"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
3 Introducing the mnemonic medium5 Introducing the mnemonic mediumIntroducing the mnemonic mediumHow can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
In fact, there are many ways of redesigning the essay medium to do that. Before showing you our prototype, please pause for a moment and consider the following questions: how could you build a medium to better support a person's memory of what they read? What interactions could easily and enjoyably help people consolidate memories? And, more broadly: is it possible to 2x what people remember? 10x? And would that make any long-term difference to their effectiveness?
Let's sketch the user experience of Quantum Country. At the time of this writing the site contains three mnemonic essays (i.e., particular instances of the mnemonic medium). We'll focus on the introductory essay, “Quantum Computing for the Very Curious”. Embedded within the text of the essay are 112 questions about that text. Users are asked to create an account, and quizzed as they read on whether they remember the answers to those questions. Here's what the interaction looks like, as a user answers three questions.