One of the problems I’ve been trying to solve lately is getting a better grasp on the lineage of the data I create.
In the small scale, I’d like to see how a specific piece of content converts into other content. For example, a news article for a certain kind of productivity technique that I have come across in Apple News or a newsletter may turn into an OmniFocus task that I use to remind me for later delving into the content, which then turns into a metadoc in Obsidian where I go deeper into thinking about the content from which I get an idea for extracting gems from it that could become an article, a flash card deck, or perhaps a Shortcut, which then leads me to create an OmniFocus item to do a search for something else and so on. As I get deeper into my thinking, I want to be able to see from where I’ve started, with clear attribution along the way. Over the longitudinal view of an item’s lineage from initial capture to its terminus points, I can develop a sense of the full pipeline through which something has been processed.
In a larger scale, I’d love to be able to see patterns in the linkages. One pattern I would like to be to see is which content sources (websites, newsletters, books, etc) are more or less generative than others. This would be a kind of emergent evaluation of an item’s or set of items’ Utility from CUPA framework in Cognitive Productivity. On the upstream side of information flow, this could expose potential bias I have toward certain sources in my field of view/ecosystem, help me target my attention to potentially higher-value (i.e. higher generativity) content sources, or perhaps find ways to simplify lower-value sources.
On the downstream side of patterns in the linkages, this could help me find termination points in my data processing. Maybe I could find that most times I put content into DEVONthink, I don’t tend to turn that into something else whereas when it goes into OmniFocus, it does, so maybe I should use that instead.
Another pattern I would like to see are the kinds of transformations that the data goes through in my system. On the small scale of this, I could see how often hooks are created between two content types, and in which direction. For example, I would be able to see how often does a Day One journal entry turn into an OmniFocus project. Or an Apple News article into an Obsidian doc.
I’d also love to have a sense of the patterns of processing across the whole lineage of data in a kind of pipeline view. Intuitively, I know that I have certain flows that I work through; this would be good to see which “cow paths” are emerging and how they line up to my expectations. Add onto this some on-device machine learning, and I could get intelligent suggestions a la Can Hook eventually make intelligent suggestions?. If I found a pattern that worked really well, I would love to be able to extract that into a kind of ‘Hook pipeline template’ that I could use to create repeatable workflows. This would be a kind of rules-driven way for Hook to more effectively guide me on some of these Cognitive Productivity paths.
From a social learning perspective, I would also love to see other community members’ patterns as described above (with their consent to sharing this, of course). If we each have this ability to see individually, we could share these in this forum. However, if we can choose to consent to our anonymized information being shared from the app, this might be useful for intelligent suggestions, too. This would be good for people to discover new kinds of links they haven’t considered before, or perhaps even apps that might be helpful that they don’t have yet. (And I’m sure the app developers wouldn’t mind, either.) I would assume that these would be settings you could customize if you didn’t want to see any of this either.
In order to do this, however, I would need to capture some sense of directionality with each Hook to explain the relationship between each item beyond the fact that they’re just linked. I’d need to have a sense that one piece of data generated the next. This causal relationship would be ideally captured at the moment of making the Hook.