The Public Domain Review

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Handy Mnemonics: The Five-Fingered Memory Machine

Thursday 21 April 2022 at 13:55

Before humans stored memories as zeroes and ones, we turned to digital devices of another kind — preserving knowledge on the surface of fingers and palms. Kensy Cooperrider leads us through a millennium of “hand mnemonics” and the variety of techniques practised by Buddhist monks, Latin linguists, and Renaissance musicians for remembering what might otherwise elude the mind.