Cato Minor: Roam Experiments, Medieval Knowledge Work, Memory

June 18, 2021 Norman Chella Season 2 Episode 28
Cato Minor: Roam Experiments, Medieval Knowledge Work, Memory
Show Notes

Join our AirrSpace to talk about how Roam could scale! You can find it here

In this episode, we talk with Cato Minor, who is the Duck of Roam, quacking his way into fun, ridiculous experiments with physical controls, crazy CSS, and much more. But behind these experiments, is the intention to explore something deeper.

Coming in from medieval Twitter, Cato Minor focuses on digital humanities studying medieval, Latin, as well as classic Latin. In the midst of trying out many note-taking apps throughout the years, he had stumbled into Roam.

We talked about:

  • Knowledge workers of the past and now, what are the differences between them? 
  • Memory as a process of internalization and digestion, and how outsourcing this to a tool hinders our ability to learn
  • Adventures of note-taking: the differences between the many note-taking apps Cato has tried
  • How do we make the digital word more physical?
  • The interesting physical experiments, from using a train set controller to a TV remote to use Roam!
  • The power of medieval diagrams: how can we learn from people who have drawn outlines in the Middle Ages
  • How do we create win-win situations for the individual in the PKM space?
  • How will Roam scale?



  • 3:48 Where Cato Minor got his name from
  • 5:19 Medieval Latin and Cato's fascination with it
  • 7:13 In the Middle Ages, all knowledge should serve us in our seeking of God
  • 9:20 Memory is what gives us material to transform
  • 16:34 Make your notes unique
  • 18:59 Roam is a great motivator for experimentation
  • 22:47 Physical touch gives us food for thoughts
  • 24:21 Everything is a touch screen
  • 29:28 Cato's adventure in experiencing other apps
  • 41:00 How to make peace in the continent of Note-taking
  • 48:39 What you can do now with CSS
  • 55:09 How do we foster a tinkerer's community?
  • 1:05:00 Roam's growth via the community
  • 1:09:18 How will Roam scale?
  • 1:16:25 On Featuritis vs. Engelbartian Intelligence
  • 1:25:23 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]


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