a Bucky stuff syllabus

Memory Palace Talk

Kirby Urner
8 min readMar 2, 2023


[ original on the Math4Wisdom (M4W) listserv ]

Greetings Andrius et al —

My next teaching gig starts mid March, so I’m still keeping up on my readings and many of the viewings. As I approach that teaching tunnel, I foresee slacking off (in terms of posting long ones like this), but not tuning out.

Andrius, thank you for tuning in so many of my YouTubes and bouncing off my curriculum materials a lot, if only to better define what M4W is not.

Not M4W for Andrius

Defining the “is not space” is a way of defining the complementary “is space”.

For now, the Platonic solids and their arrangement in a Kepler-like matryoshka is non-germane to attaining wisdom (enlightenment?) through higher math, in your case at least.

Obviously that’s something I keep active around in my own M4W namespace, but not necessarily all of that other stuff either (e.g. Monster Group and E8 — I’m pretty meh about that stuff).

M4W is intelligently designed around you using it as a vehicle for your own further enlightenment. That makes sense! Otherwise what’s the point?

Without your system at the center, It becomes somebody else’s mumbo jumbo (like another Anthony Judge website, from your perspective, or Foster Gamble site from mine).

Regarding your most recent post:

I appreciate your assuring yourself of the 1:3 tetrahedron:cube ratio. That works for any parallelepiped with the six inscribed face diagonals (one tetrahedron or the other). Many proofs out there.

As I say in my 52 Living Ideas presentation [1], this ratio was not original with Bucky but is, on the contrary, common knowledge going way back into the murky past.

An influential book for me was The Art of Memory by Francis A. Yates.[2] Her scholarship introduced me to the history of the memory palace, and its importance through time (Neolithic → Martian).

How do responsible people keep their thinking organized, especially if people look to them as decision makers? Some monarchs had special furniture constructed to…