Private serendipity can be cultivated by technology as well. For more than a decade now, I have been curating a private digital archive of quotes that I’ve found intriguing, my twenty-first-century version of the commonplace book. Some of these passages involve very focused research on a specific project; others are more random discoveries, hunches waiting to make a connection. Some of them are passages that I’ve transcribed from books or articles; others were clipped directly from Web pages. (In the past few years, thanks to Google Books and the Kindle, copying and storing interesting quotes from a book has grown far simpler.) I keep all these quotes in a database using a program called DEVONthink, where I also store my own writing: chapters, essays, blog posts, notes. By combining my own words with passages from other sources, the collection becomes something more than just a file storage system. It becomes a digital extension of my imperfect memory, an archive of all my old ideas, and the ideas that have influenced me. There are now more than five thousand distinct entries in that database, and more than 3 million words—sixty books’ worth of quotes, fragments, and hunches, all individually captured by me, stored in a single database.