The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

As described in The Diamond Age, the Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (often just called “The Primer”) is a fictional electronic book which facilitates the remote, asynchronous education of children. Its curriculum includes practical skills like math and reading, but The Primer’s goal is to produce creative, subversive youth.

For many in educational technology, the Primer represents an inspiring vision for a future of education:

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a viable vision: The Primer isn’t a viable enabling environment.


Stephenson, N. (2003). The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (Reprint edition). Spectra.