Week 1, Summary

We didn’t work on anything this week, but met a few hours before the call to discuss ideas. On the call with Will, we discussed the difference between fast and slow content. Sometimes you want to just quickly scribble ideas down without editing them. On other occasions, you want to spend the time to craft your ideas properly, usually with some kind of audience in mind and the intent to publish. What if this tool could have different modes, each tailored to a particular writing style?

The call was useful because it forced us to articulate the impetus behind the project. One motivation is that by publishing your thoughts, you’re forced to be more coherent, and to re-digest your ideas. Throughout our chat, language like digesting, brewing and stewing kept coming up. We thought kombucha was a good analogy – you need to give your thoughts time and occasionally heat (other people?) in order to ferment.

Another idea we spoke about was how to encourage learning from your past. In both of our experience, re-reading past writing reveals that we continuously revisit the same problems, ideas and thought-patterns. We spoke about some kind of autocomplete tool, which would reveal when you’ve started to revisit old ground, or training some kind of AI on our past writing. Any discussion of AI quickly becomes creepy, at least to us, which made us wonder: are these tools inherently creepy, or only because they’re normally snitching to Google? Is it possible to create a calm and personal AI? Could there be little interventions and prompts, like acupuncture, rather than something too heavy-handed? Maybe it could be time-based, like “At this time of year, you usually talk about X” or “Anything you want to say about Y today?”

Potential issues that we spoke about was that tools can often slow down your thinking process if they have too many features or require too much from you. Another big issue, for us, is that dat:// doesn’t yet work on mobile. For the “quick and dirty” writing mode, at least, we’d really like a tool that was portable.

Week 1
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