3.14159265... and 99,992 digits to go!
May 17, 2008 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Exercising your brain makes you smarter, and there is no better gym for it than the MentatWiki.

Researchers believe there is a link between working memory and fluid intelligence in that improving one seems to also improves the other.

Lucky for you, this month is MentatWiki month at WikiVersity. The MentatWiki is a collaborative site focused on collecting ways to become a better thinker. From memory techniques to cubing numbers, Knight's tours and magic squares and more, all you need to get your brain in gear. Oh, and did you know that the site was founded by the author of Mind Performance Hacks, MeFi's own Ron Hale-Evans?

Once you're feeling pretty good about your newfound skills, how about trying for a world record?
posted by splice (16 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Damn dopers! Pretty soon they'll be drug testing at the math Olympics!
posted by delmoi at 11:52 AM on May 17, 2008

It looks like none of the stuff at MentatWiki actually trains working memory, which is what the study found important. It's just tricks and "mindhacks". I'd be interested in links anyone had to games that actually involve working memory. For example, this one is kind of fun.
posted by Durin's Bane at 12:07 PM on May 17, 2008

tell me of your home world, usul.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:17 PM on May 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

which is what the study found important

Yeah, the link between the two may be tenuous. But still, training your memory, any kind of memory, ought to bring some type of net benefit (if only that of having a more effective memory). MentatWiki has been great for me, I've been using various things from there for a while; memory techniques and mental calculation methods, for example.
posted by splice at 12:27 PM on May 17, 2008

I feel like a genius already, having found the search tool on the site buried in the footer.

Nonetheless, it led me to an n-back doodad.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 1:03 PM on May 17, 2008

Sorry for this, but as soon as I see the supposed ubermenschen cannot distinguish between the possessive "its" and the contraction for "it is," all my belief in their marvellous powers vanishes in a difficult-to-read purple haze. Fearing the loss of my grammar skills, I shan't be tinkering with my brain, not using their tools.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 1:31 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

gorgor, there may just be a baby in that bathwater.

"babby"? well, you know what i mean.

maybe i should have capitalized my post

"capitolized"? well, you know what i mean

posted by stubby phillips at 1:35 PM on May 17, 2008

Yeah, stubby, it's probably true. But I've long suspected that subjecting the mind to "reclassifying" (?) techniques can dissociate things that should not come apart. Actually, I can feel it happening to me when I do certain things with my mind, and that's when I stop doing whatever it was. I've got my own mental shorcomings, but I don't want loss of grammar or spelling to be one of them. Maybe it's more of a personal issue, and I should've kept quiet, but when I see "babby" for "baby" or "capitolized" for "capitalized", I die a little inside. /feverish derail (no really, I'm sick)
posted by gorgor_balabala at 1:47 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

~shortcomings, GAH! Back to BED
posted by gorgor_balabala at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

... cannot distinguish between the possessive "its" and the contraction for "it is,"...

Aw, are you gonna make me search every page of every link to find the offending usage?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 3:56 PM on May 17, 2008

how the perfect cube root trick almost saved my life (true story)

once upon a time, i worked in a bomb factory in the UP of michigan. i stood on an assembly putting closure disks on impulse cartridges for the princely sum of 3.35 usd. after my statiion, the impulse cartridge went to a crimping station which exploded at random intervals.

every fifteen minutes, i had to clean the powder dispensers. luckily, none of those ever exploded when i was cleaning them, cuz you had to raise the blast shield to do it.

one night at a party, some guy from Alpena showed me the perfect cube root trick.

the next day at work, i was practicing it with the guy across the assembly line from me. he had a calculator and a clipboard for some reason, so he'd shout out a perfect cube between zero and a million and i'd try to figure out the cube root.

unbeknownst to us, the plant manager was standing nearby at some point and must have thought i was one of those math geniuses.

the next day at work, i was an 'engineer'. i had a desk and a phone and a 30 foot earth burm between me and the impulse cartridge factory.

my first task was to install a machine to replace myself. it put the closure disks on the impulse cartridges, but it didn't clean the powder dispensers.

the guy who replaced me on that job wasn't so lucky. the ignition mix went up when he was cleaning the dispenser. burned off his hand and most of his face.

moral of the story: for the sake of fuck, learn the perfect cube root trick before *its* too late.
posted by stubby phillips at 4:42 PM on May 17, 2008 [13 favorites]

It is by Metafilter alone I set my browser in motion. It is by the wikis of mentats that thoughts acquire hacks, the wikis acquire grammatical errors, the errors become a warning. It is by Metafilter alone I set my browser in motion.
posted by adipocere at 7:03 PM on May 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

we call that one "muad'dib"

posted by stubby phillips at 8:03 PM on May 17, 2008

I dismiss this link on the sole basis that it uses a wiki that uses camel case. That is to say ItLooksTerrible.
posted by lumensimus at 9:10 PM on May 17, 2008

Oops, I got a little bit too enthusiastic after reading about Supermemo. Bought the software ($45) and then discovered it is a relic from the past, not even worth $1.
posted by theemperorhasnoclotheson at 9:43 PM on May 18, 2008

Any exercise that gets the mind and body moving is worth it. With Alzheimer's on the rise dramatically and what appears to be causal relationships between sedate lifestyles (tv watching, computer game playing) and the brain waisting disease, anything that helps is welcome.

Take a look at dancing and Parkinson and the help and freedom these people get from a little cha-cha. ¿olé!!

Of course, a little reading doesn't hurt either.

Wait, what am I doing here? You're not Johnny... Oh I remember Johnny, he was such a good little girl. Is it time to brush my teeth.... .... ... .. .
posted by pezdacanuck at 6:58 AM on May 19, 2008

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