Fostering a mind of genius was previously reserved for the few who were able to do it all in their heads, or with very few means.
Geniuses were sparse, and special. Gifted, one would say.
Some were fortunate and could tap into their geniuses by writing with pen and paper. But most of the time, the rest of us may have sensed extra potential in ourselves but had no idea how to tap into it, even with pen and paper at hand.
It is a dark time to be stuck with your own thoughts, wanting to somehow build on them in a constructive way, but unable to think of a good way to do it.
Recently, with the advent of the internet, a new type of work is emerging: “knowledge work”, or insight-driven work. In lineage I see it related to Richard Florida’s Creative Class, which was in many ways the v1 definition for this new type of work.
Along with knowledge work and PKM, a new wave of note-making apps are helping open doors in our minds, and it is exhilarating.
These apps are being born out of several new needs we have as a collective:
- to make sense of the information-saturated, noisy environment that we now exist in,
- the increasingly complex problems that we face as a species, and
- the alienation we are experiencing as individuals,
all of which can feel like the world spiralling out of control.
Many reading this are already sold on the benefits of these apps, and how it improves our writing and thinking.While we may be naturally autodidactic, many will have a timeline consisting of the “Before Times” (as Maggie Appleton puts it) where ideas and insights got fumbled and lost, and a clear break afforded by these note-making apps that provided the scaffolding needed to help prop our ideas and thinking up.
However, we are the before-crack-of-dawn-early adopters. And we’re entering a new phase where the gravity of the community growth is causing us to become collectively self-conscious. We’re now quibbling amongst us about good terms and metaphors to properly describe this upswell of knowledge work, tools and methods, and things are getting heated.
While finding the right words and metaphors for our work is important, I would rather embrace the beautiful heterogenous nature of this space.
I believe it would be a loss to the community if we all gravitated towards one or a few terms for this. It would mean that we’re all neurologically similar. How boring!
Instead of asking “are you (this kind of) intelligent?”, we should be asking “what kind of intelligent are you?”
Call it a Second Brain, or a BrainForest, or a ThoughtMine, or whatever you want. Who cares. Make it work for you.
One of the strengths of our community is to make welcome whoever wants to pursue knowledge work. Let’s stay inclusive by fostering this highly emergent space to continue generating a myriad of different size and style of names, methods and tools to suit any neurological disposition.
Finally, let’s celebrate this era we’re in which allows more to nurture their personal genii.
The future gets brighter with every individual’s tinderbox of thought we can spark.
Original title: Writing is a scaffold you make to access your personal genius, and modern note-making apps make this more accessible than ever.