Rico Meinl

I'm interested in biotech, longevity, machine learning and the decentralized web

Why we gain compounding benefits from incremental knowledge tools

Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest. As knowledge workers, we live on the margins and every seemingly little improvement can add up to that compound in the long run.

The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity.

With the old file cabinet like note taking systems there was literally no gain when going from 10 notes to 10.000 notes. It was probably more of a downward linear trend because of the growing lack of structure. With graph-based tools like Roam Research, your knowledge management system can improve almost exponentially the more you add to it (if done right). The increasing number of notes allows for ever more unexpected connections.

Roam Research is also an IDE for knowledge work and enables us to treat notes as composable blocks of knowledge. Text is not as composable as code or graphic elements.

But as the Zettelkasten shows, the notes that contribute to an idea and eventually to a piece of content are very much composable. Knowledge systems that compose and have atomic statements make it much easier to write and publish.

The interface of Roam is mouldable and we can build our own meta-tools on top of it. The question for all the builders will be if we can make the new meta-tools for knowledge as valuable as the meta-tools for programming.

Discussed on Twitter.