year. I asked her to rethink her statement to make certain her teacher was not a time traveler. I asked her "so what is 2015 plus 7?" I swear it took her half a minute before she finally realized that the math didn't work. Memorization has its place and is far superior to methodology in many cases.
 
2019-02-04 8:28:34 AM  
I never wasted any of my time memorizing the words of some dead person. Far more important things are worth keeping in my head like bank accounts, ssn, dl number, etc
 
2019-02-04 8:35:05 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

I memorize what book it was from.
 
2019-02-04 8:42:58 AM  

flamark: When I was growing up we had to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. A couple of years ago I was helping my grand daughter, who was in third grade, with her math homework which was just getting into multiplication. Apparently they no longer require memorization but teach methods based on Common Core. There are several methods to getting the right answer so apparently schools now think methodology is more important than the results. Recently I was driving her to school and she was telling me a story about a teacher who left in 2015 to teach in Guatemala for 7 years but returned to her school this year. I asked her to rethink her statement to make certain her teacher was not a time traveler. I asked her "so what is 2015 plus 7?" I swear it took her half a minute before she finally realized that the math didn't work. Memorization has its place and is far superior to methodology in many cases.


I think the issue is deeper than that.  I've seen symptoms of that not just with the littlebopper, but with the distaffbopper as well.

I think it's an issue of innumeracy.

The idea that math is some abstract thing that has very little application to outside of specialized situations like doing your taxes, buying a house or car, or figuring how much to tip.  And a fear of it, an avoidance in many cases.  The distaffbopper hates math, because she perceives that she's not good at it, but honestly if you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you can handle 99% of the everyday issues that require math.  You just have to recognize and accept that it's a math problem.

I don't know how many times I have used the phrase "Have you done the math?".   People no longer think to do the math because the machines will do it for them, so it's not something they do on a daily basis.

The issue may not have been with memorization of math rules, it may have been as simple as not thinking it was even a math problem to begin with.
 
2019-02-04 8:50:52 AM  
Bob and Tom's Joe Johnson Memory system
Youtube SOL72ROW1ek
 
2019-02-04 8:52:19 AM  

flamark: When I was growing up we had to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. A couple of years ago I was helping my grand daughter, who was in third grade, with her math homework which was just getting into multiplication. Apparently they no longer require memorization but teach methods based on Common Core. There are several methods to getting the right answer so apparently schools now think methodology is more important than the results. Recently I was driving her to school and she was telling me a story about a teacher who left in 2015 to teach in Guatemala for 7 years but returned to her school this year. I asked her to rethink her statement to make certain her teacher was not a time traveler. I asked her "so what is 2015 plus 7?" I swear it took her half a minute before she finally realized that the math didn't work. Memorization has its place and is far superior to methodology in many cases.


I understand Russian physics students are pretty much automatic at spitting out arithmetic answers.
 
2019-02-04 8:58:30 AM  
As someone who just sacrificed 10 IQ points by memorizing a shiatload of words that don't mean what they used to mean outside of the context of ITIL Foundations... 

Purple monkey dishwasher.
 
2019-02-04 9:03:43 AM  

dittybopper: flamark: When I was growing up we had to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. A couple of years ago I was helping my grand daughter, who was in third grade, with her math homework which was just getting into multiplication. Apparently they no longer require memorization but teach methods based on Common Core. There are several methods to getting the right answer so apparently schools now think methodology is more important than the results. Recently I was driving her to school and she was telling me a story about a teacher who left in 2015 to teach in Guatemala for 7 years but returned to her school this year. I asked her to rethink her statement to make certain her teacher was not a time traveler. I asked her "so what is 2015 plus 7?" I swear it took her half a minute before she finally realized that the math didn't work. Memorization has its place and is far superior to methodology in many cases.

I think the issue is deeper than that.  I've seen symptoms of that not just with the littlebopper, but with the distaffbopper as well.

I think it's an issue of innumeracy.

The idea that math is some abstract thing that has very little application to outside of specialized situations like doing your taxes, buying a house or car, or figuring how much to tip.  And a fear of it, an avoidance in many cases.  The distaffbopper hates math, because she perceives that she's not good at it, but honestly if you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you can handle 99% of the everyday issues that require math.  You just have to recognize and accept that it's a math problem.

I don't know how many times I have used the phrase "Have you done the math?".   People no longer think to do the math because the machines will do it for them, so it's not something they do on a daily basis.

The issue may not have been with memorization of math rules, it may have been as simple as not thinking it was even a math problem to begin with.


I agree with you that many people don't think thru the issues. However, I think if you don't immediately hear the numbers 2015 plus 7 and don't immediately visualize 2022 in your head and realize it's 2019, then something went wrong. I think hard wiring by memorization produces instantaneous awareness of this and is what's missing when you focus on methodologies (or the pocket calculator).
 
2019-02-04 9:34:55 AM  

Spectrum: In my life I've memorized several hundred lines of poetry, literature, and scripture. Because I was required to. It took a lot of effort. But I've also memorized several thousand lines of lyrics to songs. No effort whatsoever. It just happened.

/things that make you go hmmm


Yeah. I can't write my own resume without finding an old copy and cribbing, but I can remember entire animes, movies, and books nearly line for line and the associated trivia about cast, crew, and production. And trivia? I got tons.
 
2019-02-04 9:43:31 AM  

flamark: dittybopper: flamark: When I was growing up we had to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. A couple of years ago I was helping my grand daughter, who was in third grade, with her math homework which was just getting into multiplication. Apparently they no longer require memorization but teach methods based on Common Core. There are several methods to getting the right answer so apparently schools now think methodology is more important than the results. Recently I was driving her to school and she was telling me a story about a teacher who left in 2015 to teach in Guatemala for 7 years but returned to her school this year. I asked her to rethink her statement to make certain her teacher was not a time traveler. I asked her "so what is 2015 plus 7?" I swear it took her half a minute before she finally realized that the math didn't work. Memorization has its place and is far superior to methodology in many cases.

I think the issue is deeper than that.  I've seen symptoms of that not just with the littlebopper, but with the distaffbopper as well.

I think it's an issue of innumeracy.

The idea that math is some abstract thing that has very little application to outside of specialized situations like doing your taxes, buying a house or car, or figuring how much to tip.  And a fear of it, an avoidance in many cases.  The distaffbopper hates math, because she perceives that she's not good at it, but honestly if you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you can handle 99% of the everyday issues that require math.  You just have to recognize and accept that it's a math problem.

I don't know how many times I have used the phrase "Have you done the math?".   People no longer think to do the math because the machines will do it for them, so it's not something they do on a daily basis.

The issue may not have been with memorization of math rules, it may have been as simple as not thinking it was even a math problem to begin with.

I agree with you that many people don' ...


Yeah, I dunno. My perspective on these things is irredeemably skewed because I have advanced degrees in math and geophysics. I read some little paperback on innumeracy (discount bin at Half Priced Books) like a decade ago, and my main takeaway was that far more people are utterly unable to abstract numerical concepts than one might suspect.

On that front, I agree with the attempts to push concepts over wrote memorization. However, pretty much all math before calculus is the vocabulary and syntax of numerical abstraction, so a certain degree of memorization is mandatory. It's just like how you can't reach the point of creative synthesis in language without memorizing some basic rules and vocabulary, or in playing an instrument without memorizing which positions produce which notes.

That being said, I feel that the US public education system has failed students when it comes to simplification using the algebraic properties of numbers, approximation, and "the smell test". Exhibits include:

117 x 51 = 117 x 50 + 117 = (100+17) x 50 + 117 = 5000 + 850 + 117 = 5967

1987 x 4132 = A bit over 8 million, because 132 > 13 (the differences in those numbers between 4000 and 2000, respectively). Let's call it 8.2 million, because if we simplified to 2 x 4.1, that 0.1 gives us an extra 10% of 2 in the final result. Actual answer is 8.2013 million.

Is 10000 a reasonable guess for how many people can utilize a 40' x 100' "standing room only" section?
No. Assume 4 sf per person; (4000 sf) / (4 sf/person) = 1000 persons. Probably more in Europe and fewer in the US because of ambient social norms, but I digress.
 
2019-02-04 9:58:50 AM  
"as many as forty lines of poetry"

... not sure if serious. Most of my education, even my primary education, was during the internet age, and we still had to memorize easily that many sonnet-length poems and speeches in a single year as part of a standard curriculum.

It sounds like this guy just had a bad education and an exceptionally bad memory and is projecting because he's really defensive about it.

// I mean, even people who hated theater and history class still do things like learning complex rap music by heart to sing in the car, the baseline for humans sets the bar pretty high on this one. There is no "kids these days" complaint to be had here, move along, old timer.
 
2019-02-04 10:03:07 AM  
Memorization does have its place. Times tables up through 12 are pretty handy to have memorized.

I had a college course one time, though, a computer basics course that was a requirement. Being extremely computer savvy, I assumed it would be an easy A. And it should have been. Except the professor was some kind of sadist who thought everything should be learned by rote. From how many bits were in a byte, to how to format a column in Excel, if you didn't state the answer on the exam exactly word for word the way he gave it in class, your answer was marked wrong. You could speak with him after the exam, point out that the answer you gave was technically correct, and he would just say "that isn't how I stated it in class".

I had to drop that class. Twice. I just couldn't put up with it. In hindsight, I suspect he may have been the way he was because most of his students knew more about computers than he did.
 
2019-02-04 10:30:10 AM  
Legomena
Ah-dee-de-de-de
Legomena
Ah-de-de-de
 
2019-02-04 10:57:21 AM  

olrasputin: Is 10000 a reasonable guess for how many people can utilize a 40' x 100' "standing room only" section?
No. Assume 4 sf per person; (4000 sf) / (4 sf/person) = 1000 persons. Probably more in Europe and fewer in the US because of ambient social norms, but I digress.


I would expect that number to driven by the number and size of doors and the floor structure than by square footage alone.
 
2019-02-04 11:16:49 AM  

This text is now purple: olrasputin: Is 10000 a reasonable guess for how many people can utilize a 40' x 100' "standing room only" section?
No. Assume 4 sf per person; (4000 sf) / (4 sf/person) = 1000 persons. Probably more in Europe and fewer in the US because of ambient social norms, but I digress.

I would expect that number to driven by the number and size of doors and the floor structure than by square footage alone.


That's really your takeaway here?

Pretend it's an outdoor concert venue then. Was trying to put forth an easy illustrative example without devolving into a discussion about the airspeed of unladen swallows.
 
2019-02-04 11:21:13 AM  
Damn Millennials. Who doesn't know The Preamble song? Worst thing they ever did was get rid of the Schoolhouse Rock TV clips.
 
2019-02-04 11:36:44 AM  

olrasputin: This text is now purple: olrasputin: Is 10000 a reasonable guess for how many people can utilize a 40' x 100' "standing room only" section?
No. Assume 4 sf per person; (4000 sf) / (4 sf/person) = 1000 persons. Probably more in Europe and fewer in the US because of ambient social norms, but I digress.

I would expect that number to driven by the number and size of doors and the floor structure than by square footage alone.

That's really your takeaway here?

Pretend it's an outdoor concert venue then. Was trying to put forth an easy illustrative example without devolving into a discussion about the airspeed of unladen swallows.


It's all still math estimating. It's just a different problem.
 
2019-02-04 12:26:07 PM  
My high school math teacher: "never memorize anything you can look up; that was said by Albert Einstein who had the finest library in the world, so you fools are going to have to memorize a few things."
 
2019-02-04 12:35:41 PM  

InvisibleInsane: Damn Millennials. Who doesn't know The Preamble song? Worst thing they ever did was get rid of the Schoolhouse Rock TV clips.


My local station was running those songs well into the 1990s; sorry your area sucked. Unless you're blaming Millennials running channels and taking them off the air now, which would be a fair complaint.

/
//
///it's a magic number
 
2019-02-04 12:36:07 PM  
 
2019-02-04 12:40:59 PM  

Delezaio: Relevant:

https://xkcd.com/992/


One thing I hated about mnemonics in school was that memorizing them was often as much or more work than just learning the thing.
 
2019-02-04 12:53:49 PM  

flamark: When I was growing up we had to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. A couple of years ago I was helping my grand daughter, who was in third grade, with her math homework which was just getting into multiplication. Apparently they no longer require memorization but teach methods based on Common Core. There are several methods to getting the right answer so apparently schools now think methodology is more important than the results. Recently I was driving her to school and she was telling me a story about a teacher who left in 2015 to teach in Guatemala for 7 years but returned to her school this year. I asked her to rethink her statement to make certain her teacher was not a time traveler. I asked her "so what is 2015 plus 7?" I swear it took her half a minute before she finally realized that the math didn't work. Memorization has its place and is far superior to methodology in many cases.


Teaching my kid math by some of the current methods was painful. I get where they're going by trying to explain it in a way that'll make algebra easier, but sometimes you just have to know 1+1=2 and work off that.

And it's not a kids these days thing, my mom had issues with multiplication tables in college, and her dad was a math teacher.

Memorization has its place, but we focus on memorizing too much trivia and niche material. Is there really a common home application for the quadratic formula? Am I ever going to be asked to recite the Gettysburg address for an interview?
 
2019-02-04 12:54:38 PM  
I think that memorization is good that it helps you develop the ability to memorize and recall information easily, and that it really can help children develop early math skills.

I also belive that these 'education experts' bring a bunch of bias to the table because they felt that when they had to memorize stuff in school they hated it and let that cloud their assessment.
 
2019-02-04 1:19:13 PM  
No big deal. Just stay at that hotel you stay at to be real smart the next day... Damnit. What's the name of that chain?
 
2019-02-04 2:29:37 PM  

Shadow Blasko: As someone who just sacrificed 10 IQ points by memorizing a shiatload of words that don't mean what they used to mean outside of the context of ITIL Foundations... 

Purple monkey dishwasher.


Have you brought that to CAB?
 
2019-02-04 2:32:43 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-02-04 2:38:52 PM  

montreal_medic: Shadow Blasko: As someone who just sacrificed 10 IQ points by memorizing a shiatload of words that don't mean what they used to mean outside of the context of ITIL Foundations... 

Purple monkey dishwasher.

Have you brought that to CAB?


My RFC is being forwarded to the CMO.
 
2019-02-04 2:43:19 PM  

Shadow Blasko: montreal_medic: Shadow Blasko: As someone who just sacrificed 10 IQ points by memorizing a shiatload of words that don't mean what they used to mean outside of the context of ITIL Foundations... 

Purple monkey dishwasher.

Have you brought that to CAB?

My RFC is being forwarded to the CMO.


Do you have all your L1 approvers for the derogation?
 
2019-02-04 5:02:11 PM  

Fano: Delezaio: Relevant:

https://xkcd.com/992/

One thing I hated about mnemonics in school was that memorizing them was often as much or more work than just learning the thing.


I once knew a guy who could state with great confidence that "In nineteen hundred forty three, Columbus sailed the deep blue sea."
 
2019-02-04 6:13:59 PM  

BullBearMS: Speak for yourself, subby.

I'm a past master of "I've got to memorize a lot of stuff for a test in two hours".


Yeah, same here. Not only can't I remember anything crammed for like that; I also can't even remember which subjects. College was a long time ago but my student loans outlived whatever I allegedly learned.
 
2019-02-04 9:08:42 PM  

Destructor: No big deal. Just stay at that hotel you stay at to be real smart the next day... Damnit. What's the name of that chain?


No one thought that was funny? No one? Well, you know what...? I'm going to give myself a funny. Because I deserve it.
 
2019-02-05 2:53:09 AM  

comrade: I'm learning German and it's been fascinating observing my brain rewire itself for memorizing nouns and verbs. At the very beginning it would take me up to a week to learn 10 words including conjugations for the verbs. Now I can blow through an entire chapter of 50 to 100 words in a day.

At one point I changed how I memorize the verb conjugations and it was difficult at first but I could observe my brain requiring over a few days to learn the new method until it worked.


Anki is a great tool for this, too.
 
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