Book Review: Mindhacker by Ron and Marty Hale-Evans

I was looking forward to reading Mindhacker: 60 tips, tricks, and games to take your mind to the next level by Ron and Marty Hale-Evans, because their previous book, Mind Performance Hacks, completely changed my life by introducing me to to my first memory technique.

Overview

I really like this book and highly recommend it. The book only has one chapter on memory, but I think that anyone interested in ways to expand your mind will find it very interesting.

The book is divided into chapters, which are divided into hacks. Both this book and Mind Performance Hacks are perfect for getting an introduction to creative ideas that you can then research further. I think the best way to get an idea if this book is for you is to take a look at the table of contents:

  • Chapter 1 Memory
    • Hack 1: Remember to Remember
    • Hack 2: Build a Memory Dungeon
    • Hack 3: Mix Up Your Facts
    • Hack 4: Space Your Repetitions
    • Hack 5: Recall Long-Ago Events
  • Chapter 2 Learning
    • Hack 6: Establish Your Canon
    • Hack 7: Write in Your Books
    • Hack 8: Read at Speed
    • Hack 9: Learn by Teaching
    • Hack 10: Play the Learning Game
    • Hack 11: Pretend You’re a Grad Student
    • Hack 12: Study Kid Stuff
  • Chapter 3 Information Processing
    • Hack 13: Polyspecialize
    • Hack 14: Integrate Your Interests
    • Hack 15: Sift Your Ideas
    • Hack 16: Ask the Hive Mind
    • Hack 17: Write Magnifi cent Notes
  • Chapter 4 Time Management
    • Hack 18: Keep a Mental Datebook
    • Hack 19: Tell Time Who’s Boss
    • Hack 20: Meet MET
    • Hack 21: Get Control of Yourself
    • Hack 22: Locate Lost Items
    • Hack 23: Huffman-Code Your Life
    • Hack 24: Knock Off Work
  • Chapter 5 Creativity and Productivity
    • Hack 25: Manifest Yourself
    • Hack 26: Woo the Muse of the Odd
    • Hack 27: Seek Bad Examples
    • Hack 28: Turn a Job into a Game
    • Hack 29: Scrumble for Glory
    • Hack 30: Salvage a Vintage Hack
    • Hack 31: Mine the Future
    • Hack 32: Dare to Do No Permanent Damage
    • Hack 33: Make Happy Mistakes
    • Hack 34: Don’t Know What You’re Doing
    • Hack 35: Ratchet
  • Chapter 6 Math and Logic
    • Hack 36: Roll the Mental Dice
    • Hack 37: Abduct Your Conclusions
    • Hack 38: Think Clearly about Simple Errors
    • Hack 39: Notate Personally
    • Hack 40: Notate Wisely
    • Hack 41: Engineer Your Results
    • Hack 42: Enter the Third Dimension
    • Hack 43: Enter the Fourth Dimension
  • Chapter 7 Communication
    • Hack 44: Spell It Out
    • Hack 45: Read Lips
    • Hack 46: Emote Precisely
    • Hack 47: Streamline Your Shorthand
    • Hack 48: Communicate Multimodally
    • Hack 49: Mediate Your Environment
  • Chapter 8 Mental Fitness
    • Hack 50: Acquire a Taste
    • Hack 51: Try Something New Daily
    • Hack 52: Metabehave Yourself
    • Hack 53: Train Your Fluid Intelligence
    • Hack 54: Think, Try, Learn
    • Hack 55: Take the One-Question IQ Test
  • Chapter 9 Clarity
    • Hack 56: Cultivate Beginner’s Mind
    • Hack 57: Take a Semantic Pause
    • Hack 58: Retreat and Reboot
    • Hack 59: Get Used to Losing
    • Hack 60: Trust Your Intelligence (and Everyone Else’s)
  • Appendix A The Unboxed Games Manifesto
  • Appendix B 3D Visualization

The memory chapter has five hacks. Some of the information will be familiar to mnemonists, like building memory palaces using video games and using Anki flashcards.

I especially like the idea about recording vocabulary, with a separate file for each word, and then shuffling them on an MP3 player.

There are also some good tips on recalling past events that go beyond what other memory books cover.

If you are curious about things like new ways of notetaking, learning, and even communicating precise emotions with the constructed language Lojban, I’d recommend taking a look at this book.

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