Build Randomness Into Knowledge Generation Systems

It's tempting to structure our knowledge systematically; but, this has significant pitfalls. Systematizing knowledge forces us to make decisions early on that may confine us to narrow lanes of inquiry, rather than confront us with novel information and connections we would not otherwise have expected. Better, then, to incorporate the possibility of randomness into our knowledge management system. It's beneficial to create systems and workflows that can surprise us with an unexpected connections between ideas, or, as Luhmann puts it, combinatorial possibilities which were never planned, never preconceived, or conceived in this way." This affords greater possibility for generating creativity and new insights; and, we avoid our bias toward information that is more available or familiar to us.



Luhmann, Niklas. “Communicating with Slip Boxes.” Translated by Manfred Kuehn. Two Essays by Niklas Luhmann. Accessed October 19, 2020.