Wednesday, 28 May 2014

What is and is not reasonable regarding memory and recall.

The river Cam, Cambridge UK. M'reen

What is and is not reasonable regarding memory and recall.
written by M'reen

I think this depends on where you are coming from and where you expect to get to
and what you are prepared to do to get there.

I know someone who is 73 and spent his working life as a shop assistant with the long term hobbies
of photography, local history and painting and also in giving presentations about local history.
Looking at this list, these hobbies require examining the small detail on the page
and to give a talk requires a good memory of your subject which I think is easy if it is your joy.
However, he has always read a 200-300 page book in half an hour and remembers the detail
of what he has read as tested out point by point by his disbelieving son.

I know of a business man with a phenomenal recall for facts and figures
he dedicates a physical area – a rather nice hotel, and he dedicates a time period for his reading.
And he has honed his reading and retention skills.

Another business person who is quite dyslexic and finds reading to be very difficult
has a mobile app to convert text into voice.
His principal reading strategy is to find a key word intuitively and then research it on youtube.

I have been skirting around the issue of reasonable and unreasonable expectations regarding TCR
for some time. I’ve experienced some unreasonable expectations as have others.
We’ve expected TCR to do the learning for us when unless you are like my first friend
you have to put in a little effort to remember as well as the other two people described.

I can only discuss this subject from my own experience that I know mirrors that of others,
however, I have to leave their detailed experiences aside.

After pouring all the written material into my innermind
I expected to recall it simply because I’d told my mind to remember it.
But Turbo Charged Reading is not instant understanding, learning and recall
it is reading in a way that enables enhanced understanding, learning and recall
in a previously unfamiliar area.

I have had the following experience many times:
I slow read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
and as is my practice with books I regard as text books I made notes on the pages.
Three years later I slow read this book again
and found that now I lived what I had previously only understood.
Therefore my subsequent reading and life experiences had ‘caught up’ with these concepts.
But I can’t quote or use these concepts directly in a conversation or essay
but I can express them as my collected attitudes. (spontaneous recall)
Is it important for me to be able to quote authors or concepts?
To be honest no it isn’t nor has it been important for me
though I do think that people who can sound to be so very intelligent and therefore an authority.
Had I been able to TCR in those far off days I would have read far more books
and in a wider area of interest
and so would have developed my personality and a wider talent range far sooner.
Even though I have the same intellectual range my exam results would have been easier to achieve, and with a better writing style and with greater content
And these benefits could have tipped me over into being accepted in the right junior school,
the right six form college, the right university
and an entirely different life path.

Back to what is and is not reasonable
In relation to graphs, lists, diagrams, formulae and the Highway Code, etc.
Regarding the Highway Code, the last time I tried to get to grips with this
I was unable to understand the difference between 3 sorts of xxxxxxxxxx
I asked a small number of people who also drive and found they were equally unknowledgeable.
However, practically, our safe driving outcome was the same
but from a slow reading and learning point of view I simply gave up.
Similarly I’ve been TCR books that have ancient Egyptian, Indian and English names.
My first level purpose was to remember the names of the principal characters 
and their position which would automatically lead to their actions.
My problems were 1) I couldn’t attempt to pronounce these names in my head and
2) didn’t make a concentrated effort to create my own pronunciation and
3) didn’t establish my memory of these names.
 I’ve recently found that (some) dyslexic people don’t ‘hear’ words correctly
which goes a long way to explain my creative spelling.

1)      I couldn’t attempt to pronounce certain names or words in my head.
Like many people I skim-passed words I don’t understand or cannot hear in my head.
As an aside, in my own writing I will sometimes make up a word,
as in context, the sound of that word carries my intention of meaning.
Someone questioned one of my made-up words and found that Spike Milligan
had created the same word and that it carried my intended meaning.
However, I didn’t listen to Spike Milligan during the time period of his Goons shows.
In much the same way I thought that an author was creating ‘sound’ words
until I looked up his extensive range of adjectives and found that my scenic understanding
of the word used had been created by his sentences and style.
I understand and can use many words in my reading or in my internal conversations
but I could not give a definition of these words
and also I have never had reason to vocalise these words
so when I finally get the opportunity I often mispronounce them to the amusement of the listener.
Therefore, rather like the Highway Code while I had a full understanding of the practical situation
I would not be able to ‘pass a test’ due to the fact that I could not describe the situation.
This was because I’d not taken my learning and recall 
to the levels beyond the basic level of understanding.
As you will recall from personal experience when learning any skill or subject
understanding, learning, memory and recall are built up in subsequent layers.

A solution to increase my word power would be to TCR a relevant dictionary
which not only gives the spelling and meaning but also a key to pronunciation.
So much so that a person learning a language did not realise that
he had confidently ordered his meal in the language of the country he was visiting.

2)      I didn’t make a concentrated effort to create my own pronunciation of new words.
TCR is reading
and reading assists many aspects of learning and learning and memory are developed in layers.
TCR is not suddenly developing a photographic memory or in this case a linked auditory memory.
Regarding foreign names in a story.
I did begin to recognise the shape of the different names that were written
and I associated these shaped words to the characters in the story.
This is rather like a child who recognises a thumb print or bent corner on a flash card
and produces the ‘right’ answer when the card is flashed before his vision.
The teacher then assumes that the child has learned to recognise and vocalise that word
and so can do so when that print is seen in a different situation!
Back to foreign names and English pronunciation; I didn’t take responsibility for my own progress.
I understood the story (level 1)
but I could not ascribe various events to the correct personage (level 2)
Did I want level 2 or had my purpose for reading been served at the stage of level 1
when I could then put the book down and get on with something else?
I could have used some memory skills; I could have become familiar with the spelling of the word – 
for me this is an easy skill which I shall outline at some point.
Christine Davis is easy for me and I just need to link her name to an event or character.
While I could easily remember the story around Vibia Perpetua
and the name looks easy because I can pronounce it in my head
I had to actively break the sounds down in order to create an aural and visual memory.
But the Indian names such as Vatsyayana and Chanakya and Meluhhan flagged up
my skim-passed quickly skills so I’d need to become comfortable with these words
before I could remember them.
Interestingly the simple act of breaking them down into syllables
and highlighting the alternate syllables has made these names far more approachable
and that has only taken a few realistic seconds.
However, unless I take steps to take this learning to the next level
these tender young shoots will wither away due to lack of attention.

3)      I didn’t establish my memory of these names.
While I am a TCR, these days I am a slow learner ;)
I had spent time learning to pronounce my version of a North African Roman name
and now. without checking I can ‘see’ her name in my mind map
and the information is beginning to fill in the specific spaces satisfactorily. 
Previously I could only remember that her name began with P and was quite long
and I almost have its rhythm, also that her slave’s name was short
and one of the bad guy’s had a name that was amusing with a rather rude ending.
             Is that sufficient for my purpose?  
Actually, no in some respects and yes in others as my principal purpose (level 1)
was to experience and record the progression of becoming a proficient TCR
but my personal purpose (level 2) was to be able to accommodate the information in the book
at a higher level than that of a general discussion.
In order to gain that higher level
I could recognise that I had the story firmly fixed in my mind and memory
as I could re-create my mind maps in my memory
and then I could actively learn the various names in order to pass a test.
I could use whatever learning techniques appeal to me
and would naturally TCR the results thus making my learning, memory and recall efficient.

I hope that the above covers understanding, learning, memory and recall
and that the responsibility of confirming that the understanding of:
names, dates, words and other such information is exactly the same
as if you were slow reading a book and expected to recall
and use that information at the level you require.
With the exception that when TCR your speed of reading, your understanding and memory
Is greatly enhanced and therefore when you come to remembering more at a higher level
that this is achievable with far less effort and time involvement.

TCR is part of the process that will make the further learning layers significantly easier
but it is not magically the whole process.
When I was studying intensively I took a computer based course and completed it in three days
and then found out that people generally took a number of weeks.
I think you will readily accept that if you do not maintain that level of intense study
then you would find yourself belonging to that general population.

Similarly even those with a natural high reading and memory ability
will find the following example to be pretty amazing
and yet it is only an extension of what they can do
but probably never have had the need to
or awareness of the possibility of such an achievement.
A PhD student poured 20,000 pages into his innermind during the course of one week,
his innermind then took a further week to catalogue this material,
cross reference it with the information he already had
and collated the specific material he needed
to complete his theses by the end of week three.
This was not magic but practice and not being limited by expectations.
Other PhD students take six to nine months to accomplish this feat
but while having the same or greater ability than the guy described;
they wouldn’t have the physical ability to turn that many pages,
to maintain the focused state of learning, or be able to maintain the specific use their eyes muscles. Nor would they have the assurance that the information was in there
and that they would be able to recall exactly what was needed
and just what was needed when required.
P.S. they would be familiar with the terms, language and concepts of the subject.

Therefore, I think it is somewhat unreasonable to expect to retain diagrams etc
that are outside of your professional or interest range after accessing the material one or two times.
A diagram or any other figurative representation is a different form of mind map
that requires your understanding of the material represented
and how you relate to that information
and not simply your understanding of the words and concepts.
Mind maps work for most people and are generally
the last level of understanding and memory for a particular book, conference or conversation.
I can only make a mind map with the understanding of the points I wish to remember.
Points I want to explore further need another level of comprehension
before they reach a level of comfortable knowledge and memory.
In order to pass an exam I then have to learn the Mind map in question and this is enhanced by TCR the original material and/or the mind map repeatedly.
You might be interested in following this pre-course and study link.
I could recognise that my expectations have been somewhat unrealistic that I don’t TCR a text,
understand its contents and then magically expect to remember it verbatim.
That I store the information in my innermind in smaller sequential steps
making sure that, if necessary, I employ practical learning skills regarding e.g. names
possibly finding it useful to make mini mind maps of each level of understanding and recall
until my familiarity with that new area is as confident as it is in my professional area.
My continued TCR practice ensures that my learning and retention ability increases
just like an exercised muscle or practiced skill from wobbling to professional ability.

P.S I don’t ever anticipate TCR 20,000 pages in a week.
The point of TCR is to read efficiently to the level that is wanted – now.
With any leftover information stored in your innermind for spontaneous recall.
You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneous recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?
Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:         gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life               which takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.         just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

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Your opinions, experience and questions are welcome. M'reen