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Personal Knowledge Management

A Safe, Solid Harbour to Explore The Unknown

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been frustrated with trying to organize and categorize the knowledge on my websites over the years. The best way I’ve described this in the past is feeling like you don’t have solid ground to stand upon.

This is poignant because I recently stumbled across the following within Andy Matuschak’s notes that explains what a good note taking system (like Evergreen notes) feels like.

These small, self-contained notes represent regular checkpoints. Each note takes only a few minutes to write, but because they’re Evergreen notes, each note is solid ground to stand on—fairly complete relative to its own concept. Of course, we’ll iterate on their contents over time, but each time we do, that note will remain a mostly-complete, self-contained unit.

Andy Matuschak, Evergreen notes permit smooth incremental progress in writing 

What’s important to realize here is that by explicitly mapping out the conceptual meaning of your knowledge, you’re also confirming or denying that you actually know something and thus actually are standing on solid ground versus just believing you are (i.e. you actually know what you know).

But if you can explicitly verify what you know then that feeling of standing on solid ground gives one the courage to use it as a safe, solid harbour to adventurously explore a larger unknown worldview of meaning and understanding that lies beyond one’s awareness and consciousness.

The question that I have is that “What does this look like within a concept map or note taking system?” For example, I know that when you reach the edges of your existing worldview and start exploring a larger one, you start crossing paradigms that effectively turn your old worldview inside out. In effect, what you used to believe was bad could actually turn out to be good (i.e. change and chaos are bad…but wait, now they’re good, as they’re sources of creativity).

But what does a paradigm look like within a concept map and how does it update your concept map because understanding the paradigm transforms your perception and worldview, thus transforming and changing the relationships in your concept map in new ways. In effect, the concepts as objects in your concept map remain but the relationships linked between the concepts dramatically change, thus creating new meaning from old concepts.

By Nollind Whachell

From playing within imaginary worlds to imagining a world of play.

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