MMMP 013: The Amazing Relationship Between Memory, Serial Killers And Bees

| Podcast

Magnetic Memory Method PodcastIn this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, you’ll learn about the amazing connection between location-based memory strategies, serial killers, graffiti and bumble-bees.

You’ll also learn:

* The reason why Memory Palaces may have originated in ancient China and not ancient Greece.

* An introduction to the Person Action Object system … and why I don’t use it!

More on that topic on this episode of Magnetic Memory Method Live on YouTube:


The video was inspired, in part, by the following email:

I’d love to ask for your advice on a PAO system I am working on for my family to use:


I have thought about encoding 8 to 12 digits along a journey in each location by using an enhanced PAO system from 0-99, I call PACO (Person, Action, Object + a Container)

The container is a different kind of object that only works because I ensure the types are mutually exclusive. I plan to later add a discrete food object and a discrete pet to each double digit as well.

See the list below for example. The rationale for this is that I work in a data intensive industry (valuing and helping to buy/sell companies), where memorizing many figures, stats, and historical charts would be of great use. I’m not as interested in rapidly memorizing a deck of cards, though I wouldn’t mind spending some time on that later…

To support this system, I follow certain restrictions:

  • The Person can’t be a pet/animal type
  • The Object is usually a small thing done with a verb
  • The Container is a large thing that houses people/animals.
  • I’m trying to make this a kid friendly system for my family and thus I stay away from the R-rated options

My long term thought is that I can have a person doing an action on an object frozen in my mind inside of a container. Each of these PACOs could be eating a food and own a pet.

Thus, in one loci, if it is graphic and memorable enough, I can encode up to 6 double digit items. I’m just wondering if this is overkill and what may be the best way to get my brain to internalize the PACOs. My question is, should I develop a separate journey of 110 location (perhaps 11 rooms of 10 loci), which I use to memorize the PACOs?

Also, if I start with just the traditional PAO and add the additional C later, will that be counterproductive to just memorizing all the options up front? Do you have any other advice on how I can most effectively internalize the system, so that I just about think of pictures in place of double digits?

Thank you for any thoughts on this topic!

Thanks for the question. You’re doing some great concrete thinking on the topic.

In terms of an answer, everything is covered in this episode of the podcast and this YouTube Live. Here’s a list of everything I covered for you:

* Why you really aren’t using memory techniques at all if you don’t have a location-based strategy involved in the mix.

* How to use Magnetic Bridging Figures and Word Division to maximize your use of mnemonic locations in your Memory Palace network.

* Why you must always use a Memory Palace whenever exploring the possibilities of memory techniques.

* Why competing in memory competitions isn’t for everyone (memory champions still make mistakes, after all!).

* Why you need a method – not necessarily a system – that will work for you with respect to the specific memory goals you are trying to pursue.

* Why the Magnetic Memory Method is a way of thinking about information storage and retrieval as a kind of way of life.

* Why location-based memory strategies are the best for easing information into long term memory.

* Why you don’t need to memorize long string digits of numbers in order to “prove” that you are succeeding with memory skills.

* Why you need to join the community immediately – but only if you’re going to apply what you learn from the community.

* Why YOU are the best person to teach memory techniques to the young people in your life. See also Tap the Mind of a 10-Year Old Memory Palace Master.

* Two amazing resources for introducing young people to mnemonics.

* The unbelievable connection between bumblebees, serial killers, graffiti and location-based memory techniques.

* … and much, much more!

Thanks as always for your interest in the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, videos and the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass. I appreciate your interest in the PAO very much and look forward to further interesting questions about it.

In the meantime, if you struggle with it or find that it’s simply not for you, check out the Major Method. It might work better for you. As an alternative, you can also try number rhymes.

2 Responses to " MMMP 013: The Amazing Relationship Between Memory, Serial Killers And Bees "

  1. Michael Tamilio says:

    Thank you for this video. I am the 2nd Mike you referenced and you definitely provided some interesting views as well as some encouragement to give it a try. Because I have used the Major system to come up with the PACOs, I am going to go ahead and memorize them and will let you know how well/poorly it works out.

    I look forward to staying connected to the MMM family and greatly appreciate you taking the time to deeply assess the questions I had.

    Love the concept, “place is just one a away from palace.”

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mike. I look forward to hearing how your innovation on PAO works out – it will be an exciting adventure, to be sure!

      Definitely look forward to keeping connected and look forward to your next contribution to the discussions here. Talk soon! 🙂

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