- Jul 2022
Beatrice Webb, the famous sociologist and political activist, reported in 1926: "'Every one agrees nowadays', observe the most noted French writers on the study of history, 'that it is advisable to collect materials on separate cards or slips of paper. . . . The advantages of this artifice are obvious; the detachability of the slips enables us to group them at will in a host of different combinations; if necessary, to change their places; it is easy to bring texts of the same kind together, and to incorporate additions, as they are acquired, in the interior of the groups to which they belong.'" 
Webb 1926, p. 363. The number of scholars who have used the index card method is legion, especially in sociology and anthropology, but also in many other subjects. Claude Lévy-Strauss learned their use from Marcel Mauss and others, Roland Barthes used them, Charles Sanders Peirce relied on them, and William Van Orman Quine wrote his lectures on them, etc.
- Jun 2022
Before we begin, please note that this piece assumes intermediate familiarity with Zettelkasten and its original creator, the social scientist Niklas Luhmann (1927–1998).
Even the long running (2013) zettelkasten.de website credits Niklas Luhmann as being the "original creator" of the zettelkasten.
We really need to track down the origin of linking one idea to another. Obviously writers, and especially novelists, would have had some sort of at least linear order in their writing due to narrative needs in using such a system. What does this tradition look like on the non-fiction side?
Certainly some of the puzzle stems from the commonplace book tradition, but this is more likely to have relied on natural memory as well as searching and finding via index methods.
Perhaps looking more closely at Hans Blumenberg's instantiation would be more helpful. Similarly looking at the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss and his predecessors like Marcel Mauss may provide at least an attack on this problem.
My working hypothesis is that given the history of the Viennese numbering system, it may have stemmed from the late 1700s and this certainly wasn't an innovation by Luhmann.
link to: https://hyp.is/hLy7NNtqEeuWQIP1UDkM6g/web.archive.org/web/20130916081433/https://christiantietze.de/posts/2013/06/zettelkasten-improves-thinking-writing/ for evidence of start of zettelkasten.de
- Vienna University Library
- Hans Blumenberg
- Marcel Mauss
- Claude Lévi-Strauss
- zettelkasten history
- Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten
- zettelkasten origin myth
- numbering systems
- Dec 2021
there's a great literature in 00:21:37 anthropology about the way that hunter-gatherer societies and many other societies action flip and alternate between very different kinds of political 00:21:49 arrangements depending partly on the time of year so one will have periods of great economic abundance let's say when the Bison or the deer or the woolly mammoth if we're in the Pleistocene 00:22:03 europe are coming through the valleys and you'll have extremely elaborate social measures put in place to make sure that hunting is successfully completed and during those periods you 00:22:17 might have a very authoritarian kind of political organization but once it's all over the society changes shape Marcel Mauss actually used the term social morphology I think to describe this 00:22:30 society moves and transforms
Marcel Mauss defines social morphology as a way that societies flip or alternate between social structures depending on the seasons based on availability of food and potentially other factors.
Perhaps to be found in Seasonal Variations of the Eskimo: A Study in Social Morphology #