Really fascinating discussion of memory, and how to improve it - and there's not a novel concept there! The techniques Foer describes using in his quest to win a US Memory Championship are over 2000 years old, but most of Western society have forgotten them.
The techniques work - I can still recall the whole shopping list his coach had him memorize - but what I haven't learned is how to determine what
I need to remember. I certainly don't need to know jar of pickled garlic, tub of cottage cheese, peat-smoked salmon, 6 bottles of white wine, 3 pairs of socks, 3 hula hoops, snorkel, dry ice machine, email sophia, skin-toned cat suit, elk sausage, Paul Newman film, director's chair, megaphone, harness & rope, barometer.