Abhay Prasanna: Aesthetics, Personal Salience and Sovereignty

March 30, 2021 Norman Chella Season 2 Episode 25
Abhay Prasanna: Aesthetics, Personal Salience and Sovereignty
Show Notes

In this episode, we talk with [[Abhay Prasanna]], Founder of Roam Bounties, and active Roaman in Slack as well as the Twitter Roaman community. Abhay is always up to date when it comes to everything related to CSS and adding in visualizations to one's roam graph to make it look prettier, more functional, and much more.

As someone who has created one of the most, used Roam themes, Dracula Pro (adapted set of colors from another theme), Abhay has been on a long journey to explore himself through the usage of Roam. 

We talked about:

  • Life before Roam: From engineering to management consulting
  • Gaining a vision once he discovered Roam: The perfect notebook
  • His daily notes workflow where 90% of his blocks live only in his daily notes! 
  • Aesthetics and how they play a part in him viewing his own knowledge graph 
  • Tackling the voice of the unreliable narrator, defining who you are through making connections and building evidence on yourself
  • What do you really want from your Roam graph and how does that affect you in life? From algorithms of thought to algorithms of feeling. 



  • 3:47 Abhay's origin story and the little breadcrumbs of our lives
  • 5:40 Connecting life experiences and emergent writing in Roam
  • 9:46 The anticipatory regret for not writing something and not making a connection
  • 12:47 You write for the entirety of your knowledge graph
  • 14:05 Abhay's workflow is an evolution
  • 16:34 Marginality, Mattering and the Roam Community
  • 19:43 The writing happens in conversations, and Pokemon evolutions
  • 24:06 Valuing the structure of your mind and your Roam graph
  • 30:54 We are completely innocent and blameless and make mistakes
  • 32:39 The shadow of optimization, and wanting to feel functional
  • 35:33 CSS and the power of aesthetics
  • 38:32 Learning CSS with Roam as the experiment 
  • 40:14 Providing the act of service for the Roam community
  • 46:28 Why purple is a memorable color
  • 49:01 How do you plan for Roam experiments?
  • 51:20 There are things that we value, but do not have exclusive rights to our attention
  • 52:31 Salience, sovereignty, and protecting our own attention
  • 59:54 How do we tackle the Unreliable Narrator, our lies and our truths?
  • 1:01:50 Continuity of contact, not closure into conclusion, and facing heuristics
  • 1:03:34 Finding what you don't resonate with helps with answering what you really want
  • 1:10:52 The only agenda is to figure out what is actually salient
  • 1:15:01 Algorithms of feeling and using Roam templates for your emotions
  • 1:20:00 Revelation and illumination are hard to distinguish
  • 1:20:49 What Abhay is looking forward to in Roam
  • 1:23:42 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]


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