We are officially launching cohort 13 of Building a Second Brain (BASB), our flagship online course on how to save your best ideas, organize your knowledge, and use it to lead a fulfilling life with more ease and less stress.
We’ve spent the last 5 months making a new round of radical improvements to every aspect of the learning experience, all with the goal of creating a course that’s impossible to fail.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been hooked on a brand-new sci-fi show on Apple TV+ called Foundation.
It’s an epic story of how a ragtag group of scientists and scholars set out to preserve humanity’s most important knowledge so that it survives the collapse of civilization.
I couldn’t help but notice the many jaw-dropping parallels between the series and the ideas I teach in Building a Second Brain. I’ll use the series to illustrate the principles of creativity that are so timeless and universal, they can be found in any story or creative work.
Keep reading for my take on Foundation, and what it has to teach us about knowledge management in our own century.
Building a Second Brain 13: The Founders
A 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire.
A lineage of rulers, all genetic clones of the first emperor, Cleon I.
And a mathematician who uses science to predict the imminent collapse of a galaxy-wide civilization.
That’s the premise of Foundation, a new Apple TV+ series that was released just a few weeks ago. It’s based on Isaac Asimov’s novel of the same name, one of the most influential science fiction stories of all time.
Here is the teaser trailer to give you a sense of the Foundation universe:
It all begins with the mathematician Hari Seldon, who has developed a revolutionary science called psychohistory that allows him to predict the future behavior of large populations with uncanny accuracy.
According to his model, the delicate power balance of the Empire is about to implode, sending thousands of planets into a dark age of war and chaos lasting 30,000 years.
“Change is frightening, especially to those in power,” says Seldon. Naturally, the Emperor doesn’t take this news well.
After watching just the first few episodes, I couldn’t help but see the similarities to our own world today.
The old 20th-century economy is rapidly decaying. Bureaucratic government institutions are failing us as politicians do whatever it takes to stay in power. The media is stuck in the Industrial Age, and outdated industries are struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
To many, it feels like civilization as we know it is ending.
But there’s also a small glimmer of hope.
Although the inertia of the Empire’s fall is too great to stop, Seldon devises a plan by which “the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little” to limit the dark ages to just one thousand years.
He wants to build the “Foundation,” a repository of humanity’s knowledge that will allow civilization to start again. This Foundation will preserve the spirit of science and thus become the cornerstone of the future civilization that arises.
Torn between whether to kill Seldon and potentially accelerate the fall of the Empire or accept his devastating prediction and undermine his own power, the Emperor finds a middle ground…
He exiles Seldon and his followers to Terminus, a barren planet far out on the edge of the galaxy. There they can follow their plan, unseen and forgotten by the rest of the Empire.
Just like Seldon and his followers, Second Brainers (my term for people who build their own system for managing information) are creating a personal collection of knowledge that stands the test of time.
And they’re also doing it mostly hidden from the rest of the world. Having a Second Brain isn’t mainstream (yet).
Second Brainers are creating something so powerful that it will be difficult to keep secret for long. They are gathering their most precious knowledge into a system where it can grow and compound and ideas can connect together in ways never before possible.
They are preparing for a world filled with uncertainty, where survival and success depend on being able to access, shape, and direct information toward any purpose you desire.
That world is no longer science fiction: it has arrived on our doorstep today.
Join the Founders
I’ve dubbed this cohort “The Founders” to remind us that we’re pioneering a new way of organizing our digital life and improving our productivity as creative professionals.
But ultimately, we’re doing so much more than that in BASB.
This program is really about what it means to become a native citizen of the Internet. It’s about unleashing the full power of the digital tools at your fingertips. It’s about learning to use technology to capitalize on the full potential of your knowledge and ideas.
And by doing so, taking control of your destiny.
Enrollment opens for the upcoming cohort on Wednesday, October 20th at 12:00 PM EDT (4:00 PM UTC) (view in your timezone).
For the first time, we are limiting enrollment to the first 1,000 students who join. The program will run from November 3rd to December 8th, 2021 (with a week-long Thanksgiving break in the middle).
Over 5 weeks, I’ll teach you the fundamentals of CODE, the method I’ve developed for consistently turning the information you consume into concrete results, whether that is better decisions, new products or services, or better creative output. And along the way, drastically reducing the constant background anxiety that there’s something somewhere falling through the cracks.
Right now is the best time to equip yourself with a system for knowledge management, known as a “Second Brain.” Because let me tell you: the volume of information flooding your mind today is just a trickle compared to what’s coming.