Going To A Movie As An Introvert

I rarely want to go out where there are people other than for exercise, groceries or to walk the dog.

I wanted to see Venom – Let There Be Carnage, but had the dilemma of not wanting to go. I clearly remember thinking that I’d rather stream it at home and considered bailing, but it wasn’t an option for me to view. I had another errand to do (Auto Zone, an approved Introverted place to shop) so I forced myself.

When I got to the theater, I saw that there was only one other car in the parking lot. It was a good sign. I picked the earliest showing in the day to avoid people. I was going to a geek movie so I expected the worst and that they would be at my theater of course, one of 8 at the complex.

To my delight, I was in a room that held 100 people and for the entirety of my stay, I was alone, damn near perfect.

I of course brought Clorox wipes to disinfect everything and actually enjoyed being there. One other person would have ruined it for me.

I originally saw Venom on TV because I had some time to kill and wound up loving the story. I really wanted to see the sequel and the cards lined up for me today.

I got to see Captain Kirk finally get to space and got to experience being the only one in a huge theater to see one of the few movies I’d actually pay for. It is a good movie to see. I wouldn’t bring a date though. It’s definitely not a Rom-Com.

I know it sounds weird to most, but if you are introverted this will resonate and you’ll wish you were me.

C’est la Gare.

All Winning Streaks Come To An End, Matt Amodio Finally Loses On Jeopardy

After setting the second longest winning streak at 38 games with winnings of over $1.5 million, it happened last night.

Matt Amodio finally lost. You could feel it happening as he kept missing. In a way, it was almost like he wanted to end it because he wasn’t ringing in and was wrong when he did.

He was a great champion and was good for the ratings and the game.

I’ve seen all the champions win and lose. It is usually the same, a perfect storm where they answer wrong, the categories are not in their strengths and another contestant gets hot. That happened last night.

He also missed final Jeopardy after being nearly perfect for weeks.

He will be back in the Tournament of Champions. I look forward to it as he was also likeable, which sometimes they are not.

I’m sure he helped the ratings as everyone follows a streak, whether you want the person to win or lose. I pulled for him because he had a huge range of knowledge and bet big. He employed the James Holzhauer strategy of playing, something that takes big balls to do.

The people that de-throne the champions usually only last a couple of games.

I watched before Ken Jennings had the 74 game winning streak 17 years ago and I’ll watch tonight. The reason is the same, I want to get more right than the contestants.

Some Good News – Matt Amodio Ties James Holzhauer for 2nd Most Wins of All Time on Jeopardy

Matt Amodio Becomes Third Jeopardy! Player to Win $1M in ...

Almost everyone watches or has watched Jeopardy. I have for decades. It is the greatest game show ever. It is also one of the few that the Celebtards haven’t ruined yet because it doesn’t have anything to do with SJW and PC crap. I challenges your mind and memory. I love anything intellectually stimulating.

People play against the contestants from their living rooms. It happens without trying. You want to know how smart you are. There are a lot of strategies and when you think you know them, someone comes up with a new one, like James Holzhauer. I regularly beat the players, but I’m also good on the practice range in golf.

Every once in a while, someone goes on a run. Ken Jennings did 74 games in a row in the 2000’s. A couple of years ago, Holzhauer ran off 32 games and the top money scores of all times except for Jennings. He was about to overtake Ken in less than half the games due to his aggressive betting and incredible knowledge. He was a breath of fresh air. He turned the game upside down by going for the big money clues first, hunting for the Double Jeopardy clues and a willingness to risk a lot.

Last night, Matt Amodio, Ph.D student from Connecticut tied Holzhauer at 32 games in a row and is over a million dollars in winnings, the 3rd most (not counting tournaments of champions, Brad Rutter holds that record).

Tonight, October 1st, Matt could go into 2nd all time for games won. Nothing against James, but I want to see him keep winning.

Everyone loves a streak. In the movie Bull Durham, Kevin Costner told meat “a player on a streak has to respect the streak”. It becomes almost superstitious in baseball and I wonder how it will go for Matt.

It makes for great entertainment. It is the main reason we turn to sports or shows. Back to celebtards and sportstards, they ruin things like the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MBA and most movies and shows with PC crap.

The Jeopardy streak is about intellect, strategy and a little luck.

What is great about Matt is that he is a nice guy. He is respectful to the players past and present and keeps winning. He never says stupid things like “let’s make it a true daily double”. Instead, he bets everything in the Jeopardy round by saying his earnings. His knowledge and intellect is impressive.

He also says What’s (the question) instead of who when it is a person. I like that he has his own style. He has a great poker face on Final Jeopardy and you never know if he’s answered it correctly until it’s revealed. He currently is over 92% right on Final Jeopardy.

The reason I never could be on is that I am only about 30% on Final Jeopardy.

His betting has become aggressive like Holzhauer. I love big bets. It makes the game far more exciting. It separates champions from players or one or two day wonders.

The only regret I have is that Alex Trebeck isn’t there to share it. He made the game what it is.

Trebeck noted the different things about players and that champions are far more willing to bet big.

Sooner or later the streak will be over. It has been a great run. It usually happens when the champion misses a big bet and someone else gets lucky. That victor rarely lasts more than a couple of days. That is the luck part of the show. It’s usually bad luck that ends a streak.

Facebook Still Sucks

To get a full understanding of how bad it is, the WSJ ran a series on the Facebook files recently. Link here but it might require a subscription. It points out the obvious, but also that it’s such a screwed up company now that it can’t get out of it’s own way.

It talked about how it ruins the lives of people, especially teen aged girls. Zuckerberg then said how it enhances peoples lives in a washing machine spin of doublespeak.

They block who they don’t like and let who they do like post anything, even against their own policies.

Now the Facebook fact checkers just censored peer reviewed science because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

And this about Zuck:

Facebook Investor: Company Paid $5 Billion to FTC as ‘Quid Pro Quo’ to Shield Zuckerberg

Fortunately, I don’t care as I cancelled them. It along with Twitter are helping to ruin the country and people’s lives around the world. It has taken a political position on things. I don’t care which side it picks, but it should have been a neutral platform.

Instead, it is now a high school place where you are a part of the in crowd or not. Those with a triple digit IQ should move to a better and more productive place, like going outside and enjoying life.

It was too childish for me and I didn’t want to open it anymore to see the spew that comes from it.

I still talk to those who really are my friends. Most of them were never on Facebook.

For Introverts, not being on it also lets you escape from a lot of noise that sucks your personal energy and time.

How AI Is Spying On You Via CSAM – Apple Version They Say Is Hashing – I Call BS

This is pretty complex stuff. Needless to say, this is how Big Brother is watching you.

Why do you think that you get ads for something you never searched but just talked about? Hell, sometimes I just think of stuff and it shows up it seems.

You are a dumbass for taking nudies or sexting because they are probably laughing at you as they can look at everything.

You’ve been warned.

I Got What I Expected, China is Stalking Me

I’ve posted stuff on Covid (link here to some of my posts to make it easy on them), where I called it the China/Wuhan virus, all to point at the CCP and the MSM. I also have done a lot of gene editing posts about creating bio weapons and super soldiers, and highlighted how they have doped the athletes over the years.

I don’t single out just China. I’ve listed stuff a lot of other people or countries have done too.

My blog is insignificant compared to others who have massive audiences. I go after the Media a lot too. I worked with them for decades and know how much they lie and how biased reporting is. (Recent studies show they have about 12% trust in America).

The statistics show me who’s reading what, and all of a sudden I’m getting a lot of hits from them. They re-route through multiple servers, but I can see that too. I poked the dragon and they responded, from all over the world.

I can’t be cancelled off of fake book or Twitter, or most of social media either because I cancelled them first. It is a cesspool of hate and once you try to silence any group, you are no longer free or accurate. It just becomes propaganda and Josef Goebbels showed us what that leads to.

I’m shocked that they give a crap about a blog that now has topics that go all over the place, but not surprised that no stone is left unturned.

Maybe I should work on the Russians or the Iranians next. I could create all kinds of fun. I think those guys kill people with polonium though. I don’t want to die like that.

Perhaps they’ll get a kick out of all the Gorilla Glue screw ups instead.

Breaking The Speed Of Light – Things That Are Hard To Do

Any reading of this blog past the sarcasm and humor leads to intellectual issues or introversion (for now).

Get this…….

Sailing through the smooth waters of vacuum, a photon of light moves at around 300 thousand kilometers (186 thousand miles) a second. This sets a firm limit on how quickly a whisper of information can travel anywhere in the Universe.

While this law isn’t likely to ever be broken, there are features of light which don’t play by the same rules. Manipulating them won’t hasten our ability to travel to the stars, but they could help us clear the way to a whole new class of laser technology.

Physicists have been playing hard and fast with the speed limit of light pulses for a while, speeding them up and even slowing them to a virtual stand-still using various materials like cold atomic gases, refractive crystals, and optical fibers.

This time, researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the University of Rochester in New York have managed it inside hot swarms of charged particles, fine-tuning the speed of light waves within plasma to anywhere from around one-tenth of light’s usual vacuum speed to more than 30 percent faster.

This is both more – and less – impressive than it sounds.

Read the full article here.

Update On The Gates Divorce – Windows Now A Victim

I’ve not had a Windows PC for a long time now. I got tired of a crappy operating system.

As you read in About Me, I’ve worked with Bill Gates. As a person he was ok to me, rather bland. His products never worked well after DOS. I couldn’t wait to get rid of both.

Microsoft was the hardest company to work with to try and get something done. It was like working with the SS or the KGB. You know you could never trust them and they kept giving me reasons why not to.

Beware Of AI, The Robots Always Kill The Humans

2001: A Space Odyssey, Terminator, Aida of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the robots always want to take over in the end and kill the humans.

See below the meme on stupidity so I can get to the point.

Yes, this woman is an idiot. My robot vacuum is so stupid it doesn’t know where it’s going. I named it Jarvis after Ironman’s AI assistant (Paul Bettany). It is my dearest form of sarcasm. So the vacuum isn’t going to kill me, but that isn’t my point.

The AI in the wrong hands is dangerous though.

For example, what if an AI-bot creates vaccines for diseases by predicting what the next strain will be. What if the next strain is the one that causes humans to shut down all the robots. There you have the premise for how it goes with AI taking over. Kill the humans.

I could bore your with many other examples like using AI to enhance a soldiers armory. It would be controlling your actions, making you more invincible in war. If it sensed a danger that didn’t exist, it could fire up the code to kill everyone in the way and you have created a murderer out of an innocent man. Kill the humans.

Fortunately, I’ve been around AI development. That danger isn’t exactly around the corner yet.

I worked at IBM and knew that Watson was a gimmick. The Chairman told me it was. They are trying to sell it now because it’s usefulness in medicine paled in comparison to it winning Jeopardy. It was a lot of wasted money because they could to sum it up.

Some of the team have moved to Quantum Computing because Watson was a dud.

Microsoft, Google and Facebook are much different and apparently more evil. IBM is too bureaucratic to turn it into a killer robot. However, if you’ve read any of my social media rants, you know that I trust these three companies less than almost anything, except Congress and the media. I will say they are equally evil though. (Another shot for the censors to see if they are watching here). They are the ones that will kill the humans.

Now, imagine if it got into the wrong hands. What could some guys who want to either take over or blow up the world do with that kind of power? Those bastards are evil. At least the robots just went bad.

And there you have it. Like many things we can create, there is always someone hanging around to put it to bad use.

Finally Signs Of Star Trek Technology Here On Earth

I have been a huge Star Trek fan since TOS. I’ve met some of the actors at conferences for work.

I went to the Star Trek Experience at the Vegas Hilton. It had all the props from all the series in timeline order. There were 3 ships hung above. One was the NCC-1701, there was either the Voyager or Excelsior and I think a Klingon Bird of Prey. No matter, the props were good enough.

I lived each episode as I went down the display case. The actual phasers, tri-corders, costumes and ample descriptions. It took me hours to get through.

Later, they added a Borg exhibit and you get to experience 4D assimilation.

I still have a Tribble at home.

If they would only give me a replicator I’d be in heaven. They probably shouldn’t give me a phaser because I couldn’t promise to keep it on stun for some people.

When Steven Hawking Was Wrong

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” – Hawking

He has clearly taken the creation story (Genesis 1) and used the right words, “Our Image” in his attempt at playing God and creation.

I’ll give him that both computer viruses and some people are annoying and can ruin your day or data, but that doesn’t make it alive. JUST PULL THE PLUG and see how alive it is.

I disagree that a virus is not destructive. If it isn’t, why was it created? Let me guess, evil, destruction, theft of data, denial of service, disruption of service and not letting me sign on.

I’m going with me on this one. It may be one of the few times I was more on the side of being correct than he is.

He should have stuck to physics on this one.

What Is Transhumanist Technology and Who In Tech Land Is Trying to Use It For Immortality?

I’d never thought of this before. I knew the tech Oligarch’s are weird and crave power, but I didn’t realize that they are trying for immortality (good luck with that one).

This always makes me wonder when they try to create a better human. Didn’t anyone watch the Borg in Star Trek?

Note: this is from Andrew Torba, CEO of Gab and not mine. His view is below. I found it interesting on the theme of creating a master race via gene enhancement (what the Covid vaccine is) that someone else saw what those with unlimited money try to do. Playing God never works. He is more informed than I on this subject and I find it interesting how far we try to push the envelope.

In the end, we all die. All they are doing is prolonging the inevitable.

Last month I appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room to discuss the topic of transhumanism. In the simplest terms transhumanists believe in using technology to transcend beyond the limitations of human biology into a post-human existence.

This is something we are all familiar with on a surface level thanks to many different movies and TV shows over the years, but it’s time to start taking it seriously as a threat to humanity itself.

The march towards transhumanism isn’t a conspiracy theory or some outlandish science fiction movie, it’s a very real and dire situation unfolding before our eyes.

The oligarchs in the American regime, in particular the ones in Silicon Valley, are obsessed with eternal life and the topic of transhumanism. Peter Thiel wants to inject himself with young people’s blood as a method of “radical life extension.” Elon Musk put a computer chip in a pig’s brain with the hopes of one day soon putting one in yours.

Facebook is working on “brain tech” that can read your mind. Google’s Ray Kurzweil is obsessed with progressing towards the “singularity,” a moment where artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking, on his quest to become “immortal.”

The goal of the Silicon Valley oligarchs, and of the globalists in general, is transhumanism. They aren’t hiding this, in fact they are flaunting it in front of our faces. While we are all too busy bickering about what AOC tweeted this week, the oligarchs are spending billions of dollars to become immortal “gods.”

Their strategy is two-fold.

First, they perfect the transhumanist technology behind closed doors and become among the first human beings to “transcend” beyond the limitations of human biology to become “gods” with eternal life and access to all of the knowledge and information available in the cloud.

Second, they will get the rest of us to adopt a form of this technology that they own and control by selling us on “progress” and convenience. If you doubt they will be successful with this approach, just look at the phone in the palm of your hand as a wildly successful beta test of this strategy.

In many ways the smartphone was the first iteration of this grand vision. We are now witnessing the consequences of giving them the power to control the flow of information and access to basic online services in the form of censorship, deplatforming, and outright unpersoning of individuals, businesses, and any threat to their system of control. What do you think will happen when they build, own, and control the chip they plant in your brain at birth?

In order to fully understand this you need to understand the mindset of the Silicon Valley elite and the American Oligarch Regime. These people believe that they are superior to the rest of us in every way. They went to the “best” schools. They built the “best” companies. They consolidated all of the wealth into their hands. They know what is “best.” This is why they project their supremacy on the rest of us with terms like “white supremacist.” We are but mere cattle to them. Digital serfs.

This may all sound outlandish now, but this technology is being developed as we speak and it is something that people under 50 will witness in their lifetime. We need to be prepared to fight for our humanity and to resist the literal dehumanization of the entire human race itself.

Ultimately, this is a spiritual war. They are targeting our very humanity. This is evidenced by everything that these people promote. Their “values” are inherently anti-human. Abortion. Moral decay. The destruction of sovereign nations and people. The persecution of everything and anything related to God Almighty our Creator.

We need to prepare ourselves for what is coming by exiting their entire system and raising up our children to value and cherish human life. We need to build our own economy. We need to return to tradition and get right with God right now, because the judgement day of singularity is upon us.

My View On What Social Media Has Become

Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things, but sooner or later it goes down the crapper when someone “offends” another. It is where you can find more bias and discrimination (against anyone and everyone) since segregation.

Twitter is probably the biggest cesspool. Since Facebook Fake Book started censoring, you can’t trust what is real or not. I also don’t care about my high school or college enough to see what they are doing. If either of us cared, we’d have stayed in contact. The hate generated against the last President just told me the people in charge of these platforms are untrustworthy. They say one thing and do another.

Do what you want. Most are addicted to social media. The truly smart people don’t waste time trying to impress others as to how good their life is or worry about what others have.

My life is better without as much as I do with. I still get what I need to know without it being filtered by a loser in a cubicle with an axe to grind over who voted for whom. The elitist oligarch’s have told them what is allowed, then they prattle on condemning exactly what they are doing.

As usual, I’ll just do my own thing and let other suffer who wish to read this tripe.

The WikiLeaks Dump, Come and Get It

Here is a link to the files below. I looked at some and there is a lot of incriminating information. I’m sure if due diligence were actually done, some crimes could be solved.

There is other informational and odd things such as I didn’t know that Steve Jobs was HIV positive according to the records here. He had a tough life that wasn’t worth the fame and money. There are a lot of other people doing a lot of other things if you care.

Someone mentioned that the Las Vegas shooter was an FBI sniper, but I never found that file.

It has the secret rituals of some of the College Greek institutions. I guess if you are a rival fraternity, it would be interesting to look at.

The filenames are descriptive enough to see what’s in it. Have fun.

I hope it was worth it to all of those who got the information together and those who leaked it.

Here is the link.

I’m Shocked, Social Media Causes Depression

Social Media, the place where you can make yourself look better to feel good about yourself when someone likes the tripe you post. Aside from being little more than a digital high school, a cesspool of hate (Twitter) and one of the biggest time wasters invented, it appears to causes depression.

In recent years, a number of studies have linked heavy social media use to an increased risk of depression.

“But then you have to ask the chicken-and-egg question,” said study author Dr. Brian Primack, a professor of public health at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville.

On one hand, he said, excessive time on Twitter or Facebook might fuel depression symptoms. On the other, people with depression might withdraw from face-to-face interactions and spend more time online.

So Primack and his colleagues decided to see whether social media use made a difference in young adults’ risk of future depression.

It did, according to their report, which was published online Dec. 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The study included nearly 1,000 adults aged 18 to 30 who were depression-free at the outset, based on a standard questionnaire. All reported on their usual social media time and were assessed for depression again six months later.

By that time, nearly 10% fit the criteria for depression.

Overall, depression risk rose in tandem with time spent on social media.

Full report here

Friday Saying – From a Rocket Scientist

If you stick to the convenient, you’ll never find the unexpected. – Ozan Varol

He writes well and is an incredibly interesting person and his book How to think like a rocket scientist is a good read.

Here is where he drops the hammer:

It’s only through the inconvenient and the unfashionable that you’ll find diverse inputs that will expand your thinking and spur your imagination.

Great Sayings – What The Heck is Aristotle Really Saying?

“In the case of all things which have several parts and in which the totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the parts, there is a cause; for even in bodies contact is the cause of unity in some cases, and in others viscosity or some other such quality.”

I got this from Mark Manson.  The original quote we think we know goes like this; the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.  Mark points out that almost nothing Aristotle says is all that understandable so I thought I’d give an example above.

Usually I have something pithy today, but I thought I’d throw in an example of something we think we know and really don’t, along with how little we pay attention to history.

Cyclic Numbers, Interesting Math Fun

Not really a joke … just a tiny bit of math fun.

142857 is a cyclic number – its digits always appear in the same order but will rotate around when multiplied by any number from 1 to 6:

142857 x 1 = 142857
142857 x 2 = 285714
142857 x 3 = 428571
142857 x 4 = 571428
142857 x 5 = 714285
142857 x 6 = 857142

Pretty cool, huh? Now multiply 142857 by 7. (Spoiler below.)

142857 x 7 = 999999

What Is The Best Way To Learn, Or Learn How To Learn?

Once again, a smattering from many on this subject, but I can vouch for many of these techniques.

The quickest way to learn anything is by Positive Transference of Learning.
Transfer of learningIt means transferring the skills you have learned in one field to something else.

Some obvious examples.

  • If you learn one instrument you can learn another easier than the first.
  • If you have learnt a new language it is easier to learn another quicker than the first.

But there are other aspects of it.

If you have learned to play the piano, you will be able to learn touch typing easier. This is because learning touch typing requires a rhythm and hand-and-eye motor skills.

If you have learnt to draw well you will generally be more observant.

You can use Venn diagrams to see what skills have in common.

Let’s imagine you want to learn three different subjects of:
Touch Typing
Piano
French

Also assume you were a beginner in each, and had only an hour a day to learn.

  • Typing and piano both require hand practice (the overlapping skill)
  • Touch Typing requires typing out words. You can choose to type out french words from french songs. So words are the common element.
  • Piano requires learning songs. You can choose to learn french songs..

You can now use your practice hour in the following way.

  1. Practice your typing for twenty minutes. This will get your hands warmed up, and increase your french vocabulary.
  2. Then practise the piano for twenty minutes. Try singing the french words to the songs you are learning.
  3. Now practice your french by learning new french songs.

This is only an indication of how skills can be transferred. We do it all the time in lesser ways, but it can be worked out systematically.

In my own case I once worked as a sailor.

I transferred that skill to helping run a diving boat. I was able to get free diving lessons for doing this.

Once I had learned to dive, I took up underwater photography. I now used my diving skills to get photos.

Once I got photos I sent them to magazines, so used my photo skills to get into journalism.

Once I got into journalism I wrote travel articles about diving.

I then expanded my journalistic skills to other subjects.

In most cases I simply learned enough to do the job required, so I was never particularly good at any of them, but good enough to achieve my purpose.

From an outside view I appeared to be a quick learner with many skills, whereas I was a normal learner with adequate skills applied in a systematic way.


  • Positive Attitude/Wishful Thinking
    : I simply make myself think that the subject matter is actually easier than it is (“other people can learn, so can I” attitude) and imagine myself actually know the topic well or the answers.  I know it sounds silly, but the reason to do so is to help you get rid of any anxieties or stress you may have about learning the subject.
  • 3 I’s approachIntroduce, Isolate (concept), Integrate (into current project or life).
    Integration or applying what you learn is really key to making what you learn stick. What you learn has to be valuable or you’ll forget it.
  • Mind-mapping: I try to mind-map everything I read/study. It’s a great way to take note and also see how the different concepts connect to each other.  It makes easier to retrieve/remember the information later.
  • Diagram/Pictures: Drawing things out on a whiteboard makes me see what I learn in different ways. Check out the Dan Roam books (back of a napkin and blah, blah, blah) on how to do it.
  • Deep understanding through 5 why’s:  That main concept or issue you have a difficulty in understanding – ask why 5x, and try to get the answer. If you go 5 levels deep, you’re more than like to really understand the subject matter.
Learning has two components…- The ability to create the correct neural pathway (Short-term memory)
– And the ability to fire the same neural pathway with the right associated pathway (Recall)

Repetition leads to synaptic conditioning – the brain is plastic, and it allows the neural pathway to fire at a faster pace than before. That’s why repetition over a long period of time creates an instantaneous recall – that’s why you can recite your ABCs and 123s.

Try reciting your ABCs in the opposite way, and you’ll have a bigger difficulty than doing it forward.

What’s important is that you must realize that memories aren’t intangible – they are, as a matter of fact, physically touchable. They are simply patterns of neurons in different ways – just like how you would join the dots on a dot puzzle in a specific manner.

There’s another way:

Psychologists call it conditioning and some call it anchoring – but associating a very powerful previous neural pattern to your new memory is almost always going to give a very powerful trigger.

For example, you see it demonstrated in “memory techniques”…

You know your 1, 2 and 3s. But let’s say you peg them to RHYME with a certain word…

1 = bun
2 = shoe
3 = tree
4 = door
5 = hive
6 = sticks
7 = heaven
8 = gate
9 = line
10 = hen

Once you’ve gone through it a few times, it should be nearly impossible for you to forget the rhymes. Since each word is linked to your already powerful neural construct of numbers, each of these words get triggered once you think of each number and the methodology of rhyming.

And this is called “priming”. One thought leads to another – almost certainly.

Think about it…

When you think of a “bun”, you don’t simply think of the word. The image of a bun inevitably floats out. The smell maybe. The associated memories with it floats up.

But it doesn’t end there. The image might lead to something else. The smell might lead to something else. It’s an endless chain.

It’s a train of thoughts.

That’s how the Journey method works too. This method works on journeys you go on everyday, like a walk back to your home from your workplace or school. Obviously, you will be able to know what’s on your journey back home as well as your ABCs. And linking your memories is a method the Greeks used in the past.

Same with the Room method.

If you notice, “memory techniques” are almost all based on connections. Because that’s how the brain works.

—-

I’m not just talking about memory here. It’s your whole approach to the brain. We’re leaping from thousands of thoughts per second to thousands of thoughts per next second. We’re only conscious of a few.

When you learn something, you immediately try to relate it to a past, strongly connected neural pathway (past memory).

Think about it. The first time you saw a four-legged animal, as a toddler, you might learn that it is a dog. But when you see a cat with four legs, you might understand that there are differences, but you might still call it a dog. When someone else corrects you, you build a new memory on that past memory that allows you to differentiate a cat and a dog.

We learn from contrast and connections. Imagine your brain to be extremely non-linear. It’s extremely random, and the only way to consciously organize it is to create non-entropic “tree branches”.

A similar technique known as the “Mind-map” is based off this. You can Google it.

—-

Now that the background information is out-of-the-way, let’s talk about learning new stuff.

New stuff = Creating contrast from old memories

That’s it. And to do that, you need to ensure that the old memory that you’re “piggy-backing” off is strongly connected.

For example, for a pro tennis player, practice has allowed him/her to do a strong volley stroke on a tennis ball as proficiently as he can spell out his ABCs. That’s the meaning of a strong connection. (Again: The more you repeat it, the more conditioned the synapses.)

—–

To learn something, you need to understand that the people who created these ideas also have had “past memories”. The timeline looks something like this…

Basic Info… -> Background Info… -> “Your new information”

It’s kind of what I’ve done above. I’ve lined out the background information so you can somewhat better understand my post here.

What you do… is you go way back to that person’s basics. Then you go to the background information. Then you go to your new information and soak it up like a sponge.

It’s kind of like a dartboard. You start from the outside (the easier foundation thoughts)… and slowly move in and zone in (your new concept).

It’s kind of an upside-down approach to the “WHY? WHY? WHY?” approach that a lot of people are advocating. It works, and it’s still going from the basic info -> new information.

—-

To go a step even higher, you start to apply it on a lateral perspective.

You go sideways.

For example, there are tons of theories that can be applied to thousands of other seemingly unrelated scenarios.

Think of examples of the concept happening.

For example, the chaos theory says that the smallest things can create a huge difference in the results.

Classic example: Butterfly flaps its wings, creates a tornado in another part of the world.

You research: Tiny molecule contacts body cell, triggers over hundreds and thousands of chain reactions.

Or: 1 gene mutation creates a huge radical change in a body, leading to early death.

And if you actually go deeper, you’ll see that it correlates to other fields like economics… physics… chemistry… mathematics… sociology… anthropology…. literature…..

Well yeah.

The gist was “Connections using old connections”. But I hope the exemplification helped.

No trick or gimmick will transform you into a ‘fast learner.’ When I started at university, I was struck by how quickly top students were able to understand and apply new concepts. Now, I understand that fast learning is an illusion – these students had encountered similar concepts in the past, and were modifying and combining old ideas to figure out new ones. They were always looking to learn new things, draw new connections, and develop their intuitions.One answer cites Scott Young, a blogger who ‘completed’ four years of MIT coursework in one year, as an example of a fast learner. But did the blogger really learn? On closer inspection, you’ll find that he wasn’t even able to tell that several of his solutions were incorrect! (see his solution to 6.042 problem 4a – his example graphs are not even isomorphic).

My advice is to not worry about time, learn something, and learn it well. Build your intuition – ask questions like, “Does this make sense?” “How does this fit in with everything I already know?” Make this a habit, and one day I guarantee someone will take you as a fast learner.

Mark HarrisonRunning technology at FundingKnight (British Peer to Business – P2B – lending) 

1: Put it into practice – do some worked examples. mind map the application of it to something you’re currently doing,  You can’t learn golf from a book, you need to swing a club at a ball. You can’t learn Ruby on Rails from a book – you need to put together a site.2: Find someone who knows how, and has a reputation for being good at explaining things. Ask them to explain something. Buy them lunch if needed.  If you don’t understand something, ask them to repeat it. If you don’t understand it then, ask them to explain it a different way. If they can’t, or they won’t, or you still don’t understand, find someone else to explain it.

3: Find someone else who is keen to learn about the same subject, and arrange to get together with them regularly (online or in meatspace), to run through how things are going.

4: Each month, go and buy a magazine in a category you’ve never bought before. I don’t care what – Interior Design, Fishing, Cooking, Sports Cars, anything really. Read it – you may pick up a ‘pattern’ that resonates with something else, elsewhere, and much of learning is about patterns. (Even if you don’t, you’ll learn something, so the day won’t be a waste.)

5: If you are in a meeting situation (class, business, club, whatever), don’t be afraid to put up your hand and say ‘Sorry, can you just explain why…’ a bit more. Stupid people will think you are stupid. Intelligent people will admire you. This helps discover who the people to start networking with are.

6: Accept that mastery takes time and practice…. and isn’t a constant upwards curve. Learn to love the plateaus.

7: If you are having trouble getting something, write it out, longhand (not on a computer) on a pad of paper, just before you are going to bed. (Ideally, wait until you are in bed, do it, then close your eyes and go to sleep). You don’t actually need the conscious mind to be involved to internalize a lot of things.

Robert FrostProfessional instructional systems designer and author of a training course and manual on the learning process 
The key to quicker learning is to understand how learning happens and then taking advantage of that process.If we study how neurons work in our brains, we can reach two conclusions:

  1. Learning occurs because of repetition
  2. Learners must connect new knowledge to previous knowledge in order to learn

The first one is pretty straightforward.  Repeatedly think about something and the neurons related to that something will grow dendrites and make associations with other neurons, making it easier for us to remember and recall that something, when needed.  We all know how to learn or memorize by repetition.

The second is the more complicated one.  Our brains store information by context and association based on existing mental models (AKA schema).  If we want to learn new information successfully we need to either find an existing mental model that will associate with the new information or we need to build a new mental model in which the new information will fit.

The quick learner determines the analogous existing mental model or realizes when they don’t have an existing acceptable mental model and they back-off and build a new mental model before trying to absorb the concept that is new.  Building new mental models can be done by outlining or mind-mapping.  Start with the central new concept and branch off to the key features of that concept.  Keep branching off until you reach a point where you have existing knowledge that can connect to the new knowledge.

Here is a crude example.  Let’s assume we wanted to learn how to play chess:

By making the association between the shape of the Bishop piece and a picture of a bishop’s hat we will have a neural association that will make it easy for us to recognize which piece is the Bishop.

Using images wherever practical is a benefit, because our brains are better at remembering images than words.

Much more on this subject is found at this link.

What is it Like to Have a Photographic Memory?

Below are the discussions of people who have a photographic memory including both pros and cons.  I’ve met some (none below) in my life. They were great at taking tests and can be valuable in some situations, like people with a high IQ they have weaknesses in other situations (when they rely on the memory only and it requires input from multiple sources to navigate a situation (many times social) successfully.  Common sense is underrated sometimes as is street smarts.  Nevertheless, it is a unique gift that is quite handy.  Attribution is at the end.
Well if you’re anything like me you won’t be aware that you have it until others repeatedly point it out and you have an aha moment that it maybe true. Up until a psychiatrist recently documented it on paper I thought it was just a personality quirk. LolI’ve spent the majority of my life trying to both unconsciously and consciously block this ability so I’m not certain how far it extends for me today. However from my experience I can still remember when my parents got remarried in a roman style basilica looking church to the last detail. I can recall its stain glassed windows and the figures etched across them, the echo that bounced off its wall, the color and style of my mother’s long flowing dress, and the types of flowers she put in my hair when I sat on her lap. I was 4 years old at the time.

I can put a face to every teacher, friend, bf, acquaintance, and stranger Ive met along the way in every country and every city beginning the age of 5. I can also still recall names, dates, and lifelong back stories if I was paying attention and often times even when I wasn’t.

I never forget something people tell me directly including the words you use and the order by which they use them. If you use a different word to relate to the same meaning I’ll note the disparity in my head.

I can remember all major highways, streets, and directions in any given country and any given city for an extension of I would say of about 65 miles within a week if I was the one driving. If I go back there 10 years later I can still recall it. E.V.E.R.Y.  L.A.S.T  D.E.T.A.I.L

I can remember anything by touch, sound, taste, smell and feel better than I can if you tell me something more specific like your name. But I’ll remember the name by a trigger of one of the other senses. The senses thing will trigger any memory at any given time for me – a scent of a perfume, a sound of an airplane, the touch of a material.

If I read a textbook or do something for work or if I look at the actual page which I try not to most of the time I’ll remember enough that when I go to sleep at night I’ll dream of the page and read it in my sleep and even turn the pages as I’m dreaming… Which is a little creepy. I’m not going to lie. Lol

I’ve never studied. Partially because I’m ADD and partially because I knew I never had to.

But for all the reasons this can sound exciting and useful at times it is as much of a burden, responsibility, and even tormenting if you don’t train yourself to block out as much of it as you can. I can recall every bad thing I’ve ever done, every moment someone has hurt me, every memory I’ve hurt someone else. You’re burdened with the responsibility that not only do people realize you remember these things but more importantly that you also understand them. It’s the understanding that will drive you up a wall. I can connect things where most others can’t and can experience things others never will forcing you into a reality few can live by and most will never see.

Painful. I remember every detail of every second of every day perfectly. I can tell you the license plate number, make, and model of every car I have ever driven behind.
There are some pretty amazing benefits, I store an amazing amount of information, I can remember every book I have ever read, and I have read thousands.
I remember every person I have ever seen, I walk through a crowded mall, and remember people that I have only glimpsed once before. I remember every conversation I have ever had. When I say in perfect detail, I do not exaggerate. I do not remember, I relive. To me memories are as real as current time, it’s hard to differentiate real life from memories. This is because I remember every feeling, smell, taste, sound, everything I see, every thought I have. Time really has no meaning I can never really tell what is real unless I experience something really truly new, something I don’t have a memory for.
I don’t have to study, never have. I read a textbook, and I never forget it. I spend my time instead constantly searching for new information, new experiences. I almost hunger for knowledge.But what people don’t understand Is that unlike their memories, my memory doesn’t put any more weight on one memory than another. Most people only remember what their brain deems is important. I remember everything. Driving to school everyday is considered as important as my most treasured memories. My brain doesn’t stress anything. To find a memory, I have to look through a lifetime of memories. Memories that include reliving memories. I remember remembering. Needless to say this makes thinking confusing.
Another thing is I don’t dream. I’m incapable of dreaming, instead all night I replay my memories from the previous day. It should go without saying that I’m an insomniac.
I’ve never met anyone else who shares my memory type, and frankly it’s lonely. I feel like I am nothing like those who surround me and even in a crowded room I feel painfully alone. I am trapped in a world of memory, alone, and questioning what is real.
Sure there are some great benefits, but living with it has been a constant battle.

 

Juliette Creech, Currently writing my thesis to complete my MA in Counseling Psychology

I have a semi-photographic memory in that I can remember the content of most anything I’ve read and sometimes visually remember where the information is on the page or how far into the book/article it is.  I don’t generally remember the names of the author or possibly the article/book but can usually find it with the specific information I do remember.  I have almost no autobiographical/experiential memory ability and that usually feels like an unfair price to pay :-)What is it like?  It’s complicated.

There are certainly positive ramifications:

  • In college; I’ve never had to study as long as I took notes during lectures and I didn’t have to buy textbooks unless they were going to be used for independent reading and/or were interesting enough for me to want to buy them. I usually get 100% or thereabout on any test and if I miss any questions its usually because I missed a class or got lazy and didn’t take notes one day. I don’t experience any test anxiety because I know I will get an A. I can answer most people’s questions with some degree of certainty and back up my response with a reference to the research or source of my answer. I can write research papers more quickly than most people because I have the info in my head and know which references I need to collect in order to cite/back up my ideas. Professors tend to enjoy me as a student because I am knowledgeable about the topics and can participate in well-informed and interesting conversations about their work/research. I easily generate original ideas for projects and papers because I can remember and connect information from different fields and studies related to the topic.
  • In regular life; I don’t get lost (photographic navigational memory). I can provide accurate information to friends and family about topics ranging from legal problems, medical problems, psychological problems, investments, business, parenting, nutrition, politics, fashion, etiquette, art, crafts, and anything else I’ve been interested enough to research (I research for fun and relaxation). I know how to fix things. I’m useful to have around and this helps me socially. I can generally come up with a relevant and amusing quote or anecdote from history or current events to amuse people with, I rock at karaoke, and no one can beat me at word games (except my brother whose strategy skills blow me out of the water during scrabble).

It’s not all good though, on a personal and emotional level its quite costly.

  • In college; I feel guilty about getting As on tests I didn’t study for when really hard workers struggle to pass. I feel guilty about ruining the curve in classes that have one (and sometimes negotiate with the teacher to be removed from the curve equation, even if it might lower my scores). I hate working in groups because I end up doing more work when I have to not only carry more of the burden but also figure out how to make sure everyone looks like they’ve done an equal amount of work on the project. I hate working in groups because it takes me more time to complete projects when I generally have to spend a fair amount of time providing my group-mates with the information I have that they don’t. I am popular as a group member (particularly with average and below average peers) because working with me pretty much guarantees an A on the project– this is a disadvantage to me because I’d rather work alone but am afraid of hurting others’ feelings if I refuse to work with them.  I am unpopular as a group member with better students (usually those who actually work hard to earn their grades) because I choose unconventional projects and make them very anxious with my disorganization and procrastination.I have TERRIBLE study skills because I’ve never had to develop them and I fear it will one day bite me in the ass. I am a crazy perfectionist because I know what I am capable of and will punish myself severely for failing to get an A on a test or project. I find it hard to make friends because many people dislike me since I have an “unfair” advantage and don’t have to work to get the grades they struggle to approach. I find it hard to make friends because many people who like me in spite of my “unfair” advantage find it difficult to relate to me on a personal level and seem to feel like I have super-powers or am otherwise alien. I find it hard to make friends because I don’t fit in with most other people and they find it hard to comprehend that I research for fun and would rather spend a Friday night intensely discussing potential solutions to unsolvable problems than going out to drink and socialize with random people.

    Some professors dislike me because I ask questions that they don’t have the answers to or related to research on the topic that they haven’t yet read. Some professors dislike me because they feel like I am “too big for my britches,” and I often feel guilty for asking questions during class (so many questions) that are related to the topic but beyond the scope of what is being presented and often beyond the ability of others to understand when they haven’t accumulated as much information as I have about the subject.

  • At work:  I get bored easily because I have an insatiable drive for new information and most jobs are repetitive. I piss off my managers because they often feel like I’m making them “look dumb” and I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut if I have pertinent information. I piss off my managers because my coworkers often come to me for information and assistance instead of them. I have trouble working in groups because I usually have too much more information and I can easily dominate the discussion or make people feel like I’m being pushy. I have trouble working with other people because I often have more knowledge about any given topic we’re working on and its not actually a good thing to “always be right” about things because you can’t not remember what you remember.  I have trouble making friends at work because many peers find me odd, difficult to understand, and/or feel like I threaten their chances of advancing as much as they’d like.I have a lot of trouble even deciding on a career path because I am “really good at” (and really educated about) too many subjects and in order to choose one path I would have to give up my dreams and passion for the other paths I’m not taking. At 38 I haven’t yet been able to establish a track record or formal evidence of expertise in any particular field because my memory (and number of topics I’m passionate about) makes me have high aptitude for too many things and prevents me from being able to focus on one thing long enough to make tangible progress.  Worst of all, I have difficulty following through on projects because my memory is such that thinking through the problem (and figuring it out) seems like having done it completely and I then find it hard to muster motivation to take the time to finish it in real life.
  • The personal costs are what I hate the most: I have trouble in relationships because I’m “always right” when it comes to facts & information that I’ve accumulated knowledge about (non experiential) and have not yet figured out how to let other people “be right” without compromising my intellectual principles and/or unfairly hoarding information I could have shared. I have trouble finding people who connect with me intellectually because while many people are as or more informed than me in their particular domain of interest it seems impossible to find others who are equally informed in a wide range of domains of knowledge. I have trouble connecting with others because I often end up feeling guilty or becoming aware of the frightening potential of manipulating or unduly influencing others when they unquestioningly accept my input as fact due to my wealth of information about everything that I am compelled to learn about– It’s frightening to feel responsible for being infallible when you know you actually are not.I am disorganized because everything I experience internally or externally triggers a memory and demands that I contemplate the connection /relationship and I am rendered effectively incapable of reliably noticing the organization/cleanliness of my home or office. I lose track of time and days because I am distracted by associative memories triggered by anything; I forget to pay my bills & cannot properly manage money because I am usually stuck in my head and lose track of time or lose the bills in the clutter I’m failing to notice. Other problems associated with being constantly reminded of something that is potentially related to whatever: I can’t keep a schedule, I forget to eat, I forget to shower (or that I forgot to eat or shower), I forget important dates like birthdays and anniversaries,  I often have insomnia, I lose everything (If I were a man I’d be very grateful not to have a detachable penis), and I am always anxious that I’ve forgotten some important deadline or other task I usually forget.

    I can’t remember experiences like my 21st birthday, special times with my daughter (I think its a trade off for my other kind of memory ability), my first kiss or the first time I had sex, friends and lovers I have fallen out of contact with (I somehow completely forget many people which makes me sad), or most any personal accomplishment that would probably look really good on my resume.

    I feel really guilty about not being grateful for my “gifts.”  I feel really guilty for not using my ability as much as I could or should have.  From childhood, people have told me that I am responsible for using my gifts to improve the world, I don’t feel I have honored that responsibility and so feel guilty for letting “the world” down (irrational, I know).  I fear I am arrogant; I fear that others think I’m arrogant.  I struggle to achieve greater humility but have little success on that count.  I sometimes worry that I’m a “bad person” because I have failed to use my abilities or live up to the potential this memory gives me.

    The single worst thing for me, though, is that I feel like I’m not quite human.  I don’t have many experiences others have, have not developed skills that others have developed because they require repetition or other tools to remember information, and I have many experiences that others do not have due to the differences in how my brain works. If I could feel like I “belong” somewhere or that I am really “connected” to another human being then I might feel like all the other negatives are worth it for the benefits I experience.

I don’t know if this actually answers “what it is like” to have this type of memory because it seems more like I’m simply listing the effects it has on my life.  However, I don’t know what its like to NOT have this memory of mine and since this type of question requires a comparison between the two experiences… I think the question could only REALLY be answered by someone who has both had and not had this type of memory ability.

 

On the one hand :

I can remember nearly everything I’ve ever read, sometimes even how it is layed out on the page. Many of my answers are straight from my head as I remember my studies especially well. With my obsessive topics of interest (yay autism) I can remember EVERYTHING.

I can remember many conversations (except over the phone) verbatim for years, movies and song lyrics also stick.

If I hear a song on the radio I can recall the day of the week, the weather, and the location of where I was when it last played. I can “replay” or visualize past occurrences…
I can visualize maps in my head.

On the other hand:

I have face blindness. If I see a person out of context (like my sons speech therapist at the grocery store) I do not recognize them.

Under stress I cannot recall simple familiar information- like my address, pin number, children’s birth dates, and aquaintances/people I do not see every day names – I’m very bad at names

I cannot memorize formulas, dates, or anything with numbers.

Even though music sticks, I cannot attend to audio books or remember things read to me.

downsides:
Like a previous answerer, I to have felt sad to have a cherished memory no one else recalls

Having ptsd I can be visualizing a traumatic situation in mere seconds of a trigger.

Allan Nielsen, Omnischolar

I do not think I fall into the “eidetic memory” category, although I have a superb photographic and auditory memory.There are of course several pros, but there are also quite a few cons.

Let me just clarify what kind of memory I actually have.

I can vividly recall sight and sounds, into the tiniest detail. Without even concentrating, I can visualize people I have seen for as little as 5 minutes.
I can recall such small details as jewelry, hairstyle, make-up, etc.
Out of the approximately 80 persons I meet regularly (at least once a week), I can recall eye-colour, maybe around 5 different sets of clothing each have worn, including for example jewelry and tattoos.

I can picture people, myself, and even whole scenes in fine detail, walk through them, look at them from bird-perspective. I am even able to visualize the schoolyard from 1st grade, which is a 14 year old memory.

For me, the best thing is that I can remember what people have said to me, even years after. Almost every conversation I’ve had is stored in my memory, not matter how trivial they are.

Sounds great, right?

Well, the downsides are as many as the upsides.

Sometimes I can’t control when I visualize memories. The first notes of a song with which I have attached a memory, can trigger a full memorization.

I sometimes tend to visualize the equations and formulas my math teacher present in class, in real time. That can easily make me want to visualize the equations with various different combinations, and therefore render me much less active in lessons.

I can remember a lot of joyful experiences with my family that they can’t remember. It hurt me quite a bit the first time I mentioned a memory that they did not recall.

Only a few of my friends know that I have this kind of memory, and they all ask me the classic: Why aren’t you getting A grades all the time, in everything?
The simple answer is, that the “photographs” in my memory are so fragmented, and so cluttered that it consumes a whole lot of my energy just to memorize one thing in detail.

Edited Friday 3rd of January 2014.

Mike Sellers, Entrepreneur, game designer, AI researcher, dad

I don’t have “superior autobiographical memory” by a long shot, but I do have some degree of eidetic memory. I’m afraid it’s faded from when I was a teenager, when it seems to have been strongest, but it’s still there.I remember things visually very clearly. I used to be able to take a quote from a page I had read by “re-reading” it in my mind; occasionally I can still do that (it was great for studying in high school and college!). More often now it’s more of “the quote I’m looking for is on the left-hand page in the first column, about an inch below the diagram on that page.” That sort of thing. I remember images, artwork, visual events in my life very clearly (but I don’t think I remember many more of these events than is typical). I’ve been able to draw scenes or images long after having seen them with good to excellent correspondence (and sometimes, perfect correspondence in what might seem like odd details, but which my brain for some reason latched onto).

Oddly, while I can’t do this with sounds or music (anymore than is typical, again; people seem to have strong memory for music and lyrics anyway), I have a great sense and memory for smells and flavors. I think it verges into a bit of synesthesia, as I tend to think of and remember flavors and smells as colored shapes. Sounds strange I know. (Emotions also have color to me, but I’ve been doing work on using color to represent emotions for years now, so I’m not sure if that’s just part of me or a result of my research. 🙂 )

Andy Manoske, Observer on PlayHaven and BandPage BoD

I have an exceptional memory. I have the ability to recall things like patterns (patterns of numbers, words, etc.), images, and experiences with pretty strong detail.I’ve used it in things like memorizing speeches, quiz bowl, acting as a GPS for my friends and family in places I’ve driven, and spelling bees: as long as I’ve read or heard that word before on somewhere like Wikipedia or an encyclopedia I can usually just read you the letters from memory.

I also might have tried charming girls in college at parties by tipsily recalling to them Latin poetry from books I read in high school from memory. Unsurprisingly, this was rarely successful.

Just because I have a strong memory doesn’t mean that I have an eidetic memory. True photographic and eidetic memory is extremely uncommon. There’s absolutely an exceptional few who have an eidetic memory in the strictest degree in that they literally can recall vivid details about any random day or moment in their life, but this minority is extremely small. Most people sit somewhere in the middle of being Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man and being Guy Pierce’s characer in Momento.

With regards to my experiences and creating a hopefully entertaining Quora read, I want to note a few things that you don’t get from having an exceptional memory.

  • Memory != Intelligence. Just because I have a strong memory doesn’t mean I’m a super genius. I’m a pretty decently smart guy and being able to read you passages from science books in my head might be a cool parlor trick. But that doesn’t mean that I understand everything I recall.For me, the combination of letters and words is really just a pattern that I interpret to be text, speech, a math problem, etc. I can remember phrases in a language by recalling the feeling it makes to contort my mouth into saying that phrase or equations from some math textbook because they “feel” like a certain pattern. But my ability to recall them doesn’t mean that I speak that language or understand what that equation means.

    Learning is about both memory and comprehension. I’ve got to do a lot of grunt work in learning the semantics and architecture behind what I’m saying, and that’s I feel like that process is independent of my ability to remember things.

  • Memory is an unjournaled, non-optimized file system. This is one of the reasons why I don’t have an eidetic memory. Even though I can probably tell you a lot about what went on a certain day with pretty strong detail (particularly if there was anything significant that happened then), I still need to take time to figure out what a day or period of time was – how it correlates to my sensory information of the event.E.g.: if you were to ask me what I did on on September 12th of this year I’d have to realize that it was a week ago, work back through my memory of the last 7 days, and then I could probably tell you what happened then.

    The level of detail I can muster for an day or event really depends on how important it was to me. I can still muster a decently vivid description of what I did random days, but given that I don’t have an eidetic-grade memory I wonder how much of it is pure memory and how much of it is curve-fitting that my brain is doing to “fill in the blanks.”

    This is one of the reasons why it’s easier for me to remember things like passages from books and numbers. Usually these are associated with some kind of emotional or physical anchor that help me quickly “source” said passage or number. I can quote from the Things They Carried because I was touched by the book. I can pretty easily recall Aeneid I in Latin because I first read it in full right before I asked out a girl to prom.

    In fact, whenever I start going off on my “Arma virumque cano…” that memory usually comes with a little bit of anxiousness and the feel and smell of warm, recently photocopied paper. I was reading/hiding behind my sheaf of copied Virgil right until I mustered the courage to vomit out a “willyougotopromwithme”.

  • You are still human. This is one I learned about in college. I may have a pretty good memory, but I’ll still forget details on what goes on during a night of heavy drinking and partying. Alcohol inhibits aspects of the hippocampal function of the brain that govern short term and long term memory. I’ll still be asking “what went on last night” alongside everyone else if there was an aggressive consumption of Tequila involved. Also, if I’m really fatigued I find it difficult to capture a lot of the fine details of a scene in memory or to recall vividly events in general.
Barbara Buckley, Animal lover, Constant seeker of knowledge

I have a semi-eidectic visual memory. I can visualize my written notes on any subject, long after I have written them. This has been advantageous when taking tests in school or remembering geographic or historic data and visual details. I also believe and have been told that I can remember details of my life and of those I have come in contact with as far back as when I was 2 years of age.I have read thousands of books and have a visual memory of the covers and pages. I began reading the newspaper at 4 years of age. I am now 51, and seem to have an intact visual memory. I do not have the same ability with numbers, engineering, architectural drawing, or artistic ability. I am a competent and interesting writer (so I have been told and have been published.)

What does this mean? I have a lot of useless material clogging up my brain so I have an immediate need to discover a good storage or filing system for it!

I don’t have a photographic memory, but I do have the ability to remember most conversations. I can remember, word for word, conversations that happened as long as fifteen gets ago.Some say this is a gift, but it is more like a curse. When you remember every word, you realize quickly that almost everybody lies. Their stories change from week to week or even day to day.

When I first realized I had this “gift”, I would often call people out when I noticed a discrepancy in something they’ve said in the past and what they are saying at the time. Them I realized that this was not the way to win friends. It’s hard to know somebody is lying and nog say anything.

Fred Landis, Investigative Reporter

The only good thing to come out of the 60 Min show which focused on Marilou Henner is that the people were normal and successful, rather than like the movie Rainman. But the focus is still on a particular kind of eidetic memory which focuses on dates.
Christopher Hitchens, despite the drinking, could produce exact quotes in the heat of live debate.
For 10 years I hosted a live debate at the U of Ill at Urbana, in the Student Union, that lasted over 10 hours, once a month. At any given time there were 200-300 participants. At that time I could not only give exact quotes, I could see the page. I could see the book and locate where on the page the quote was from.I did not view this as peculiar until one person declared this an unfair advantage.This still worked as late as 15 years ago when I took a cruise on Celebrity Cruises and there was a quiz show where I not only knew the answer but could see the page.
I have almost 3000 answers here 99% off the top of my head, but was very much put off by an error concerning a Herblock Cartoon of Barry Goldwater during the 1964 campaign. I had him coming out of  a Goldwater Dept Store and insulting a poor mother and child on the stairs, someone found the original and it was of him walking in front of their home in a poor neighborhood. Frankly my version is more credible. What would Barry Goldwater be doing walking alone in the slums?
My memory is of images, not words and certainly not numbers.
The first time I saw Lawrence of Arabia I remembered the whole thing. I knew something unusual was going on here and told the head of the psychology department.
Update: In Ridley Scott’s latest film, Promethius, he has an android who is obsessive about the movie Lawrence of Arabia.
I believe there is some relation among eidetic memory, Aspergers, synesthesia, and savant syndrome.I have every confidence that in the immediate future brain research will prove this.
The first day of the first grade I wore a red blazer, grey shorts,and carried a leather backpack. It was part of an obligatory uniform that could not be purchased, it had to be hand-made from required materials.

Sashwat Mishra, Analyzing people since 1991.

Well, here’s my contribution to this. I have a very strong photographic memory, and maybe an eidetic memory just a bit over most others. Eidetic memory includes recollection of experiences involving other senses as well. To me this has been a boon, the only bane being that I get irritated when I cannot recollect something trivial.I will approach this from two sides: Academics and Life.

Academics:
There are some subjects like History, Geography, and maybe even Biology that I just couldn’t understand completely in school. For most of these subjects, I have used a combination of my photographic memory and some random brain mapping to score high in exams. I remember the words by actually looking at an image of the page and the column the text was on. I am going to take a random example here to illustrate this:
Question: Define crevasses.
Processing: I recollect that this word was in bold on the left page of the first chapter on Glaciers in my Geography book. It was in a paragraph containing 4 lines. Now, I use my memory to recollect what those four to five lines were, and put them in my answer. The word crevasse might not always be clearly visible in the photo inside my brain, but I can recollect its location because, the length of the word and the characters match the blurred image in my brain. This has not worked flawlessly, but it is the major reason I have scored high even in subjects mentioned above. There have been times in Engineering, as well when I have used this processing to score high in subjects like Manufacturing and Technology, machining and Metrology, Advanced Physical Metallurgy from my undergraduate education. There have been times in a few subjects when I have felt awkward about the fact that I have scored perfectly on theoretical questions in an exam as compared to numerical ones.

Life:
This is the part where it gets awesome. I feel very much in control of my life because, I recollect perfectly even incidents from when I was 3 irrespective of their importance, and my memory here has failed me only few times.

  1. Roads and Streets in cities I visit.
  2. Bus routes once taken are never forgotten.
  3. Train and most Bus Schedules, even the local passenger trains. Helps me plan out trips perfectly.
  4. Faces. And most names associated with faces.(As long as I don’t have difficulty pronouncing the name. :P)
  5. Once I set up my calendar, I actually don’t need it anymore. I remember even non-recurring events once I have made an entry into the calendar. the events remain in my mind with the exact color coding as in my calendar.
  6. Searching through my mailbox or history is easy.
  7. I am a foodie. So I have to mention this. I recollect the prices of almost all items at food chains that I frequently go to.
  8. I catch people lying about incidents in the past(Well sometimes, they just forget). I usually can recall the entire context visually.

I usually surprise people with the ability to remember random incidents precisely. I wish my eidetic memory was stronger and as good as my photographic memory, but I guess the only other sense that is as well remembered as my Sight is Smell. So far, I haven’t found any use of having a good eidetic memory for smells.

I’ve been able to clearly recall several days (to the date) of every week of my life since I was roughly twelve or thirteen, although this baseline age increases with time. It hasn’t really helped me with much, or impacted me at all, other than propagate my compulsion to order everything in my life chronologically and feel mental stress when I cannot correctly connect a cause-and-effect situation. It also makes a good party trick. People often throw dates at me (“January 26, 2008!”) and I am able to say with certainty which day of the week it was, what I did (or anything eventful that happened that week, as sometimes nothing happens at all in high school—although I remember all my class schedules), what I was wearing, sometimes even specific conversations I’ve had with people.Sometimes I play games in which I try to recall what I was doing, on this current date, one year ago, two years ago, three years ago. I guess this helps refresh my memory reserves but I draw a lot more enjoyment out of this sort of thing than other people when I try to involve them.

Ross Cohen, just a guy with lots of interests

I have a very good memory. I wish it was eidetic but sadly it’s not. However, I can tell you a little about having an above average memory.Here are a few points that come to mind…

I can remember things from every year of school. I can picture each of my teachers, my classrooms, some of my classmates and where they sat, things we argued about, games we played, stories we were read, strange beliefs we had, specific lessons from the teacher,assignments we had,  tests we took, wrong answers I gave, etc. I don’t remember every single one of them, but certainly far more than you’d expect. I can probably tell you dozens of stories and details from every year of grade school. I didn’t always understand that everyone couldn’t do this and only recently discovered that my friends can’t remember anything from some of these years.

I once made an offhand reference to a silly game I used to play with one of my best friends growing up and he looked at me like I had six heads. He really had no clue what I was talking about. I was shocked. Shocked! It seems so clear to me.

I can remember lyrics to songs I wrote for the fake band I had with my neighbor at 7 years old. I know some of the lyrics and melodies I had to learn for our school chorus for 3rd grade, 5th grade, 7th grade, even some with foreign languages I don’t speak. Not just popular songs either, but songs I haven’t heard since. I can tell you the phone numbers of friends and family growing up, even the elementary school’s number. I recall the name of the character I played in a 4th grade Halloween play and it wasn’t an important part; I literally had one line. I remember the unit number of the patrol car a police officer showed us in 2nd grade.

I remember getting lost following my dog out an open door when I was 2; sticking my hand into the pretty blue blow torch flame when I was 4; and marching in my nursery school graduation (among other details, like playing in their kid sized kitchen and learning to sing “Frère Jacques”). I can picture the workbooks I used to learn the alphabet in kindergarten, the area of the room where we had show and tell and story time, playing post office, substitute teachers, on and on.

In first grade on the first day of school I went to the wrong room and was there until the principal came and got me. I remember projects we had, quirks about the teacher, even another kid throwing up all over our reading workbooks. I really can add another page of details from just that year. And the next. And the next.

I haven’t been to Disney World since I was 6 years old but I can recount many details from the trip…and not just the exciting stuff but stupid things like carrying around a belly bag and putting crispy chinese noodles in it. I went to the Statue of Liberty once when I was 8 or 9 and yet I still remember what the tour guide said about its height (22 stories). I have no other reason to know that but I just Googled it to confirm.

I have an obscenely encyclopedic knowledge of movie and tv quotes and the ability to call them up instantly. Everything reminds me of something I’ve seen on TV. It’s hard to know which things someone will get and so I alternate between being that weird guy that makes random references that need to be explained and being that awesome guy that’s always quick with the perfect reference.

In many high school classes I would rarely take notes. Sometimes it caused problems. Not problems with grades, problems with teachers and other students. I went virtually the entire year getting A’s in 8th grade math without taking a single note before the teacher one day noticed my empty desk and asked why I wasn’t taking notes today, as if I ever had. I don’t think anyone had ever called me out before and I didn’t know what to say, so I said “Oh!” and just acted like I totally forgot. I felt like the entire class was laughing at me and I think one girl said “what an idiot” or something like that. This situation repeated itself many times in other classes over the years and I tried many different tacts depending on the teacher and how bold I was feeling. Sometimes I would just fake it when I was actually doodling. Usually I was sitting there with a blank page the entire time, but angled so they couldn’t see. Other times I was more blatant about it and invited the confrontation. To one teacher, I was kind of a jerk and said outright, “I will if you want me to but it would just be for you.” She was actually really cool about it and said I didn’t have to, but then several of my classmates hated me (not truly, just friendly envy) and always tried to see how I did on the tests. I was not a consistently straight A student (mostly because I skipped a lot of homework) but happened to be in that class, except I would lie to the girls I sat next to and tell them I got Bs so they wouldn’t feel bad. No fewer than 3 of them wrote about it in my yearbook.

Not every teacher was as understanding. My biology teacher demanded that I take notes, despite my insistence that I learn better if I can fully think about what’s being said and not worry about writing it down. She was so adamant that I can’t possibly learn better that way that she vindictively changed the grading system for the entire class and began regularly collecting and grading everyone’s notes to spite me. I was super popular in that class too.

In college my friend joked that I had a “universal notebook” because I carried the same one to every class. I did jot down some notes depending on the class, but the same one would usually last me the entire semester with room to spare. I’m not talking about one of those thick “5 subject” notebooks but a fairly thin legal pad, except letter sized.

Having a really strong memory can also make you socially awkward at times. I don’t mean that in the conventional sense, I socialize just fine, but you have to tone down how sure you are about things that you remember perfectly. It’s a little like the way I learned to consciously dumb down my vocabulary, but that’s for another question.

Another negative is that I can vividly recall every time I said or did something stupid. Believe me, there have been many, many times over the years and I feel a strong sense of regret with all of them. You’d be surprised how inconsequential these things are. I remember sitting on line waiting to leave gym class in fifth grade and our teacher wasn’t there yet so the gym teacher had to kill time by quizzing us on current events in sports. It was 1994 and the winter olympics were going on that year so she asked who won an event the night before. I knew the answer was Australia but had recently heard of Austria for the first time and thought it was just a cool way of saying Australia, so I wanted to be cool and say it the shorter way. I raised my hand and got it wrong. Big deal, right? Well, I felt stupid and so it goes in the memory bank. I have no earthly reason to remember that but I obviously do, along with 600 other totally insignificant “regrets” on that level.

So what do you think? Do you want my memory? I don’t feel like it’s that special but it seems to be pretty unusual relative to others.

With all this said, my memory is so far from eidetic it’s not worth thinking about. Despite remembering the lyrics from songs I learned more than 20 years ago, I’m actually not good at learning the lyrics to songs I hear all the time. I have just as much trouble as anyone else memorizing lists, scripts, poetry, directions, quotes from books, etc. I’m terrible with names of people I just met and am no better than anyone else at remembering faces. I’m not especially good with numbers and can’t keep too many in my head at once– but I can tell you George Washington’s birthday because I did a report on him in third grade and Abe Lincoln’s birthday because they said it in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You’d want me on your pub trivia team, but it’s not good for much else.

Anonymous

It’s great, but it can also be awkward when flirting with people who don’t have that level of mental capacity. Especially when they say they don’t remember some time you spent with them recently. Having an eidetic memory can be especially awkward when trying to relate to people who are obviously highly intelligent but clearly do not have an eidetic memory. They tend to think you’re crazy for your recollections and give you this look like you’re nuts or even creepy for allegedly remembering everything you’ve ever seen. Heaven forbid. This level of being a somewhat visual person can be taken for granted and misunderstood.Also, I have ADD, and it took years before I realized that I had an eidetic memory and that this eidetic memory was apparently not something that everybody has. I always thought having a photographic memory meant being able to memorize what I saw on paper instantaneously, but quite frankly, having an eidetic memory means recalling in vast detail what I’ve experienced and seen and what I know. My mind filters through what I don’t understand, although with time, my memory and its accuracy improves (probably because the vastly detailed memory of what I’ve seen becomes more clear with added understanding of that memory, which can only be achieved with time). This has all been confirmed by a neuropsychiatrist by the way, although that really doesn’t matter now, does it?

Bruce Feldman, Amateur speculator.

There are supposedly 6 people in the US (that are known) who can recite what happened on ANY day of their life (some have a limit back to age 11 or so) if you just give them a date. Marilou Henner (Taxi show) is one of these people. They have immediate access to their SCM file cabinet to recall events from morning to night of any day chosen at random.They did tests with these people..well…you can watch it at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-5048…. It opens the door to further awareness of how the SCM organizes data and functions in memory. Plus, other studies of SCM. This is fascinating.

Neto Sosa, I have a heavy interest in personality disorders and have done a lot of layman reading

I’ve read all the answers and I’m really happy that I did. I don’t have eidetic memory, but my memory, like a few posters is above average. I have very vivid memories that date back to before I could talk. I believe my oldest one is getting vaccinated. I always believed this must have been six months but now that I’m a parent, I know it could have possibly been 3, 6, or 9 months. I remember my father walking me into a clinic. I remember sitting in his lap in a white room, I remember the white tile speckled with gold, the layout of the chairs, and on on my left there was a doorway. I remember parents taking in their children and coming out sometime later. I very specifically remember at one point, a child completely freaking out beyond that doorway(it must have been a hallway) and a staff member walking out and smiling at the parents before shutting the door. At the time I was just observing but when I was older, I realized she was jokingly smiling at the parents before shutting the door because the screaming kid was bound to make the other kids uneasy. I recall her face so vividly. It’s a surreal memory because her communication to me was delayed by several years. Like she was “speaking” in a code that I would know how to decipher later. It was just body language. I don’t remember the walk into the room where I was vaccinated but I know the next memory was the same day, because I was the same size, and my father was wearing the same blue checkered shirt. My clothes were removed and I remember my father holding me down. The nurse and my father said a few words I don’t remember but then the lady pricked me. THE FREAKING LADY PRICKED ME!!!! OMG I remember feeling like WTF and I stared at this lady confused, with burrowed eyebrows and raging eyes. I remember the feeling, the glare, and the grunt. I can still make it even today. I did not cry. She immediately smiled the biggest smile and said “oohh, what a brave little boy.” I did not know what she was saying at the time. I grew up speaking spanish, but sometime in first or second grade I recalled the memory(I had recalled it a number of times up until then), and there was a moment where I finally realized what she had said. She had called me a brave little boy. Again, the sounds, the syllables, the cadence of her voice, was a code that I wouldn’t break for many years.  She was honestly happy when I didn’t cry and my mistrust faded a little. I know I received more shots but I don’t remember if I cried or not. It was the clinic, the initial first shot, and her voice and words that were so vivid. I recalled this memory often when i was young, but now it’s just a memory of a memory.I also remember dreams I had from this period. Possibly around 1-2. I remember my parents were naked in a car driving and my mother had this donut shaped ring around her waist, like a giant fruit loop. The loop belonged to my father, and my mother’s wearing of it implied some kind of ownership by my father. My mother was happy and smiling to be wearing it. I remember in the dream my parents took my fathers orange car to a car wash but they did’t wash the car(my father never had an orange convertible but he did in this dream). I know that the car belonged to my father and not my parents. It was one of those do it yourself car washes. They got out happy and then they were under the carwash in suds…laughing. Despite the laughing the dream implied ownership and dominance, and submission on my mothers part, and spoke of male and female sexuality. I know I was still in diapers when I had this dream and I couldn’t talk. There was no talking in the dream, just feelings.

I remember walking in on my parents having sex around this time too. My father had yelled at me to get out. “get out. Get out!” he had been very angry. I was clearly upset at his yelling and my mother seeing my face quickly rebuttaled
him saying “oh leave him be, he’s just a baby” (in spanish). Also  a code I would understand later. I remember when I was eight telling my mother and my aunt that I knew what sex was because I had seen my parents have it. They both laughed at me and said I was ridiculous. My mother had probably forgot that one incident(there might have been others). But then I told them about the memory and described what I had seen. My mother was flabbergasted and embarrased.

“I would have never let you in my room while I was with your father!”

“No, mom. It’s because I was still very little. My dad tried to kick me out but you even said “Oh leave him be. He’s just a baby.”

Another memory I have from that time period was the first time I got spanked, sometime between the age of 2 and 3. I had woken up early at my aunts house and my cousins had just finished a bowl of cereal. She sat me down in a chair and poured me a bowl and also poured second bowls for my cousins. I ate my cereal and then requested seconds. My aunt poured me a little more cereal but then ALSO POURED THIRDS FOR MY COUSINS!! I was immediately upset. NO, NOT THEM> THEY ALREADY HAD TWO BOWLS! I pointed upset at their bowls saying NO. NO. and whining. Eventually my parents had also come to the kitchen table. My father must have done some scolding because I remember eating my bowl and seeing my cousins eat their third bowl. After finishing I requested my fairly due third bowl. This time I must have been a little demanding. The adults had a discussion about what to do and at some point my father requested my aunt serve me, but then also serve my cousins. None of the adults understood that I was upset because the count was off, they just saw a bratty selfish toddler wanting to be the only one with cereal at the table. When I realized my aunt was also pouring cereal for my cousins I threw a fit. NO, NO. I was no longer backing down. I pushed my cereal away and started pointing and whining and saying NO. My father pushed the cereal bowl back in front of me and demanded I eat. I back handed that bowl with all my might and it went flying off the table, milk, cheerios, and spoon all over my aunts floor and possibly all over my father. I can see that moment in slow motion. FUCK THAT. Keep your charity cereal this is about JUSTICE!!! The adults all gasped, my cousins stared at me open mouthed and wide eyed, after a slight pause my father pulled me from one arm out of the chair and apparently I got spanked. I don’t remember that part. But sometime when I was a teenager my mom, again with my aunts, were reminiscing while I was with them. They were laughing about something, and then my mom turned to me and said. “Do you remember that? that was the first time your father spanked you. Wanting cereal all to yourself god you were throwing a tantrum. Do you remember? You threw the cereal on the floor and your fathe;r wooo he spanked you!!! And he made your aunt pour you another and stood there making sure you ate that one.” By this time my mother was somewhat aware of my memory, which is why she thought it appropriate to ask me if I remember something from when I was two or three. I replied. “I wasn’t trying to be the only one with cereal. My aunt had already fed art and christy. They were one bowl ahead of me. I was just trying to get it to be fair.” Statements like these always made my mother feel very uncomfortable. What are you suppose to feel when you realize your teenage son remembers you having sex in detail; that the first time you let his father spank him he had been completely right to be upset?

I have many other memories from childhood. Often they are tied to pretty strong emotions; regret, triumph, loss, love, beauty. I also have the trait of not having to study for tests that involve memory. I don’t have to take notes. Hearing it once, or reading it once is enough. For a lot of exams, I would even wait till 20 minutes before a test and skim through a friends notes that they had been laboring and studying with for days. I would go into the exam and come out with a perfect score while my friend would get a B.

My memory usually deals with facts that I’m passionate about and want to remember or it is tied to strong emotions. I’m awful with names. I’m awful with little things like my keys or my phone or my wallet. I forget something important like that daily. I don’t know what I ate yesterday morning. I don’t know what I wore two days ago. I don’t remember casual conversations. This last one is a big one with girlfriends who often feel I’m ignoring them. “I told you that LAST WEEK!!”  The girlfriend thing is tough. My last girlfriend,( well every girlfriend I’ve had)…I remember the very first time I saw her…what she wore, where she sat, what she said to the skinny indian guy next to her, what he said. I remember the very first time I spoke with her, the way she looked, how she was so eager to show me the way to the exam room. I remember her excusing herself to use the restroom and coyly turning as she walked through the door to smile back at me. Those memories are vivid and clear and I have tons of them. During our relationship it was difficult to bring some of these happy memories up and realize she had no clue what i was talking about. It’s like the opposite of dating someone with Alzheimer’s. It’s not that they’re forgetting these beautiful moments, but your just remembering too many of them! or at least too many details. We broke up 3 months ago. Try getting over an ex with a memory like that. I can close my eyes and relive an amazing experience I had with her like it was just yesterday, except I haven’t talked to her in months. :/

Adisa Nicholson, lone ranger

I do not remember everything in my life, and I don’t have direct access to the things I remember. So if you asked me what Keyshia Cole looks like, I couldn’t give you answer, although I’ve seen her over 5 years ago on some R&B music video. I also can’t tell you the 6 halogens in the Periodic Table are, if you asked me what they were.So in that sense, my memory is just like yours.

However, I see a blurry image in my mind for the things that I do remember. This only helps me in 2 rare aspects of my life.

  • Every time I tell you a piece of information, I can tell you what medium I read it from, and what it was called. So I could mention something I read from a newspaper in conversation, and tell you what newspaper I read it from. This has got me nicknamed encyclopedia at times
  • In exams when I’m answering questions, if I have revised for the exam beforehand using an old exam paper, I will see a blurry image with some of the words, including the words I wrote on the page, to help me answer the question.

This comes with disadvantages.
It is hard for me to take in lots of information at once.

  • When revising for 2 exams at once, everyone revised 75-100% of the old exam paper. I could only revise a third of it. I failed both exams and now have to resit those modules. I am absolutely rubbish at exams, and I have to revise 2 months in advance to have a chance of passing them. I couldn’t meet the 40% pass mark, getting 1 or 2 marks off, a maximum of 15 questions. I don’t know how I’m going to pass university.
  • I am rubbish at remembering numbers. Yet I remember important phone numbers and my pin code because they’re important.
  • When talking to me with lots of words about new stuff, you might notice that there’s a part of your message that I obliviously skipped. Some of the sentences I know you’ve said, don’t actually compute in my brain. It takes me a while to realise that I’ve overlooked something, so I have to think back to remember what I’ve overlooked.
  • I am not observant in any way. I walked out the Fish and Chip shop and dropped my change on the grey concrete. It was right in front in my face right next to the copper coin I picked up. I couldn’t find the silver 20p coin, no matter how hard I looked. I’m rubbish at noticing changes in things. Another time some Muslim girl in my class had a newly acquired headscarf on, to dedicate herself to her religion. Her and some other girl asked me to spot what was different about her. I couldn’t get it no matter how many guesses I did. The irony is that I had trouble recognising her when she said hello to me earlier, because her face was covered. My brain just skips that sort of stuff.

So I would like to say, that there are no advantages or disadvantages to having my type of memory. It takes with one hand, and gives with the other. It’s really good at certain things, but it makes up for it in other ways.

PS. If you’ve ever had a comment thread with me on this website or anything, I haven’t forgotten what you’ve said to me, because I have made an active effort not to forget any of your words to me. That’s how good my memory is. I just don’t have direct access to it now. I hope Gary Rutz doesn’t reply to this answer and talk about Gringotts.

It can be an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on how it’s used.
I have a photographic memory, but I don’t always have film in the camera, to paraphrase Steven Wright.  Some days I don’t use the flash or forget to take the lens cap off.I can remember as a baby–less than a year old–being bathed in the kitchen sink after dinner. I recall the sounds (but not the meaning) of the conversation, the details of the room and how I comprehended certain features that seemed to make no sense as a child of that age but would be completely sensible to someone older.

For example, the kitchen sink had two large windows (large from the perspective of a very small child) in front of them.  The windows were like two glossy black monoliths. My baths would take place in the early evening, when the sun had gone down, but the blinds had not yet been drawn–this was mid-winter. So it was pitch black outside and the windows reflected back to me only the light and contents of the room–including the movement of people. I thought that there were two versions of my family members: those that I could see in the kitchen itself and those who appeared in the monoliths’ reflections–I didn’t understand the idea of a reflection, but I can still see them as clearly as the screen on which I’m typing.

My family members don’t believe that I can remember these details, given my age at the time, even when I describe in detail the event that they remember as children and teenagers.  It’s a completely accurate retelling of events that happened frequently during the first winter of my life, but for them there’s no way I could have known about them then or remember them now.

The fact that you can provide an accurate first-hand account of an event that you witnessed and have others disbelieve you is one of the challenges you face everyday in different ways–some times trivially and sometimes tragically.

When you remember something that others don’t remember the same way or that suggests that their sense of the world is being challenged or is at risk of being rewritten, typically you don’t find a sympathetic listener.
At an important level, by challenging what others remember you’re challenging their identity, the way they understand the world, and the ways they seek, construct and find meaning.

When you remember every single moment like other people remember what they were doing when Kennedy was shot, or the Challenger exploded, or towers were attacked, you can unsettle people, to say the least. You become acutely aware of the depth and breadth of cognitive dissonance that people employ (and not necessarily on purpose either).  If you should accidentally or on purpose reflect back to people that they exhibit forms of cognitive dissonance, they get frustrated and angry. You become the trouble maker, a source of disruption, arrogant, and argumentative. On the one hand, its a really interesting area to understand about your family, friends, and co-workers–where the deeper you go to explore this the more you can learn about a person.  At the same time, it’s incredibly dangerous and potentially deadly when it comes to building strong, lasting relationships.

One positive exception–there was a girl I used to see in a class I took that I never talked to during the entire term. She was attractive and smart and funny, and yet I never talked to her even though I wanted to because I was introverted and shy. When she walked out of the final exam, I thought that would be the last time I ever saw her. But it wasn’t. A few years later I ran into her, quite by chance. I asked her if she was in a certain class with a certain professor and of course she remembered that, yes, in fact she was.  For whatever reason, with the distance between the two events I was able to tell her what I had thought of her younger self and that I had so wished I had had the courage/ sense to tell her back then. Not surprisingly, she was very taken by my recollection and the genuine emotion that I shared. She was always thirty seconds late, always flustered coming in, always had a large coffee from Incredible Edibles, always had a paisley scarf that was in the process of coming off, and always sat in the back, towards the aisle in a crowded room. You can dwell in detail and emotional states from the past with the full intensity of that moment, while at the same time having something of the self-reflective distancing that time passing provides.

It’s a form of emotional time travel: everything you felt and thought comes back to you but you’ve got everything you’ve felt and learned since then to help better deal with or process a past that you may have wanted to change or redress. Most of the time, there’s no opportunity to change that past.  This time there was.  In 24 hours we were dating.

You also realize how much people repeat themselves, how they tell the same stories and anecdotes again and again, regardless of whether or not you’ve heard them before. Initially I thought that some older people I knew were simply forgetful, but I find it’s the case with people of all ages, just more common as you get older and there are more narratives that tend to get calcified in their recounting. I used to be bothered by this and have even told the teller that they’d already shared the tale.  I don’t do this anymore, realizing that people aren’t telling you a story singularly for your benefit, but for their benefit as well–or even most importantly.  The story of “the time I got that scar” shows that the teller had a life of adventure, that they’re funny and perhaps wistful, and that they’re fated to be who they are. My letting them know that this is the seventh time they’ve told me that story in the history of our relationship (and, worse, the context of the earlier six tellings) doesn’t help them.  You can’t even easily talk about the fact that people repeat themselves a lot without family and friends getting defensive about what they share with you.  People over 35 typically have about 10-12 stories, 5-6 theories, and 3-4 things that they really hate/ love that they keep coming back to, circling around regarding their own lives.
Depending on their age and experience, they may extend their set of stories about themselves to stories of their parents, their co-workers, their partner, their kids.  But even those stories are almost always about them processing their own 10-12 stories.

On a trivial level–literally speaking–when the board game Trivial Pursuit came out my friends and family loved playing the game, at least for their first turn. And then, at some point, I got my turn. I  answered question after question to the point that in some games my first turn would be the last turn of the game. In no time, I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to play the game.  I was the jerk, the cheater, or the fanatic who must have spent days memorizing the answers just to show off. I was the person who wrecked the game for everyone else.
There’s a bar room version of the game, the TNT network. Some jerk winning every game in a bar is not a happy outcome for the other folks in the bar.

Part of my studies included a course on Milton and his epic poem, Paradise Lost. The poem is over 10,000 lines long. One test in the course was simply to identify lines from the poem–including the speaker, the Book, line, and dramatic context. Milton was a blind poet who had memorized his primary texts: The Bible,and the Classics, etc. before going blind and in part, the test was a lesson in humility: Milton was great. We were not Milton and never would be.  No one was expected to get every answer right. The test was 80 minutes long. I finished in 20 minutes. It was like asking someone to list the numbers from 1-50 and then the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order.

One strange wrinkle is that I can remember details in dreams very clearly as well.  Once I dreamed I was on stage with The Cult playing their song, She Sells Sanctuary.  I’m not a big fan of the band and while I had heard the song on the radio and in clubs, I had never tried playing it. But there I was–in a dream–playing it with the band. The next morning I got up, went to work and arrived home nine hours later.  That evening, as I was heading out the door with a friend, I mentioned my dream and picked up my guitar to see if what I played in the dream was anything like the song (having remembered the fingering and fretting).  To our surprise, I was playing the song from memory, note for note, but without every having attempted to play the song before.
In another dream just days before a PhD exam (Renaissance Drama) I dreamed that I was taking the exam and the exam demanded that I perform the role of Hamlet. So I did. From memory.  I told a friend about the dream and his response was . . . but you didn’t actually play the role, you just dreamed that you did.  I responded by performing Hamlet’s opening scene.

Liza Saha, inquisitively curious…

I don’t have an eidetic memory. What I have is a ‘better than average’ memory, which I had promptly overlooked until many of my friends and relatives pointed it out to me! Let me explain how my memory map works. I can recount early childhood memories as far as when I was one and a half years old and my aunt had bought me some expensive chocolates, which I absolutely hated. I can also recall the events of the first day of my pre-school as fresh as yesterday, including what i was wearing down to the last detail. I can also remember a lot of other ordinary stuff that happened in school. This is not a very exciting thing as most of my friends forget what happened that long ago, and give me blank stares when i ask them if they remember such and such event from the 2nd standard etc. and this frustrates me to no end.I have always been a voracious reader, especially fiction and whenever i read a book or watch a movie or anything else on tv, i can remember the names of all the characters and their story arc. However, recently I do struggle once or twice to remember a name and i really feel like tearing my hair over this.

One of the few cool things that I CAN do is that whenever I lose something, I can play out the events leading to it (like, where it was last kept before losing it, why it was taken from that place etc) in my mind and 98% of the time, I usually find it. I can also remember tastes and smells, in a large range and I usually associate them with a lot of memories.

During my early school days, I could remember the entire text from a chapter along with the diagrams and charts and stuff and had no problem replicating it with a few or no alterations just by reading it once or twice. But now I can only remember the gist of  a certain text along with the diagrams, but I can tell, on which part of the book you can find the answer (yeah, not much helpful this way :P)

Also, I can always,always remember a face long time after I have seen it but a few times, I have trouble associating a name with the face and that few times drives me mad!

The fact is, having a ‘better than average’  memory has its perks but the need to connect certain things (such as a place with a memory, a name with a face, an event  etc) can be really overwhelming and it sometimes (all the times) drives me to obsession. I keep thinking about the unconnected things even in my dreams and during important events, like exams, even if I dont want to!! Also, it’s very painful to visit old places (like our first home, my first classroom etc) and finding out that they are no longer similar to what they are in my vivid memory and  it really bugs me several days on end. There are also a LOT of useless information lying around my head which I wish I could erase somehow. All in all, having this kind of memory is in no way, considered by me to be ‘ a gift’. I would rather have a normal memory, that allows me to carry out all my duties  without driving me to unnecessary brooding and obsession every other day

 

Anonymous

cons:1.  People constantly tell me that normal people can’t remember things like that.  This makes it hard for me to gauge how much background explanation to provide and I have to learn through trial and error.
2.  I can’t forget things — passage of time has very little effect.  Memories are always fresh in my mind.   I have to use rules of thumb, e.g., one year is a long time for most people, etc.

 
I don’t technically have photographic memory, but everything I listen to, I can always recall nearly all the details. Until very recently I thought it was very normal. My teacher pointed out that I remembered a lot more historical events and scientific theories than everyone in the class added together. Even though in daily life it might make you look very smart, there are many disadvantages.Positive side:

In school, just because I can give many examples to support my arguments in essays and in exams. in one debate speech I used more than 20 examples to justify my stance. In science subjects, I can memorise and recall every formula I have learnt since 1st grade. I don’t really need to study for maths or sciences. When my classmates have a problem, they come to me for the answer and that makes you look really smart. I also remember every phone number I ever dialled.

From another person’s point of view it looks really good, but there are several problems:

1. Every time I see something disgusting or horrifying, I remember it forever. Since the age of 6, I have been collected these scary moments. Sometimes on the street I recall one of them and it sends chills down my spine. I still remember being scared in a circus when I was 8. Only until very recently have I manage to overcome the fear.

2. I have very serious ear worms. I listen to half a song in the car and the song is stuck inside my head, until I replace it with another song. The problem is, because I only know half the song, my head constantly replays the last line of the music before I got off the car. It disturbs me allot.

3. Visual memories pop up at the wrong time. During my exams I suddenly recall a full scene from movies. I remember the entire scene, the way it was edited, the dialogue. Only last Monday when I was in my history exam my brain replayed the entire Siege of Gondor from Lord of the Rings, which lasted around 30 minutes. I could not concentrate and ended up writing much less than I usually do.

4. I can never go to bed. Once my head hits the pillow I start replay recent events. Since I am very fond of audiobooks, I replay them in my head when I try to sleep. I go to bed at eleven, but in the past two weeks I have been constantly reciting the process of German Unification and Bismarck’s diplomatic victories. That is not particularly helpful when there is a maths exam the next day.

So I hope you don’t get too excited about photographic memory. It does make you look cool when you manage to recite a phone number or a random scientific theory; but when you are alone the bad memory starts to freak you out. By the way, sometimes I look at the picture and a skimmed over it briefly and I didn’t study the entire thing, the fragmented pictures consumes a lot of my energy to fill in the missing bits.

 

It means that the way you remember things are visual.
When it comes to learning a new language, I prefer to learn reading and writing first, because then when I learn new words, new phrases, in my mind I ‘spell’ it. (Ex: Instead of seeing an apple, when learning a new word for an apple, I instead in my mind see how it’s spelled A-P-P-L-E)It means that if I want to consciously remember dates and facts, I easily can. It’s stored somewhere in my brain, and when years later, a date, or a fact is presented again, if it was extremely vague, I feel like I know it, and if it’s something I thought was unique/interesting, then I recall it.

I remember everyone‘s faces I come into contact with. EVERYONE. If you tell me your name, most likely I’ll remember it too. In Vegas, I ran into an old classmate I haven’t seen for six years, I instantly recognized him, as a small example. It also means I get easily annoyed because I remember everyone’s faces, and I get irritated when I can’t remember everyone’s names.

Believe it or not, although I’m the queen of typos on the Internet, it means I’m a good speller and very nitpicky about spelling(in real life). It led me to the fact that before I knew perfect English, I already did  well in spelling bee, because spelling to me, in terms of  words, feels “right”.

If  I paid attention to something, I will remember these specific details. My friends say I remember the most random non obvious details–but that’s only if I made some kind of a note of it. I can remember years later.

I wasn’t too good in math, but not surprisingly, I did well in geometry and enjoyed geometry.

History and poli sci classes were not too difficult in terms of dates, facts, and remembering what happened, I absolutely loved it and grasped that quickly  ^ ^

I’m not super human or posses super special abilities, but I do have to some degree a photographic memory.

 

Margaret Weiss, will try anything once

i believe i have photographic memory: not sure how the average is defined.. but mine serves me rather well :)studying – school and college – was a breeze; like Mike Sellers mentioned, all that’s needed is reading the material and then “calling it back” when needed..

HEY!
it is the original Google Glass!.. lol..

some examples: during exams, all i had to do was to reproduce the answers/pages of the book from memory.. VERY handy if you ask me..

but i would say that’s even more useful now, in my adult life:
– at work: reading contract and legal briefs, making notes on legislative changes, etc..
– at home: it is invaluable.. as any other parent/spouse would confirm, many times the house appears to turn into the Bermuda triangle and things go missing.. so all that’s needed is just retrace steps and recall mental pictures of the environment, and voila! – i think i am the walking-and-talking “Lost and Found” department.. haha

 

Anonymous

I didn’t mind it at school or work. I took a very analytic path so I couldn’t rely on my memory too much (I do quant/problem solving all day). However, it gets awkward when I meet people I have met before. I can recall all details about them. For instance, if I met you in nursery school, I’ll recall your house, your parents occupations and random other tidbits. It can make people uncomfortable.

 

Shantnu Mathuria, An amateur amateur

I have a photographic memory and there are lots of advantages of it –

  • I remember books in the form of pictures and hence it’s pretty easy for me to retrieve the important parts which I prefer to keep in my mind. I can remember the location of a line in a page of a book (basically which side of the page does it lie) apart from its color, size and vertical position in the page.
  • Sometimes it gets weird for others to understand. Ex – while searching for a place I would start giving directions just because I had seen that electric pole or a particular house, or a hoarding the last time we came here on that route. These easily passable things get fed into my mind even though I never try to absorb them.
  • I never forget faces, I’ll tell you a funny instance about it. When I got hooked to FB, I started looking for all my long lost friends, one of whom I had last met 12 years ago. Luckily she was there on FB, I sent her a message furnishing details about us like  our school’s name, class and teacher’s name. She first refused to acknowledge these details as a proof that I was her genuine classmate. After that I had to tell her the color of hairband, the types of shoes she used to wear and our common friend. She was a bit puzzled knowing all these fine details but she accepted my request. We still talk to each other and she still does not know who I am.
  • Similarly, I caught hold of one my friends who had lost contact with me many years ago. We were travelling in a bus and I could not shake away the feeling of seeing that face before and bam it struck me! Unlike the case above, he got easily convinced.
  • This also helps in improving my sports abilities. ex – I would keep playing a particular shot, swing in my memory until I feel that it has become perfect and it could be executed as it is. It is quite exhausting but benefits are worth reaping.
  • Things are also painful for me. I have to run a cycle of pictures on my bed before I go sleep. If I wake up in the middle of the night, the same process has to be repeated. Unlike Christian McConnell, I dream every night and can retain very specific dreams for a very long time. I often wake up quite exhausted in the morning since I feel that dreaming too involves mind  engagement.

 

Paul Ferris, web developer, graphic designer and games developer. Too young for industry employment 😦

Interesting. It feels like a bit of a superpower sometimes, and other times you don’t really notice. These are the things I can do atm:- Instantly memorise spellings (When someone says a word I instantly “see” it in my mind [as white on a black background], and I can go backwards and check the spelling, as well as change how that “copy” of the word is spelt for use in usernames, etc)

– Go backwards through memories as if I’m reading a book (I need to stare straight ahead and sort of “fade out” of conscious reality for this to work, but it let’s me “tab” through each memory until I find what I want. I’d call it a memory palace, but it isn’t quite detailed enough for that)

– Rewind memories (Same as above, but in video form. I simply focus on a specific point in time and play around with it. Around about last year I managed to go through the very recent past [~1-5 minutes ago], and I can now do that somewhat reliably. Clips of memory can be viewed in third person, but they normally take the form of ~1080p unless I’m in a very, very peaceful environment)

– Navigate regularly-visited environments as if I’m viewing them through a camera w/ perfect (aka human-eye level) display (This needs to be somewhere I visit more than once or twice a week, but I can see literally anything I’ve looked at i that area. I proved having an eidetic/photographic memory to a friend by reciting features of a school art room from memory)

– See myself in third person (requires TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE CALM or extreme boredom. Otherwise, I just hit a lot of mental fog and don’t really get anywhere. Doing it intentionally in realtime is f*cking terrifying, so I generally avoid that)

– SUPER OMG EXTREME lucid dreams, including one where I was a fish. Every single human sense except sight experienced the dream (this happened when I was in the bath, and it’s actually the only one of these I’ve ever had. I’m sure I could trigger one again though, if I took the right steps.)

– Lucid dreaming (Been possible for a long time, possibly since I was born)

Tradeoffs

– Repeated night terrors in the form of visual hallucinations + paranoia. They might contain sound, smell and hearing one day, but they haven’t yet.

– Almost useless memory for names and a possibly poorer than average one for words.

– I’ll sometimes spend entire days “out”, unable to really participate in any maths despite being very strong creatively. This is going away now and becomes less common alongside stress + lack of sleep, so it might just be normal tiredness.

Unrelated to topic (aka random bragging because why not):

– Manipulating pain/perceived temperature

– Deep (aka non-thinking) meditation (only experienced so far during cold baths in Winter [I live in Melbourne, don’t worry], so this could have been temporary hypothermia).

 

I think the benefits outweigh the downside for my semi-eidetic memory.  Remembering information learned from books and lectures allows greater associational exploration between disciplines.  As an alpine ski racer from age 5 through twenties, all winter long I’d be having to memorize slalom courses.  We would climb the course in reverse and memorize by sequence.  With good memory, I could “run” the course many times mentally and clock my finish time to within a second. “Knowing” the course is critical when you then ski it in real time at high speed.  This helped me become VT junior champion as a teen.
As described by others here, I can remember where a topic is covered and the figures for math and physics textbooks from 30 years ago.  I traveled to Europe with my mother and brother at age 11, and I can remember everything we saw, from the Munich science museum to the catacombs under Rome.
Growing up in the woods, I learned to remember orientational changes, grade changes, etc.  I never get lost and can remember long sequences of changes in compass direction.  I prefer a quick glance at target location with Google maps versus GPS, because the whole map sticks in my head.
One benefit is rarely losing anything.  My office is total clutter, but I know where everything was last thrown, underneath which pile.  I know where I last saw something, or last used something.  I often find things by running the day in reverse to determine the possible places an item could have been deposited.  Calculatus eliminatus!
Some downside: Problems in relationships owing to my partners not remembering life correctly.  They change reality and it drives me buggy.  My wife forgets that she’s told me things before, but I remember all the details, so I have to hear things over and over.  I don’t like watching movies or TV shows a second time, because I remember everything that happened and it’s not as enjoyable.  Because so many shows are formulaic, my associative skills give me a very strong ability to predict a plot twist.  It’s fun, but movies are then less surprising.
The ADHD thing others mentioned is a problem for me, too.  The thirst for NEW information is voracious, as is my ability to relate new information to the many subjects I’ve studied.  So I’m eminently distractable and very easily bored by tasks that don’t involve exploratory learning.
For all those similarly afflicted, and others interested, I’ve found a community of “different minds” at the Polymathic Institute and Polymathica group on Facebook (go to “…com/groups/Polymathica/). There are over 2000 people conversing there.  Brain research and memory are often popular topics.

 

I don’t have eidetic memory but I do have a very good memory that I started to train as soon as I realized that I had a kind of “rare” skill.I can recall a huge amount of information without even trying to.

For example, I don’t have the best orientation and I can guarantee that I’m not the guy to guide you through an unknown location. However, having a good memory helps a lot by recalling the exact path and locations to actually draw a map in my mind without any effort, and being a motorcycle rider I can say that on the streets I rely a lot on my memory.
This skill also helps me a lot in my work as well. Being a software developer it’s really a huge time saver to recall the little things everyone has forgotten.

One of the disadvantages I often see is that for example everyone in the classroom or in a work meeting has their little notebooks to type information or write down ToDo’s and stuff like that. Of course, you, having a good memory, are just sitting there without writing down anything and this may cause bad impressions of people who doesn’t know about you and your memory. The first impression is that you might be uninterested in your education or your work.

Some boss I had once tested my memory because of this. He didn’t buy the idea of me remembering the details of the meeting, so we record the next meeting and we did some tests. I repeated the entire dialog while he was hearing the recording with one headphone. He didn’t bother me again.
But still, for me was a problem, so I bought a little notebook to “write down important things” (that I’d never read again, I didn’t want to spoil my memory :))

Another important disadvantage is the amount of information since anything could fire a lot of different visualizations, sounds, images, etc. It’s a problem that you might not notice while you’re a kid but it tends to annoy you when you have a lot of worries in your mind. Meditation helps with this issue, sometimes it feels like a “reset” of your brain.

Everyone would want to forget the bad things you lived through, however this it’s impossible for people who has a good memory, and it can really annoy you. When you have bad experiences, you would probably remember them, and it can be sad and annoying. But, when you can remember them in detail, then things feels wrong.
The opposite it’s also true, you can recall great experiences in detail, even when people already forgot them, and despite this being a good thing, sometimes it feels a little sad…

And last but not least, one of the major disadvantage is that when people know about your skill, they think you can remember anything at will and it really doesn’t work that way. You just have the skill there, like a receptor storing memories and a good index to get them back, but you can’t just say “I want to recall the entire cities in the world right now”, at least not with my brain.

For that I started to use some memory techniques like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Met…  that can really improve your memory even you have a really bad one. With these techniques I learned to control it a little bit, by knowing how my memory works. Despite that there’s a lot of things science doesn’t know about the brain and the memory process, you tend to do the recall process consciously when you have to, and it feels fantastic.

I would have to change many things in my life if one day I loose my memory. Of course, eventually I will, but let’s hope that I’ll be old enough to care!

 

It sucks… it really does.I spend more time trying to forget things that I have seen or heard than I care to admit. Having worked in computer support, meant me having to remind people to never tell me their passwords.. sadly some people refuse to listen.

I have become a book of secrets with the only advantage of being able to provide facts if needed.

There are many many memories that I would love to have erased from my brain.. yeah.. it sucks a lot.

 

Wen Shi Di, Perpetual Explorer

\
Memory comes in many shades, a bit like sexuality.  I think that there are many different levels and variations depending upon upbringing, environment etc.
I myself am very lucky to possess a very good spatial memory that is almost photographic.  I can recall locations that I have been through and do walkthroughs in my mind and hardly ever get lost, even in big complicated cities.  I understand that Australian Aboriginals have similarly advanced skills although they are seen as backward in other respects.
I tend to think that my own skill comes mainly from practice.  As a travel writer, I am exploring all the time and very rarely stay in one place for long.  I would not be surprised if my skills disappeared if I were to lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
Overall, I hope someone puts together a wiki on these answers as it is raising some very important points about the multi faceted nature of intelligences.

 

Bradley Mattice, Armchair commenter.

It has it’s definite pros and cons, many of which have been mentioned here.Some cons for me:
Basically I have to really enjoy a film in order to watch it more than once. A positive aspect of this is that the first time I watch a film, I make an effort to really enjoy it. I’ll usually watch it again shortly afterward just to freshen my perspective, and then that’s it. Oftentimes I may think I want to watch a film, only to turn it off after a few minutes because there is nothing new for me to see, and I’m almost immediately bored with it. It will be years before I feel ready to review it, but it’ll only be to verify that I haven’t misplaced a detail, in essence.

Same problem applies to books. I typically read it twice, then it will rarely be read again. If it wasn’t that great or was rather simple, I’ll read it once and it will go back on the shelf. Ask me to recall the plot line and I’ll give you a summary of the entire story, and can expound on points throughout.

Then there’s things I’d rather not remember. Unfortunately, forgetting for me is not an easy thing, so I consider it a miracle when I can finally avoid dredging up a memory I would rather never recall again. Not to mention that often the slightest thing can essentially bring up the entire file cabinet related to that item, so to speak. It can be handy when someone needs information, or it can be a royal pain.

But it has it’s pros: I can count on one hand the times I’ve actually studied for an exam, at least longer than a simple 10 minute review. That’s not always a good thing, I suppose, but I really haven’t needed it.

If someone has a question on anything, I’m usually the one they turn to.

I also find it useful and nice to be able to simply picture a memory, and review it as if my mind were a DVR with no storage limit.

I can also recall conversations with ease.

That being said, it all requires a good deal of tact, and learning when to correct and when to let it pass. It’s something I’m still working on, as my personality type (INTJ) tends toward being poor at recognizing emotions, as well as being forthright.

I manage.

Wouldn’t trade the memory ability, though. Very glad to have it.

 

I don’t have much of a superb memory but one thing i noticed about myself was that i associated every memory with a scent or smell, I still remember the scent of the biscuit i used to eat when i was around 5 years old, i remember the scent of the road back at my home town, i remember the scent of my room when i first moved in with my uncle, and all these scents trigger memories. some good, some bad.

 

My memory isn’t eidetic to the degree some have described here, but is sufficiently retentive and flexible to allow me to recall events from age three or four with full visual, auditory, and sometimes olfactory components. For instance, my earliest memory is of being disappointed that my afternoon cartoons weren’t on TV at their usual time, and of my mother explaining it was because President Kennedy had been shot (while describing this I’m visualizing the room, furniture, images on TV, and so forth in full technicolor detail). I was just under three years old at the time.I recall teaching myself how to read, at age four, by associating the letters of a word my brother had spelled out to me the week before (“comet”) with a similar word in a different book (both were on space travel). From that point onward I could read at a very high level, and was consuming books on history and economics, as well as Mark Twain and other authors, in first grade. I can’t see the pages visually, but remember concepts from most of them and often the cover or “feel” of the book.

In school, I barely had to study since I took highly structured notes and, while reviewing them for a test, could envision and recall everything the instructor said during that discussion. I’ve also studied a wide range of topics, from history to computer science, and have a strong ability to recall and synthesize information from all these disciplines. The only learning issue I’ve ever had involved higher math (surprisingly) because my talent seems more focused on the written and spoken word than on numbers. That said, I can recall phone and other numbers along with the people and addresses with which they’re associated. Many of these date from high school or earlier and are just as fresh in my memory as the day I learned them.

I also can recall details of maps and locations, which is very handy when traveling. If I look at a map of a major city for maybe half an hour, I then no longer need it and can visualize the structure with a high degree of accuracy.

Likewise, I can recall details of mechanical devices I’ve worked on. If I disassemble something (I restore old radios as a hobby) my brain automatically maps the steps, so I don’t need a diagram in order to re-assemble it correctly even if dis-assembly happened months or years earlier.

One good thing is that, unlike some who simply cannot sort through memory by relevance, my own storage is prioritized and context driven. I’m not constantly re-living memories unless they’re relevant to a given situation, and can then recall what’s needed. The bad part of it is that, if reminded of anything “bad” I’ve ever done (from early childhood onward) I immediately re-experience the event and the attached negative emotion as if it’s in real time.

From a personal perspective, people find this ability both fascinating and somewhat intimidating or uncanny. People who know me well are used to my recall abilities, but new acquaintances often find them creepy or off-putting. When my mother passed away, family members were sorting through her things when one found a small shell ornament she owned. This person mused “where did she ever get this?” because my mother never traveled. I reminded her that SHE had bought the ornament as a gift for my mother, adding the year and in what context. She looked at me like I’d just sprouted a second head.

My ability to recall nearly accurate quotes is very handy in debate, but I have to consciously control its use in social contexts so as not to offend people.

 

Anonymous

Memory is multi-faceted. In addition to the typical photographic memory I also have a perfect memory for color. I can look at a color and match it exactly months or years later. I sing with perfect pitch because I remember musical sounds exactly. I can replay entire symphonies in my head, or replay scenes from my favorite movies, so I rarely get bored. In my earlier life I soaked up everything indiscriminately. As I got older I learned to turn it off and on. Unfortunately, I can’t remember faces and sometimes embarrass myself by introducing myself to people I already know well. I once had a rather lengthy conversation with a woman I believed was my grandmother, but who was actually my next-door neighbor. (I had known the neighbor for years and my grandmother all my life.) Yes, I also have Aspergers.
So you take the good with the bad…

Reading your apparent honest answer to the question makes me feel a tiny bit better.  The reason is that I am just the opposite—I have a terrible memory. I have always found it easy to understand things and then a few days later cannot remember how to say, do, or perform them.  My work has always been aviation related.  Joined the airforce when 18 years old during world war two and then an airline after it was over.  I always did my job fairly well but really had to work at it. For example, I had one job instructing pilots how all the aircraft’s systems worked but usually had to study the night before in order to explain them. When I was navigating or pilot, where repetitive procedures were required, I could perform quite well and happy while doing so.
I have always envied those persons with a great memory and never realized the down side until I read some of the remarks re this subject.
I am now 89 years old, always liked my job, happily married, have great children and 31 years of retirement.
Phil

 
I can remember books I read as a young child, word perfect.  Along with characters and colour backgrounds.  This of course lead to longer and longer stories – The Lord of the Rings at age 12.  Becoming a bit of a teachers pet simply by retaining and regurgitating what was in the book.  The same thing with movies – dialogue, scenes, costumes.  Friends have commented that this isn’t normal behaviour.These skills completely fail me when it comes to social queues and meeting people.  I can remember the text of a conversation but not the tone.  I have difficulty remembering the faces of people I have met, often more than once, especially if there has been some time between meetings.  Some people get locked in, and others don’t.  Walking into a party and introducing myself to someone who says ‘I remember you’ is a frequent occurence

For roughly the last five years I’ve been on medication for depression, and have definately noticed an effect on my memory.  Many things that would previously have been laser-etched in my memory are now vague and fuzzy.  I think its mainly effecting newer memories than old.  I’m still unable to reread a book without mouthing words or mentally preparing for the updoming scene tho.

I will say that being on the meds is better than being off them, as a subjective judement call.  Even if they are changing me, me on them is better than me off them.

 

I don’t have an eidietic memory per se, not as strong as some people who have commented but I have what I call as “halfway there”. I don’t recall every single number plate as Christian does but I am very good at reliving past events, being able to play what I have seen previously through my head like inserting a DVD. It just flows. I have no problems with it and find it thoroughly advantageous in many aspects of my life (work, hobbies, uni etc).
The only downside of it is that I am often quite surprised to see how most people I know don’t have this ability to recall loads of information at the drop of a hat and remember dates and times and whatever occurrences etc and I express that and then I come across as a bit egotistical- but that’s something I can work on.


 

Jon Rodriguez, EpiphanyEyewear.com

I tend to vividly remember the spatial layout of the room or scene where most of the scenes in my memory took place. I have lots and lots of memories stretching back to my childhood where I don’t remember what was said, and I don’t really remember visual colors or textures, but I do remember where everyone was and what actions everyone was doing. I can also often replay the walk/drive that took me from one of these memories to another.For remembering the “photographic” details of scenes in my life (details beyond just the spatial layout), I’ve started wearing Epiphany Eyewear smart glasses that record my experiences from my perspective! For example, here is my memory of an intense fast/upside-down theme park ride from the LA County Fair:

 

Andrew Rump, Software Engineer

I recognize people if they have made an impression on me some time in my life – any kind of impression like when I walked down a road in Copenhagen and recognized a young woman who was walking towards me. I greated her before I realized that I actually didn’t know her and when she stopped – waiting for an apologi for my lame attempt to talk to her I realized that I had seen her the day before on another street in the city with a beautiful scarf. When I described the scarf to her I was immediately pardoned! 🙂
I have also several times in my life recognized people I haven’t seen for 15-30 years. I don’t always remember where I have seen them before but I know right away that I know them and we just have to figure out by going back in time until we find were our paths have crossed in the past.

 

Horia Tudosie, Nexialist when not programming

I can recognize a movie I’ve seen before (long before) seeing just 2-5 seconds (assuming I have seen those 2-5 seconds of it the first time and most of the movie itself.) I may not remember its title, but I surely remember the subject and the outcome!
It does not affect my life in any way… I still like to re-watch a good movie many times, I hate when scenes are missing from more recent versions.

 

Anonymous

When I was 5 I had seen a couple in my neighbourhood have sex. I remember it vividly. Even the color of their clothes lying on the blue carpet.
When I was 7, I joined school. Being home schooled until then it was weird when they asked me learn a poem in 30 minutes. My mom used to let me glance at it once. I kept yawning for 30 minutes.
When I was 13, I went to watch my first movie in theater. The guy seated across me had a feather tattoo on his shoulder and a dragon fly earring on. I found him more intriguing than the movie.
When I was fifteen my first crush wrote me a letter. I don’t have it anymore but I remember all the words. He tucked it in my bag while blushing profusely. His t shirt matched his eye color that day. He walked away hanging the blue fast track bag on his back.
When I was 18 , The lecturer refused to give me extra marks on the chemistry theory paper. I had written exact words as given in the notes. He pointed his index finger, which had a plain gold ring on, onto my answer and asked me explain the equation. I couldn’t. Always hated chemistry. He took out his blue Reynolds pen and entered 60 in the yellow covered register. Asshole.
When I was 20 I was out shopping like always. I stood in front of the reception at pantaloons and asked them why did they shift their computers near the manequins. They were amused that I noticed. A thin lady wearing blue eye shadow explained how they were blocking the voltas ac.
I’m 22 now. I’m a programmer. Everybody who works with me loves me because I remember the line number of the code they were supposed to correct, among a lot many other things.

 

Ayan Lim, Quorean

The answer to this question can be found in Jorge Luis Borges’s short story, ‘Funes the Memorious.’ I recommend this if you want to know what would be like to have a “perfect” memory.Edit: There is also an interesting article in Scientific American on Borges’s work and the “first properly documented case of extraordinary memory,” which “is that of Solomon Shereshevskii, studied by the celebrated Russian psychologist Alexander Luria starting in the 1920s”.

http://www.scientificamerican.co…

Wikipedia article on Funes the Memorious: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…

Anonymous
It is a boon and a bane. Sometimes, I feel like I am cursed with it. Sometimes I feel blessed.I have an unreal photographic memory. I can remember events from the time I was 2 years old. I’m 23 now; and have insane amount of memories in my head.

The happy memories are fun. I love thinking of my 4th birthday, watching black and white tv shows, singing and taking care of my baby sister when mom took a quick shower, climbing trees with my cousin brothers, the wrinkles on my granma’s face when she smiles warmly, the french fries I shared with my uncle, my sister being born and me sleeping with my mom’s blanket while she was in the hospital, watching cartoons, eating cake and chips watching Captain Planet. I smile, as I fondly think of these and type out my answer. Having a photographic memory is so good, right? Not always.

The bad memories are the worst. I sometimes hate that I cannot forget some terrible events, even though I really want to. What’s worse is that, every time I think of it, it still brings back same amount of anger, hatred and pain. Not to mention tears. It’s strange. I’ve come to terms with it. Trying to forgive the people who caused you pain isn’t all that easy (especially when you can remember words, actions, thoughts through your head, your crying and sadness so very clearly, as if it just happened 5 minutes ago). But life is good. At least, I try to think of it that way.

Also, sometimes it’s sad when you remember important events and others.. well.. don’t. But it’s all cool. I love these people anyway. 🙂

I am thankful for my “gift”. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

I see patterns.  For example, I can look down at a huge patch of clover in the grass, and the four-leaders stick out to me.  It’s disconcerting.
Having a photographic memory can be a life saver. Being blessed with this talent has help me with everything from passing a class to getting home. I can go some where one time and remember everything vividly. However my memory isn’t the best, so if something was a while ago I won’t remember.

 

Elena van der Meer, art of life
If you know how to use it , your life change. It is up to you how much information you will take and process and how you use them in future. Sometimes you just have to switch it off and delete. It sound impossible but with every up and then upgrate you archive only the part of the memory you want to keep and the other one might be temporary forgoten. The tricky think about it is, your brain work 24/7 and we all design to sleep well to rest and get energy for the following day..with photographic memory you might get some trouble sleeping and that’s the negative point of it.

 

Michael Ioffe, Student
I remember almost every song I’ve listened to, and can recall tiny details such as the fact that the intro to “The Man” by Aloe Blacc is the same as part of the riff in Wonderwall by Oasis (“Yeah I can tell nobody feels the way I do” versus “And you can tell everybody, I’m the man”). I visually remember most books and scenes in movies, as well as the most random things. I remember events back to age three and some to age two, although some memories I can’t recall at all. I remember people who often don’t remember me, and remember events and make connects that nobody remembers or believes. Which can be kinda annoying sometime. That being said, I’m not necessarily photographic in my memory. It’s an interesting feeling 🙂
Anonymous

While we wait for 1st person perspective, I’ll share a story from an old classmate of mine.As a kid, he was given a book with random pictures and words and random associations between them.  He can still remember the contents of those pages and the associations.
However, he had some disability that allowed him to take extra time on tests and standardized tests.

His life didn’t seem that different but maybe he just hadn’t learned to take full advantage at the time.

 

Well I can tell you what its like to have a poor memory, and how that leads to being taken advantage of every single day. I can’t keep a mobile phone,I can and have lost the item within one day, the same thing with my wallet, and keys for my car. This means I no longer carry a phone, and carry only  a small amount of cash and no wallet on me. I lose my bank card at least 3 times in past year. The amount of planning it takes to overcome this. Multiple bank cards, cash stashed for emergency use, several duplicates of every key I use and I communicate only by e-mail so there are written records. Also finding places while driving is very hard, so anywhere new I always use google maps.Right now I was lend a work laptop, which I cannot find will have to replace out of my own pocket.
Life is very hard. I do not remember my childhood, other than some fleeting images here and there. I wish I had 10% the capability of a eidetic memory.

I’m 30 something.  Now I do have the ability to read large amounts of information and scan it for keywords, it is if my brain is very selective on what it stores, like a filter.

 

Anonymous

What is it…how is it called the ability …….once you see a new face you recall another person you have meet in your life or seen in TV with similar features…..let’s say the same eyes, same laughter, identical lips or whatever they have in common. It comes to me like two photos in the same page of the book….computer desk. Friends and family say kept saying until I run into your discussion.

I too have an eidetic memory. I remember the normal and day to day events in my life very clearly. I can still picturize my childhood days. For me its a blessing.
I cant remember anything unless I am prompted, then it comes back into my knowledge. It is like I am a blank until I remember it. I have forgotten lots of my life because I have not been prompted to remeber it. I know this. I think this is how I hold so much. Disclaimer: Any online notes or journals are strictly for the peruse of my SO. They are not meant to be shared unless he deems them so. In addition, unnecessary knowledge which may lead to harm will be censored rather than recorded. Thank you.
The full discussion can be found at quora here.

Why the Apple Watch Is Not The Product That Will Save Apple

Apple has prided itself on cutting edge products.  Their mantra is to create great products that we didn’t know we needed.  It worked for the iPod, IPhone and iPad.  Now there are rumors about the iWatch.  Guess what, they are going to miss the boat on this as they have overlooked what we do and do not need.

Who are the biggest consumers of new technology?

First it is the early adopters, they’ll buy anything.  That is a small percentage of the population though, maybe 15% at the most and that is being generous. 

They will likely be the bulk of the iWatch consumers.  Here are the others:

Dilberts who need to have the most gadgets.

dilbert stuff

Some workout people who for while will think this is cool.  This groups purchasing power will wear off as you can tell by the proliferation of watch style monitoring devices being purchased, but then discarded.  It is not the killer app.

Who won’t by buying them?

Almost everyone else and the biggest problem is the group that has the largest digital footprint:

The generation of 18- to 34-year-olds, known as Millennials, are an increasingly influential group that impacts many aspects of the American lifestyle, including fashion, technology and entertainment, according to the upcoming 2013 Digital Marketer Report from Experian Marketing Services. The report looks at key segments of the consumer landscape, including millennials, who provide a major opportunity for marketers to reach consumers via mobile. Millennials spend 14 percent more time engaged with their mobile devices in an average week than their generational peers.

Guess what?  They don’t wear watches for the most part, they keep time on their phone.  They want a phone with a bigger screen, better input capabilities and easy access to social media.  An iWatch doesn’t fit this model.  This will continue for the rest of their lives (likely) and with the younger generation.

They also have to pick which device they are going to buy as student debt is at an all time high.  If you need an iPhone to work the watch, no money left for beer or video games.

Digital Currency

What is the biggest attraction for Facebook and most social media?  It is the sharing of pictures.  Why did Instagram get bought for 1 Billion dollars?  Why is snapchat gaining ground and Twitter adding video to their photo capabilities?  With the grandparents getting onto Facebook, the youngsters are using other apps like Instagram to share their lives with their friends.  While you can see a picture, it is small.

So why are they doing it?  Because they need the buzz or the next great thing.  Will they do it anyway?  Of course, Samsung already has one announced and Apple copies and tries to make it better

I’m not saying watches are dead, who doesn’t want a Rolex for example, it’s just that the impact of an Apple Watch isn’t going to be the $100 jump in the stock price that earlier products were.

How Cool Is This, The World Clock In Any Time Zone

OK, the title should really read useful now that I think about it, but so what.

For those who care about punctuality, or for those who don’t, how would you like to know the correct exact time wherever you are?

How about if you want to check and see if your Laptop, mobile device, watch or any other time piece is accurate?

Click this link and enter your time zone to find out!

Are Computers Male or Female? Tech Humor

A foreign language teacher was explaining to her class that, unlike  their English counterparts, French nouns are grammatically designated as  masculine or feminine.
Things  like ‘chalk’ or ‘pencil,’ she described, would have a gender  association although in English these words were neutral. Confused, one  student raised his hand and asked, “What gender is a computer?”

The French teacher wasn’t sure which gender it was, so she divided the  class into two groups and asked them to decide if a computer should be  masculine or feminine. One group consisted of the women in the  class, and the other of men. Both groups were asked to give four reasons  for their recommendation.
The  group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in  masculine gender because: 1. In order to get their attention, you have  to turn them on. 2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless. 3.  They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time  they ARE the problem. 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that,  if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.
The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be  referred to in the feminine gender because: 1. No one but their creator  understands their internal logic. 2. The native language they use to  communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.  3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later  retrieval. 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself  spending half your pay check on accessories.

After Being Dissapointed by Lenovo One To Many Times, What PC Did I Buy Instead?

I’ve had PC’s since before the IBM PC in 1981.  I’ve built hundreds of computers over different phases of the PC life cycle (for myself, others and at computer stores I worked at for years).  I’ve personally owned many ThinkPads since they were introduced…likely between 40-50 including my multiple work PC’s. The same is true with Microsoft. I’ve worked with DOS and Windows, Windows for Workgroups, (built and wired my first network in 1994), NT, 95, 2000, XP and you name it.  I first put up webpages since 1993 and every version of DOS or Windows made starting with 1.0 for both.   I’ve finally had it with the declination of the quality, service, especially customer service and workmanship of IBM/Lenovo and Microsoft products.

I began to desire a different machine when the smartest guys at IBM (IBM Fellow’s) and the smartest (and of course some of my favorite) IT analysts starting using Mac’s.  It told me times were a changin’.

WHEN THEY WERE GOOD

It used to be that when you went to a frequent flyer lounge at an airport, it would be a ThinkPad convention because they were so tough, now everyone is switching to an iPad which I now also love and  have.

Further, when I retired, I bought what I thought would be the ThinkPad which would last me for at least 5 years (pictured below).  It was the worst PC experience to date, see the beginning below.

In reverse order, after 1.5 years, one of the USB ports failed, the screen is falling apart (for the second time…the first in only months), the battery died in the first 6 months (they fixed that under warranty after 1 month of calls and forcing a manager intervention because customer service blamed me) other hardware and software problems which eventually got fixed over hours of calls (the final fix was always simple and could have been easily accomplished from the start).

I called the Lenovo help desk and not only did they refuse to fix most of my problems (all within the warranty period), but they were with the exception of one person, unhelpful to me and not proficient in English 95+% of the time (some were rude, but tech support is a thankless job).  Note: I like the people from other countries and think that they are hard working so I have no problems with the people, rather the policies they are forced to adhere to put them into positions they shouldn’t be forced into.  I’m clearly calling out the company, not the people here. It’s just in this case we couldn’t understand each other and they mostly were not trained or who couldn’t fix problems and just couldn’t help fix issues Lenovo created.

Here’s what my screen looks like now with use that is less than normal due to my retirement status:

pc pic

SHIPPING DISASTER

This was compounded by the fact that they originally shipped me a computer which was in for repair as I found it had someone else’s  password on it.  Tech support recognized the serial number as someone else’s machine and I had to ship back a PC so that they could ship me what I ordered which  was supposed to be new.  They at first required me to pay for the return shipping for the machine which they wrongly shipped me in the first place.  It took them 5 weeks to get me this wrong machine once I ordered it in the first place, so needless to say, this added to a dissatisfied experience.  Let me summarize it: The 1st machine I received was in for repair which they shipped to me as my new machine.  They finally agreed to pay for the shipping back to them after weeks, but I was in dis-belief by now as I had to get upper management approval 3 levels above my call to tech support to get shipping approved and the machine I ordered sent to me.  This was a 6 week timeframe that I put up with to get a ThinkPad that looks like the one above.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMPANY PURCHASED FROM IBM?

So, what happened when Lenovo bought the PC Division from IBM?  Quality and customer service have apparently suffered, at least for me.   It is fair to note that Lenovo is the PC leader even though PC’s are a dying breed and are now a commodity item, but that the lead is mostly due to HP executive incompetence and Dell lack of innovation.

WORKING FOR IBM PC DIVISION, MORE THINKPAD BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE THAN MOST HAVE

I worked with ThinkPads at companies before IBM.  I then did communications for the IBM-PC (PSG) division back in the early 2000’s.  IBM-PCs were a rock solid product that introduced many technologies from the floppy disk, HDD on PC’s, open system motherboard, the start of an incredibly successful industry, creation of millions of jobs, Bluetooth and WiFi to the industry.  It was well accepted by industry leaders as the standard to compare against and I was proud of representing the machines.  By then, we had slipped to about 4th place, but IBM had other priorities by then.  Analysts always recognized that the IBM ThinkPad was the industry leader, albeit most of the time the expensive option.  I never had a problem educating them that it was the industry leader to be compared against.  I also learned from IDC, Gartner, Forrester and others that Dell and HP were sub-standard compared to the ThinkPad.

THE IBM TO LENOVO EMPLOYEE TRANSITION

The co-workers who went to Lenovo were mixed.  The developers were good, with the chief designer being one of if not the best, but he obviously had nothing to do with my 410S.  The Press communications team however was a joke.   Much of the management that I had worked with were handcuffed by the new ownership.   However, with the non-inventor taking over control, changes in leadership including many Dell executives,  it has appeared to make it less than the leader of rugged laptops, a position it once enjoyed.

MY LATEST PURCHASE

Since my ThinkPad failed and the screen basically fell off (I am retired and don’t travel anymore so it didn’t have the wear and tear to justify its condition), the keyboard keeps sticking, ports not working and the other problems I’ve described have forced me to buy a new PC.

Side note: I worked with Microsoft since 1981 in one form or another, as a partner, but mostly as a competitor as Microsoft was very belligerent and went out of their way to be anti-IBM  (see my joint announcement wrap up).  I’ve worked with their products since DOS 1.0 which I still have installed on an original PC at home.  They loved Lenovo when the purchase was made and the difference was an overnight sea change in their attitude of helpfulness and pricing.

So the combination of Lenovo’s product being poor, their customer service being unhelpful led me to buying a MacBook Pro (but I got much more computing power and a brand new experience in helpfulness).

But, both Lenovo and Microsoft lost me as a customer and I can’t be alone.

Here is my new computer, a 13 inch Macbook Pro:

macbook pro

It sync’s with my phone and iPad seamlessly.  I don’t have weekly Microsoft security updates or blue screen of death experiences.  It is powerful, I can read Windows files and have converted them, multimedia is a snap, graphics are beautiful and most of all it works without gyrations to make drivers, port configurations and software incompatibilities work.  I have never before been an Apple fan except when I ran an advertising department for a few years and understood artists needs for them.

When managing a store at a computer chain, my store was recognized as the retailer that lead the nation in Apple sales so I do have experience with them.  My store also was a leading promoter of the first Macintosh during the famous 1984 ad time.  In other words, I know them well, but I’ve used Wintel computers most if not all of my life until now.

Further, I called their tech support and went to an Apple store and guess what, they were friendly and helpful, and it just works.  I paid less for the software than the PC version (I just built a multimedia PC for my TV viewing so I am fully aware of company configured, or self built PC’s vs. Mac machines hardware and software.

THE TREND OF PC’S

Mobile devices are killing standard laptops at a rate far faster than laptops replacing desktops, but there is still a need for machines that do more than a tablet until they increase in input efficiency, storage capacity and business application conversion (there are tons of legacy apps still out there as the average person still interacts with COBOL 13 times a day).  This hasn’t caused me any issues with my new laptop though, it just works.

The company that is easy to work with, keeps up with the trends and produces quality equipment will be the one who has market leadership.  I have voted with my money.

Kiss Your Password Security Goodbye

You may think that you have good password security.  More likely, you are like most people who re-use the same password for many accounts, don’t change it often enough and use your pet’s name or some other easy to find information that makes break in easy.

Face it, we are lazy, lax and don’t understand security and privacy. Nor do we understand the nature of identity theft until you are a victim.

So, unless your are fastidious about changing with complete randomness and creativeness, fugetaboutit, you’re toast…..here’s why.

THE BACKGROUND

From Wired:

It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you.

2012 bug

Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takes you for one.

No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.

Look around. Leaks and dumps—hackers breaking into computer systems and releasing lists of usernames and passwords on the open web—are now regular occurrences. The way we daisy-chain accounts, with our email address doubling as a universal username, creates a single point of failure that can be exploited with devastating results. Thanks to an explosion of personal information being stored in the cloud, tricking customer service agents into resetting passwords has never been easier. All a hacker has to do is use personal information that’s publicly available on one service to gain entry into another.

This summer, hackers destroyed my entire digital life in the span of an hour. My Apple, Twitter, and Gmail passwords were all robust—seven, 10, and 19 characters, respectively, all alphanumeric, some with symbols thrown in as well—but the three accounts were linked, so once the hackers had conned their way into one, they had them all. They really just wanted my Twitter handle: @mat. As a three-letter username, it’s considered prestigious. And to delay me from getting it back, they used my Apple account to wipe every one of my devices, my iPhone and iPad and MacBook, deleting all my messages and documents and every picture I’d ever taken of my 18-month-old daughter.

The age of the password is over. We just haven’t realized it yet.

Since that awful day, I’ve devoted myself to researching the world of online security. And what I have found is utterly terrifying. Our digital lives are simply too easy to crack. Imagine that I want to get into your email. Let’s say you’re on AOL. All I need to do is go to the website and supply your name plus maybe the city you were born in, info that’s easy to find in the age of Google. With that, AOL gives me a password reset, and I can log in as you.

First thing I do? Search for the word “bank” to figure out where you do your online banking. I go there and click on the Forgot Password? link. I get the password reset and log in to your account, which I control. Now I own your checking account as well as your email.

This summer I learned how to get into, well, everything. With two minutes and $4 to spend at a sketchy foreign website, I could report back with your credit card, phone, and Social Security numbers and your home address. Allow me five minutes more and I could be inside your accounts for, say, Amazon, Best Buy, Hulu, Microsoft, and Netflix. With yet 10 more, I could take over your AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Give me 20—total—and I own your PayPal. Some of those security holes are plugged now. But not all, and new ones are discovered every day.

The common weakness in these hacks is the password. It’s an artifact from a time when our computers were not hyper-connected. Today, nothing you do, no precaution you take, no long or random string of characters can stop a truly dedicated and devious individual from cracking your account. The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet.

Passwords are as old as civilization. And for as long as they’ve existed, people have been breaking them.

In 413 BC, at the height of the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian general Demosthenes landed in Sicily with 5,000 soldiers to assist in the attack on Syracusae. Things were looking good for the Greeks. Syracusae, a key ally of Sparta, seemed sure to fall.

But during a chaotic nighttime battle at Epipole, Demosthenes’ forces were scattered, and while attempting to regroup they began calling out their watchword, a prearranged term that would identify soldiers as friendly. The Syracusans picked up on the code and passed it quietly through their ranks. At times when the Greeks looked too formidable, the watchword allowed their opponents to pose as allies. Employing this ruse, the undermatched Syracusans decimated the invaders, and when the sun rose, their cavalry mopped up the rest. It was a turning point in the war.

The first computers to use passwords were likely those in MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System, developed in 1961. To limit the time any one user could spend on the system, CTSS used a login to ration access. It only took until 1962 when a PhD student named Allan Scherr, wanting more than his four-hour allotment, defeated the login with a simple hack: He located the file containing the passwords and printed out all of them. After that, he got as much time as he wanted.

During the formative years of the web, as we all went online, passwords worked pretty well. This was due largely to how little data they actually needed to protect. Our passwords were limited to a handful of applications: an ISP for email and maybe an ecommerce site or two. Because almost no personal information was in the cloud—the cloud was barely a wisp at that point—there was little payoff for breaking into an individual’s accounts; the serious hackers were still going after big corporate systems.

So we were lulled into complacency. Email addresses morphed into a sort of universal login, serving as our username just about everywhere. This practice persisted even as the number of accounts—the number of failure points—grew exponentially. Web-based email was the gateway to a new slate of cloud apps. We began banking in the cloud, tracking our finances in the cloud, and doing our taxes in the cloud. We stashed our photos, our documents, our data in the cloud.

Eventually, as the number of epic hacks increased, we started to lean on a curious psychological crutch: the notion of the “strong” password. It’s the compromise that growing web companies came up with to keep people signing up and entrusting data to their sites. It’s the Band-Aid that’s now being washed away in a river of blood.

WHERE AND WHEN IT BEGAN (SORT OF)

No one can be sure except that since passwords were first used, there were bad guys trying to hack into them.  Here is an exposition of how it became an epidemic:

In 2009, a minor gaming website called Rockyou.com was hacked; although you’ve probably never heard of the site, the hack has probably affected you or someone you know. Almost every genuine hack over the last three years can be traced back to the Rockyou leak.

The reason it was so significant is it totally changed the way hackers do business. Before Rockyou, hackers had to build word lists of potential passwords using traditional dictionaries; the 14 million or so Rockyou passwords provided an instant database showing how people actually construct their passwords.

We’re all familiar with the hoops passwords make us jump through – requiring both letters and numbers, the use of upper-case and lower-case letters, a minimum number of characters, and the use of punctuation. Of course,we’re all human, so we want passwords to be easy to remember while fulfilling these arcane rules.

The list leaked from RockYou confirmed our grammatical bias: upper case letters tend to start words, while special characters or numbers come at the end. One of the most common ways to combine letters and numbers memorably was to add names & dates together – so Patton1945 or Napoleon1815 were common, for example.

Publicly available data makes this even easier; for example, databases are available containing the name of every Facebook user. These, when combined with every 4-digit number combination and a dictionary list of common words will break as many as 40 per cent of internet users’ accounts within minutes. This creates an even greater problem, as many people reuse passwords, meaning one crack can compromise multiple accounts.

Most people have multiple different internet accounts; collecting data and monitoring user activity through these accounts is at the core of many websites’ business models. The temptation to reuse important passwords for trivial sites that require a sign-in, like price comparison sites, restaurant bookers, dating sites or online shops, is almost irresistible. Of course, many of these sites are far from secure.

The Rockyou leak started a chain reaction; a huge number of sites have been hacked since, releasing even more password data. Equally, technology has advanced enormously. The sort of PC you can buy in Currys can attempt 8.2 million password combinations per second. Cryptographic feats that were the stuff of legend in the Second World War could be done on your iPhone; the sort of 16-digit passcodes thought uncrackable during the Cold War are now within the reach of cracking by skilled hackers with low budgets. Goodness only knows what state-sponsored outfits in the US or China can do.

If you look in the lists of passwords and usernames leaked online, it’s fairly easy to find yourself; with the huge amount of websites we sign up to these days, it’s almost inevitable that at least one of the sites where you have an accounts has been hacked in the last two years. I was able to find my own cracked username and password (taken from a hacked wargaming forum) with a little diligent searching. The biggest damage that could be done to me from that leak is losing control of my forum account; if I’d reused that password elsewhere, it could have been catastrophic.

Of course, each character you add to your password ramps up the time it takes to crack; adding even one letter can take crack time from hours to days, putting you into the category of not “unbreakable” – I doubt such a thing exists – but simply not worth the hassle.

The current best advice is to have passwords composed of 20 characters, with no real words, and your gobbledegook has to include upper and lower case letters, symbols, numbers and punctuation, all randomly scattered through the word. On top of that, you need to have a different password for every site you use and change your password for all of them every three months.

Facebook Overnight Millionaires and Employee Turnover

chatango Pictures, Images and Photos

Update: As predicted, the brain drain has begun with executives leaving and others questioning Zuckerberg’s leadership ability.

As we all know, Facebook will go public in a huge IPO.  This will create many mega-millionaires overnight who work there.

I wonder what the drain in human intellectual property will be when they don’t have to work like maniacs anymore.

WHY PEOPLE WORK

Most people work only because they get paid.  A common cliche is that work is a 4 letter word.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t put up with the job they have, proven by frequent job shifts over a lifetime.  They leave for a better opportunity, or a bigger paycheck.  My observation (not scientific) is that if the paycheck wasn’t a part of the deal, the job wouldn’t get done.

Then there are a few who really like to work like my Dad.  His life was his work (HVAC engineer) and he loved it.  My uncle was a pilot who also loved his job.  Both regretted their retirement.

Finally, there are a few who love what they do because it is their passion.  It has been said that if you do what you really love, it isn’t work.  These are usually the most successful people.

MILLIONAIRE HEAVEN

When Facebook goes public and there will be a group of people created who are the overnight millionaires, many will move on.  Some of them are the creative minds behind what has made the company the success it has been.  Sure you can hire more programmers and throw options at them, but they are in the category of working for a paycheck.  Many won’t have the need (some the desire) to work.  I watched many friends I had at Amazon become millionaires and quit.  They went on to do what they wanted to because they sold stock and had the money to do so.

The people that lived and breathed the Facebook that we know it have and hold the history and the reason that it is what it is today.  That knowledge can’t be replaced.

What will be the brain drain at Facebook?  I’m sure there are loyal employees who will stay.  The executives will likely stay because they already are rich and at that point it is a matter of power, not money.  Others, I’m not so sure.

WILL THEY SELL

You bet they will.  There is already a lot of insider selling:

Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company’s initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook said in a regulatory filing that 84 million shares, worth up to $3.2 billion, are being added to what’s shaping up to be the decade’s hottest IPO.

Facebook’s stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday under the ticker symbol “FB”.

The entire increase comes from insiders and early investors, so the company won’t benefit from the additional sales.

The biggest increases come from investment firms DST Global and Tiger Global. Goldman Sachs is doubling the number of shares it is selling. Facebook board members Peter Thiel and James Breyer are also selling more shares.

Even the Motley Fool is predicting investors will get burned.

Facebook’s IPO: A Quick Way to Go Broke
Facebook’s IPO will create at least 1,000 millionaires, estimates The Wall Street Journal. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is cashing out $1 billion worth of shares. But most investors who buy shares will get burned…

REASONS TO SELL

Recently, it was stated that Facebook could be a passing fad.  This fact is not lost on those looking to make a killing.

If you recall Palm, Friendster, Sony Walkmans and other technologies, or beanie babies and tickle me Elmo’s, fads come and go quickly.  As Qui-Gon Jin said: There is always a bigger fish.  This means the next bigger and better Social Network or better idea is already being worked on.  Innovation drives technology and history has proven it…..ask 3com, Wang, Digital or many others.

We already know that they economy is still in a recession and cash is king.  If this IPO is anything like Groupon, it will trend high, then the price will go down and people want the most bang for their buck.  I know I’d dump it all and diversify by day 2.  I can’t comment as to whether I’d quit as I don’t know the culture, but I’ve worked for paranoid owners before and I know that it is a tough environment.  Zuckerberg has publicly stated that it’s good to be paranoid.  If that was the case, this is the time to bail.

It’s no secret that Facebook is not fully baked on their mobile strategy or execution yet either.  That is a pretty large faux pas.

Worst of all, millions are choosing to not be on Facebook or are just saying no to it.  Many of these are in the high wealth category.

Compound that with the fact that Google is killing Facebook in advertising revenue with Facebook even facing declining revenue:

A comparison of the two companies from WordStream, a search marketing management company, suggests that Facebook is a much less effective ad medium than Google. (The caveat here is that WordStream is, obviously, rather more dependent on Google than Facebook as a medium.)

So how much brain drain and personnel IP will leave?  Time will tell, but I’m sure there are a lot of folks contemplating this issue as I write.  The pressure of work, making a killing on stock or losing a fortune takes its toll on the workers.

I had a lot of friends at Cisco when they were flying high in the market.  While others played solitaire at the other technology companies, Cisco employees spent half their day watching the stock price to see how high it would go and calculate how rich they were.  The problem was that they weren’t vested.  I hope that Zuckerberg and lawyers are smart enough to make their employee options at least 3-5 years before they are fully vested to keep the best and brightest there.  Still, some might be mailing it in until year 3 while dreaming of being rich.

The average Joe won’t get rich anyway because here are the people who have made the money:

My final comment on the greatest brain drain comes in the form of 2 people, Paul Allan and Steve Wozniak.  They got out and went on to different lives, but I’m not sure they still held the passion they had while building their company’s.

The Social Network, A Movie Review with Comparisons to Corporate Life

I’m rarely first in line to many movies and the Social Network is the same, I just saw it last Saturday night.  I realize that the movie didn’t tell the exact story, but I’m sure there were enough similarities to be close.

CAPITALISM, WHY OUR COUNTRY IS GREAT AND THE BEST ECONOMIC SYSTEM IN HISTORY

My first impressionism was thank the good Lord for Capitalism.  There may have been some rough issues with the ongoings of the start up, but that we can live in a country where entrepreneurship and the ability to start a company, create jobs  and have a shot at success should be celebrated.  I want an environment where you can make it, or make it big, which is what is great about this country….The American Dream.  The idea that we should re-distribute wealth because some do better than others is nonsense. One of the best lines in the movie came at the deposition when Zuckerberg answered if he stole Facebook from the Winklescarfs, “if you guys were the inventors of the Facebook, then you would have invented the Facebook”…ouch.  It took hard work, vision and of course a couple of lucky breaks, but would this come out of the current environments in Venezuela, Iran, North Korea….I’m open to any examples?.   That Zuckerberg had an idea and was able to become a billionaire gives real hope to everyone.  Build a better Mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door………………………….but only in the free world.

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WHY I’M GLAD IT TOOK PLACE IN hARVARD (lower case intentional)

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That (at least) the 2nd dropout from harvard (lowercase emphasis mine) became a billionaire shows that an Ivy League credential is not what it used to be, nor is it necessary or as prestigious as it once was (unless you are a dropout billionaire) .  Another great line in the movie that the Winkledoofuss’s were mad because they didn’t get their way such as they had all their pampered life was epic.  We don’t live in the entitlement world (or shouldn’t). I’ve worked with Finklehorsespatoots from all of the Ivy league skools (sp on purpose) as well as those like Duke, USC, UNC-CH, Notre Dame, columbia, princeton who take college snobbery to the wrong level.  Proud of your school is one thing, elitism is another….guess which one is appreciated or listened to? These institutions are reducing themselves to credentialed, not necessarily educated.  Guess which ones are laughed at and not considered worth the money they charge? For the most part, the extra money they paid for their education was a waste that could have been invested and would be worth more.  The reality is most are doing the same job for the same money.  It got to the point in one of my jobs at IBM when someone would brag that they had a harvard MBA, someone would comment in public what a waste of money that was for the person.  The rest of us would know to work around that person as they would just be a hindrance to our ability to get any work done.  They were almost pariahs to everyone else being the snowflakes they usually turned out to be.

It takes a dream and passion to see it to fruition, otherwise you are a lemming in the working world.  No degree earns you the right to do anything but try.  I also subscribe that things are not equal, nor should they be.   Some get more than others, be it because they are smarter, work harder or some combination of both.  If you get a lucky break, consider it a bone, but it’s not an entitlement.

The plaintiffs didn’t have the ability to pull off what Zuckerberg did and they wound up sucking on the hind teat of his success.  You could tell that the lawyers got as much as the clients he settles with through billing and retainers on that settlement.  Might as well include lawyers in the offended since it looks like I’m growing that list in this blog.  This brings me to another of my favorite scene’s, the best answer I’ve ever heard at a deposition.  I wish I’d said it although I’ve said something close I’ll admit.

HARD WORK

Facebook didn’t just succeed because of luck (maybe luck in the timing) and some who didn’t see it’s potential got left behind, but the key to it’s success like most things is ability and hard work.  Although I work for a big company now, I cut my teeth with entrepreneurs who gave every drop of blood, sweat and many times their personal life to make something they believed in a success.  Most are at least Millionaires now and I don’t begrudge a one of them.  They took the risk and deserve the reward.  I only wish more would make it so they could hire more people and reduce unemployment,  restart and grow the economy  This will be the turn around our current economic situation needs, and much faster than our present Keynesian politicians.

REALISM OF THE FILM

I thought they captured the timing and semantics of the period correctly  I was noticing the coding on screen, the Apache servers and that Zuckerberg edited his blog in HTML.  I even noticed that the cell phones were time period appropriate.  What hasn’t changed is College partiers.   Not that I know that much about college partying, but I’m sure some of that really happens.  Although they said he wasn’t an asshole, but that he tried so hard to be one was partly true.  He didn’t have to try.

REAL LIFE

It turns out that Zuckerberg is a suck up to the President to promote Facebook.  Why someone so smart would let himself be manipulated is beyond me.  He didn’t realize that he let a campaign go on for the youth vote who are so easily manipulated by MTV, The Comedy Channel and such outlets.   Older, wiser and those hurt more by the economy know better than to support this or be buffaloed by this sort of trick.  The fact that Fakebook is censuring political groups that are not liberal and letting terrorists plan attacks or post mendacious things about moral groups shows who they and Zuck really are, biased.

EPILOGUE

This was a good movie that shows you can still make it in the business world.  Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and many others are all good examples of the American dream that Zuckerberg lives.  By now it is out on DVD, I even TiVo’d it the other day an watched it again just to see success.  I am glad we live in the part of the world where you have the chance to succeed or fail.  But if you succeed, you usually take others with you.  A rising tide floats all boats.

The Top 50+ Geek T-Shirt Slogans

1. Cannot find REALITY.SYS. Universe halted.2. COFFEE.EXE Missing – Insert Cup and Press Any Key

3. Buy a Pentium 586/90 so you can reboot faster.

4. 2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.

5. Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.

6. Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.

7. My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.

8. C:\WINDOWS C:\WINDOWS\GO C:\PC\CRAWL

9. C:\DOS C:\DOS\RUN RUN\DOS\RUN

10. <——– The information went data way ——–

11. Best file compression around: “DEL .” = 100% compression

12. The Definition of an Upgrade: Take old bugs out, put new ones in.

13. BREAKFAST.COM Halted…Cereal Port Not Responding

14. The name is Baud……, James Baud.

15. BUFFERS=20 FILES=15 2nd down, 4th quarter, 5 yards to go!

16. Access denied–nah nah na nah nah!

17. C:\> Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.

18. Bad command. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaay..

19. Why doesn’t DOS ever say “EXCELLENT command or filename!”

20. As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing.

21. Southern DOS: Y’all reckon? (Yep/Nope)

22. Backups? We don’ NEED no steenking backups.

23. E Pluribus Modem

24. >… File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)

25. Ethernet (n): something used to catch the etherbunny

26. A mainframe: The biggest PC peripheral available.

27. An error? Impossible! My modem is error correcting.

28. CONGRESS.SYS Corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C (Y/n)?

29. Does fuzzy logic tickle?

30. A computer’s attention span is as long as it’s power cord.

31. 11th commandment – Covet not thy neighbor’s Pentium.

32. 24 hours in a day…24 beers in a case…coincidence?

33. Disinformation is not as good as datinformation.

34. Windows: Just another pane in the glass.

35. SENILE.COM found . . . Out Of Memory . . .

36. Who’s General Failure & why’s he reading my disk?

37. Ultimate office automation: networked coffee.

38. RAM disk is not an installation procedure.

39. Shell to DOS…Come in DOS, do you copy? Shell to DOS…

40. All computers wait at the same speed.

41. DEFINITION: Computer – A device designed to speed and automate errors.

42. Press — to continue …43. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue…..

44. Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue…

45. ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI!

46. E-mail returned to sender — insufficient voltage.

47. Help! I’m modeming… and I can’t hang up!!!

48. All wiyht. Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?

49. Error: Keyboard not attached. Press F1 to continue.

50. “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” – Bill Gates, 1981

51. DOS Tip #17: Add DEVICE=FNGRCROS.SYS to CONFIG.SYS

52. Hidden DOS secret: add BUGS=OFF to your CONFIG.SYS

53. Press any key… no, no, no, NOT THAT ONE!

54. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit…

55. Go ahead, make my data!

Blogging in Linux

I’ve made the successful transition to a dual boot machine.  I’m posting this blog from the linux side with relatively little content, but doing it in linux for the posterity of it.

Now I have to figure out the rest of of the OS, but I’ve successfully migrated my Lotus Notes as my first application.

I will have to go back and forth until I have all my data, some applications that are Windows only, that sort of thing…..but just like blogging, I’m off to a new frontier.

Off to Linux

Just like why I’m blogging, I’m installing Linux. I figured that if I’m going to talk about it, I need to experience it.

Fortunately, IBM has a desktop install that I currently have underway, approximately 817 files to be downloaded and installed. The only issue for me is that I work remotely and I had to go into an IBM facility to load it. So I blog here from a cube farm in a building that is half IBM and half Lenovo.

But the good news is that I’ll work as much as I can from Linux, except for the Windoze only programs that I have to keep until I find a work around.

I’ll have to speak with Steve O’Grady to see how he migrated his iPod/iTunes to Linux, cause that’s one of the programs on the table for me.

Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I’m switching is the millions of blue screens of death I’ve experienced, the delay’s in operating system releases, the bugs, security, and some amount of arrogance.  By the way, I’ve been at this since DOS 1.0, so I have experience with PC OS problems.
I also need to expand my boundaries technically. I can’t bear to sit back with the norm, it seems I have to push the envelope to test my abilities, hope I can pass the test.

iPoding again – update

ipod.gif

I was complaining discussing my travails with podcast alley and getting non itunes podcasts to my iPod. I’m happy to report that I found Juice off of sourceforge.net.
I’m feeling pretty good about it as I’m now getting feeds off of podcast alley, ipodder, podcast pickle and others with ease. Moreover, I’m pretty glad I went outside of my comfort zone and got what I needed to work. I’m equally happy I got it off of sourceforge.

Now, it’s time for a couple of sporting events that interest me. The Tour de France and the 24 hours of LeMans which until I just typed this, I didn’t realize the French connection. I hope there is a good podcast.

If not, there is always RadioLeMans which comes out of the UK of all places, and is quite good coverage. In fact, now that I’m really getting off topic, I find that auto racing coverage is usually best out of the UK. My favorite racing podcast is the chequered flag from BBC radio 5 Live.

High Speed Software, or the real movable type?

This weekend is the Grand Prix of Monaco. A principality barely a mile long, but a tax free haven that sports more millionaires per square inch than perhaps anywhere in the world. It also has fantastic history and equally good names for corners. Nothing against Nascar 3 or Indy 1, but Mirabeau, Beau Rivage and Sainte Devote exude emotion from a race fan that has seen decades of mano-a-mano on this course.  Nancy, there is better shopping here than anywhere you’ve been 😉

Most F1 courses have 100 kilometers of run off at turns for screw-ups or crashes. One wrong move here and it’s into the concrete wall, roughly a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars per wreck.
monaco_circuit.gif

SOFTWARE SUPREME

There are also more computers in this cramped place and more lines of software code and specialty chips than most data centers. They can monitor a sixteenth of a pound of tire pressure from across the city as it inflates due to stress of improper setup. Budgets approach $1 billion including full computer car design, wind tunnel testing at 1/4 scale, aerodynamics and communications capability that rival all but a few countries.

So I wonder, how is it that when they hit a bump between Casino and Mirabeau at over 100 MPH that would knock your fillings out, these cars which are moving software machines don’t miss a beat. For sure they’re not powered by Window’s because there is no Ctrl-Alt-Del in the cockpit.  I wonder if the teams consider uploading viruses to the launch control of their competitors?  Symantec? Norton?  no way.

I also wonder if there is a PHP script that monitors the traction control preventing wheel spin at 19,000 RPM’s? Is there a Perl script that handles shifting at close to a millionth of a second which is the reality of a F1 gearbox? Are the software programmers actually more valuable than mechanics, or are they the mechanics of the future?  It’s likely the Unix center of the universe.
If you think I’m going to be worrying about software while cars scream through the streets of Monte Carlo, with scenery like million Euro yachts and beautiful women in the harbor….

harbor.jpg

get a life.

Blogger Meetup at RSDC

IBM will be having it’s first ever meetup at RSDC in the Dolphin Hotel at Disney from 6-8 on Tuesday June 6th during the Rational Software Development Conference.

This is somewhat significant as we’re doing a meetup, but you’d expect a blogging company to do these things.   Well, we weren’t the first company to blog either, but we’re in that game now.  I’m just glad I had something do to with something that is a first, which at a company the size of IBM, is tough to do.  In all fairness, Steve O’Grady helped us with it so we didn’t screw it up, thanks Steve – you were a big help.

Additionally, we’ll be hosting a blog during the show for executives and analysts and webcasts with the Rational and developerWorks Executives.

See you there, either in person or in the blogosphere.

Podcast's, Sturgeon's Law and the Nordschleife

When I first got my iPod, I thought I’d be listening to my favorite songs and knew that I’d be looking at video’s which I still do. What I didn’t realize was that I’d quickly get addicted to some podcasts.

Before I got it, I made some off the cuff remarks that I’d listen to the Tour de France updates on the plane and technology updates. The part about the Tour is true, when it comes up later this year. I tried listening to a few technology podcasts and quickly found that it was both a lot like being at work, and most of the quality was in the 90% of Sturgeon’s Law.

I quickly went to my old and new interests, those being racing and the show 24 and found lots of other stuff I follow like Karate. Three different Formula 1 podcasts and 2.5 24 podcasts (one is not consistent) and many others come through constantly for me.

Now to the point of this blog. I was listening to The Chequered Flag by BBC Five Live this morning in the gym, and there was an unbelievably good description by a journalist riding in a DTM Mercedes drive by current series leader Bernd Schneider, on one of the most famous stretches of road you can race on, the Nordschleife in Nuerburg Germany located in the Eifel mountains. nordschleife.gif

Tearing through the track at 200 mph, getting airborne, the tail of the car almost losing grip and incredible g-forces. I was jazzed, and this is what podcasting should do for you, get you involved and entertained. It’s worth a listen and it’s the podcast from 5/6/06 if you want to get it. It’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stick up and rip the tag off your shirt.
I get that if you are in college you can download the professor’s lecture if you missed class or need to re-listen, but Puleeze….spare me, blasting through the Karussell or hearing about organic chemistry 411, which one would you rather listen to? For me, I listen to the 10% of quality podcasting Sturgeon talked about that I’ve filtered through to get what I want.And yes, I pedaled much faster during the lap which is 14 miles, 170 bends and breathtaking.

IBM Bloggers, Who are we – Grady Booch

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As always, I really like doing these bloggerviews, this one especially. A lot of it is because I get to talk to some of the smartest people at IBM and in this case, the industry. For as much as he’s done, Grady has the right to enjoy celebrity status being an IBM fellow and a leader in the IT world, yet he is very down to earth and we had a very enjoyable conversation. I know you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I did learning from him.

A bit of history, when we first thought of the concept of the developerWorks Blog, the discussion came up that we needed blogger of rock star status to gain notoriety. The first name that came up was Grady. I knew when I started my blog, that this was one of the discussions I wanted to have, now you can too.
Note: Grady is hosting a blogger meetup at the Rational Users Conference June 6th from 6-8 pm, see you there.

Were you a rebel as a kid?
In a different way. I built my first computer from scratch when I was 12. I had borrowed a book called Computer Design, and used it as a manual to create my first computer. I saved my allowance to buy discrete transistors and so I built from scratch. My parents didn’t really know how to deal with me. In addition to the computers, I built my own laser and I was into model rockets. You could say I was a classical geek. In fact, I was a geek before it was cool to be a geek.

I built my computer because I really wanted to program. The computer did four function math and had 256 bits of memory. I thought it would be cool to program so before high school I wanted a job in computers and I went knocking on doors of all the local computer companies, to no avail. I then went to the local IBM sales office and a sales guy sat with me at a lunch table and gave me a book on Fortran. He probably thought that I would go away after reading it, but a week later, I came back with some programs I’d written and I asked for computer time. He got time for me on weekends on an IBM 1130 used by the Amarillo Public Utilities. My first program was a simulation of particles colliding at subatomic speed and a calculation of the release of energy. I still have the original deck of cards. Perhaps the one event that started me on computers was an article in Life magazine about a robot named Shaky built by Marvin Minsky. A few years ago, I approached the trustees at the Computer History Museum in California, urging them to also become a museum of software. While I was getting a tour of the emerging facility, John Toole told me to turn around too look at the original Shakey, sitting in a display behind me. That was so cool and it gave me a pleasant sense of closure.

One thing that my friends and their children are surprised at is these days that I always knew that I wanted to be a computer scientist.

How did your military career help you with what you do now?
So I was self taught until I went to the Air Force Academy. I had many scholarship offers including West Point, but chose USAFA because they had an incredible computer science program. Also, I knew that when I graduated, I would be involved with some amazing technology in the real world from which I could learn. Some of the things I did in my first assignment was to help build systems in support of missile programs such as the Minuteman, Titan and Shuttle. One of the last things I did was work on a range safety system for both the West and East coast military ranges. Through this work, in my early 20’s, I learned what it means to build complex systems. We had hundred’s of thousands of lines of code, running on distributed computers, and so the issues of scale and complexity hit me early.

I’m proud to report that in 1979 I had my first email address on the Arpanet..

Around that time, I was also doing some Ada work and got involved as an instructor at USAFA. I was asked by Larry Druffle who was involved with the Ada Joint Program Office and later went on to found the Software Engineering Institute to consider how one would apply modern software techniques to Ada. It at through this work that I coined the phrase object oriented design.

It has been a long journey for me with in complex software, far before it was an issue in industry.

You say on your blog that you like to read. What interests you in your book selection?

My book listings on my site are mostly professional books. I have a spreadsheet includes all the books and journals I read there. Frankly, one of the reasons I built my current home is that wife and I ran out of space for our over 8,000 books.

I enjoy writers who are good story tellers like Michael Chabon and Terry Pratchet. Right now I’m reading Wuthering Heights, and I just finished reading a book on the history of Islam and another on prayer. I’m attracted to authors who have a command of the language, such as Umberto Eco, and I try to learn from them. As a result, I think I’m a curious combination of a geek albeit an articulate one.

I read more nonfiction than fiction. I like history, especially covering medieval and renaissance periods. In fact I play the Celtic harp.

Why did you become a blogger and How did/does that affect your job?
I started blogging before IBM asked me to. It happened in conjunction with the handbook on software architecture I decided to write. Being involve as a software architect in a multitude of systems in various industries across the world, I wanted to fill a serious gap in the body of knowledge of software engineering, by codifying the architectural patterns that are used in the world. I realized it then that it would be a journey instead of a discrete issue, so thus the blog as a forum for discussion during that journey.

So I began the blog but I couldn’t find any software out there that did what I wanted, so I wrote my own blogging software so I could work on the Handbook anywhere in world. I added an RSS feed to push XML to the IBM developerWorks site, so now it posts to both that site and mine..

What blogs do you read?
This will certainly reflect my political views, but I read crooksandliars.com. Slashdot is also a must have. My Handbook site lists the many that I read from time to time.

Do you like Sci-Fi, for example are you a trekkie?
Yes actually, in my office every copy of Star Trek, the Next Generation, episode so you could say I’m a trekker.

What are your favorite video games?
This is interesting as I just came back from a gamer convention. I just finished Halo 2, and am currently stuck inside the gates of hell in Quake 3. All things being equal, though, I’d rather read a good book.

Speaking of the game community, I’m attracted to it because this is an industry that’s really discovering the problems of building complex software.

Your job Title is IBM Fellow, but what does that mean to the man on the street

It means two things. My role as a Fellow is to invent the future and to destroy bureaucracy, I’m a designated free radical for IBM, and it’s my job to disturb the norm, to think outside of the box, to make people uncomfortable with the status quo, plus have I have a license to do so. It is to IBM’s organizational credit that it recognizes it needs such people.

If you weren’t an IBM fellow, what other job would you be doing, or what company would you be working for?
Now there is an interesting question. I’d probably be an poor itinerate musician or a priest. Baring those more radical career choices, I’d otherwise still be in the software world, doing the same things as I am doing now. My professional passion is how to improve and reduce the distance between vision and execution in delivering complex software-intensive systems.

What are you working on now?
I work on many things, some I can talk about, most I can’t. The Handbook is an important project for me, I spend a lot of time with customers, I help to manage Rational’s relationship with IBM research, and that involves me in efforts about radical simplification and what to do when Moore’s law dies.

What do you talk to Sam Palmisano about?

I don’t talk to Sam that much – he runs the business and I’m essentially a geek – but I do work with Nick Donofrio who works directly for Sam, We talk about various customer engagements, improving industry/academic relationships, and various issues of technical strategy.

What is your vision of the future, next year, 5 years 20 years?

Software has been, and will be always be fundamentally hard, In the future, we’ll be facing yet greater complexity . Open source, the commodization of operating systems and middleware, disposable software (that which is created by non developers), the presence of pervasive devices are elements of this growing complexity. Furthermore, the world is flat. No political or geographical boundaries limit creativity and complexity in software-intensive systems, and thus it’s also increasingly a problem of collaboration.

How long do you see yourself doing what you do now?

Until my heart stops beating.

What is your relationship with analysts? What would you say to them?

I have an A/R handler, I go where they tell me to go, What i talk about though is where I spend my time, namely worrying about the future, the primary horizon being 3-5 years out, with consideration of the forces that are morphing us.hat we need to get us there.

If you could write your legacy, what would it be?
There is a question I’ve never been asked before. How about “he’s not dead yet.”

Seriously through, I hope people will have viewed me as kind and gentle man who lived fully.

Everything else is just details.

What’s on your iPod?
Surprisingly, I don’t have and iPod, but I do have 9 Macs along with a Google Mini and two terabytes of storage, on which I’ve ripped all my music. I’m currently listening to Adiemus, , Dead Can Dance, Tori Amos, Loreena McKinnett, and Twila Paris.

What is the final frontier for users?
It’s curious what we do as software developers: at its best, be build things that are invisible. If we do it right, our work evaporates into the background and remains unnoticed, yet still providing socially and individually useful functionality.

My inner Geek comes out, video podcasting and tech toys

I’ve always been a techie type. I used to build my own PC’s when you could actually save half the price by doing so, I have tech toys out the wazoo, I’m the only one that can use one of the two surround sound systems I have…and sometimes it erupts like it did this weekend.

It all started at BlackBelt Friday. I was asked to film the performance for a video podcast that will be on iTunes and produced by the same folks that did Karate for ESPN, and got to use a new mini DV Camcorder.
That started the bug. Man I’ve got to get one of these, record right to disk, Carl Zeiss lens and it has a USB 2.0 connection built in.

Then, knowing I have travel ahead of me, went and got an iGo with tips for my phone and ThinkPad with dual power charge at once capability, car and airplane connections also. It also reminded me that I have the same cellphone as Jack Bauer this season of 24, but I had it first.

Then, knowing I needed a backup, I went and got a WD external USB 2.0 hard drive and backed up all my iTunes and data from my ThinkPad. Backed up everything.

It got to be too much, I was ready to go get my pocket protector. It reminded me of the Dilbert strip where the manliness of the engineer was determined by how many accessories he could put on his belt. Just call me poindexter

Well Nancy, that was my shopping this weekend, not Coach or DKNY…again, but I got some satisfaction and I’m on a techie high.

32 Gigabyte Flash disk


Why I care about This is because I spent a good part of my career in the storage industry.

When I first started at a small disk distributor, Core International, we sold IBM-AT replacement 40 MB drives for $2595.00. It had an average seek time of 26 milliseconds and fancy technology like a voice coil actuator, dedicated servo technology and auto park and lock. They were 5.25″ high and weighed a few pounds

Now you get 32 GB of instant data access for between $750 and $1000, talk about progress! And since it’s flash, it’s not subject to the failures of electrical and mechanical moving parts like a drive is….and who hasn’t had a drive crash on them.

I wonder if that is going to add clutter and more busy-ness to my day (Why I’m busy).

What I really want is my system to boot as soon as I hit the power button. We haven’t gotten any better at that, DOS booted faster than what I have now.

CES, answering my question on video downloads

CES is quickly becoming the new Comdex. Formerly the convention for new and geeky toys it now is as my teenagers say, where the cool kids go.

In my blog on time shifting , I hinted that i-tunes was only the beginning and that there would be many more sources out there and could someone point me to them.

Thanks Bill Gates

Thanks Google

Knew someone would have the answer for me. The ability to download what I want, when I want it will avalanche, as will the devices to load it to.

Time shifting


I got what I wanted for Christmas, a video I-Pod. Yes, it’s one of the coolest tech toys I’ve had in a long time. As a blatant request, please send your favorite audio and/or video download links as I’m busy trying to add content (don’t worry, I haven’t run out of stuff to put on yet, but I’m looking for cool stuff that I don’t know about, but know it’s out there).

I’ve also had a DVR for over a year and today I read this story from CES. It’s not hard to put 2+2 together here. We’re watching things differently, calling our own shots as to when and where.

It used to be we could only watch what was on when it was on. Then VCR’s helped us to watch when we wanted to, but the serial-ness of tape was at best OK for searching.

Now, we can watch what we want, skip the commercials (except the Superbowl) when we want. We can slow-mo the car chase scene’s, the foot out of bounds or whatever.

More important and finally to the point of this blog, is that we watch differently, or time shift. For example, there is 40 minutes of content per hour and 20 minutes of commercials. That means I can start a 4 hour NASCAR race 80 minutes after the start of the program and see the finish on time and skip what I don’t want to see.

Now, thanks to the web and the power of consumer demand, I can time shift on the Video I-Pod and watch my stuff on a plane or at the Gym or wherever. Here’s a small list of what is on today as an example (ESPN is the only thing that interests me on this list, but the point is that lot’s of content is on the way).

A sampling of video content available now or soon online:

— AOL (aol.com): Starting early 2006, episodes from TV series such as
“Welcome Back Kotter,” “The Fugitive,” “Eight is Enough,” “Growing Pains”
and “Lois & Clark;” on six online channels

— CBS (cbs.com, cbsnews.com): Web-only video supplements, soaps and shows
such as “CSI” and “Survivor;” talk-shows and interviews with contestants and
actors. CBS News offers Web-only breaking-news coverage, evening news
segments and behind-the-scenes pieces

— Comedy Central (comedycentral.com/motherload): Clips from shows such as
“Chappelle’s Show,” the “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “South Park;”
shorts, short clips from comedians’ stand-up acts

— ESPN (espn.com): ESPN Motion videos are embedded in most Web pages and
include game highlights and athlete press conferences; ESPN 360, only
available to some broadband providers’ subscribers, offers full archived
games and live sporting events

— MTV (mtv.com/overdrive): Live performances, music videos, interviews
with musicians, movie trailers, news

— Starz Entertainment Group (vongo.com): Subscribers pay a monthly fee
for unlimited downloads of more than 1,000 movies, including “Finding
Neverland,” “Annie Hall,” “Good Will Hunting,” as well as concerts, extreme
sports and Starz TV programming

Source: the companies

Computing at the speed of light.

I make it pretty clear that IBM Research does and has some of the coolest stuff there is….

Today’s press coverage about IBM moving data on silicon via light is unbelievable. For you trekkies out there, that’s Warp 1. They even have a cool name for it – Photonic Silicon Waveguide. Data is moved via photons creating less heat and using less power, nice side effects huh?

IBM Slows Light, Readies it for Networking

Too cool.