We believe in tools, and the people who use them. We believe in tools that foster autonomy, encourage inquisitiveness, strengthen personal agency, and drive critical inquiry. We believe knowledge is the essential human project.
We’re building beam because we think something is fundamentally broken in the way the tools at our disposal have us use the web — and thus, our minds. It feels like we have not freely chosen our online practices — that they are habits we have helplessly picked up.
Our tools define our relationship with the world. Web browsers have framed our cognitive behavior to such an extent we don’t question it anymore. Can thinking be reduced to a search box with no memory or context? What is left of the thousands hours you spent on the web?
Sequentially typing searches in a vacuum is not how we think as humans. We make the world our own by investing it with meaning, day after day. We need to reconnect with the pleasure we derive from making sense of things and with the ability to think, grow and build upon what we learned in autonomy.
We believe exploring and thinking are one and the same. Building meaning cannot be fragmented. Resorting to an aide, be it a note app, a to do, bookmarks,… will consistently fail because it comes as afterthoughts — literally after the act of thinking. It creates two mental spaces when you only have one mind.
It has nothing to do with being smart, fast or productive. To hell with productivity tools!
It’s about building our identity, knowing what we like, noticing what moves us, understanding why and digging deeper because it feels good. It’s about being human. Today, this proves to be surprisingly difficult. It is time to build a tool aligned with our human nature.
Inspired by Ivan Illich’s Tools for conviviality principles, we’re building beam to be:
- Forthright: under your control and easy to master.
- Proportionate: increase efficiency within the bounds of human aptitudes and pace.
- Autonomy: navigate with intent, hone your thinking and connect the dots.
- Convivial: learn-create-share & contribute to the essential human project.