Wisereads Vol. 17 — Kadavy’s Digital Zettelkasten, Google’s NotebookLM, and more
Last week, we shared a full copy of Creative Doing by Herbert Lui, a Holloway book on unblocking your creative potential. This week, we’re sharing Digital Zettelkasten, a guide on creating a system of atomic notes by our good friend David Kadavy.
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Most highlighted Articles of the week
Google’s NotebookLM Aims to Be the Ultimate Writing Assistant
Author Steven Johnson joined Google to realize his vision of an AI assistant built on personal notes. NotebookLM, as it describes itself, is “an experimental AI-powered note taking tool that helps you learn faster by reading and understanding your documents, generating summaries, answering your questions, and even helping you brainstorm new ideas.” Using the new Google Docs export, Readwise users can now supply NotebookLM with highlights.
A Camera, Not an Engine
Writer and consultant Venkatesh Rao declares modern AI the discovery of the decade, likening it to a revolutionary camera. “Unlike traditional photography, which killed a whole world of tedious photorealistic painting, but like the Webb telescope, 'data photography' reveals worlds within worlds we’ve never even suspected existed, let alone been able to see, in piles of data too large for us to ever hold in our heads.”
Use Strategic Thinking to Create the Life You Want
Boston Consulting Group leaders present a series of exercises to help clarify life purpose and create a plan of action. “Corporate strategy is about making choices between options: Should we keep our current portfolio, diversify, focus, acquire a company, or enter a new market? In life, the equivalent questions are: What happens if I continue to live my life the way I am now? What if I change my priorities?”
Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week
The Psychological Drivers of the Metacrisis
Daniel Schmachtenberger hosts cognitive scientist John Vervaeke and author Iain McGilchrist for a dialogue about humanity and our duty as custodians of technology. “The state of the world has problems and impending risks that are serious, that are not automatically resolving themselves, that are novel in history … given the amount of technological power that we have and that we're rapidly getting … can we imagine a humanity that has the wisdom to steward that power reasonably well?”
Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week
How to get creative (without doing drugs)
George Mack shares options for unlocking creativity, including the Swedish House Mafia Technique: “Get a room with friends away from the outside world. Throw ideas back and forth like a tennis rally,” and Just Keep Walking: “If bored and struggling with ideas -- just keep walking until the day becomes interesting.”
Most highlighted PDF of the week
Gemini: A Family of Highly Capable Multimodal Models
The team at Google DeepMind introduces their suite of multimodal models—Gemini Nano, Pro, and Ultra—detailing their training principles and performance benchmarks. “Gemini Ultra can outperform all existing models, achieving an accuracy of 90.04%...Human expert performance is gauged at 89.8% by the benchmark authors, and Gemini Ultra is the first model to exceed this threshold.”
Hand-picked book of the week
Digital Zettelkasten: Principles, Methods, & Examples
Developed in the sixteenth century and later popularized by Niklas Luhmann, the Zettelkasten method has revolutionized research and creative output with its system of interconnected atomic notes.
In Digital Zettelkasten, David Kadavy lays out the principles and methods for building your own system of Zettels, enhanced with Readwise highlights.
“My digital Zettelkasten allows me to seamlessly engage my thoughts with a high-powered database of the most interesting things I’ve read or thought – things I know I know, but which are just beyond the reach of my consciousness…A bicycle turns small efforts into tremendous output. A Zettelkasten – especially a digital one – is a bicycle for the mind.”
David is generously sharing the entirety of Digital Zettelkasten with the Readwise community. We invite you to show your support, if you wish, by purchasing a paperback copy with the code “READWISE20”, or by checking out his other books, including Mind Management, Not Time Management and The Heart to Start.
Handpicked RSS feed of the week
SIX at 6 on Sunday
Billy Oppenheimer, research and writing assistant to Ryan Holiday, publishes a weekly newsletter featuring six interconnected insights, each presented through story. From Pay Attention To What You Pay Attention To: “For anyone trying to discern what to do with their life, pay attention to what you can pay attention to so that, as Seinfeld put it, 'the next thing you know, the day is gone.'”