I'm sure one of the first thoughts you had when you encountered this site was along the lines of: *"Wow, why did he do this instead of just writing some blog posts?"*
I understand. We're used to linear thoughts, well laid out, that are polished and perfected, published and promoted. This set of notes is not that.
Instead, it's a digital garden, one that remains unfinished, may require future pruning, and certainly one that will continue to grow. It's a place for thinking over time. And yes, while these thoughts do get published, unlike a blog post, publication isn't the primary purpose. Publication is one of the purposes, to be sure—but perhaps not the *primary* purpose.
While I am indeed promoting particular ideas and concepts, the way I'm doing it is unconventional.
The biggest reason, I think, is simply to collect ideas, concepts, and thoughts over time. It's far too easy to lose these to the never-ending stream of things we consume, and I want to find a better way for making them last.
The idea of [[§ 0 - Return on Adventure|ROA]], which helped sparked making this set of notes public, is the idea of compounding returns. In the context of ROA, it's the [[Compounding value of memories]].
But ideas also compound on one another. In fact, the concept of ROA has its underpinnings in a variety of other seemingly-disparate topics:
- Ryan Holiday's description of [a commonplace book](https://ryanholiday.net/how-and-why-to-keep-a-commonplace-book/)
- [a famous article from 1945]([https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may-think/303881/](https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may-think/303881/)) that predicted hyperlinks
- an essay called [The Garden and the Stream: A Technopastoral](https://hapgood.us/2015/10/17/the-garden-and-the-stream-a-technopastoral/)
- Tiago Forte's ideas around [Building a Second Brain](https://fortelabs.co/blog/basboverview/)
- a retirement theory called [[Book Notes - Die With Zero - Bill Perkins|Die With Zero]]
- the idea that [evergreen notes should be atomic](https://notes.andymatuschak.org/Evergreen_notes_should_be_atomic), especially in a system that approximates the [zettlekasten method](https://zettelkasten.de/introduction/)
- Tiago Forte's concern with [designing discoverable notes](https://fortelabs.co/blog/progressive-summarization-a-practical-technique-for-designing-discoverable-notes/), as well as [Nick Milo's critique](https://medium.com/@nickmilo22/why-progressive-summarization-must-die-c2635d1f79f1) of it
- My own use of [[Trip dashboard|trip dashboards]] to bring together all the info about a trip into one spot
- My own development of a [[Life Admin system]]
- Similar websites, such as [Andy Matuschak's evergreen notes](https://notes.andymatuschak.org/About_these_notes) and [Anne-Laure Le Cunff's digital garden](https://www.mentalnodes.com/a-gardening-guide-for-your-mind).
- Maggie Appleton's guide to the history of the [digital garden](https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history) idea
And the list goes on, and on, and on.
Now, not all of that list has *anything* to do with [[§ 0 - Return on Adventure|ROA]]. In fact, about half of them are actually focused on the idea of keeping track of notes over your life, or on linking together different ideas.
But this lead to me figuring out a system like this notebook, which in turn let me explore the component ideas that fleshed out the broader ROA concept. Before, I had a general notion of what ROA was trying to accomplish, and why it could be a powerful multiplier for our travel memories. But without a system where I could add snippets of ideas, see new connections, have some false starts, and finally piece it together, I think the concept would have stalled in the blog post writing phase. I probably would have never gotten to develop the idea much further than a cursory treatment.
So it became obvious that I should start collecting the basic tidbits of good ideas, doing so in a way that allows me to connect them together and build upon them in novel and progressively better ways. After all, that's what my brain was already doing, but in a very haphazard way.
Perhaps writing this all out could help build upon those existing connections and foster more of them, maybe even in a systematic way.
At the very least, writing out interesting concepts that I encounter would at least help me remember them and implement them in my life in a more effective and permanent way. And hell, even if I forgot those ideas, at least I'd have a ready-made place to get reacquainted with them.
So that's what this Ideas Notebook is intended to be, or rather, to become. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.
# How it's built
These notes—and the site you're currently viewing—were created using [Obsidian](https://obsidian.md/). It's currently one of my favorite apps.