Jess Martin

Last Updated: February 01, 2021

An Infinite Room for Thought

Imagine an infinite room dedicated to thinking. What would be in this room?

A whiteboard, surely. Infinite whiteboards. Whiteboards you never have to erase, that could be saved or recalled on command.

Books. Every book you've ever read or have ever thought of reading, arrayed on infinite shelves. Your highlights and notes, your bookmarks, available for instant perusal and recall.

Sticky notes. Index cards. Tables, easily expandable and configurable, to hold your spread of fragmentary thoughts hastily jotted on scraps of colored paper.

Encyclopedias. Your encyclopedias. The ones you've written, reviewed, cross-referenced, and re-written, over decades. Your knowledge, externalized in writing, sketch, and diagram.

Recordings. Audio recordings of riveting conversations. Videos of significant work sessions, capturing the back-and-forth, the "ah-hah!", the sparks of insight. Recordings all perfectly transcribed, tagged, searchable, accessible.

There would be light. Windows. A view that makes you want to stare, to drink it in.

How would this infinite room be arranged?

The things you used most recently would be open, at your fingertips, right where you left them. The entries you recently updated in your encyclopedia would lay near your right hand, ready to be picked back up. A small stack of open books to your left, lying opened to exactly where you were last reading.

That half-finished project? The books would still lay on the table, cracked open to key passages, ragtag bookmarks peeking over tops of pages. The whiteboard sketch, littered with sticky notes, would be there on the wall, the lines reminiscent of a spider's web.

But wait, one of the books for this half-finished project is also laying in the stack to your left, opened to a different page, different bookmarks poking out. How peculiar...

There would be cluttered clusters of mental detritus from last week, last month, last year. Other clusters organized around people you know. Still others oriented around a company.

You would see your encyclopedia everywhere, in nearly every cluster. It would always be open to a different entry, but you would know it to be the same, like you know your own hand.

How big would this room be? It would stretch on beyond sight, but with walls scattered as needed near spaces where work was done. It would feel expansive, but cozy, limitless but focused.

Every day, we sit down at our computers to think. How different is your computer from this room?

I'm designing an office/studio space to build in my backyard, so physical space design is on my mind. Also thanks to Linus's recent entry "Life as a Studio" for inspiring this escapade.

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© 2023 - Jess Martin