Writing atomic notes encourages honest epistemology - jaredgorski.org

Writing atomic notes encourages honest epistemology

Keeping “speculative outlines” for potential future writing projects1 is a strategy for progressively forming minor thoughts and observations into major conclusions. This is an alternative to sitting down with a pre-fabricated conclusion in mind, which may introduce bias and hinder the nuance that tends to accompany more “tabata” curiosity into a given topic.

Notes should be atomic should be “too small to fail”, in that notes should reflect minor observations which may compose a greater observation, or one day even an opinion, but should naturally avoid forming full-fledged opinions themselves due to being too focused and narrowly-scoped.

This way, epistemology happens without trying to make it happen, and the objectivity (or lack) of the result may, at most, relate to biased curiosity or topic selection (Conway’s Law2 applies), rather than full pre-conclusions. In other words, with this strategy, knowledge should form without much conscious effort.

I’m skeptical that “speculative outlines” are necessary for this to happen, since the notes will already exist. However, just as Keywords are for convenience, not conceptual linking, these outlines may be a helpful tool in organizing notes that form larger ideas without imposing structure/bias on the note-database or formalizing conceptual links within/between those notes. So, I don’t think these outlines are a bad idea.