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326 pages, Hardcover
First published October 1, 2010
When I meet with any thing, that I think fit to out into my common place book, I first find a proper head. Suppose for example that the head be EPISTOLA, I ook unto the index for the first letter and the following vowel which in this instance are E.i. if in the space marked E.i. there is any number that directs me to the page designed for words that begin with an E and whose first vowel after the initial letter is I, I must then write under the word Epistola in that page what I have to remark.
I write a paragraph about something - let's say about the human brain's remarkable facility for interpreting facial expressions. I then plug that paragraph into the software, and ask DevonThink to find other passages in my archive that are similar. Instantly, a list of quotes appears on my screen ... Invariably, one or two of these triggers a new association in my head ... and so I select that quote, and ask the software to find a new batch of passages similar to it. Before long, a larger idea takes shape in my head, built upon the trail of association the machine has assembled for me.
"...when economic systems shift from feudal structures to the nascent forms of modern capitalism, they become less hierarchical and more networked. A society organized around marketplaces, instead of castles or cloisters, distributes decision-making authority across a much larger network of individual minds. The innovation power of the marketplace derives, in part, from this most elemental math: no matter how smart the "authorities" may be, if they are outnumbered a thousand to one by the marketplace, there will be more good ideas lurking in the market than in the feudal castle. Cities and markets recruit more minds into the collective project of exploring the adjacent possible..."