Effective writing stems from intelligently connecting the dots between the concepts you understand and can articulate. It stands to reason, then, that in order to generate more creativity you must not only add to a knowledge base, but deepen and expand the number of connections within the totality of the network. By establishing and explicitly mapping your knowledge, you allow yourself the freedom to remix information. You will often find that solutions come from previously unsuspected fields or topics—proving to be analogous in some shape or form.
Each pattern depends both on the smaller patterns it contains, and on the larger patterns within which is is contained. Each pattern sits at the center of a network of connections which connect it to certain other patterns that help to complete it. It is the network of these connections between patterns which creates the language.
Knowledge is not an accumulation of facts, nor is it even a set of facts and their relations. Facts are only rendered meaningful within narratives, and the single-page document is a format very conducive to narrative structure. The hypertext books that have gained popularity (I’m thinking here of Meaningness.com) have largely conformed to this in two ways: 1) there is an intended reading order, and 2) the longer essays within the project do most of the heavy lifting in terms of imparting the author’s perspective to readers.
On the other hand, the notion of the “document” that is intrinsic to web development today is overdetermined by the legacy of print media. The web document is a static, finished artifact that does not bring in dynamic data. This is strange because it lives on a medium that is alive, networked, and dynamic, a medium which we increasingly understand more as a space than a thing.
We would need a system that enables people to:
- Publish a list of books they would be willing to discuss with other people to the open web. Antilibraries – collections of books you haven't read yet but would like to read – are particularly well suited to this proposition.
- See which books people in their social network want to discuss, and/or subscribe to other people's lists
- Be notified when 4+ people in their network have the same book on their discussion list – possibly via an email thread?
- Coordinate and schedule a time to read and discuss the book with that group.
- An Application
Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.
In Obsidian, making and following [[connections]] is frictionless. Tend to your notes like a gardener; at the end of the day, sit back and marvel at your own knowledge graph.
Build ideas mindfully.
Save content, create collections, and connect ideas with other people.
If I had to guess where this is all going, I’d say that what an internet platform is actually has already permanently shifted. Instead of apps trying to dominate specific features — a platform for video, a platform for expiring content, a platform for connecting social networking, a platform for livestreaming, a platform for resumes — we’ve already entered a new era of online networks where they all will essentially offer the same services and instead, focus increasingly on specific demographics.
- An Application
A note-taking tool for networked thought.
- A Research Paper
This paper introduces a novel representation, called the InfoCrystal, that can be used as a visualization tool as well as a visual query language to help users search for information. The InfoCrystal visualizes all the possible relationships among N concepts.
- An Application
Intelligent note-taking. Non-linear file management. Ideas and relationships visualized.