Why Memorize?

Ole Ersoy
3 min readApr 23, 2024


Image by Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay

If you are like me you love learning, creative expression, and making things. You like making them just because they are cool, fun, and stimulating to focus on and they may also be useful to other people.

And you don’t necessarily love memorizing anything. After all why memorize anything when we have Google, AI, and so on.

Not only that but when we force ourselves to memorize things that we feel will never be of any real use to us we may be doing something that is “Disruptive” to our flow and creativity. More on that here.

So why memorize then? Well I’ve started doing it for a lot of the things I work with everyday and here’s why I do it.

  • Confidence.

When you go to the dentist, and the dentist says “Shoot which drill bit was that again?”, you get a “Oh oh” feeling. You want a dentist who’s confident and you also want to feel confident if you are the dentist.

  • It enhances creativity

Suppose you are drawing vector graphics (All though cooking would also make a good example …). If you know all the tools in the Inkscape, Illustrator, or Coral draw you are free to create in the purest form without having to do tutorials on any of the aspects of what you are doing.

  • It frees up blocking

We are living in a world where things are constantly changing and there’s always something new to learn and the pace is accelerating, because we are innovating at faster and faster rates. So what was relevant two days ago, could be completely different now. And so we if “Sort of” know something, but then pile on ten other concepts, what we thought we knew is now even more “Fuzzy”. We never really spent time enough with it to nail it down in a concrete way. And so when we add more and more concept, we may start feeling that all our knowledge is Rorschach blot rather than a square. And when we are moving through creative processes that require advanced knowledge we really want squares, circles, and so on, so that we can proceed on solid ground.

  • It enhances insight

Learning English already knowing Norwegian for me was easy, because there are so many similarities. And from there German and French were also straight forward.

And so when we have crystalized concepts and skills, it ehances our ability to move on in other more advanced areas.

  • It allows us to slow down and ask questions

After having reviewed code that I want to memorize, I try to type it out without looking at it.

Doing so doing it gives me “Space” and “Slows down time” so I ask myself important questions (Things I and other people might ask about the topic) that I probably would have missed out on investigating if I were speed reading. Doing this also allows me to link the material I’m working on with other concepts and I try to do this in a visual way in order to see the full context of what it is that the code is intended for. I feel like this helps with concept “Stickyness” or if we want to get fancy neuroplasticity.

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