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jack
jack
Are automatic backlinks useful? copingmechanism.com
hjertnes
hjertnes

@jack I think they sometimes are useful for finding stuff and seeing connections. But they seem more useful than they are

jack
jack

@hjertnes Agreed. And related, the cute visual graph of notes/links in things like Roam and Obsidian might be the most overrated thing I've ever seen. I'd be interested to know how many people actually use it beyond the first "ooh, neat!" moments. I know I don't. I look at it a lot because it's cool, but I never use it for anything.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@jack I think the D3 graph has its uses. I use it to find notes that haven't been tagged properly. I also have had a plan to look into using to see links I have too much attached to

gpittman
gpittman

@jack I enjoyed your post and the follow-up comments. Automatic backlinking can be useful for filling in gaps, but if it’s used as a replacement for thoughtful note curation and the linking of ideas, it can be unhelpful.

The issue I’m currently wrestling with is atomic notes vs. evergreen notes. Luhmann insisted on atomic notes because you can link lots of individual ideas together. Of course, we see how helpful that was for him. But folks like Nick Milo and Andy Mutaschak suggest taking those atomic notes and maturing them into fully formed thoughts and then deleting the atomic notes. While the evergreen notes idea makes perfect sense because you have to wrestle with your notes rather than just accumulating note after note, it also seems less flexible in the long run.

jack
jack

@gpittman That's a tough call! I wonder if the constraint of using physical cards influence Luhmann's feelings on this. I like Derek Siver's thoughts on "topic journals" which are more in the "evergreen" category, but I feel like it always depends on the goal of one's notes. sive.rs/dj

gpittman
gpittman

@jack That's a great link. Thank you. I think I've decided that ultimately the answer isn't either/or but both/and. Keep the atomic notes and the longform writing that results from them. Luhmann kept his atomic notes even after he wrote his many volumes. We just have to be careful not to take those atomic notes out of context and make them mean something the original source didn't mean. That's what Milo cautions against. It's a fair statement, but to delete every atomic note once you've matured an idea in longform seems rather, well, nuclear.

In reply to
frankm
frankm

@jack I am still avidly using Roam, but I do think some people get carried away in makign it do too much. I think the key point to keep in mind is that search is still available in Roam, so one doesn't have to create a link for something to be found. I use tags for the blank page of collection of back links, one way I use it is to create an overview page of all my notes about books and titled articles that I have read. I don't automatically created wiki links to every noun in a sentence I write, I only link to items that I intend to flesh out further. Like everything, it's about balance.