28 - Programmable Notes

Credit to @rlh1994#9754 for sharing the link for this week's Dendron Reading Series in our #chat channel!

Does your second brain do any thinking? Or does it just remember stuff?

In Programmable Notes, Maggie Appleton critiques the Warehouse model of knowledge bases, in which our systems of notes become "passive storage containers" for knowledge. Instead she paints a different vision, what I'll call the Factory model, in which active agents help us reflect, connect and interact with our knowledge.

These agents, or programs, allow our second brain to go beyond remembering things and into the world of doing things. Instead of knowledge sitting idle in a warehouse, we have agents busy at work in a factory, manufacturing goods with our knowledge as material. Appleton's agents follow a simple "when this, do that" pattern. When a condition is met, do something.

These condition-action pairs give our knowledge bases rules to follow so they can think and act for themselves, doing things like prompting us to reflect on, summarize or connect our knowledge, recommending other notes to link to, pulling in metadata from external sources...and so on.

If we want to have agency over our knowledge, maybe we need a few agents to help us out...