Discover more from The Chatner
I Stopped By Your Memory Palace. It Looks Like Shit By The Way
Hey, man. Yeah, it’s good to see you, too. I stopped by your memory palace the other day. You know, that method of loci you employ to enhance your powers of recall? Recalling information more readily and without prompting because you attach it to an elaborate and detailed visualization of familiar environments, as the Greeks and Romans of old? Looks like dog shit, man. You really remember like this? Did you ever, uhh, consider committing to memory the layout of some formative building that didn’t look like fucking garbage? Because if I had to take an imaginative ‘walk’ through these loci in order to remember a set of items, I swear to God, I would just write them down instead.
I’d honestly rather stand before the Imperial Senate with fucking syllogisms and proofs written on my hands than visit a memory palace that looked like that. Ever heard of architectural massing? Familiar with the fundamental principles of design, whereby unity, individuality, continuity, order and hierarchy all weave together to create a balanced whole? Where it naturally fucking follows that secondary masses should be subordinated to primary masses instead of overwhelming the entire facade? Nice uneven spacing between your too-fucking-many secondary masses, by the way, really gives your visitors that sense of being lost inside of a bee’s lungs. Super useful method, since there’s no rhyme or reason to the flow of your memory palace, so you can just append whatever to any arbitrarily given room, which defeats the entire point of having a memory palace in the first place. Good luck activating your right posterior hippocampus with a pattern like “half-closet-cum-mud-room, then entryway, then split foyer and bathroom, then half-diamond hallway window cutouts for some reason, then stairs, then kitchen.” Good luck not getting lost if you want to retrieve a categorical proposition from the living room! Which living room? Because there are at least four by my count, except one of them is also a den for some reason.
You know you’re at least supposed to try to establish a sense of unity and proportion for the overall composition of your memory palace, right? Do you think your enemies have been going in there when you’re not looking and making it worse? Because that’s honestly the only explanation I can think of that makes sense. You know why it’s called a primary organizing detail? Because there’s just one. You can’t just slap a bunch of bell towers and colonnades wherever and think it’s going to result in a memorably-arranged, discretely-distinct floor plan. It’s not. I mean, it is memorable, but not at the level of detail. I remember that your memory palace is a fucking mess, but I wouldn’t put, like, a premise in there fore safekeeping. Great job cultivating a genteel retreat for your most private self inside your fucking mind, dude. I wouldn’t even put a fucking inference in there. Have some self-respect.
Honestly, I was so goddamned embarrassed for you. I stopped counting the visual voids at 26, I think. Why don’t you try putting rhyme and reason somewhere in one of the trundle beds I’m sure you have littering the random and unexpected half-bathrooms on the third floor? I’m sure this, like, unseelie build would be super-helpful if you were a collectively insane wasp swarm looking for a fucked-up-looking nest, but this is where you’re supposed to store your fucking logic, man, your fucking philosophy, your fucking tools of rhetoric. You want the Rhetoric Master to come check out this place? I could have the imaginative zoning board on your ass so fast, man, you wouldn’t even know what hit you. You’re a fucking joke, man. No wonder you can’t get it together. I astral projected out of that place so fucking fast, man. If Simonides of Ceos could see your method of loci, man, he would have handed the art and techniques of informational retention straight back to Mnemosyne herself, dude.
Like I wish I could forget your memory palace, you know, but because my memory palace is laid out along a strict trebly-repeating hexametrical grid that abides by divine proportions and the golden ratio, it’s locked in there for good, smack dab in the middle of the ninth arm of my Dodecahedron of Quintessence that’s always rotating at half-Fibonacci speed in my Great Hall of Tranquil Longevity. It honestly looks like a medieval woodcut threw up in a Scandinavian modernist design firm, dude, and it fucking sucks. I hope you don’t ever invite anyone over to that place. I’m honestly worried it might be contagious. What if you fuck up everyone else’s principles of proximity, similarity, and continuation? That place could straight-up overwhelm the gestalt principles that otherwise govern our mental habituations. Might could even interrupt the soul’s journey into the sleeping ether that surrounds the river of the transmigration of essence. It’s that bad, dude. No, dude, it’s so bad up there. Talk about gross and subtle bodies, man. No prana whatever. Truly there was no subtle breath, no channel, connecting or focusing energy throughout. Just a whirlpool full of representational dead ends. Looked like Carthage in 145 BCE. You really fucked up, man. Good luck remembering anything more complicated than “eight sheaves of wheat” or an associative value. No, but for real, you better hope you can get by on chunking and repetition, because your mind palace is a goddamn albatross, dude. You’re making us all look bad. Honestly, you’re lucky there’s no metaphysical Homeowner’s Association, because if there were, you’d be looking at like, at least twelve transcendental violations.
Oh, and like, three of those clearly decorative columns out front are accidentally load-bearing, by the way. Fucking liability. Accident waiting to happen. Hope you have incorporeal insurance, dude, because you put another two or three memories in there and you can absolutely look forward to full-on structural failure. I wouldn’t remember my worst enemy in that mind palace, man. Good luck unlocking the keys of perception, I guess, you’re gonna need it.