19 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. I feel sympathy for Robert Southey, whose excerpts from his voracious reading were posthumously published in four volumes as Southey’s Common-Place Book. He confessed in 1822 that,Like those persons who frequent sales, and fill their houses with useless purchases, because they may want them some time or other; so am I for ever making collections, and storing up materials which may not come into use till the Greek Calends. And this I have been doing for five-and-twenty years! It is true that I draw daily upon my hoards, and should be poor without them; but in prudence I ought now to be working up these materials rather than adding to so much dead stock.
    1. At this stage, it does not matter nearly so muchthat these things should be fully understood as that they should be knownand remembered. Remember, it is material that we are collecting.

      Perhaps the collector's fallacy may turn out to be useful in this broader argument?

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  2. Jun 2022
    1. The paradox of hoarding isthat no matter how much we collect and accumulate, it’s neverenough.

      How is the paradox of hoarding related to the collector's fallacy?

      Regardless of how much you collect, you can't take it with you. So what's the value? - Having and using it to sustain you while you're alive. - Combining it in creative ways to leave behind new ideas and new innovations for those who follow you. - others?

    2. Your Second Brain shouldn’t be just another way of confirmingwhat you already know.

      Your notes shouldn't be a place to collect what you already know.

    3. The biggest pitfall I see people falling into once they begincapturing digital notes is saving too much

      Collecting everything in your notes, especially in digital realms where saving is phenomenally easier and nearly automatic, is a fatal flaw in note taking.

    1. 1980s: "I always typed a few hours a day on a heavy and noisy IBM typewriter. Before converting to the Apple faith, I wrote down every interesting idea or possibly useful datum on 5 × 8 cards that I kept in card-boxes. But I used them only sparingly to write papers of books, for they were just random collections. Once an unknown American scholar phoned me to announce that he was about to commit suicide because he had failed to craft a general theory of ideas out of thousands of cards that he had filled in the course of a decade. He had been a casualty of dataism, the idea that knowledge of anything is just a collection of bits of knowledge." (pp. 273–274)

      Anecdotal evidence of contemplation of suicide based on over-collection of notes without creating a clear thesis or use for them.

      I'm curious who the colleague was and what or how their note taking system wasn't working for them. Most likely the inability to link ideas to each other, lack of clear examples of others doing the practice to help guide them?

  3. May 2022
    1. is the the um the writing by hand um because you know you can you can certainly write by hand and write down facts you know as well um 00:30:36 and uh and so yeah but i but what i what i do hold is that it's way way harder to uh store a lot of facts in 00:30:49 you know an analog settle costin because there's no copy paste you actually have to write out the facts by hand and as a result of that i think there are more benefits over digital in that you 00:31:02 are writing down uh neuro imprinting you know facts onto your mind that you can later recall more rapidly and stuff and um i think that's a benefit

      Keeping a manual zettelkasten using pen/pencil and paper may be beneficial to some as it will tend to remove the easy functionality of cut and paste in the digital space and force the user to think a bit more deeply about what they're working on and expand on it. Those with paper zettelkasten aren't as likely to spend time collecting simple facts as a result of this. This will make the content going into the system much more solid and reusable in the future.

    1. That people show off these illegible globs in public only makes sense from a signaling perspective: They are saying, “look at how many nodes I have in my brain, amazing nodes, I have so many nodes that a peon such as yourself can’t even guess what’s going on here!”

      I have tongue-in-cheek posted a massive graph indicating that it was only a "few days work" to see what sort of reaction it would get. No one batted an eyelash, which makes me think that too many are "collectors" and aren't actually building something or using their system correctly.

      There is a dearth of solid examples of these systems online for people to look at and evaluate critically. This is killing the space slowly.

  4. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnFHwl2Dbr0

      • System should be as frictionless as possible.
      • Capture in one location. (She says as few as possible, but this is too wishy-washy: she's got a "Readwise page" and a "Links page".)
      • There needs to be levels of processing.
        • Split out based on future value.
      • Everything has resources. How to capture metadata and be able to cite it?

      Everything needs to have a "Why"? What is the context for capturing? What is the reason? How will it be used in the future? Why was it interesting?

      She also describes how she collects notes in various formats (books, online articles, Kindle, Twitter, etc.) It primarily involves using Notion along with a variety of other sub-applications including Instapaper for sharing to Notion.

      Dramatically missing from this presentation is the answer to the question "why" collect all this stuff? How is she using it in the future? What is the overall value? She touches on writing the why for herself as she's taking notes, but I get the impression that she's not actively practicing what she preaches, and I suspect that many don't. This leaves me with the impression that she's collecting with no end goal, which for many may be fine.

      She's got a gaping hole in the processing section which likely needs a video unto itself and which would probably go a long way toward answer the "why" question above.

      In looking at her other videos, I see she's using the phrase "second brain" and words like productivity. There seems to be a high level of disconnect between those using "second brain" and the "why do this?" question other than the simple idea of "productivity" which seems to be a false trap that gets people into the mindset of being a collector for collections' sake.


      Almost hilariously she's got videos with titles like: - "I'm a productivity guru and I hate it." - "Productivity YouTube is brainwashing you"


      She's titled the final portion of the video "Outro" which is actually displayed on the video UI. This might be useful for production purposes but should be changed or omitted for actual consumption.


      The title "How I Remember Everything I Read" is pure clickbait here. It's more aptly titled, "How I Take and Save Notes". Where's the how I use this after? or how I review over it all to actually remember it/memorize it? There's nothing here to support this end of things which is the promise given in the title.

  5. Feb 2022
    1. https://reallifemag.com/rank-and-file/

      An interesting example of someone who fell into the trap of thinking that a particular tool or tools would magically make them smarter or help them do a particular line of work without showing any deep evidence of knowing what they were doing. The discussion here flows over a number of mixed note taking domains with no clear thrust for what they were using it pointedly for. The multiple directions and lack of experience likely doomed them to failure here.

    2. If I clicked through the labyrinth growing on my computer I could discover grottos and dusty corners I had already forgotten about.

      The unused accumulation of notes is the worst travesty. The collector's fallacy run amok.


      Why did this person fail here? What was their need/use case? Was it well-defined? Were the tools suited to their purpose?

    1. Just collecting unprocessedfleeting notes inevitably leads to chaos.

      Collecting fleeting notes and not processing them into something more useful and permanent will eventually end in abject failure.

      An example can be seen in the note taking of Joachim Jungius in 1657. He compiled approximately 150,000 slips (also known as scraps) with excerpts and ideas without any sort of order, arrangement, index or reference system. Following his death his students and heirs could make nothing of the massive "scrap heap". As a result, Vincent Placcius in De Arte Excerpendi (1689) specifically warns against this practice (p. 72).

      (cross reference from : https://hypothes.is/a/SyenKlO2Eeys0esqwOgjUw)

    2. Make permanent notes.

      The important part of permanent notes are generating your own ideas and connecting (linking them densely) into your note system. The linking part is important and can be the part that most using digital systems forget to do. In paper zettelkasten, one was forced to create the first link by placing the note into the system for the first time. This can specifically be seen in Niklas Luhmann's example where a note became a new area of its own or, far more likely, it was linked to prior ideas.

      By linking the idea to others within the system, it becomes more likely that the idea can have additional multiple contexts where it might be used and improve the fact that context shifts will prove more insight in the future.

      Additional links to subject headings, tags, categories, or other forms of taxonomy will also help to make sure the note isn't lost completely into the system. Links to the bibliographical references within the system are helpful as well, especially for later citation. Keep in mind that these categories and reference links aren't nearly as valuable as the other primary idea links.

      One can surely collect ideas and facts into their system, but these aren't as important or as interesting as one's own ideas and the things that are sparked and generated by them.

      Asking questions in permanent notes can be valuable as they can become the context for new research, projects, and writing. Open questions can be incredibly valuable for one's thinking and explorations.

  6. Jan 2022
    1. A Mental Squeeze Point is when your unsorted knowledge becomes so messy it overwhelms and discourages you. Either you are equipped with frameworks to overcome the squeeze point, or you are discouraged and possibly abandon your project.

      Cross reference: https://hypothes.is/a/BuMcAnr4EeyxO-PwNBfPrg (Dan Allosso's analogy about the Kuiper Belt)

  7. Oct 2021
    1. We must beware of a certain craze for collecting which sometimes takes possession of those who make notes.
    2. Avoid caprice in everything. Just as reading is food, and memory a rich possession that becomes part of the personality, notes also are storehouses of nourishment and of personality. Reading, memory, notes should all complete us, should there- fore be like us, have something of our self, our r6le, our yocation; they should correspond to what we are aiming at and to the form of external activity by which we can and will realize it.

      Solid advice for note taking.

      This reasoning seems to be missing from writers like Ryan Holiday who just give the advice without the underlying reason why.

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  8. Oct 2020