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1/ This morning was going to be dedicated to creating a course outline, but when I jotted down some additional ideas they just kept coming, so I accepted that I'm still in "ideation" mode and...
2/ ...spent most of the morning just sitting with pen and paper, taking notes as the thoughts formed, then sat in silence, eyes closed or staring out the window, sometimes for minutes, waiting.
3/ Then another idea would come, often spawning related idea or resulting in mini-synthesis, idea alchemy with what I previously noted, or what I already know. I could almost watch my thoughts form.
4/ I've been using some of the lockdown time to start importing many of my notes into @RoamResearch and have been re-reading, tagging, highlighting, culling much of it. This includes notes on courses I've taught, and going through all this lit my brain of fire in the best way.
5/ As I took notes (~35 pages on my little A7 note pad) I started using markdown terminology here and there, knowing I would be transcribing this later. Also used #resonance a lot, the tag I've started using to tie together concepts that resonate.
6/ @JoelChan86's article on synthesis and "incremental formalization" at @roambrain has been very helpful in clarifying what I've already doing for years, just in the arts instead of science, and which cruder tools until finding @RoamResearch a while ago.…
7/ This is exciting in a similar way that I felt when starting to use @cycling74' Max to program my own algorithmic composition tools. That sense of "this is how my mind works", feeling very little friction moving from ideation to implementation, ...
7/ ... allowing for what Josh Waitzkin in his excellent book "The Art of Learning" poignantly calls "unobstructed self-expression".
8/ The only other time I felt this way was when I discovered GTD and things just made sense in a way that a piece of clothing feels like it was made for *you*.
9/ That's not because these systems know *exactly* how you tick, but because they approximate it to a necessary degree that you intuitively understand how you can customize and use them in your particular way - and they allow you to do that.
10/ And as I'm improvising this thread, continuing the massive brain dump from this morning, I'm going to my @RoamResearch database to pull up a related notion that I just read by @cycling74 founder David Zicarelli:
11/ “I spend most of my work life trying to improve Max so people can explore ideas and express them. Most aspects of this work have little to do with inventing specific algorithms used in the creation of music or art. [...] (cont'd)
12/ (cont'd from 11/) ... Maybe a way to sum up my career evolution was that I started by designing systems that made music and ended up designing systems that let people design their own systems to make music.” - David Zicarelli #[[algorithmic composition]] #tool #systems
13/ Source for that quote:…
14/ Another aspect that comes into play is the fact that I've been thinking a lot about @fortelabs's take on "intermediate packages" and how they relate to waste avoidance.
15/ As I'm writing in the way I did this morning, knowing I'm going to transcribe all of it and conntect it to all relevant pages and notions, I know that none of it will go to waste because it is misplaced, or culled, or not to be found when needed.
16/ This in turn allows me to just write write write, even commenting on my own writing as I do it, even instructing my future self on how to type this up, how to translate a notion into another domain I'm working on, ...
17/ for example, how an algorithmic concept I'm developing for a piece resonates with a topic I'm developing for my online seminar (to be announced soon), or how another artist's practice, or principle from another domain, feeds into either.
18/ So: not only does nothing go to waste, I can close more loops in my thought process, progressively enriching concepts without "thinking the same thing again and again" - one of the core GTD principles as it relates to tasks, not thoughts, and what I so love in Max @cycling74
19/ So that's why I instantly felt that @RoamResearch feels like Max for the mind, or like a modular synthesizer for your mind, interfacing to all other information you find externally.
20/ The skill that is needed is to balance introspection, metacognition with the right kind and amount of external stimulus, so as to not just hoard information without ever synthesizing...
21/ - what @simonretromania calls "recreativity" in his brilliant 2012 essay "You Are Not a Switch
Recreativity and the modern dismissal of genius."…
22/ (Yes, I pulled that from Roam as well).
23/ PS: Hat tip to @andy_matuschak on @david_perell's Podcast for elaborating on the balance between processing external information and just trying to find you own original thoughts. Good reminder...…
24/ ... and exactly what is crucial to me as an artist - and what this screenless, pen and paper morning has allowed me to do without even opening @RoamResearch yet. I'm looking forward to seeing what artists bring to Roam, and do with it.
25/The hashtag #roamcult is well deserved, @conaw. Thank you, and everyone involved, for @RoamResearch.

Thank you @JoelChan86, @andy_matuschak, @fortelabs for the concepts, @david_perell for hosting Andy, and everyone at @cycling74 for Max - I've been a user for 15 years.

26/ (Thanks for excusing the many typos that I find upon rereading, this was a stream-of-thought improvisation.)

And yes, all this is going into Roam as well.
I should also cc @tomhallsonics @darwingrosse on this. Thank you too! <3
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