"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
5 Avoid orphan cards:How to encode stories in the mnemonic medium?Improving the mnemonic medium: making better cardsHow can we develop transformative tools for thought?2020-10-18Journal How to best help users when they forget the answer to a question? Suppose a user can't remember the answer to the question: “Who was the second President of the United States?” Perhaps they think it's Thomas Jefferson, and are surprised to learn it's John Adams. In a typical spaced-repetition memory system this would be dealt with by decreasing the time interval until the question is reviewed again. But it may be more effective to follow up with questions designed to help the user understand some of the surrounding context. E.g.: “Who was George Washington's Vice President?” (A: “John Adams”). Indeed, there could be a whole series of followup questions, all designed to help better encode the answer to the initial question in memory. Continue reading…