the seed of an idea often grows long before you find a way to wordsmith it into definition.

backlinks can serve as a seed for ideas, germinating and growing with every use.

in my own flow, ideas often grow from this noteless seed into a collection of clippings, and then into definition with my own words.

clippings

Systems which display backlinks to a node permit a new behavior: you can define a new node extensionally (rather than intensionally) by simply linking to it from many other nodes—even before it has any content. (via)

He wrote about our conversations in several notes throughout his system (ephemeral daily logs, feature lists, etc). As he was doing that, he wrote certain noun phrases (e.g. my name) as links. Those nodes had no content of their own, but as he did this across several days, they began to develop an implicit definition within his system, expressed through the backlinks. (via)

a pile of dissociated notes. The notes won’t have added up to anything (via)