Moonwalking with Einstein is the incredible journey of a regular guy becoming the U.S. Memory Champion. Joshua Foer’s interest in memory exercises begins while covering the same championship a year earlier as a journalist. He takes you through this journey-the memory experts he consults, the tactics he uses, and the training he undergoes.
Through his experience and other findings (based on research), he shows that “memory athletes” rely on “storage techniques” (memory palace is an example) and are not born with photographic memories. Joshua cites research (based on the part of the brain they use in contrast to amateur players) that reveals that expert chess players seem to have the instinctual ability to sum up situations and know the right move. They get to a point where they are playing on an instinctive level.
After only a year of training, Joshua wins the U.S. Memory Championship and places thirteenth/winning bronze in the “Names and Faces” event in the World Memory Championships.
Not only is Joshua’s experience fascinating, it is inspiring as well. It shows how with the right motivation, a person can really elevate themselves. Additionally, I think his growth in the area of memory (something we view as untouchable) is especially inspiring. We have all heard about or know someone who lost a significant amount o weight. How often do you hear of people trying (let alone succeeding) to expand their mental capabilities in a manner like this? Our mental abilities are certainly not untouchable and the possibilities are endless.
If you missed the last post, no worries! Check it out here, its a book review of In Defense Of Food by Michael Pollan.