The topic is "Best Tool For Remembering Passwords?"
The original poster wants to avoid using a physical object or specific software, and is looking for a mnemonic device to help them store and retrieve (remember) passwords.
The question as it was posted:
"The ideal tool in my mind should be something that is independent of any application, browser, or computer; something that is easily carried, but which if lost poses no risk of compromise. What does the Slashdot crowd like in password tools?"
Seems pretty obvious that the poster wants to remember passwords. Seems pretty obvious that the poster wants to not use software.
So it boils down to:
How can I retrieve my password from somewhere or something that is secure without having to remember the password itself?
If you are going to use a tool, you have to remember what the tool is, even if it is a post-it on the screen. Obviously if the poster can't memorize that there is this thing called a computer that involves a thing called a password, they aren't going to remember what tool they are using or that there is even a tool.
If the poster can't remember that they have a password, a tool for remembering it, and what the tool is, then asking the Slashdot community is pointless.
In my post I proposed a tool in case you have forgotten the original question , "that is independent of any application, browser, or computer; something that is easily carried, but which if lost poses no risk of compromise" that allows the poster to not have to remember the password, but to remember only the tool.
The first line of my post said that the special case of thinking up something that is hard to guess but easy to remember is difficult, as opposed to memory in general like remembering that you have money, remembering it's in a bank, remembering you can get to it online etc.
If your reading comprehension isn't good enough for all that try this
If you can remember that you have a tool for remembering, and you can remember what the tool is and how to use it, than any tool will work.
If you can't remember that you have a tool for remembering, or you can't remember what the tool is and how to use it, than no tool will work, and you probably wouldn't remember the answers here on Slashdot or even remember asking the question if you were the original poster.
There is a case where remembering what the tool is is enough. It's sort of like remembering that you tattooed your password on your arm, but without the tattoo or the arm.
Instead of trying to remember the password itself, remember the description of the password.
Descriptions of passwords include:
what I get when I click on the button in program X
what's tattooed on my arm
what's written on a piece of paper in my wallet
the first letters of the words in the first two lines of the Swedish national anthem
The first two lines of the Swedish national anthem are Du gamla, du fria, du fjällhöga Nord, du tysta, du glädjerika sköna! , so the password would be DgdfdfNdtydgs
I don't have to remember the Swedish national anthem, I can look it up, OR the password, in fact I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to. The memory requirements are no greater than having to remember what scrap of paper you wrote your password on, and you have the advantage being unlikely to accidently divulge the password.
My example of an obscene phrase has an advantage that it is unlikely to be repeated accidentally and it is easy to remember, but remembering that your password is the first letter of the streets that intersect Broadway in Manhattan below Houston street would do just as well.
Like I said, Memorizing isn't hard, thinking up something that is hard to guess but easy to remember is. I personally can not remember any of my passwords but I can remember what tool I use to remember them.