5 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. “If only I had channels in my head,” Lichtenberg had fantasized, “so as to promote domestic trade between the stockpiles of my thought! But alas, there they lie by the hundreds without being of use to one another.”

      A fascinating quote in the history of the commonplace book on it's way to becoming the Memex.

  2. Apr 2021
  3. Feb 2021
    1. Ecologists talk about the “productivity” of an ecosystem, which is a measure of how effectively the ecosystem converts the energy and nutrients coming into the system into biological growth. A productive ecosystem, like a rainforest, sustains more life per unit of energy than an unproductive ecosystem, like a desert. We need a comparable yardstick for information systems, a measure of a system’s ability to extract value from a given unit of information. Call it, in this example: textual productivity. By creating fluid networks of words, by creating those digital-age commonplaces, we increase the textual productivity of the system.

      Definition: textual productivity

      A measure of how much additional knowledge is generated by a system of ideas and thoughts interacting with each other.

  4. Jun 2020
    1. This argument is reinforced by the fact that, at the individual level, we meet many brilliant people who are fascinated by (and often working on) tools for thought, but who nonetheless seem to be making slow progress.

      Ideas have sex: the trouble in a dramatically increasing landscape of information that we've experienced over the last century alone is that the combinatoric interactions of all the ideas is also much slower, so the progress on this front may seem to slow while the body of knowledge and interactions is continually growing. This might make for an interesting graph.

  5. Apr 2020
    1. Johnson’s book (lively and well sourced –  highly recommended) transcends the cliche of the individual innovator  and shows the ways in which innovation depends on a form of social  capital — the networks of people and ideas that innovators learn from  and build upon.

      It's rarely ever about the "lone genius".