Quantum Country lacks a coherent spatial representation of the mnemonic medium’s cards as objects

(This problem has largely been resolved in Project - summer 2022 demo (inline marginalia and suggested prompts in the mnemonic medium))

At least in the initial instantiation of the Mnemonic medium on Quantum Country, our spatial representation of the embedded questions within the text is inconsistent. The resulting lack of object permanence creates confusion and limitations.

On the surface, it appears that the cards work like a figure in a textbook: they live at a specific position within a container text. But as soon as you interact with a card, it goes away. You can’t “get it back.” Where did it go? Unclear, though a counter ticks up in the corner. When you finish all the questions in a section, the section collapses.

But then those same cards reappear in a separate “place”—in the review session. We make no explicit attempt to link that card to the card as it originally appeared in the text.

Confusing matters further: if you happen to return to the text before completing an outstanding review session, the overdue questions will actually appear in the text in their original positions. If their siblings within a review set are not yet due, those questions will not appear.

Numerous readers have reported confusion and irritation from these behaviors.

We also complicated matters somewhat by introducing a retry mechanism, which makes cards from one review set recur in a different one when forgotten. We add a special marker in this case, but it’s still fairly disembodied.

The variations described in Application prompts should vary when repeated further complicate matters: the question variations belong to some unseen “whole” which is never represented as an object in the interface, instead seen through representations which shift over time.

We’ll need to improve this situation to push forward the ideas described in The mnemonic medium can be adapted to author an experience which unfolds over time.

Last updated 2023-07-13.