Design problems become so much easier when the designer is a serious user of the system being designed. Their whole job is to cultivate an intense sensitivity to subtle noticings while using systems. So they can improve the system a great deal through their own experiences. But with the Mnemonic medium, I haven’t (yet) been able to do this. For all the serious adoptions after Quantum Country, I’ve been the one adapting the material for others. Writing good prompts requires getting quite intimate with the material—so I can’t use my own prompts to simulate fresh exposure to difficult material.
That wasn’t true in Quantum Country, of course. The trouble there is that a) I’m actually not that interested at the moment in learning about quantum computing (a bit sheepish about this!); and b) there’s no opportunity for iteration. The book is “done”; to iterate on myself, someone would have to write additional chapters.
To make a much more powerful future version of the medium, I need a great deal of intimacy with the experience of trying to use the material learned and augmented through the medium. I need to get a clear sense of what’s failing to be internalized, despite the augmentation, and of what seems to be decaying. Then I need to change the medium or the material to handle those issues. To get this kind of intimacy, I’ll either need to create some way for me to get authentic experiences with the medium, or I’ll need to build a very close relationship with some very serious test readers. Or maybe both.
To have my own authentic experiences with the medium, I’d like to experiment with hiring others to adapt material.