Ed Cooke is a Grandmaster of Memory. Yes, it’s a thing and it’s a big thing.
This title is awarded to people who can complete the following three tasks:
- Memorize 1,000 random digits in an hour
- Memorize the order of 10 decks of cards (of 52 cards each) in an hour
- Memorize the order of one deck of cards (of 52 cards) in under two minutes
Try doing any of the above in a month…
From 2003-2008, he placed in a memory championship every year. Here’s the repertoire: 10th in the World Memory Championships in 2003, 11th in 2004, 11th in 2005, 8th in 2006, 7th in 2007, and finally 8th in 2008. Also 2007 Champion at the Cambridge Memory Championship, and 3rd in 2004.
He’s really dove deep into the memory category co-founding Memrise in 2005, the education app that optimizes spaced repetition technologies to help its users learn things like languages or chemistry. It has over 20M registered users and has been profitable since 2016.
He’s also the author of Remember, Remember: Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could.
Cooke is pretty geeky in such a niche category: memorization. He graduated with a degree in psychology and philosophy from Oxford University in 2004 and completed a Master’s Degree in Cognitive Science at Paris Descartes University where he began his life of memorization. He studied, learned, and taught memory techniques.
Biography & Image sourcesBiography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Master_of_Memory, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140307-how-to-learn-like-a-memory-champ
Banner image: Tim Ferriss Show
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic and political activist. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist. In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism".
In describing the effects of mescaline, Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception opened a proverbial door for a generation of seekers. Watts walked through it with this classic account of the levels of insight that consciousness-changing drugs can facilitate “when accompanied with sustained philosophical reflection by a person who is in search, not of kicks, but of understanding.”
“I was traveling around the world at the age of 18, which is what people in England do between high school and university. In my coat, I had Goethe’s aphorisms, his short little thoughts in my pocket. I read and reread this book...(Cooke's Notes, Tribe of Mentors)
“This is about a man’s slow descent into blindness over 20 years. “He’s a kind of theologian, but he has these wonderful reflections on how he came to enjoy the world [as a blind man]. One go-to example is that rain is the best thing for blind people, because you can hear the world in three dimensions… (Cooke’s Notes, Tribe of Mentors)