Landing pads for everything you care about

Visakan Veerasamy has a great catchphrase: joke about outcomes you want.

the stuff you joke about (even ironically or whatever) has a way of shaping your reality so be careful and deliberate with that stuff. a lot of people out here fumbling their own bags by joking about outcomes they don’t want. you might as well joke about the outcomes you do want

The idea is simple: attention is a legibility process. Once something is legible, it can grow and propagates freely. This creates conceptual signposts that attract attention. This is not always positive: creating attention around difficulty, such as suffering, can increase the legibility. It's a powerful tool that makes concepts difficult to ignore.

Want to have more great ideas? Create a note titled "Great Ideas." It’s that simple. Creating a home for your thoughts, like a couch for your concepts to crash on. It doesn't have to be perfect.

In fact, creating landing pads for everything you want more of. Attentional legibility makes you notice ideas as they float by. You will get more of what you want, by having a home for it.

About three years ago, I realized I had some interesting metaphors that seemed to be incredibly useful — they gave more than they took, and had deep nuance. Some just seemed important for reasons I wasn't sure. Others were loose ideas that I thought could turn into more. I began to collect these ideas without knowing which would become important. Things like the map is not the territory, exaptation, proof of work, epistemic modesty, and more.

Each of these turned into little landing pads for concepts, and it became easy to throw new references in as I discovered them, and connect these large concepts together. Many of these have become essays on this site. Others inspired wonderful conversations with friends. Many others are still growing patiently.

So, how do you build these digital landing pads? First, keep it simple. This isn't rocket science. Use tools that feel comfortable for the content and your patterns. On YouTube, I use playlists. On Amazon, wishlists. For everything else online, there's Raindrop for bookmarks. Having a place is better than a perfect place.

Don't over-organize. It should be searchable, so you can find that one golden idea you stashed away months ago when it's useful. It's not about aimlessly wandering through your digital attic. Make sure you can find things easily.

Create landing pads even if you don't know what they're for yet. For example, I started a note for unusual political ideas that I liked, with no initial content. Over the past couple years, it's grown to be one of my most detailed collections.

In a post-scarcity information world, curation is one of the most powerful things you can do. This is why I take book notes, and keep a list of open questions. It's a selfish endeavor to encourage more of that.

If you want more blossoming of ideas, start to take collection, curation, and digital gardening seriously. Start small, think big, and who knows, maybe one day you'll find yourself surrounded by a forest of thoughts you nurtured from seedlings.

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