Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“What is the CommonBook [<link]?”
“An online commonplace book built around generating serendipity. I’ve been looking for such a tool for some time, and since I couldn’t find one, I made it myself. (Well, technically my brother did. I was the lead designer.)”
“There’s an opportunity cost to changing knowledge-management tools. Why would one want to make the switch?”
“I see Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) as a system. The CommonBook is simply another tool. For instance, I use both Obsidian [<link] and the CommonBook. They complement one another.”
“What is the central feature of the CommonBook?”
“Controlled Randomness – generating random output from a selected pool of information.
When you select a tag or search for something, you narrow down the information pool. This allows you to control the outcome of randomization.”
“What do you use randomness for?”
“I use it to rediscover and create ideas. Ideas are resources. Some can be used to change state, or as mementos, or as creative fuel.
A beautiful creativity practice is forcing yourself to make connections between random ideas.”
“How would you describe the CommonBook in three words or less?”
“Random Insight Generator.”