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Roam Patrol!

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Posted by Paul Korm
Oct 10, 2020 at 04:38 PM

 

The technology of Roam or Obsidian is not new—the developers are using existing off the shelf components.  What’s “new” is that the business of linking “notes” (or something more granular within a note) is bringing broader awareness of the uses of hypertext theory and information theory dating back decades. 

The question that fascinates me about all this “new” interest is “why now—what changed”.  Obsidian or Roam could have been written a decade or more ago.  And if then, they probably didn’t generate much interest.  (How many people bought Storyspace when it was first published 33 years ago—Storyspace then, and now, has the same goal as these new toys.)

I read in Obsidian’s forums very detailed posts about ZKs, PKMs, and MOCs, and PARA and blah blah.  Underlying the efforts behind these trends seems to be a general feeling of being overwhelmed by “information” (or data, really—it’s just data) and trying to make connections between “everything I think about .. everything I read ... everything I worry about”.  It’s seductive.