How I memorized an entire chapter from “Moby Dick”



I have a terrible memory.

I can't remember birthdays, I notoriously butcher movie lines, and I forget somebody's name five seconds after I meet them.

But by the end of this video I'm going to be reciting an entire chapter from Moby Dick by heart, because, as it turns out, there's a way for anybody to hack their memory.

The way that we normally try to memorize stuff is inefficient and pretty bad.

Flash cards, rote repetition, anxiously putting your hand on your forehead just don't work.

That's because as much as we'd like to, our brains don't respond well to brute force.

What we are good at is remembering things when we have a context, be it visual, emotional, or spatial.

We're good at remembering faces, we instinctively remember what song was playing during our first kiss, and we can effortlessly walk a few blocks to the store and get back to our house without even having to think about it.

Why is that?

Well, it turns out that the same part of our brain that's thought to be involved in emotion and spatial navigation, the hippocampus, also happens to control short- and long-term memory processing.