Also should note that I am writing this in Roam, which I have not really used before, so this is partly a test drive of a whole new writing and publishing toolchain. The end product will no doubt be hypertextish and/or open-notebook-ish to whatever degree seems appropriate.
Eg: In some of the pages I've included a Further reading section; unlike so these are more instructions to myself than a traditional list of citations. This convention emerged during the process of writing in part because Roam makes bidirectional linking ridiculously easy, it's not something I planned out.
Working in Lisp gives you a kind of feeling that is hard to describe; its almost as if abstractions take on a tactile quality; there is very little boundary between thought and its realization. Lisp is not the only computational system to have this quality but it's been that for me. Roam has some of that quality and it's not a coincidence that it is implemented in the Lisp dialect Clojure.
All this hypertext goodness is based on Roam, a newish note-taking tool which I've recently adopted (aka "joined the cult"). I'm pretty resistant to new software tools, since my nervous system is hardwired to Emacs, but Roam managed to convert me and I'm having a blast messing with it.
A Roam experiment. Trying to make a page of my key influences, using only backlinks.
24 Dec 2020 07:08 - 13 Jun 2021 11:50
Roam is a relatively new tool for hypertext note-taking. It's pretty cool, and I'm enjoying doing this experimental project in it.
I was resistant at first, because my brain has been hardwired to Emacs for many decades, and initially Roam just seemed like a hosted version of org-mode. For awhile I was trying to use one of the Emacs-based Roam clones, but turns out it is not the same! The underlying abstraction might be the same, but the feel is entirely different. Linking in Roam seems natural in a way I never quite got to in org-mode, for instance.
So I decided to make a second attempt to use Roam and this time it took, I'm a convert now. It really feels like a great tool that is almost perfectly shaped to my brain, that is good enough to actually be be an extension of my thought processes rather than a barrier to them.
I wonder what Ted Nelson thinks of Roam. My take (as a long-ago disciple of his) is that while it's not nearly everything he dreamed of, it is a small step in the right direction at last, after the web and almost everything built on it led us astray. That is to say that it deploys technology to capture and enhance the difficult and subtle processes of real thinking, rather than trampling over them.
BUG: if you browse local files with images, and try to copy-paste an image, it should copy the image to a server, instead it makes a nonworking link to local file
SORELY MISSING FEATURE: search gives you a bunch of chunks, but no context for them, you have to make wild guesses about what to click on. Should include the page title. (I posted this request on Roam Slack)