The “reflected essay” metaphor for the goal for the mnemonic medium


One useful metaphor for thinking about how to improve the mnemonic medium is to think of each mnemonic essay as a conventional essay accompanied by a kind of “reflected essay” – the knowledge encoded by all the cards. A user can, with ease, choose to remember as much of that reflected essay as they wish. Of course, the reflection is imperfect. But by developing good card-making strategies we can make the reflected essay a nearly faithful reflection of all the important ideas, the ideas a reader would ideally like to retain.

Good point from Giacomo Randazzo (2020-09-10):

I like the “reflected essay” metaphor, but I think it’s not complete. Yes, as a reader, I want to be guided by the author’s reflections, I want the questions to cover all the ideas in the essay. But I also want to connect the ideas to my life, to my own personal experience.

This is quite related to the distinction between the textbase and the situation model as articulated in Comprehension - Kintsch.

c.f. analytical vs. Syntopic reading


Matuschak, A., & Nielsen, M. (2019, October 0). How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

Last updated 2023-07-18.