Zettelkasten, Linking Your Thinking, and Nick Milo's Search for Ground

My latest piece covering various aspects of PKM. This week: Zettelkasten, Linking Your Thinking, and Nick Milo's Search for Ground | The Daily Pony

Hope you enjoy! :slight_smile:

Here’s a taste:

One of the most recognizable features of the zettelkasten method is the emphasis placed on making (and linking) what have been dubbed “atomic notes.” Being a writing companion, and one designed to level-up productivity, the zettelkasten method privileges the principle of atomicity.[^12] The zettelkasten’s use of single-idea, atomic notes makes connections between even disparate ideas easy to establish. This robust, dynamically-linked network of one’s own ideas leaves writers with seemingly infinite writing prompts to take advantage of.

In contrast, Nick describes himself as having a “laissez-faire” relationship to the atomic note. Without writing being its primary concern, in LYT, notes are atomized on a basis of necessity. There is no rule requiring atomicity, which is sometimes only achieved through the “collision” of two larger notes.

Listening to Nick describe how atomicity is achieved in LYT, I can’t help but think of the 80s Atari game, “Asteroids.” In LYT, notes “collide.” When a note-maker attempts to link two notes, the notes either do so easily or find themselves cleaving, splitting into multiple, smaller notes. Nick calls this process the “collision of ideas,” which typically occurs when a note is too big or when an idea is not yet atomic. The note initiating the linking process finds its potential mate consisting of too many thoughts, making for a weak connection. When this happens, the too-big note splits into two or more smaller ones. In effect, the too-big note simplifies itself in order to be linked. This is how atomicity is achieved in LYT. Through necessity and collision.

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