Overall, this entire project serves the goal of augmenting human intellect - a notion popularized by the computer visionary Douglas @engelbart1962:

By “augmenting human intellect” we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble.

And by “complex situations” we include the professional problems of diplomats, executives, social scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, attorneys, designers—whether the problem situation exists for twenty minutes or twenty years. We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that help in particular situations. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human “feel for a situation” usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.

When I write Exocortex, I mean my very own high-powered electronic aid to better make sense of the world around me. This system should be

  • simple (turns out to be real difficult)
  • well-documented (this is what this node is for)
  • future-proof (always stick to plain-text markdown at the base)
  • quick to add to (see Input layer)
  • fun to process (see Processing layer)
  • and quick to retrieve (see Retrieval layer)

As my Exocortex should never be tied to any particular tool or technology, it is based at the core on plain-text markdown files on a regular file system. This is to ensure that I can keep changing tooling around it freely while the core data remains close to a widely recognized standard that many tools support. Ultimately, the goal is to converge on a set of technologies that will remain somewhat stable and hopefully keep the complexity dragons at bay (very unlikely).



At this layer I capture and curate (see curation) incoming information. Information is committed to the system through these interfaces:


At this layer, I refine and connect knowledge. It consists mainly of (re)writing and organizing in this space, i.e. the Exocortex, and creating Anki cards.

In the future, this section will contain documentation for how I transform material I read or watched to reference notes or concept notes. If I want to store something for the long-term I add it to Anki. There I follow Michael Nielsen’s advice to have one big deck (which I call LTS) for everything.


This needs to be updated once my setup is a bit more settled


This layer enables quick access to processed information. Publicly, I can retrieve the information by using

Privately, I retrieve information via

  • my very own wetware. I’m using Anki to get it there.
  • full-text search using Neovim or Obsidian on the local file system of my phone of my laptop.