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Moonwalking with Einstein

The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Joshua Foer

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Beschreibung

“Highly entertaining.” —Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“Funny, curious, erudite, and full of useful details about ancient techniques of training memory.” —The Boston Globe

The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory

An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic,
Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author's own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.

"Absolutely phenomenal... Part of the beauty of this book is that it makes clear how memory and understanding are not two different things. Building up the ability to reason and the ability to retain information go hand in hand... The book reminds us that we all start off with pretty much the same tools for the most part, and we can be intentional about strengthening them, or not."-Bill Gates

"Captivating. . . His narrative is smart and funny and, like the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks, it's informed by a humanism that enables its author to place the mysteries of the brain within a larger philosophical and cultural context."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"His passionate and deeply engrossing book. . . is a resounding tribute to the muscularity of the mind. . .. In the end, Moonwalking with Einstein reminds us that though brain science is a wild frontier and the mechanics of memory little understood, our minds are capable of epic achievements."-The Washington Post

"Joshua Foer's book. . . is both fun and reassuring. All it takes to have a better memory, he contends, are a few tricks and a good erotic imagination."-Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

"Highly entertaining."-Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

"It's delightful to travel with him on this unlikely journey, and his entertaining treatment of memory as both sport and science is spot on. . .. Moonwalking with Einstein proves uplifting: It shows that with motivation, focus, and a few clever tricks, our minds can do rather extraordinary things."-The Wall Street Journal

"It's a terrific book: sometimes weird but mostly smart, funny, and ultimately a lovely exploration of the ways that we preserve our lives and our world in the golden amber of human memory."-Deborah Blum, New Scientist

"Foer's book is relevant and entertaining as he shows us ways we can unlock our own talent to remember more."-USA Today

"A fascinating scientific analysis of mnemonic mysteries. What we remember, [Foer] says, defines who we are."-Entertainment Weekly

"Sprightly, entertaining. . . [Foer] has a gift for communicating fairly complex ideas in a manner that is palatable without being patronizing."-Financial Times

"[An] inspired and well-written debut book about not just memorization, but about what it means to be educated and the best way to become so, about expertise in general, and about the not-so-hidden 'secrets' of acquiring skills."-The Seattle Times

"[An] instant bestseller."-San Francisco Chronicle

"Funny, curious, erudite, and full of useful details about ancient techniques of training memory."-The Boston Globe

"With originality, high energy, and an appealing blend of chutzpah and humility, [Foer] writes of his own adventures and probes the history and literature of memory, the science of how the brain functions, and the connections between memory, identity, and culture. . .. Moonwalking with Einstein. . . is engaging and timely."-The Jewish Week

"A smart, thoughtful, engaging book."-The Portland Oregonian

"Charming. . . The book is part of a grand tradition, the writer as participating athlete, reminiscent of George Plimpton taking up football in Paper Lion."-O, The Oprah Magazine

"[A] wonderful first book."-Newcity

"Fascinating."-Town & Country

"For one year, Foer tried to attain total recall, extracting secrets from the top researchers, the real Rain Man, and the world's memory champs. He triumphed, both in his quest and in this lively account, which is, no exaggeration, unforgettable."-Parade

"In recounting his year in training for the USA Memory Championship, journalist Foer delivers a rich history of memory."-Discover Magazine

"Foer's history of memory is rich with information about the nature of memory and how it makes us who we are."-Scientific American

"A brief and pithy recounting of Foer's exploration of the fuzzy borders of his brain-a marveling at how and why it's able to do something quite unexpected. . .. Moonwalking wit

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 320
Erscheinungsdatum 01.02.2012
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-312053-7
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 21.3/13.6/2 cm
Gewicht 260 g
Verkaufsrang 7887

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  • There were no other survivors.

    Family members arriving at the scene of the fifth-century-B.C. banquet hall catastrophe pawed at the debris for signs of their loved ones-rings, sandals, anything that would allow them to identify their kin for proper burial.

    Minutes earlier, the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos had stood to deliver an ode in celebration of Scopas, a Thessalian nobleman. As Simonides sat down, a messenger tapped him on the shoulder. Two young men on horseback were waiting outside, anxious to tell him something. He stood up again and walked out the door. At the very moment he crossed the threshold, the roof of the banquet hall collapsed in a thundering plume of marble shards and dust.

    He stood now before a landscape of rubble and entombed bodies. The air, which had been filled with boisterous laughter moments before, was smoky and silent. Teams of rescuers set to work frantically digging through the collapsed building. The corpses they pulled out of the wreckage were mangled beyond recognition. No one could even say for sure who had been inside. One tragedy compounded another.

    Then something remarkable happened that would change forever how people thought about their memories. Simonides sealed his senses to the chaos around him and reversed time in his mind. The piles of marble returned to pillars and the scattered frieze fragments reassembled in the air above. The stoneware scattered in the debris re-formed into bowls. The splinters of wood poking above the ruins once again became a table. Simonides caught a glimpse of each of the banquet guests at his seat, carrying on oblivious to the impending catastrophe. He saw Scopas laughing at the head of the table, a fellow poet sitting across from him sponging up the remnants of his meal with a piece of bread, a nobleman smirking. He turned to the window and saw the messengers approaching, as if with some important news.

    Simonides opened his eyes. He took each of the hysterical relatives by the hand and, carefully stepping over the debris, guided them, one by one, to the spots in the rubble where their loved ones had been sitting.

    At that moment, according to legend, the art of memory was born.

    ONE

    THE SMARTEST MAN IS HARD TO FIND

    Dom DeLuise, celebrity fat man (and five of clubs), has been implicated in the following unseemly acts in my mind's eye: He has hocked a fat globule of spittle (nine of clubs) on Albert Einstein's thick white mane (three of diamonds) and delivered a devastating karate kick (five of spades) to the groin of Pope Benedict XVI (six of diamonds). Michael Jackson (king of hearts) has engaged in behavior bizarre even for him. He has defecated (two of clubs) on a salmon burger (king of clubs) and captured his flatulence (queen of clubs) in a balloon (six of spades). Rhea Perlman, diminutive Cheers bartendress (and queen of spades), has been caught cavorting with the seven-foot-seven Sudanese basketball star Manute Bol (seven of clubs) in a highly explicit (and in this case, anatomically improbable) two-digit act of congress (three of clubs).

    This tawdry tableau, which I'm not proud to commit to the page, goes a long way toward explaining the unlikely spot I find myself in at the moment. Sitting to my left is Ram Kolli, an unshaven twenty-five-year-old business consultant from Richmond, Virginia, who is also the defending United States memory champion. To my right is the muzzle of a television camera from a national cable network. Spread out behind me, where I can't see them and they can't disturb me, are about a hundred spectators and a pair of TV commentators offering play-by-play analysis. One is a blow-dried veteran boxing announcer named Kenny Rice, whose gravelly, bedtime voice can't conceal the fact that he seems bewildered by this jamboree of nerds. The other is the Pelé of USA memory sport, a bearded forty-three-year-old chemical engineer and four-time national champion from Fayetteville, North Carolina, named Scott