Uncertain Interfaces

The general idea is that most interfaces do not adequately allow a certain field to be filled out in an “uncertain” or “to be determined” manner.


Google Calendar does not support any “maybe” events, and consequently sucks at representing them.

A great deal of my events have a tentative date or a time, but I still want to mark them in my calendar; I need to resort to conventions like marking the start date as, ex. “12:34” or “17:17” (an unlikely time for an event to start), which on a base level forces me to input “wrong” info, or by marking them as all-day events, which does not have enough resolution.


“Untitled” documents are not a mistake - some documents just do not need names!

A photo for example benefits very little from having a filename - the primary way they are organized is by date, location, etc. “IMG_1234” is only a vestigial artefact of the organization.

Perkeep 🌐 gets this right - as a general data store, it does not require filenames.

Dump documents, a space for a lack of structure, staging areas

There is a necessity for “chaos”:

Pretty much all religions, and even some psychology frameworks, have the concept of "infinite chaos, uncertainty, unstructured potential" modeled, either as a entity (Leviathan, Falak, Jörmungandr) or as an abstract (right hemisphere, the orienting reflex, Tzimtzum). We need it.

Dendron 🌐 gets this right - scratch notes that do not get into your way; filing into a hierarchy in advance incurs additional mental and workflow costs.

Roam, on the other hand , gets this one wrong - I had to keep a “temporary” page/node from which I copied my notes into a larger hierarchy. Daily notes kind of alleviate this, but it’s ultimately a bad fit.