Second Brain

Day 219 Week 32 Q3 Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Is there a correlation between creative outliers and second-brain people?  Assuming creative routers have more differing thoughts than normal, how do they organize them? The democratization of technology has been providing increasing numbers of nonlinear organizing tools in the form of note-taking apps with links, hashtags, folders and notebooks, many of which can handle rich media such as audio and video and even code or programmers. Furthermore, many of these apps can import and export a large variety of file types, such as HTML, PDF, and text, and use Markup capabilities. If none of these words make sense to you, just skip the rest of this posting. But if you find yourself nodding along, then by all means, keep going, for you are already showing second-brain tendencies. 

Second brains are ways to use apps for complexity management, and yes, I do mean far more than a to-do list. I mean dashboards, workflows, blog posts, book writing and more. We are now capable of accumulating, arranging, analyzing and synthesizing a truly ridiculous amount of material, and because we can, we also must. And it is far too much to keep all in your head or even a shoebox full of notebooks. Fortunately, there is a steady procession of new and improving tools to help us out, but have you ever attempted to specify exactly what you needed in this second brain regard, for that is what you are creating a second brain?

Here are a few capabilities that jump out at me to deal with tendencies that also jump out at me simultaneously. The first tendency that must be accommodated is the ability to easily and flexibly reorganize information and digital content because I can not help doing this often.  As my understanding changes and hopefully increases, I often feel a need to relabel and re-structure through nesting, color coding, associating and linking information as both the big and little pictures become increasingly clear. In other words, I do not have a static set of relationships interpersonally or informationally, and neither do you.

This is why I need to use all the tools I can, including folders and notebooks for tossing pieces of information into often to be reread and reabsorbed later when I need them more. In short, I demand rapid random access to cope with reality being extremely dynamic, complex and nonlinear.  Sure, straight line approximations can approach curves when there is a very large number of very small straight lines; think differential calculous for numerous examples. But the bottom line is although high sampling frequency and small samples may work very well for machines, they do not work so well for creating outliers who prefer to mix things up by surfing the waves of change instead of trying to pretend life is linear.  Because it ain’t!