The Primer reminds people of their own experiences with profound enablement

Many people see The Diamond Age’s Primer as an incredibly inspiring vision for enabling technology—which is a little odd, since The Primer isn’t a viable enabling environment.

At least in many cases, I don’t think the Primer’s proponents actually disagree with my analysis. Their excitement is more like an intuitive emotional reaction to the profound enablement Nell experiences through the Primer. Many people have felt this before themselves (e.g. a young summer spent in a machine shop). They treasure those memories and wish that others could have similar experiences. The Primer’s enticing in this context because The Primer is scalable.


Conversation with Michael Nielsen. 2019-09-12.

Last updated 2023-07-13.