There was a terrible article about Moonwalking with Einstein in The Guardian today by a reviewer who I think doesn’t understand the book.
The subtitle of the review is this negative line:
Joshua Foer’s account of his quest to become US memory champion is a dreary and pointless celebration of trivia
… the contests chronicled by Joshua Foer … reward competitors for the anal retention of trivia: the sequence of cards in a rapidly shuffled deck, the birthdates of total strangers, random glossaries of unfamiliar words. Such is the sadly diminished, demeaning role that the information age allots to our proudest and most precious mental skill.
[Foer's] cerebrotonic workouts endow him with the ornamental, gym-cultivated biceps shown off by yuppie lawyers and gay hairstylists, whose occupations hardly require them to do heavy lifting.
Here is a reviewer who I think doesn’t understand the book or memory techniques at all.
The memory competitions aren’t about building up useless gym muscles. They are about practical techniques that are usable in everyday life as well as an education. The competitions provide goals for people, bring people together, and are a friendly way to promote the techniques.
Check out the review and let me know what you think.