I'd say that it simply knocks down a bunch of straw men, except that the writer appears to have been a straw man. Why would writing things down make you smarter? The more time spent writing things down, the less time is spent thinking about them. And mostly he was just trying to put together a database; what advantage was he expecting of his database vs Google; after all, Google was founded on backlinks. He seems to have spent his time collecting and storing, and very little in thinking (tbf collecting and regurgitating are more key facets of journalism than thinking).
From reading Obsidian forum & discord & various PKM sites, I have concluded that the main uses of note taking apps are:
- by students - mostly wanting to remember for exams etc. Note-taking technique akin to copying notes from blackboard
- in business - for summarising meetings etc, making collected networking info more accessible.
The word zettelkasten is thrown around frequently, but with little knowledge of what it implies (arguably Luhmann spent more time going through his links and thinking about them than he did making notes from sources).
Not much sign of actual users believing it makes them smarter, far more use for a defined purpose. And not much sign of active use of backlinks either.
And then AI. Clearly won't make anyone who devolves thinking to it smarter. As he concludes, "I accept that to be a better thinker, I’ll have to devote more time and attention to wrestling with what I find" - except that there's little sign that he does accept it.