The US Constitution: A Memory Palace in Macunx VR

Memory palace

By: Harriet Cook

Ahead of a workshop in Cambridge with a group of law students, Dr Aaron Ralby, CEO and founder of Linguisticator, built out a memory palace for the US Constitution using Macunx VR. The US Constitution is a particularly intricate document made up of a preamble, seven articles, twenty-seven ratified amendments, and additional pieces like the letters of transmittal. Using a memory palace to store, retain, and recall its intricacies means that all of the different parts and pieces of the US Constitution can be at your fingertips at any given time and also makes it possible to retrieve them in the correct order.

Soon we'll be making the memory palace Aaron built available as a free guided module on Macunx VR where you'll be able to download the space, add in your own mnemonic images and customize it however you want. For the time being, however, the video below shows the creation process so that you can see how we go from document to spatial structure:

In the video you'll see how Aaron starts by really getting to grips with the structure of the US constitution in order to understand how to lay out the memory palace, how many different spaces to create, what size these need to be and how they need to connect to one another. Once this has all been mapped out, Aaron then starts work on translating this into a spatial system that allows for the different divisions that can be found within the US constitution, with areas specifically reserved for its preamble and its separate articles, sections, sub-sections and amendments.

This process highlights a capability and advantage of virtual memory palaces over traditionally imaginative memory palaces that use existing spaces. If you build a memory palace by adding mnemonics into a space that already exists, you have to cram the subject into the space. In a virtual memory palace, however, we can make the space fit the material. The room for Article 1 – which has 10 sections – is larger than the room for Article 5 – which only has one.

What's particularly exciting about this video, as well, is that for the first time we reveal what our instructor spots look like. Our guided modules will all have instructor spots - glowing circles above specific pedestals with text that tells users what kind of mnemonic image they need to place there. These will be essential to the guided modules and will make learning how to use a memory palace very manageable for those who have no prior experience with this memory technique.

We hope that you enjoy the video and share it with any friends or family you think might be interested!

While we are busy working behind the scenes on our guided modules, you can check out our memory course here or download Macunx VR for free on Steam here (check compatibility requirements). We will be uploading more videos like this to our YouTube channel over the coming months - our second one, where you can see what a memory palace for French grammar looks like, is already available here.

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