6 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2022
  2. Sep 2021
    1. Ancient peoples frequently engaged in offloading their mental contents and augmenting their brainpower with external resources, as evidenced by objects they left behind. Sumerians employed clay tokens to keep track of livestock and other goods when trading; Incas tied knots in long cords, called quipus, to memorialize events; administrators and merchants across a broad swath of the ancient world used abacuses and counting boards.

      Interesting to see these examples of mnemonic devices referenced here.

      One could certainly add standing stones, stone circles, etc. to the list.

  3. Oct 2020
    1. Later in the thread just cited, John Meador quoted another text, 1594, attesting to something more astounding: ...two especial uses, I have often exercised this art for the better help of my own memory, and the same as yet has never failed me. Although I have heard some of Master Dickson, his schollers, that have prooved such cunning Cardplayers hereby, that they could tell the course of all the Cards and what every gamester had in his hand. So ready we are to turn an honest and commendable invention into craft and cousenage." -Hugh Platt: The Jewell House of Art and Nature 1594 This art, or at least its claims, goes somewhat beyond remembering what cards have been played: they actually can use it to know what the other players have in their hand, before playing the cards. Platt considers this a kind of cheating (usually "cozenage", from "cozen", first use 1573, probably from the Italian cozzone, horse trader, per http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cozen).
    2. In his play Il Candelaio he mentions the tarot: an innkeeper asks a scoundrel in his establishment if he likes to play tarot; the scoundrel replies ”A questo maldetto gioco non posso vincere, per che ho una pessima memoria”. (“At this cursed game I cannot win, because I have a terrible memory”)
  4. Aug 2020