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Today James welcomes Josh Foer to the podcast. Josh is a U.S. Memory champion, award-winning journalist, and bestselling author of Moonwalking with Einstein, which details his journey to becoming a U.S. memory champion.

Taking some of the ancient memory techniques he learned during a yearlong trip to Europe, Josh was quickly able to master techniques that have not yet made their way across “the pond.”

Having this advantage over American competitors allowed him to become very successful in a short amount of time.

Once he brought these European techniques back to the U.S. and started sharing them, the U.S. record for memorizing a deck of cards went from 1 minute 40 seconds to just 30 seconds.

One concerning question that comes to mind for both James and Josh is whether some of the modern technologies in our current world are reducing our capacity to remember things.

Is Googling making us less smart?

And this is not a new question, it dates all the way back to the days of Socrates, and the advent of the written word. These concerns may be valid, but it often just means a change in both how and what we remember.

One of the most common questions that Josh gets is about remembering people’s names. For this he has a great memory hack: Create a secondary association with the thing you’re trying to remember. For people’s names this can be a funny association with the sound of their name.

For prose, associate it with a song or rhyme. Anything you can do to give your brain another method of associating will help you better recall it later on.

Resources and Links:

Moonwalking with Einstein by Josh Foer

TED talk – Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do

The Obscura Society

Sukkah City

Nelson Dellis – Current US Memory Champion

The Pridmore System for Card Memorization

Get in Touch:

To learn more about Josh and stay up to date with his newest book, check out

Josh is writing a second book on Hunter Gatherers, which explores how the oldest remaining tribe operates and compares to some of our more modern members of society. Sign up for his mailing list to learn more about it and when it is coming out.

You can also connect with Josh on Twitter @JoshuaFoer.

Special Note: Both Josh and James will be presenting LIVE at next month’s Stansberry Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re interested in joining them and over 30 additional speakers for two full days click here.

This year’s Conference will take place at one of the newest and most luxurious destinations on Las Vegas Boulevard — the Aria Resort and Casino.

Thanks so much for listening!

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