"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
I've experimented with these techniques, and while they're fun, they seem most useful for memorizing trivia – sequences of playing cards, strings of digits, and so on. They seem less well developed for more abstract concepts, and such abstractions are often where the deepest understanding lies. In that sense, they may even distract from understanding. That said, it's possible I simply need to figure out better ways of using these ideas, much as I needed to figure out Anki. In particular, it may be worth further investigating some of the techniques used by practitioners to form rich associations. As Foer says, quoting a memory expert, there is great value in learning to “think in more memorable ways”.