Spaced repetition memory prompts alone are a poor communications medium

Traditional spaced repetition memory prompts are atomized. Each little prompt must stand on its own, presentable in any order at any time. But that makes it difficult to use the prompts to effectively communicate an idea which is itself highly structured and ordered. In practice, ideas generally depend on other ideas, and emotional salience requires relating those ideas to a meaningful larger whole (contra Deep understanding requires (and is a result of) intense personal connection). Narrative excels in these regards (Narrative as cognitive scaffolding).

One important implication: Studying another person’s spaced repetition memory prompts is usually ineffective.

This observation is one of the primary motivations for the Mnemonic medium: The mnemonic medium gives structure to normally-atomized spaced repetition memory prompts

Last updated 2023-07-13.