Zettelkasten Forum

REALLY Nice To Finally Meet You!

Hello all! By way of introduction, let me tell you why I'm so happy to have found this forum.

Developing new knowledge by linking together existing thoughts has been a lifelong passion of mine. My father introduced me to a program called "MaxThink" when I was still in school. At first glance it was just an outline processor, but the magic was the tools it provided for rearranging information to generate new insights. I started building hypertext systems for clients in Chicago in the late 80's using the MaxThink, Houdini and HyperRez programs, developed by Neil Larson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_web_browser#Precursors).

During the 90's we moved our family to Europe, where I watched the web being born. I saw this primarily as an alternative means of linking information that anyone with a text editor could do for themselves. (True story: A friend who was an executive at Siemens asked if I'd be willing to build one of those new "web site" things for them, but I told him I'd hate to take their money because it was so easy he could do it himself!) The links in Berners-Lee's implementation weren't as rich as those envisioned by Larson and Ted Nelson, but the simpler version would still work for the masses.

My dad has passed now, and it's been difficult finding people to talk to about "Knowledge Annealing" (Larson) or "Logical Thinking Process" (Goldratt and Dettmer). I stumbled on this site a couple of weeks ago from a link to Ahrens' book in an Emacs news feed and a subsequent search for "Zettelkasten". Since then, I've been devouring the discussions in this forum. My father would have loved this community! I'll try to represent well.


  • I'd be happy to talk about Goldratt's Logical Thinking Process. I worked for Eli Goldratt for several years and taught several TOC classes at his headquarters in Tel Aviv.

  • I'm really curious about something wrt. early hypertext systems. From what I can read (and there isn't a lot about MaxThink), the hypertext links were richer than just... well... links. What kind of relationships was it representing?

  • One of Larson's more powerful, but obscure tools was his perm decision tree builder.

    github link describing perm

  • Interesting, seems like Apple Hypercard might have shared some similarities with it. I used to use that a lot in the 80s.

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