The Secret Knowledge of the Ancient Greeks: How to Memorize Complex Information

Free course of 5 video les­sons and addi­tional mate­ri­als. In this mem­ory course, peo­ple are intro­duced to mnemon­ics and from the sec­ond les­son onwards do phe­nom­e­nal things

Why not in English yet?

Ini­tially, I made this mem­ory course at the request of the Kyiv State Admin­is­tra­tion in Ukraine.

I speak Rus­sian there so that the mem­ory course could be taken not only by Ukraini­ans.

His­tor­i­cally, every­one in the for­mer Soviet Union under­s­tands Rus­sian. In addi­tion to Ukraine, Belarus, and Rus­sia, there are also the Baltics (Esto­nia, Latvia, and Lithua­nia), the Cau­ca­sus (Arme­nia, Azer­bai­jan, and Geor­gia), and Cen­tral Asia (Kazakh­s­tan, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Tajik­is­tan, Turk­menistan, and Uzbek­is­tan).

If I spoke Ukrainian, only Ukraini­ans would under­s­tand me. But I want to help as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. I want every­one to be able to mem­orize the infor­ma­tion they need in their stud­ies, work, or per­sonal life. So I had to speak in Rus­sian.

I planned to make a mem­ory course in English. I didn’t want to make dub­bing of the videos that are already ready. Although that would have been the eas­i­est thing to do—I wouldn’t have had to do com­pli­cated video pro­duc­tion again.

But per­son­ally, I don’t like watch­ing dubbed les­sons. When the mouth says one thing and the voice says another. So I decided to re-record the course in English from the begin­n­ing.

But on Febru­ary 24, Putin’s Rus­sia attacked Ukraine. They are raz­ing peace­ful cities to the ground and destroy­ing Ukraini­ans. In Kyiv, I hear a siren sev­eral times a day, mis­siles peri­od­i­cally hit­t­ing houses. It’s impos­si­ble to record a course in such con­di­tions. All I can do now is con­duct mem­ory train­ing online.

Hope­fully, the war will be over in my coun­try in a few months. And if I stay alive, I will cer­tainly record a mem­ory course in English. This course is really worth the wait.

If you don’t want to wait, come straight to the full training

I suggest you save this page to your book­marks. Bet­ter yet, click on the green but­ton at the top and leave your e-mail so we can let you know when the English ver­sion of the mem­ory course is ready.

In the mean­time, we are post­ing the pre­vi­ous ver­sion here. Let those who don’t know English improve their lives with this free mem­ory course, too.

Memory trainer

Bogdan Rudenko is the founder and memory trainer of the Memory Development Center
Bogdan Rudenko is the founder and trainer of the Mem­ory Devel­op­ment Center, Ph.D. in Phi­los­o­phy of Sci­ence. For the past 17 years teaches mnemon­ics: helps peo­ple mem­orize infor­ma­tion.
Since 2005, he taught indi­vid­u­ally: he devel­oped meth­ods and looked for an approach to peo­ple of dif­fer­ent psy­cho­types. Since 2012, he teaches groups and trains com­pa­nies to help more peo­ple. More about the trainer

Lesson 1: Introduction

  • how this mem­ory course will help you learn bet­ter, cope with your work, and stand out from those who use Google instead of mem­ory;
  • about the nat­u­ral lim­i­ta­tions of our mem­ory, before which every­one is equal: both those who think they have a good mem­ory and those who are used to com­plain­ing about their mem­ory;
  • the first lim­i­ta­tion of mem­ory: we can­not mem­orize abs­tract infor­ma­tion such as num­bers, fac­tual infor­ma­tion, terms, def­i­ni­tions, abs­tract words, names, abbre­vi­a­tions, let­ter com­bi­na­tions, syl­la­bles, for­eign words, etc. (exam­ples of phe­nom­e­nal mem­ory of famous per­son­al­i­ties of the past con­firm that they used mnemon­ics);
  • the sec­ond lim­i­ta­tion of mem­ory: we are bad at mem­oriz­ing a sequence of infor­ma­tion, such as to-do lists, meet­ing lists, main thoughts, the­ses of the speeches, and the main points of the books;
  • how peo­ple through­out his­tory have tried to bypass the lim­i­ta­tions of mem­ory and why most of these attempts are inef­fec­tive;
  • his­tory of the emer­gence of mnemon­ics as a tool to help mem­orize any infor­ma­tion with abso­lute pre­ci­sion;
  • basic prin­ci­ples of mem­oriza­tion with which you can write down infor­ma­tion in your head just as you would write it in a note­book or com­puter.

The Mag­i­cal Num­ber Seven, Plus or Minus Two. It is often inter­preted to argue that the num­ber of objects an aver­age human can hold in short-term mem­ory is 7 ± 2. This has occa­sion­ally been referred to as Miller’s law

Alexan­der the Great remem­bered the 30,000 sol­diers of his army by sight and name. He was brought up from the age of 13 by the ancient Greek philoso­pher Aris­to­tle, author of the trea­tise “On Mem­ory and Rem­i­nis­cence”. And mnemon­ics for the ancient Greeks is like arith­metic and the rules of writ­ing for us. Cyrus, Cae­sar, Napoleon—many used mnemon­ics

mnemonic device, or mem­ory device, is any learn­ing tech­nique that aids infor­ma­tion reten­tion or retrie­val (remem­ber­ing) in the human mem­ory for bet­ter under­stand­ing

Memory Course: Introduction
These are not the­o­ret­i­cal lec­tures. It is train­ing, as a method of active learn­ing, aimed at form­ing and prac­tic­ing the skill of mem­oriz­ing. I will not retell to you the con­tents of psy­chol­ogy text­books and pop­u­lar sci­ence videos on You­Tube. You can watch all this without me. The value of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion is that I will give you not only the the­ory but also the prac­ti­cal skill of mem­oriz­ing

Lesson 2: How to memorize information in the right order

  • mem­oriz­ing sequen­tial infor­ma­tion, what­ever it may be: from the sim­plest shop­ping list to the sequence of cases, meet­ings, talk­ing points, and book high­lights;
  • a phe­nom­e­nal level of mas­tery of the infor­ma­tion you have mem­orized: you will read infor­ma­tion from your head in for­ward and back­ward order, selec­tively, by key­word or ques­tion, in alpha­bet­i­cal order, or by a sequen­tial num­ber.
Memory Course: How to memorize information in the right order
We’ll prac­tice with sim­ple words. For us mnemonists, all these words, no mat­ter how ridicu­lous they may seem, are units of infor­ma­tion. We learn to mem­orize a sequence of units of infor­ma­tion. And in real­ity, these units can be long num­bers, com­plex con­cepts, for­eign words, and even whole para­graphs of text. Do exactly what we did in the les­son five more times and you have already mem­orized 100 pie­ces of infor­ma­tion. A few more times and you’ve already got a thou­sand. And it doesn’t mat­ter how many of these units there are. The brain doesn’t strain nearly as much when it’s mem­oriz­ing a sequence of infor­ma­tion. The brain strains when it encodes infor­ma­tion into a mem­orable form. This is a com­pli­cated sub­ject, and we’ll touch on it in the next les­son

Lesson 3: Secrets of memorizing text

  • prin­ci­ples of mem­oriz­ing text: three levels of text (infor­ma­tion block, para­graph, facts), three floors of the text pyra­mid (the text, the seman­tic anchor point, the image), text col­laps­ing and expand­ing, mem­oriza­tion algorithm (from the para­graph to the infor­ma­tion block);
  • mnemon­ics as encoder and decoder: how to con­vert infor­ma­tion into a mem­orable form;
  • home­work: what you need to do after the mem­ory course to under­s­tand texts more deeply than 99% of other peo­ple (mnemon­ics is not just about mem­oriz­ing, it’s also about under­s­tand­ing).

Of course, one video les­son does not sub­sti­tute for a full two-day training on memorizing textual information. But even this one les­son will help you tremen­dously

Memory Course: Secrets of memorizing text
Books and other exter­nal media are good, of course. But the infor­ma­tion stays on paper or in a gad­get. And if you do as I teach you in the les­son, you can lit­er­ally install the infor­ma­tion right into your head

Lesson 4: How to memorize foreign words correctly

  • the thought-form­ing func­tion of lan­guage: lan­guage is not just for speak­ing;
  • the tri­an­gle of under­s­tand­ing: which three of its ver­tices should always be con­trolled when you learn for­eign words;
  • disas­trous mis­takes in learn­ing for­eign vocab­u­lary: this sins almost every video on You­Tube, which promises to teach you to mem­orize for­eign words (know­ing these mis­takes will save you a time of life and a lot of money);
  • what mem­ory train­ers don’t tell you when they promise to teach you to mem­orize “100‑300 for­eign words an hour.”
Memory Course: How to memorize foreign words correctly
I get very upset when I see books and videos on You­Tube with inex­cus­able mis­takes made by other mnemonists. It would seem that I don’t care, since it’s my com­peti­tors who screw up, not me. But, unfor­tu­nately, the trou­ble is that the rep­u­ta­tion of mnemon­ics suf­fers. And it affects me, albeit indi­rectly. Another per­son will look at it, try it, and be dis­ap­pointed. And then his neg­a­tiv­ity will spread to mnemon­ics in gen­eral. He thinks, “Oh, this is non­sense and does not work.” And he won’t come to me to learn

Lesson 5: Conclusion with further recommendations

  • two exer­cises for read­ing infor­ma­tion flu­ently from your head: instead of pain­fully recall­ing and decod­ing infor­ma­tion, you will be able to repro­duce it as eas­ily as you would from a book;
  • how to make your visual think­ing tena­cious: speak­ing in front of an audi­ence you will be able to answer ques­tions, track the audi­ence’s reac­tions, smile, and charm every­one, but you will keep in your mind where you left off so you can go back in your head and con­tinue your nar­ra­tive;
  • how to man­age the reten­tion time of infor­ma­tion in your head: you will decide for your­self how long to remem­ber, from short-term to life­long stor­age in your mem­ory;
  • the main ideas of the mem­ory course and rec­om­men­da­tions for your fur­ther devel­op­ment.

There are, then, two kinds of mem­ory: one nat­u­ral, and the other the prod­uct of art. The nat­u­ral mem­ory is that mem­ory which is imbed­ded in our minds, born simul­ta­neously with thought. The arti­fi­cial mem­ory is that mem­ory which is strength­ened by a kind of train­ing and sys­tem of dis­ci­pline. But just as in every­thing else the merit of nat­u­ral excel­lence often rivals acquired learn­ing, and art, in its turn, rein­forces and devel­ops the nat­u­ral advan­tages, so does it hap­pen in this ins­tance

Memory Course: Conclusion with further recommendations
Other mem­ory coaches like to epa­thetize clients with such state­ments: “After tak­ing our mem­ory course, you’ll get rid of your gad­gets and note­books for­ever!” I’m dif­fer­ent from other mem­ory train­ers and I don’t say that bull­shit. Well, why would I keep a thou­sand con­tacts in my head when I have a con­tact list on my phone for that? Most of those con­tacts I will never call again. So why should I clut­ter up my head with them? But there are sit­u­a­tions when dur­ing nego­ti­a­tion or meet­ing you want to address the other party without a piece of paper and oper­ate on detailed data from mem­ory. And so I’m teach­ing a flex­i­ble approach to what you need to mem­orize. The secret is a com­bi­na­tion of nat­u­ral and arti­fi­cial mem­ory. Phe­nom­e­nal mem­ory will be your super­power, which you will use only when you really have to

How to study a memory course

You will be able to use your mem­oriza­tion skills as soon as you fin­ish this mem­ory course. But in order for you to get the most out of it, there are some guide­lines to con­sider.

  1. Watch on a dis­play of suf­fi­cient size. In our videos we will sim­u­late the work­ings of your imag­i­na­tion, sim­u­lat­ing what should be going on in your head.

This speci­ficity imposes lim­i­ta­tions: video les­sons are use­less to watch on a small smart­phone screen. Even on a tablet isn’t as good. The best way to watch them is on a lap­top dis­play or desk­top mon­i­tor.

  1. Leave an e-mail where we can send addi­tional mate­ri­als. If you leave your e-mail in the form below, we will be able to send you the text mate­ri­als (when the English ver­sion of the course is ready).

There will be a methodol­ogy guide for this mem­ory course. If you want to run through the main points of the course, you won’t have to search through all the videos of the course. Just flip through the text mate­rial and refresh your mem­ory.

  1. Don’t inter­rupt while doing a par­tic­u­lar exer­cise. Video les­sons are unlikely to be just “watched” or “lis­tened to” like lec­tures.

You won’t be able to “just watch” in-between, in trans­por­ta­tion, or over a meal like you watch an enter­tain­ing video on You­Tube.

You have to set aside time and cre­ate the most com­fort­able con­di­tions for study­ing. So that no one dis­tracts you, your phone doesn’t ring, so you don’t have to inter­rupt unex­pect­edly.

Imag­ine that you came to the gym. And the fit­ness trainer told you to do a cer­tain num­ber of reps in one approach. But you did one or two push-ups or sit-ups and then you talked on the phone. Then you did a cou­ple more push-ups or sit-ups and then talked to your buddy again. Yes, you might end up get­t­ing the right num­ber of reps. But you won’t get the results you need. Because this num­ber of reps should have been done in one approach.

So it is in this mem­ory course: until you fin­ish a par­tic­u­lar exer­cise, you can’t inter­rupt.

  1. Rest before the les­son. Try to study rested, sleepy, and full of energy. We will be devel­op­ing intel­lec­tual skills, so your head should be fresh.

Try to leave per­sonal and work prob­lems for a time before or after class. I need you to mem­orize, not think about some bas­tard set­t­ing you up at work.

Leave an e-mail so we can let you know when the course is released. And that’s where we’ll also send addi­tional mate­ri­als:

“Wait for the English ver­sion of the course. It really is worth the wait. How­ever, if you do not want to wait, come straight to the full training

founder and memory trainer