Introduce Yourself

I’ll start :slight_smile:

After college I started freelancing, doing mainly “creative-technology” gigs, turns out you mainly work on advertisements, and that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I enjoyed a lot projects focused more on live data and interfaces so I shifted more and more to frontend and data-vis work. After few years I opened a small studio - flow-control.io - where I work on professional projects to this day.
I also got in contact with inkandswitch.com where I’m doing part-time research on various end-user programming related topics.
I also work on personal projects (szymonkaliski.com/personal) make music (szymonkaliski.com/music), sometimes interactive art pieces, teach (both workshops, and currently few classes at local university), give talks, etc.

So, to get to the “tools for thinking” space, my personal interest grew out of a few things:

  1. the need to organise - at first I had at most few projects and some things to do, but over time my work changed to more research/thinking-about-stuff oriented, so a list of checkboxes to check wasn’t really working for me
  2. data-vis and interface-design work where I mainly work on information-dense interfaces, I can start to see common patterns repeating, but don’t have well structured thoughts on those yet

I also believe that the tools-for-thinking space is very closely related to problems with the way software works today, and the topic of end-user “programming”.

I currently explore this space through personal local-first software, some parts of it are on github to check out:

But I think that the ideas behind them might be bit more interesting than the implementations. Working on a blog post about that.

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Hey all,

I have a background in design & systems thinking, with a passion for sustainability, parametric design, typography and cinematography. I’m a designer that can code, but also do film and art with my wife Yejeong.

I got into the “thinking tools space” while writing my Masters thesis at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. The research for my thesis “The Internet for the Multiverse: A Proposal” introduced me to the fascinating early ideas of Hypertext, Transclusion, Zettelkasten, Intelligence Amplification, Intertwingularity and the general vision of a collective intelligence.

Douglas Engelbart’s mantra “Improving our Ability to Improve”, Douglas Hofstadter’s “Analogy as the Core of Cognition” and Donella H. Meadows’ “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System” became three guiding philosophies for me. The first has motivated me to switch from consulting to building tools for problem solving. The second made me deep dive into knowledge graphs, engineered serendipity and information architecture to support associative thinking. The third helps me discover new viewpoints :telescope::microscope: for complex adaptive systems, to zoom in and out, pan or shift and trigger change through design.

My vision is to build the first operating system for collective intelligence. Because that’s crazily ambitious and I’m aware of Ted Nelsons biography I’m starting small with a tool that gives me the freedom to capture ideas as flexible & fast as ink & paper but as magical & connected as a human brain.

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hi everyone- my name is tyler and im currently a designer at repl.it, working on lots of things including branding, illustration, ui design, and front end engineering.

in college i studied computer science and math but grew up doing art and architecture, so a lot of my research and projects in college naturally fell into this whole creative technology category (along with some biomedical stuff along the way, including some autism and physical therapy research). this is also where i got introduced to NLP and data visualization.

after college i did some graduate work in education and focused on developing creative learning tools. these included a reading app that highlighted text where you looked, an AR theremin, and some data visualization tools for analyzing how people learned to code. in the summer, i did some work prototyping new ML-enabled tools with the Scratch team (mainly, I trained a simple next-block predictor, made a “random block” button, and prototyped a “block brush” that would let kids “paint” with code blocks). i also recently did a freelance project with some physics education researchers and built an AR magnetometer/magnetic field visualizer.

you can read about most of these on my portfolio: https://tylerangert.com

at the end of the day, a lot of my time boils down to browsing the web: finding resources, collecting information, teaching myself things, and sharing with others. knowledge management + thinking tools are a central part of whatever im doing, so i view knowledge management and sharing as a core part of my creative process. i often come back to web browsing, writing, and drawing as the core activities that drive my creativity, and im excited to work a lot more on it in the future.

right now, my current side project is based around my blog post on the Information Forest, and what the next browser might be. but, as a start, im working on NLP-based search for web pages, and hopefully it grows from there. :slight_smile:

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Hi! I’m Alberto, I’m a frontend developer from Italy, mostly doing data visualization (I am one of those who use ‘z’ in visualization).
I studied computer science and computer vision at university back to times but now I’m doing things with web technologies and javascript, winking at functional programming concepts.

Even if I’m more comfortable writing code then wiring lines I always be fascinated by node based programming languages and super hyped by “hybrid” things like notebooks, the fresh new dark lang, repl.it,

I love to read sci-fi and books about brain, and my ideas of how things works inside the head comes from “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain” from Antonio Damasio (this books really influenced me).

I always loved tech pioneers like Douglas Engelbart, Ivan Sutherland, Jaron Lanier and all animations early experiments like John Whitney, Oskar Fischinger other then italian cinematic artist movement “Gruppo T” or italian designer Bruno Munari (also a big influence).

Recently, after the talk of Szymon Kaliski, “Walking In The Garden Of Forking”,
I re-follow in love with
Bret Victor talks “The Future of Programming” and “Inventing on Principle” and
Barbara Tversky “Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought”.

… I think all of you guys know those topics better then me, I’m very happy to join this conversation!

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Hello everyone, I’m Michael!

Johannes Mutter invited me to post here.

I’m based in Berlin and interested in knowledge organization systems. My angle is a practical one: I research and build such systems for personal use. I also have a latent curiosity for collective approaches.

My preferred communication medium is face-to-face conversation, so I’ll keep this short for now. Maybe @johannesmutter might set up a group call sometime? :slight_smile:

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Hi everyone, I’m Jameson.

I’m based out of California and passionate about tools for thought, emergence, and building knowledge management tools.

I currently work at an incubator in the Bay Area focused on improving forecasting. I studied finance in college, but ended up working my way into data engineering roles over the last 5 years. I’m learning

Outside of work, I’m currently working through Philip K Dick’s collection of short stories, and recently completed God and Golem, Inc.

I’d love to connect to learn about:

  • What are you reading?
  • Where do you publish / share your thoughts?
  • What is an example of a workflow, methodology, or process that you created that helps you be more productive?

Here is a link to my github, twitter, and personal website.

Thanks to Johannes for creating this community and looking forward to the discussion.

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Hi all! :smile:

My background is in building tools to help people communicate through computing. In the past, I was part of the Firefox DevTools team working on page inspection and design tools for web developers and designers to debug their creations. In my current day job, I am building open, decentralized, secure communications for all via Matrix.

Similar to @szymon_k’s connection to the problems with software today, my interest in tools for thinking overlaps with my desire to build malleable systems that empower everyone to improve and rewire software into something that works for them.

Lately I am thinking about things like:

  • a window manager / overlay OS that supports your personal quest to link / modify / share documents and programs in new and unexpected ways
  • transclusion of data and UI components
  • stable identifiers for those data and UI nodes that remain valid forever

…so I see a lot of common ground with the thinking tools space.

A few things I am looking forward to exploring further in the future include:

I’m hoping to have more thoughts to share soon on topics like these here and on Twitter. I’m excited to be a part of this new community. Thanks @johannesmutter for setting this up. :smile:

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This sounds very interesting to me. Could you say more?

+1 on that, should we make a thread on WM-y things and move those messages over? I wrote my own tiling WM - https://szymonkaliski.com/projects/hhtwm/ - for different reasons though - I’d love to hear more ideas in this space

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Yes, feel free to start a WM thread and move things as appropriate! :smile: I’d like to hear more details on your WM project and context on why you decided to build it. You shared a few crumbs about it during your Curry On talk, but I’ve been wanting to chat more about your motivations, what you wanted to achieve, etc.

I’ll need a little time to organise my own thoughts and properly answer @hanbzu’s question above, so I’ll join in if you’ve already started a thread by then.

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:wave: from :philippines:. I’m new to this stuff. I’m here to learn from everyone and to test these tools in my life and work​:slightly_smiling_face:.

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Hello from China. I am Jialin Li.
I am currently third year psychology student of the university of Melbourne.
Start with Bret Victor, I stumbled into this rabbit hole. I am fascinated by the idea that consider modern computer as media rather than technology. Then i found Andy Matuschak’s essay “How to develop transformative tools for thoughts”. It incorporated spaced repetition from cognitive psychology into their own learning website. As a result of that, I wish i can contribute more to the “Tools for thought” field using my knowledge in psychology.

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Hi there

I was lead to this group by hanbzu - thank you!

I am a software developer living in London.

My professional background is in console games, and then designing games/apps for language learning.

I have spent the last couple of years working part time at home on a Mac notes app called Frames - screenshot here: exploreandcreate.com.

Frames came after a couple of insights…

  • I had been making notes for decades(! Outlook, Oddmuse, Blogger, Evernote, Bear) and realised they were not something I would turn to for anything useful.
  • I took on a complex research/strategy/design project at my previous job and could not organise all the information I had in a way that gave me any sort of clarity.

It’s an ongoing journey - a tool + strategy + technique + habit problem, but I have started on a path…

I’m currently reading How to Make a Complete Map of Everything Thought you Think and trying to tread the line between productive benefits and sure-fire madness!

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Hey everyone,

I’m a PM/data analyst specialized in (gaming | analytics | Machine Learning) based in London :uk:

These days, I’m trying to bootstrap my own business from my bedroom :slight_smile: I also started writing a gaming news / investment-specific newsletter

I’m a power user of both Notion and Roam Research. I most recently started using Hemingway editor for writing.

Here’s a link to my twitter and my personal website

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Hi there,

I came across this board via @hanbzu 's tweet.
I’m Daniel, a UX / digital product designer based in Cambridge, UK.
I’m the founder of AsWeThink (yes, the name is coming from Vannevar Bush’s essay).
For 2.5 years now, we’re building a visual innovation management platform (still pre-alpha).

I consider myself a neo-generalist, these days dubbing myself as a “liminalist” (see Dave Gray’s Liminal Thinking): I know a little about many things, was briefly or more actively involved in a variety of communities and fields, but somehow I’m not eligible for “cult” memberships (not even when it comes about experience design).

For the past 6-7 years I’m on an exploration journey (AsWeThink is the latest stage of this journey), during which I become familiar with many of the concepts & pioneers (I tend to call them “giants of the information age”), like Paul Otlet (World Palace/Mundaneum), Vannevar Bush (“As We May Think”), Douglas Engelbart (Mother of All Demos), Ted Nelson (Project Xanadu), Bret Victor (Dynamicland). Beside them a number of information architects had a deep influence on my work & thinking, including Peter Morville (Intertwingled & Planning for Everything) and Jorge Arango (Living in Information).

My background is in a mix of social sciences/media/communications. While many years ago, during the high-school admittedly I learned Pascal (don’t ask me!), DB management / SQL and had a graph theory intro, than a few years ago I did some JS courses, even started with Python - I still cannot code (beside HTML/CSS - which many say “it’s not coding”). Of course, I can hack together, if I’m forced to, things in JS (e.g. React or jQuery), or in PHP (e.g. WordPress). Having said that, I have a more-or-less decent understanding of a variety of (web) technologies.

I’m a full-time information hoarder, and part-time curator. While other people prefer to organise their knowledge/information mostly relying on text and lists, I operate more with images & maps (even if they are composed of textual bits placed in a digital space).

While I’m interested in many aspects of information and knowledge management, I’m particularly preoccupied with what is at the overlap of KM with psychological/behavioural/social aspects of human communication & collaboration in an organisational context (power dynamics, culture, roles, cognitive biases, decision making, talent management & continuous learning, etc.), along with structural questions (business models, business design, enterprise architecture) in the light of ethical and sustainability implications (“triple bottom line”).

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Hey y’all!

I believe I found this board via someone in the Roam community, maybe Andy Matuschak.

I’m Jeremy from Nashville. A hired gun for product design, taking an idea for a software product and making it a reality. I’ve used all sorts of thinking tools over the years, but none have quite fit my needs. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you better, learning from you, and contributing as I am able.

Hello :wave:!

My name is Jackson, I live in Austin, TX. I’m an XR Design Engineer which consists mostly of IxD.UX.UI design, prototyping, concept design, experimental development, procedural modeling, and full-stack engineering for mixed and augmented reality systems (Handle-held AR, Magic Leap, Hololens, Quest, etc.) in Unity. Some of my other interests include educational technology, heutagogy, epistemology or cognitive science, brain-computer-interfaces, XR technology, computer science, procedural modeling, and last but not least tools for thought.

Below are some things I’ve accomplished recently.

I’m here to think/create among other individuals that share a common view on current information technology, knowledge management solutions, thinking through new mediums, and general interests around innovating the future of our interaction with tools that will inevitably become an extension to our cognition.

@szymon_k Thanks for leading me here and inspiring me recently to start on my own digital garden implementation. Hope to talk soon.

Cheers everyone!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/atx_barnes

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Hi, super interesting. I tried finding your thesis online, but the only hit when I google the title is this post of yours. Perhaps because your .ai site is down? Can I find the thesis somewhere? thanks!

Hi everyone. I’ve had this bookmarked for a couple of weeks, wanting to dig into this community, and I finally found a few hours on a Sunday evening.

I recently did a little retrospective Twitter thread summarizing some of the main projects I’ve been working on. The short summary is that I did my MA in comparative education, looking at open courses in Chinese universities, while helping start Peer2Peer University on the side. This got me very interested in the technical and pedagogical design of online learning, and I did a PhD in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.

This is a pretty cool field which has a lot of deep thought on topics relevant to this group, but it’s a bit insular - one of my goals is to try to dig out the gold and share it more widely. For my PhD I designed a MOOC for teachers, where we aimed to have real collaboration (both small-group and crowdsourcing), knowledge sharing etc.

While working on my PhD, I was very interested in open notebook science, and created a hybrid note-taking system that published my notes publicly - also did some experiments with interlinking public notebooks.

2016-19 I was working as a post-doc on a “visual programming language” or tool to let teachers author and run complex collaborative synchronous learning scenarios. I’ve now been working at Minerva Project for a bit over a year as an engineer and researcher - we have our own university, where we’re trying to rethink undergraduate education from first principles, from the small granularity of what happens in a single class session, to the four year perspective of how do you design a curriculum so that it builds on each other in meaningful ways.

I discovered Roam just before Christmas, and have become very involved with the tool and the community - it kind of brought back a lot of the things I was thinking about during my PhD. As many here, very influenced by Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen.

I have a very outliney-note where I lay out some kind of framework for thinking about “note taking” (really knowledge management, learning, etc) on three social planes, and how we can go between them (individual notes, group notes, and sharing with the whole world).

I am also thinking a lot about experimenting with things that we were attempting to do with Peer2Peer University 13 years ago, but is still somehow an unmet need, things like ad hoc book clubs, or a more complex idea I called Project Fluid - kind of a cascading book club.

Recently gotten very interested in learning new things - from this very fascinating series called Awakening from the Meaning Crisis, to learning about mind, attention, embodiment, emotions, collaboration, etc. It’s interesting in itself, and needing to learn about it pushes me to investigate better personal and collaborative knowledge and learning structures, but of course what I learn also informs the designs of those tools and processes :slight_smile:

Looking forward to learning from all of you
Stian

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