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The Realities of Life


Scott P. Scheper

Downtown San Diego, CA




Friday 2:48 pm

Dear Friend,

My life, these past two-and-a-half weeks, has been insane.

Here's why:

First off, I've decided to "stick it to the man!" (as they say).

By man I'm referring to the insidious property slumlords who manage the apartment building I live at in downtown San Diego. You see, I like to rent. It's an unconventional and unpopular opinion, but I'd much rather have my money working for me in the stock market, than having it planted into boring real estate.

Plus, buying real estate just feels like it will trap me into living somewhere forever! I like the idea of being mobile, moving wherever I want, whenever I want.

At least, that's the story I tell myself.

But anyway, I've lived in the same building for almost three years.

Each year, I get a notice of yet another rent increase. A rate spike. I don't know why, but it chaps my ass! I take it personally—especially when the rate spikes are unreasonably high (in my perfectly unbiased opinion).

Well, the most recent rate spike was just flat-out insane. I'd basically be paying over $4,500 per month (with a $1,000 rate spike) for the same exact spot that I've been living at for several years. Scratch that: it's an even worse spot than it was several years ago because a new building was built which completely blocks my view.

So when I was sent the most recent rate increase, I said, "Hell no, I'm outta here!" I'm doing it on principle. In my mind, I'm sticking it to the man.

Anyway, I'm dealing with all of this, and trying to find a new place to live at right now.

The good news is that I've found several candidate spots that are way better, way more spacious, and don't come with greedy property management firms. So yeah, take that all you real estate capitalists (you filth are on my shit list for a while).

But let's talk about some more positive things before I continue down this rabbit hole.

Actually before this, I should also mention that my relationship has gone to complete shit!

You see, I've been so busy with work, writing a book, and finding a new place to live, that I've been a complete slouch when it comes to being a good fiancé.

But oh well, I'm not worried. I'm confident I can sweet talk my way back into her good graces.

Anyway, why am I telling you all of this? I mean, you're on my email list because you're interested in developing your mind using analog tools. You're not here to read about some dude's personal problems.

I'm telling you all of this because it at least shows you that I won't bullshit you. Life's messy, life's busy, and life's crazy. I'm not some magical entity who is out of touch with reality.

Although you may perceive me as someone who gets to sit around all day, read whatever interests him, and develop knowledge in complete serenity, I assure you, this is not the case!

You should take this as good news. It means that you do not need to be an ascetic monk in order for an analog Zettelkasten to work for you.

An analog Zettelkasten (aka, an Antinet) will work for you, even if you have an actual life.

So, with that out of the way, I'd like to now share with you some good news.

The good news is that I've been making great progress editing my book on the Antinet!

About half of my time is allocated to editing my book (which means re-reading and integrating the revisions from my editor). During this process I've gotten the opportunity to re-read what I've written about.

Again, I wrote the book in about three months (February, March, and April). It sits at 190,000 words (roughly 600 pages, give or take).

Of course, the real writing (aka, the real deep thinking) happened six months prior to this. By deep thinking, what I'm referring to is analog knowledge development. I spent six months researching, reading, and writing about the Antinet, which evolved and formed the basis for all of this material.

Throughout this entire process, I've experienced the magic of the Antinet (aka, an analog Zettelkasten). The Antinet is what turned Niklas Luhmann into a writing machine, a publication machine, and a thinking machine.

The Antinet truly does turn you into a writing machine. This is the tangible result of the system.

The intangible result of the system is that it develops your mind. It develops your thinking, and it primes your thoughts so that, when it comes time to write, you actually produce material worth reading—material that is deep, well-thought-through, and footnoted extensively.

In brief, the Antinet makes you sharper, smarter, and it will certainly prevent your brain from turning to mush.

Editing my book these past few weeks has reminded me of this, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you.

Apart from editing my book, and trying to find a freaking place to live, and getting back into the good graces of my partner, I've also spoken with twenty-three Antinetters by phone for over an hour each!

In doing this, I've learned a ton about the diverse segments of people attracted to the idea of an Antinet.

Some people want to build an Antinet in order to become a learning machine. Others want the Antinet to help them create blog posts, YouTube videos, and podcast episodes (i.e., they want to become content machines). Others want the Antinet to help them unearth that book that's been locked inside of them for decades (i.e., they want to become a writing machine). Some simply need a tool to help them with their Ph.D. thesis or academic paper (i.e., they want to become a publication machine).

Chances are, you're a combination of one or two of the above.

In talking with a bunch of you in the past few weeks, I find myself very excited.

You see, I've already shared a ton about how to build an Antinet online (whether that be in one of my Antinet How-To Guides floating around, or in my YouTube videos). Chances are you know the basics of Antinet 101 by now.

But here's the truth:

Knowing the basics of how to build an Antinet IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT!

The biggest source of everyone's issues, and obstacles and problems in knowledge development really centers around one thing: strategy.

I've shared the tactics with you about the Antinet. For instance, the Bib Box, the Main Box, the Index Box. I've also publicly shared the different types of notes: reflection notes, reformulation notes, and excerpt notes. I've publicly shared the process of reading books and extracting material out onto bibcards.

There's a bunch of other tactical stuff I've shared with you in the lost art of analog knowledge development.

However, what I've discovered is that most of you don't struggle with these types of things.

You struggle with how to turn these elements into amazing creative output.

You struggle with the discipline (and the process) of knowledge development.

You struggle with navigating the exploration vs. exploitation dilemma (i.e. exploring many fascinating subjects vs. going deep on one specific field).

You do not struggle with the actual writing of a book, but with how to figure out what book to even write in the first place!

You struggle not with creating main notes, but in deciding the overall direction you want to go with in your research (and even your life).

You struggle with the trade-off between reading, and writing, and creating main notes, and the biggest obstacle of all: getting bogged down and wasting time! (Or not having enough time to waste in the first place)!

I write all of this, and say all of this, not to rub it in. I say it just to get it out there: I know what you're really struggling with. And the good news is this: I struggled with the same exact things in my journey in writing my book on the Antinet!

A year ago I had no freaking idea I'd be writing a book on an analog knowledge system created by some old German dude!

I had no idea I'd be writing a book (by hand) using notecards about a knowledge system built out of notecards!

A year ago I was reading random books across many different disciplinary fields. I was reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, Transcend by Scott Barry Kaufman, books on the historical Jesus and the early days of Christianity, books on the philosophy of mind, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, and on and on.

I was reading everything but books on the thing I ended up writing about.

However, the reason I was able to FIND DIRECTION, and FIND CLARITY, and FIND PURPOSE was because I followed a certain process, a certain strategy. It all revolves around the strategy of analog knowledge development.

I can't wait to share more with you all at some point.

As you can tell, I'm pretty excited about the opportunity for this community to grow, and for more and more people to get on track accomplishing their goals. Because here's the truth: the answer to becoming a writing machine, a learning machine, a content machine, or a publication machine IS NOT found in the world of personal knowledge management (PKM).

Today there's hype around digital notetaking apps that enable you to link your notes. The idea that these apps help you become a better writer is complete horsesh*t. (Pardon my French).

The current PKM scene is filled with digital bubble graph boiz who talk about everything but one thing: actually producing great output.

Anyway, I'm going to wrap this thing up now.

What I'm getting at is this: I'm excited about what I've learned these past few weeks in talking with our community here.

There's a need in this market for people who wish to actually develop their mind in order to produce great work.

Initially, I thought that the Zettelkasten was a part of the PKM market. However, what I've learned recently is that it operates in a completely different market altogether. The Zettelkasten belongs in the analog knowledge development market. And this itself, is a submarket of another market: the writing market.

You see, when you're developing knowledge in the way I'll be teaching you, you're really becoming a writer—in fact, you'll become a writing machine. Of course, in doing so you'll also become another thing: a learning machine.

However, I contend that if you set out to become a learning machine (like the Second Brainers and PKM bubble graph boiz do), you'll end up learning a lot less. It's best to approach things with the intention of becoming a writing machine (even if you're not interested in being a writer).

I'll share more on this some other time, but I've gone on long enough already.

In conclusion, stay tuned for more to come from me.

Over the next several weeks, I'll continue to work on my book, of course, but I'll also continue to cook-up some ideas to help those who want to become a learning machine, a content machine, writing machine, and a publication machine.

In the meantime, please continue to develop your knowledge the true way, the analog way, the Antinet way.

If you haven't tried building out your own Antinet yet, then here's a guide to help you get started: The Hitch­hik­er's Guide to the An­ti­net

Or, if you have already built an Antinet, and it's helped you out, then I have one HUGE FAVOR to ask of you:

Would you mind writing me a brief testimonial?

Just reply to this email with something along these lines:

"Before discovering Scott, I was struggling with X, but after learning the Antinet, my life has changed because of Y. His system has helped me achieve Z."

I'd love to use the testimonial on my website.

Oh, and also, if you have a profile picture of yourself, please send that along with your testimonial!

Best of luck, and enjoy the journey of analog knowledge development,

Your friend,

The Analog Knowledge Revolutionary himself,

Scott P. Scheper

"A Man Who Drinks His Own Kool-Aid"

P.S. Stay crispy.


Friday 3:54 pm

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