An intelligent bundle of notes
AI-powered publication with default personalization guided by publisher's recipe
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I was browsing the web when I stumbled upon a set of notes by Dimitri, a polymath who wrote about various topics ranging from philosophy to physics to psychology. He had a unique way of presenting his ideas: he used a dynamic web page that adapted to the reader's preferences and context.
The notes had a default recipe for how to experience them: they would show up adjacent to interesting notes that I already had on my own device; they would summarize themselves in terms that I was familiar with; they would highlight concepts that were of interest to me; they would provide an overall summary on the biggest delta to my own views.
But I could also customize the recipe according to my own needs and curiosity. I could invite the notes to other reading and authoring experiences; I could run my own favorite recipe over the raw data; I could ask "What would Dimitri do?" in any situation.
I was fascinated by Dimitri's polymathy. He seemed to know everything about everything, or at least enough to make connections and insights that most people wouldn't see. He was like Leonardo da Vinci or Blaise Pascal, but in the 21st century.
I wanted to learn more from him, and maybe even get in touch with him.
Luckily, he had a way of doing that too.
The notes also had a recipe for how their author wanted to hear from readers, especially those who had notes that might be of interest to him. The system would look through my notes and prompt me if it found something relevant.
For example, one day it said:
Dimitri is interested in adult development theory and how it applies to team dynamics, which you have thought about a lot. E.g.:
You wrote: "I think team performance depends not only on skills and roles, but also on stages of development. Different stages require different types of leadership and collaboration."
He wrote: "Adult development theory suggests that there are four main stages of cognitive complexity: concrete, abstract, dialectical and integral. Each stage has its own strengths and limitations for solving problems and working with others."
[-ed note: that’s not really ADT, the AI made it up, but I’m leaving this here for now]
This might be really interesting to him. Want to share it?
I clicked yes.
A few minutes later, I received a message from Dimitri himself.
He thanked me for sharing my note and said he found it very insightful. He asked me some questions about my sources and methods. He also shared some of his own thoughts on the topic.
We started a conversation that lasted for hours.
We discovered that we had many things in common: we both loved sci-fi novels by Ian M Banks; we both worked as freelance consultants for various organizations; we both enjoyed traveling and learning new languages.
We also learned from each other's differences: he taught me some new concepts and perspectives that I hadn't encountered before; I challenged him on some of his assumptions and arguments that I didn't agree with.
We became friends.
And then we became collaborators.
We decided to create a joint project: a set of notes / newsletter / set of cards / etc. that would combine our knowledge and skills into something useful and engaging for others who wanted.