Curated Resource ( ? )

Personal Knowledge Management is Bullshit

Personal Knowledge Management is Bullshit

my notes ( ? )

"the underlying problem is stubbornly intractable"

Great piece, although I'm unsure that "a great proportion of the variance in “knowledge management” effectiveness across individuals is genetic", it is true that:

  • productivity geeks exist, develop their system and then try to sell it.
  • speaking from experience, it is really, really hard to get other people to use your productivity system

But the real value here is the deconstruction of the value of the knowledge graph in productivity software: "The sex appeal of the Knowledge Graph derives from the fantasy of not having to decide what’s most important... [just] take cute little notes all the time, and the hard work is magically done for you!", which triggered my tweet.

Better: "everything in your mind is already ... a graph... big and complicated, with way too many connections everywhere. There’s no good in replicating that web in digital form... the greatest authors have always ... cut through the knowledge graph with a bold and forceful line". The PKG concept is bullshit, promising "it can mechanistically deliver—or substitute for—the brute, linear willfulness that defines all non-trivial writing."

This absolutely explains my experience with Roam Research: a "plain vanilla" knowledge graph which needs so much customisation to be actually useful that it breaks the 80/20 rule. Hence the MyHub back office, while probably a PKG, will be designed specifically to support writers in cutting through the knowledge graph: "discovering novel and non-trivial truths, determining which ... is most important... imposing order, hierarchy, and linearity".

Because, at the end of the day, nobody can read your knowledge graph: if you want someone to read your ideas, you have to provide a linear text. Getting from a messy graph or partly-related notes to a linear text is hard. It's called writing. And writing these notes as I read Personal Knowledge Management is Bullshit is part of my process.

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See also: Content Strategy , Social Media Strategy , Content Creation & Marketing , Digital Transformation , Thinking tools , Innovation Strategy , Communications Tactics , Psychology , Personal Productivity , Social Web , Media

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