77 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2024
  2. Dec 2023
    1. So much so that Mr. Hortense S. Endo wrote about it in a column a long time ago!

      apparently Hortense S. Endo wrote about the idea of using datetime stamps as idea links

    2. The purpose of entering the time is not only to ensure a chronological order, but also to give that information an absolute reference name and create a link. In order to create links between cards, it is necessary to give the material a unique name according to certain rules. The quickest way to do this is to use date + time (time stamp). The time does not need to be exact; it can be within ±5 minutes. It was 9:30 when I wrote the first one, and since I'm on the second one now, it's probably two minutes after that, so I'll leave it as loose as this. However, ensure the context between cards and the uniqueness of the time (that is, the only material with that time stamp) . It's a good idea to get into this habit when writing, not only on information cards, but also on notebooks, report sheets, Word documents, PostIts, and anything else. When creating a link, for example,  ref. 2006.03.03 03:03 (basic, card)  ref. note 2006.03.03 03:03 (note)  ref. proj.pap. 2006.03.03 03:03 (report paper) , etc. All you have to do is write it down.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20060422014759/http://that4.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/stationery/1021438965/l50

      Interesting to see people using datetime stamps as unique identifiers in 2006 to link notes together.

    1. How to link between Cards The "date" and "time" stamp of a cards define their "absolute name". This is why the time stamp must be unique, but not necessary to be accurate. In addition, it is easy to find a specific card, according to the stamp, if all cards are kept in chronological order. This technique was first introduced on the 2-channel.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkexpress/192480328/in/album-72157594200490122/

      The PoIC system allows linking of cards using date/timestamps for indexing/finding. Interestingly they were all kept in chronological order rather than in idea order as in Luhmann's zettelkasten.

      What are the pros/cons of this?<br /> - more searching and hunting through cards certainly is a drawback for lack of "threaded" ideas - others...

      hawkexpress apparently learned this technique on the 2-channel.

      (Edited 2022-10-13, 2023-12-27)

    1. I dislike isolated events anddisconnected details. I really hate state-ments, views, prejudices, and beliefsthat jump at you suddenly out of mid-air.

      Wells would really hate social media, which he seems to have perfectly defined with this statement.

    2. I believe thatin some such way as I have sketched, themental forces now largely and regrettablyscattered and immobilized in the univer-sities, the learned societies, research in-stitutions, and technical workers of theworld could be drawn together into areal directive world intelligence, and bythat mere linking and implementing ofwhat is known, human life as a wholecould be made much surer, stronger,bolder, and happier than it has ever beenup to the present time.
  3. Oct 2023
    1. Links are made by readers as well as writers. A stunning thing that we forget, but the link here is not part of the author’s intent, but of the reader’s analysis. The majority of links in the memex are made by readers, not writers. On the world wide web of course, only an author gets to determine links. And links inside the document say that there can only be one set of associations for the document, at least going forward.

      So much to unpack here...

      What is the full list of types of links?

      There are (associative) links created by the author (of an HTML document) as well as associative (and sometimes unwritten) mental links which may be suggested by either the context of a piece and the author's memory.

      There are the links made by the reader as they think or actively analyze the piece they're reading. They may make these explicit in their own note taking or even more strongly explicit with tools like Hypothes.is which make these links visible to others.

      tacit/explicit<br /> suggested mentally / directly written or made<br /> made by writer / made by reader<br /> others?

      lay these out in a grid by type, creator, modality (paper, online, written/spoken and read/heard, other)

    2. Links are associative. This is a huge deal. Links are there not only as a quick way to get to source material. They aren’t a way to say, hey here’s the interesting thing of the day. They remind you of the questions you need to ask, of the connections that aren’t immediately evident.

      links can be used for search

      links remind you of questions you need to ask

      links can suggest other future potential links of which one isn't yet aware or which haven't fully manifested, this is some of the "magic" of the zettelkasten—it creates easy potential for future links not yet manifest.

    1. In Re: to folgezettel or not? in an unlogged chat:

      Zettelkasten (slips) or not (commonplaces, notebooks, paper, files, other), you're going to have a variety of related ideas which you'll juxtapose, especially if you're regularly writing. Those who practice folgezettel are putting in some of the work/heavy lifting from the start versus those who don't and are leaving the work until some later point closer to composition. Folgezettel also helps to encourage the emergence of ideas, but requires work to do so. This doesn't mean that this emergence or new ideas may not arrive without Folgezettel and/or Zettelkasten, but one needs to have some process or affordances which help to foster them. Victor Margolin's process put more of his work on the back end in comparison to Luhmann, but his version obviously works all the same. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxyy0THLfuI

    1. New ideas can come along during the process, too. And a film isn’tfinished until it’s finished, so you’re always on guard. Sometimesthose happy accidents occur. They may even be the last pieces ofthe puzzle that allow it all to come together. And you feel so thankful:How in the world did this happen?
    2. But it wasn’t always that way. When I made Dune, I didn’t havefinal cut. It was a huge, huge sadness, because I felt I had sold out,and on top of that, the film was a failure at the box office. If you dowhat you believe in and have a failure, that’s one thing: you can stilllive with yourself. But if you don’t, it’s like dying twice. It’s very, verypainful.

      Being an author is having the final cut on a string of ideas placed in a particular order.

    1. LYNCH: No. The whole thing has to make sense toyou, and it has to feel correct. And—but again, it’sbased on these ideas that have been forming andarranging and finally showing you what it is. Andit’s just focusing on those through the process.And if it makes sense, no matter how abstract asense, again it goes back to intuition rather thanjust pure intellect, and something that can be soeasily translated into words by, you know,everyone. Those are beautiful things to me,abstractions. And life is filled with them, andcinema can do abstractions.
  4. Sep 2023
    1. Is the idea that you force yourself to find the link between a new idea and the existing cards? I didn't understand it that way.Example of the 4 cards I have nowone how there's a continuum between music that's easy digestable for the listener, where the creator does a lot of effort, and music that asks a lot from the listener, because the creator makes idiosyncratic music.the concept of "false consensus" in psychologylinked with that: "naive realism"one about (marching band) parades, how in some cultures/for some people it's more about choosing to enjoy and dance then about the musicians who are responsible for that. (I see a link with the first, but that's not what interests me in this one)

      reply to u/JonasanOniem at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16ss0yu/comment/k2buxsc/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      In digital contexts it is much easier and very common to create orphaned notes that aren't connected to anything. In a paper zettelkasten, you are forced to file your note somewhere and give it a number (only to be able to find it again—it's difficult, but try not to make the mistake of conflating your number with the idea of category). The physical act of placing it in your slipbox creates an implicit link to the things around it. As a result, your four notes would all initially seem to be directly related because they're nearby, but over time, they will naturally drift apart as you intersperse new notes between and among them. Though if they're truly directly interrelated, you can write down explicit links from notes at one end of your thought space to notes which seem distant.

      In your example, you may see some sort of loose link between your first and fourth notes relating to music. While it may be a distant one, given what you have, putting marching band "next to" digestible music is really the only place to put it. Over time, you'll certainly find other notes that come between them which will tend to split them apart and separate them by physical distance, but for now, if it's what you've got, then place them into the same neighborhood by giving them addresses (numbers) to suggest they live nearby. (Some note applications like Obsidian make this much harder to do, and as a result orphaned notes will eventually become a problem.)

      This physical process is part of the ultimate value of building knowledge from the bottom up. Like most people, you've probably been heavily trained to want to create a hierarchy from the top down (folder-based systems on computers of the late 20th century are a big factor here) which is exactly why you're going to have problems like this at the start. You'll want to place that music note somewhere else, or worse, orphan it. For some people who may not be able to immediately trust the process, it can be easier to create a few dozen or a hundred notes and then come back to them later to file and arrange them. This will allow you to seed some ground from which to continually build and help to bridge the gap between the desire to move top-down in a system designed to move from bottom-up.

      Depending on one's zettelkasten application (Obsidian, Zettlr, Logseq, The Archive, et al.) some do a better job of allowing the creation of "soft links" versus the more explicit hard or direct links (usually using [[WikiLinks]]). The soft links are usually best done by providing a number that places one note into proximity with another, but not all systems work this way. As a result, it's much easier to build a traditional commonplace book with Obsidian than it is to build a Luhmann-artig zettelkasten (see: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/22/the-two-definitions-of-zettelkasten/). The concept of tags/categories in many systems is another form of soft link that can hold ideas together, so use this affordance if your application offers it as well. But also keep in mind that if sociology is your life's work, you'll eventually amass such a huge number of digital notes tagged with "sociology" that this affordance will become useless as it won't scale well for discovery and creating links.

    2. Hi, I just started to use Zettlr for my thoughts, in stead of just individual txt-files. I find it easy to add tags to notes. But if you read manuals how to use ZettelKasten, most seem to advice to link your notes in a meaningful way (and describe the link). Maybe it's because I just really started, but I don't find immediate links when I have a sudden thought. Sometimes I have 2 ideas in the same line, but they're more like siblings, so tagging with the same keyword is more evident. How do most people do this?

      reply to u/JonasanOniem at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16ss0yu/linking_new_notes/

      This sort of practice is harder when you start out in most digital apps because there is usually no sense of "closeness" of ideas in digital the way that is implied by physical proximity (or "neighborhood") found in physical cards sitting right next to or around each other. As a result, you have to create more explicit links or rely on using tags (or indexing) when you start. I've not gotten deep into the UI of Zettlr, but some applications allow the numbering (and the way numbered ideas are sorted in the user interface) to allow this affordance by creating a visual sense of proximity for you. As you accumulate more notes, it becomes easier and you can rely less on tags and more on direct links. Eventually you may come to dislike broad categories/tags and prefer direct links from one idea to another as the most explicit tag you could give a note . If you're following a more strict Luhmann-artig practice, you'll find yourself indexing a lot at the beginning, but as you link new ideas to old, you don't need to index (tag) things as heavily because the index points to a card which is directly linked to something in the neighborhood of where you're looking. Over time and through use, you'll come to recognize your neighborhoods and the individual "houses" where the ideas you're working with all live. As an example, Luhmann spent his life working in sociology, but you'll only find a few links from his keyword register/subject index to "sociology" (and this is a good thing, otherwise he'd have had 90,000+ listings there and the index entry for sociology would have been utterly useless.)

      Still, given all this, perhaps as taurusnoises suggests, concrete examples may help more, particularly if you're having any issues with the terminology/concepts or how the specific application affordances are being presented.

    1. Merchants and traders have a waste book (Sudelbuch, Klitterbuch in GermanI believe) in which they enter daily everything they purchase and sell,messily, without order. From this, it is transferred to their journal, whereeverything appears more systematic, and finally to a ledger, in double entryafter the Italian manner of bookkeeping, where one settles accounts witheach man, once as debtor and then as creditor. This deserves to be imitatedby scholars. First it should be entered in a book in which I record everythingas I see it or as it is given to me in my thoughts; then it may be enteredin another book in which the material is more separated and ordered, andthe ledger might then contain, in an ordered expression, the connectionsand explanations of the material that flow from it. [46]

      —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook E, #46, 1775–1776


      In this single paragraph quote Lichtenberg, using the model of Italian bookkeepers of the 18th century, broadly outlines almost all of the note taking technique suggested by Sönke Ahrens in How to Take Smart Notes. He's got writing down and keeping fleeting notes as well as literature notes. (Keeping academic references would have been commonplace by this time.) He follows up with rewriting and expanding on the original note to create additional "explanations" and even "connections" (links) to create what Ahrens describes as permanent notes or which some would call evergreen notes.

      Lichtenberg's version calls for the permanent notes to be "separated and ordered" and while he may have kept them in book format himself, it's easy to see from Konrad Gessner's suggestion at the use of slips centuries before, that one could easily put their permanent notes on index cards ("separated") and then number and index or categorize them ("ordered"). The only serious missing piece of Luhmann's version of a zettelkasten then are the ideas of placing related ideas nearby each other, though the idea of creating connections between notes is immediately adjacent to this, and his numbering system, which was broadly based on the popularity of Melvil Dewey's decimal system.

      It may bear noticing that John Locke's indexing system for commonplace books was suggested, originally in French in 1685, and later in English in 1706. Given it's popularity, it's not unlikely that Lichtenberg would have been aware of it.

      Given Lichtenberg's very popular waste books were known to have influenced Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, Andre Breton, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. (Reference: Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph (2000). The Waste Books. New York: New York Review Books Classics. ISBN 978-0940322509.) It would not be hard to imagine that Niklas Luhmann would have also been aware of them.


      Open questions: <br /> - did Lichtenberg number the entries in his own waste books? This would be early evidence toward the practice of numbering notes for future reference. Based on this text, it's obvious that the editor numbered the translated notes for this edition, were they Lichtenberg's numbering? - Is there evidence that Lichtenberg knew of Locke's indexing system? Did his waste books have an index?

    1. folgezettel pushes the note maker toward making at least one connection at the time of import.

      There is a difference between the sorts of links one might make when placing an idea into an (analog) zettelkasten. A folgezettel link is more valuable than a simple tag/category link because it places an idea into a more specific neighborhood than any handful of tags. This is one of the benefits of a Luhmann-artig ZK system over a more traditional commonplace one, particularly when the work is done up front instead of being punted to a later time.

      For those with a 1A2B3Z linking system (versus a pure decimal system), it may be more difficult to insert a card before other cards rather than after them because of the potential gymnastics of numbering and the natural tendency to put things into a continuing linear order.

      See also: - https://hypothes.is/a/ToqCPq1bEe2Q0b88j4whwQ - https://hyp.is/WtB2AqmlEe2wvCsB5ZyL5A/docdrop.org/download_annotation_doc/Introduction-to-Luhmanns-Zette---Ludecke-Daniel-h4nh8.pdf

  5. Aug 2023
    1. Another surprise was the amount of notecards that are associated with one another. While some cards contain a short one-line joke, other jokes span several cards. These collections of cards had originally been paper-clipped together, but at some point in the life of the gag file the paper clips were removed. This removal was great in terms of preservation because paper clips tend to rust and cause damage to the surface to which they have been attached. But the removal also made it difficult to decipher which cards were originally associated with one another. I was able to use the bend marks on cards as well as rust marks from where a paper clip used to be to record which joke cards were most likely originally paper-clipped together. This association is important to note because some individual cards only hold a portion of a longer joke and therefore do not make sense independently.

      While most of the jokes in Phyllis Diller's gag file were individual, stand-alone cards, the archivist who scanned them noted that there was a surprising number of cards that were associated with one another. (jokerfolgezettel, anyone?) She was able to distinguish jokes which spanned several cards by either their paperclips (when extant), or physical markings (rust/paper bending) which indicated prior paperclipping or other association which had long since been removed.

    1. Writing on small cards forces certain habits which would be good even for larger paper, but which I didn’t consider until the small cards made them necessary. It forces ideas to be broken up into simple pieces, which helps to clarify them. Breaking up ideas forces you to link them together explicitly, rather than relying on the linear structure of a notebook to link together chains of thought.

      A statement of the common "one idea per card" (or per note). He doesn't state it, but links to an article whose title is "One Thought Per Note".

      Who else has use this or similar phrasing in the historical record? - Beatrice Webb certainly came pretty close. - Others?

    1. Does anyone has it’s Zettelkasten in Google Docs, Microsoft Word or Plain Tex (without a hood app like obsidian or The Archive)? .t3_15fjb97._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/Efficient_Earth_8773 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/15fjb97/does_anyone_has_its_zettelkasten_in_google_docs/

      Experimenting can be interesting. I've tried using spreadsheet software like Google Sheets or Excel which can be simple and useful methods that don't lose significant functionality. I did separate sheets for zettels, sources, and the index. Each zettel had it's own row with with a number, title, contents, and a link to a source as well as the index.

      Google Docs might be reasonably doable, but the linking portion may be one of the more difficult affordances to accomplish easily or in a very user-centric fashion. It is doable though: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/45893?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop, and one might even mix Google Docs with Google Sheets? I could see Sheets being useful for creating an index and or sources while Docs could be used for individual notes as well. It's all about affordances and ease of use. Text is a major portion of having and maintaining a zettelkasten, so by this logic anything that will allow that could potentially be used as a zettelkasten. However, it helps to think about how one will use it in practice on a day-to-day basis. How hard will it be to create links? Search it? How hard will it be when you've got thousands of "slips"? How much time will these things take as it scales up in size?

      A paper-based example: One of the reasons that many pen and paper users only write on one side of their index cards is that it saves the time of needing to take cards out and check if they do or don't have writing on the back or remembering where something is when it was written on the back of a card. It's a lot easier to tip through your collection if they're written only on the front. If you use an alternate application/software what will all these daily functions look like compounded over time? Does the software make things simpler and easier or will it make them be more difficult or take more time? And is that difficulty and time useful or not to your particular practice? Historian and author David McCullough prefers a manual typewriter over computers with keyboards specifically because it forces him to slow down and take his time. Another affordance to consider is how much or little work one may need to put into using it from a linking (or not) perspective. Using paper forces one to create a minimum of at least one link (made by the simple fact of filing it next to another) while other methods like Obsidian allow you to too easily take notes and place them into an infinitely growing pile of orphaned notes. Is it then more work to create discrete links later when you've lost the context and threads of potential arguments you might make? Will your specific method help you to regularly review through old notes? How hard will it be to mix things up for creativity's sake? How easy/difficult will it be to use your notes for writing/creating new material, if you intend to use it for that?

      Think about how and why you'd want to use it and which affordances you really want/need. Then the only way to tell is to try it out for a bit and see how one likes/doesn't like a particular method and whether or not it helps to motivate you in your work. If you don't like the look of an application and it makes you not want to use it regularly, that obviously is a deal breaker. One might also think about how difficult/easy import/export might be if they intend to hop from one application to another. Finally, switching applications every few months can be self-defeating, so beware of this potential downfall as you make what will eventually need to be your ultimate choice. Beware of shiny object syndrome or software that ceases updating in just a few years without easy export.

  6. May 2023
    1. Use the 3 dots in the upper right hand corner to link cards together. Another way to link cards is by adding a title on the line in the upper right hand corner.

      In addition to using the three dots on the Analog system's cards to indicate how much one accomplished (modest value), Jeff Sheldon suggests using them to "link cards together", though he doesn't suggest how one could or should do this. Presumably he means to use the possible dot patterns as a code, but then one only has 2^3 or 8 ways of doing this, so the number of possible links is incredibly low. Some of this seems related to edge notched cards, though here, there's no suggestion of punching holes in these cards, so sorting or finding these cards isn't necessarily easy unless one otherwise indexes them, a functionality which falls outside of the minimalist scope of the product.

      To expand on this method he also, more profitably, suggests adding titles to cards in the blank line at the top which is also frequently used for dating cards.

    1. Apophenia (/æpoʊˈfiːniə/) is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.[1] The term (German: Apophänie from the Greek verb ἀποφαίνειν (apophaínein)) was coined by psychiatrist Klaus Conrad in his 1958 publication on the beginning stages of schizophrenia.[2] He defined it as "unmotivated seeing of connections [accompanied by] a specific feeling of abnormal meaningfulness".[3][4] He described the early stages of delusional thought as self-referential over-interpretations of actual sensory perceptions, as opposed to hallucinations.[1][5]

      link to: - https://boffosocko.com/2022/05/14/55804938/ - Aby Warburg's coinage of Verknüpfungszwang

  7. Apr 2023
    1. Similarly, you must give up the assumption that there are privileged places, notes of special and knowledge-ensuring quality. Each note is just an element that gets its value from being a part of a network of references and cross-references in the system. A note that is not connected to this network will get lost in the Zettelkasten, and will be forgotten by the Zettelkasten.

      This section is almost exactly the same as Umberto Eco's description of a slip box practice:

      No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them. -- Umberto Eco. Foucault's Pendulum

      See: https://hypothes.is/a/jqug2tNlEeyg2JfEczmepw


      Interestingly, these structures map reasonably well onto Paul Baran's work from 1964: Paul Baran's graphs for Centralized, Decentralized, and Distributed systems

      The subject heading based filing system looks and functions a lot like a centralized system where the center (on a per topic basis) is the subject heading or topical category and the notes related to that section are filed within it. Luhmann's zettelkasten has the feel of a mixture of the decentralized and distributed graphs, but each sub-portion has its own topology. The index is decentralized in nature, while the bibliographical section/notes are all somewhat centralized in form.

      Cross reference:<br /> Baran, Paul. “On Distributed Communications: I. Introduction to Distributed Communications Networks.” Research Memoranda. Santa Monica, California: RAND Corporation, August 1964. https://doi.org/10.7249/RM3420.

  8. Mar 2023
    1. Ein Zettel, auf den kein anderer Zettel verweist, ist kein Zettel

      —Detlef Stern, 2023-03-21, https://mastodon.social/@t73fde/110062851811483123

      A note not referenced by another note is not a note. (translation mine)

    1. A sentence "this is furthered by note xy." is almost as good of an indicator that the opportunity was passed on as "reminds me of" if there is not exploration. On the contrary, if there is "reminds me of" and a thorough exploration of the connection follows it is perfectly fine.

      One can make links between ideas more explicit using words like x ["supports", "contradicts", "supports", "challenges", "extends", "contradicts", etc] y. However it can be even more useful and beneficial to not only state the connection in the loosest of terms, but to explore and develop what that connection is and how it works. The more explicit one can be, the better.

      If it's a metaphor, analogy, or abstraction, how far can one push those relationships before they collapse? Can the abstraction be encompassed in a mathematical sense that one case completely consumes another?

    1. we create (knowledge) tools to measure how good we are, and avoid just feeling good (Collector's Fallacy).

      Collecting for collections' sake is a fools errand. Collecting to connect and create is where the magic happens.

  9. Feb 2023
    1. I find it very tiring haha. As I said in another comment, processing a single chapter can take me a full day or two. However, I keep reminding myself that I would rather spend a day processing a chapter well, and have literature notes to serve me a lifetime (potentially, at least), rather than reading a chapter in two hours and not remember a single thing the next day. When I REALLY need a reminder of this, I just look at my "Backlog" folder which contains old "notes" that are now pretty much useless: I didn't use a reference manager consistently during my first two years of PhD so there are a lot of citations which are unreliable; I didn't really summarise texts, I only read them and highlighted; I didn't use the cloud for a long time, so I lost a lot of notes; and I didn't have Obsidian, so a lot of my notes are just contained within the context of the place I read them, rather than being connected. Seeing three years worth of useless materials, and knowing that I read a couple hundred of articles/chapters but I have nothing to show for it, that makes me more patient when writing my literature notes now. However I also find it very exciting that I can future-proof some of my notes. I feel like I'm working for my future self.

      A partial answer to note taking why.

  10. Jan 2023
    1. I've decided I don't care (too much) where new notes go .t3_10mjwq9._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/jackbaty at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10mjwq9/ive_decided_i_dont_care_too_much_where_new_notes/

      u/jackbaty, If it doesn't make sense for you (yet, or for your specific needs), you can always follow in the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands who used a topical subject heading method of the commonplace book before Luhmann's example shifted the space over the last decade. If it worked for Francis Bacon, you'll probably be alright too... (See: https://boffosocko.com/2022/06/10/reframing-and-simplifying-the-idea-of-how-to-keep-a-zettelkasten/)

      I find that sometimes, it is useful to bank up a few dozen cards before filing/linking them together. Other times I'll file them by category in a commonplace book like system to ruminate a bit only later to move them to a separate Luhmann-esque zettelkasten area where they're more tightly linked with the ideas around them. After you've been doing it a while, it will be easier to more tightly integrate the three-way conversation or argument you're having between yourself, your card index, and the sources you're thinking about (or reading, watching, listening to). You mention that "my brain needs at least some level of structure", and I totally get it, as most of us (myself included) are programmed to work that way. I've written some thoughts on this recently which may help provide some motivation to get you around it: https://boffosocko.com/2023/01/19/on-the-interdisciplinarity-of-zettelkasten-card-numbering-topical-headings-and-indices/

      It helps to have a pointed reason for why you're doing all this in the first place and that reason will dramatically help to shape your practice and its ultimate structure.

    1. Once you somehow got your idea, there’s the task of placing and connecting your idea to your collection of existing ideas. What kind of connection am I looking for? What relationships are worthy of calling a connection? Do any connections work, or do some work better than others? Should I categorize the connections?

      Most only get so far as, what could/should I connect this to and don't get any farther.

      Some good questions for mulling over here though.

    2. The Compass of Zettelkasten Thinking.

      The Brain in some of its views (see for eg: Jerry Michalski's default brain view) instantiates this sort of directional semantics for ideas.

      Note too, that The Brain makes it much easier to help create connections between multiple ideas as a basic functionality.

    1. Jan. 22. To set down such choice experiences that my own writingsmay inspire me and at last I may make wholes of parts. Certainly it isa distinct profession to rescue from oblivion and to fix the sentimentsand thoughts which visit all men more or less generally, that thecontemplation of the unfinished picture may suggest its harmoniouscompletion. Associate reverently and as much as you can with yourloftiest thoughts. Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is anest egg, by the side of which more will be laid. Thoughts accidentallythrown together become a frame in which more may be developedand exhibited. Perhaps this is the main value of a habit of writing, ofkeeping a journal,—that so we remember our best hours and stimulateourselves. My thoughts are my company. They have a certainindividuality and separate existence, aye, personality. Having bychance recorded a few disconnected thoughts and then brought theminto juxtaposition, they suggest a whole new field in which it waspossible to labor and to think. Thought begat thought.

      !!!!

      Henry David Thoreau from 1852

    1. I couldn’t have written this book without the aid of laying out all of thedifferent sections on my desk. I created a hub of cards that had collectivecardlinks on them. Each card was organized by topic and contained subtopicsthat pointed me to various card addresses in my Antinet. I then moved themaround a large table to create the perfect logical layout for this book. Here’sa picture of it:

      Despite doing the lion's share of the work of linking cards along the way, Scheper shows that there's still some work of laying out an outline and moving cards around to achieve a final written result.


      compare this with Victor Margolin's process: https://hypothes.is/a/oQFqvm3IEe2_Fivwvx596w

      also compare with the similar processes of Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene

  11. Dec 2022
    1. as long as you operate within theframework of the four principles I’m introducing now

      Thus far, Scheper has only been making the argument to do as I say because I know best. He's not laying out the reasons or affordances that justify this approach.

      In this second principle it's ostensibly just "the possibility of linking", but this was broadly done previously using subject headings or keywords along with indices and page numbers which are logically equivalent to these note card addresses.

  12. Nov 2022
    1. Mark: Cathy Marshall at Xerox PARC originally started speaking about information gardening. She developed an early tool that’s the inspiration for the Tinderbox map view, in which you would have boxes but no lines. It was a spatial hypertext system, a system for connecting things by placing them near each other rather than drawing a line between them. Very interesting abstract representational problem, but also it turned out to be tremendously useful.

      Cathy Marshall was an early digital gardener!

    2. One of the first things that was discovered about building complicated technical hypertext is that you don’t know what the structure will be in advance. And as you’re adding information, you know you want to keep the information, but you frequently don’t know what the information you’re adding is. You can’t describe its type or its nature or its importance in advance. You just suspect that it’s going to be pertinent somehow. Or you see a terrific quotation that you know will be great to use, but you don’t know when that quotation will fit or even if it’ll fit in this book, or if you’ll have to save it for something else. Finding ways to say, “I think these two things are related somehow, but I don’t want to commit myself yet as to exactly how,” turns out to be quite an interesting design problem. Hypertext people started out, in fact, by inventing the outliner very early — 1968. And outliners are terrific if you already know the structure of your information space. But hierarchies are not good if you’re just guessing about how things fit together because you tend to build great elaborate structures that turn out to be wrong, and you have to unbuild them, and then you’ve got a terrible pile on your desk.

      Connecting ideas across space and time when you don't know how they'll fully relate in advance is a tough design problem.

      Outliner programs, first developed for computers in 1968, are great if you know the structure of a space in advance, but creating hierarchies by guessing about relationships in advance often turn out wrong or create other problems as one progresses.

    1. Robert Amsler is a retired computational lexicology, computational linguist, information scientist. His P.D. was from UT-Austin in 1980. His primary work was in the area of understanding how machine-readable dictionaries could be used to create a taxonomy of dictionary word senses (which served as the motivation for the creation of WordNet) and in understanding how lexicon can be extracted from text corpora. He also invented a new technique in citation analysis that bears his name. His work is mentioned in Wikipedia articles on Machine-Readable dictionary, Computational lexicology, Bibliographic coupling, and Text mining. He currently lives in Vienna, VA and reads email at robert.amsler at utexas. edu. He is currenly interested in chronological studies of vocabulary, esp. computer terms.

      https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert-Amsler

      Apparently follow my blog. :)

      Makes me wonder how we might better process and semantically parse peoples' personal notes, particularly when they're atomic and cross-linked?

    1. For example, if I've left myself a note like #pkm/xref this reminds me of something the Carthage expert I like said, but I can't remember her name I will search my notes to figure out the name of the Carthage expert I like, cross-reference the highlight with things she said, and add links and update notes as appropriate. If I said something like This reminds me of the article about the guy a crane is in love with when I was taking notes on something without access to my notes, I will go find the article and link to my notes about it so that my backlinks and graph are updated.

      I'm not sure how frequent this pattern is within fleeting notes, but it's something I do myself to create at least a temporary shorthand context of how things interrelate and which can easily be cleaned up later in the longer form permanent notes.

      The tougher thing is to always capture these sorts of things which one won't remember, but which quite often create better and stronger insights down the road.

    1. One of the big lies notetakers tell themselves is, “I will remember why I liked this quote/story/fact/etc.”

      Take notes for your most imperfect, forgetful future self. You're assuredly not only not going to remember either the thing you are taking notes for in the first place, but you're highly unlikely to remember why you thought it was interesting or intriguing or that clever thing you initially thought of at the same time.

      Capture all of this quickly in the moment, particularly the interesting links to other things in your repository of notes. These ideas will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for one to remember.

  13. Oct 2022
    1. The first demo of TidlyWiki from 2004 took the ideas of wiki and applied them to fragments rather than entire pages. The hypothesis was that it would be easier to write in small interlinked chunks that could be gradually massaged into a linear narrative

      The first demo of TidlyWiki from 2004 took the ideas of wiki and applied them to fragments rather than entire pages. The hypothesis was that it would be easier to write in small interlinked chunks that could be gradually massaged into a linear narrativehttps://t.co/v2v6dyL3Oy pic.twitter.com/MJO7tyopr2

      — TiddlyWiki (@TiddlyWiki) September 20, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. Preceding anyspecific historiographical method, the Zettelkasten provides the space inwhich potential constellations between these things can appear concretely,a space to play with connections as they have been formed by historic pre-decessors or might be formed in the present.

      relationship with zettelkasten in the history of historical methods?

    1. https://www.loom.com/share/a05f636661cb41628b9cb7061bd749ae

      Synopsis: Maggie Delano looks at some of the affordances supplied by Tana (compared to Roam Research) in terms of providing better block-based user interface for note type creation, search, and filtering.


      These sorts of tools and programmable note implementations remind me of Beatrice Webb's idea of scientific note taking or using her note cards like a database to sort and search for data to analyze it and create new results and insight.

      It would seem that many of these note taking tools like Roam and Tana are using blocks and sub blocks as a means of defining atomic notes or database-like data in a way in which sub-blocks are linked to or "filed underneath" their parent blocks. In reality it would seem that they're still using a broadly defined index card type system as used in the late 1800s/early 1900s to implement a set up that otherwise would be a traditional database in the Microsoft Excel or MySQL sort of fashion, the major difference being that the user interface is cognitively easier to understand for most people.

      These allow people to take a form of structured textual notes to which might be attached other smaller data or meta data chunks that can be easily searched, sorted, and filtered to allow for quicker or easier use.

      Ostensibly from a mathematical (or set theoretic and even topological) point of view there should be a variety of one-to-one and onto relationships (some might even extend these to "links") between these sorts of notes and database representations such that one should be able to implement their note taking system in Excel or MySQL and do all of these sorts of things.

      Cascading Idea Sheets or Cascading Idea Relationships

      One might analogize these sorts of note taking interfaces to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). While there is the perennial question about whether or not CSS is a programming language, if we presume that it is (and it is), then we can apply the same sorts of class, id, and inheritance structures to our notes and their meta data. Thus one could have an incredibly atomic word, phrase, or even number(s) which inherits a set of semantic relationships to those ideas which it sits below. These links and relationships then more clearly define and contextualize them with respect to other similar ideas that may be situated outside of or adjacent to them. Once one has done this then there is a variety of Boolean operations which might be applied to various similar sets and classes of ideas.

      If one wanted to go an additional level of abstraction further, then one could apply the ideas of category theory to one's notes to generate new ideas and structures. This may allow using abstractions in one field of academic research to others much further afield.

      The user interface then becomes the key differentiator when bringing these ideas to the masses. Developers and designers should be endeavoring to allow the power of complex searches, sorts, and filtering while minimizing the sorts of advanced search queries that an average person would be expected to execute for themselves while also allowing some reasonable flexibility in the sorts of ways that users might (most easily for them) add data and meta data to their ideas.


      Jupyter programmable notebooks are of this sort, but do they have the same sort of hierarchical "card" type (or atomic note type) implementation?

    1. Goutor recommends cross-referencing or linking ideas between cards "at the bottom of the note-card, as soon as the note itself is completed." Links shouldn't be trusted to memory and should be noted as soon as possible. Further he recommends periodically sorting through cards and adding adding additional cross references as one ruminates. While he indicates that cross-referencing may seem "cumbersome at first sight, experience will show that it enhances the usefulness of the card file when the time comes to retrieve the information it contains." (p32-33)

      Beyond this he doesn't indicate any additional benefits of creativity or serendipity that have been seen in similar treatises.

    2. On page 24, Goutor cross references one note to another, but only does so at the level of the bigger book or text and not at the level of the individual notes themselves.

      Was this on purpose?

    1. This search for order pushes one to seek out under-lying patterns and trends, to find relations that may betypical and causal.

      Finding order and relations (and their particular types), is a form of linking ideas found in some of the more complex zettelkasten and knowledge management spaces. It's not as explicit here and he doesn't seem to be focusing on stating or writing explicit links within his notes. He does, however, place some focus on the quality and types of links he's making (or at least thinking about), something which isn't frequently seen in the current PKM space. For example, no one is creating user interfaces that show links between ideas which are opposite (or in opposition or antonym relation) to each other.

    2. examine my entire file, not only thoseparts of it which obviously bore on the topic, but alsomany others which seemed to have no relevance whatso-ever. For imagination and " t h e structuring of an i d e a " areoften exercised by putting together hitherto isolated items,by finding unsuspected connections. 1 made new units inthe file for this particular range of problems, which, o fcourse, led to a new arrangement of other parts of the file.

      What a lot to unpack here.

      He's actively looking through all parts of his files to find potential links and connections between ideas. He brings up the idea of "unsuspected connections" which touches on Luhmann's idea of serendipity, Llull's combinatorial arts, or what one might call combinatorial creativity.

    3. To be able to trustone's own experience, even if it often turns out to beinadequate, is one mark of the mature workman. Suchconfidence in o n e ' s own experience is indispensable tooriginality in any intellectual pursuit, and the file is onetool by which I have tried to develop and justify suchconfidence.

      The function of memory served by having written notes is what allows the serious researcher or thinker to have greater confidence in their work, potentially more free from cognitive bias as one idea can be directly compared and contrasted with another by direct juxtaposition.

  14. Sep 2022
    1. Oftentimes they even refered to one another.

      An explicit reference in 1931 in a section on note taking to cross links between entries in accounting ledgers. This linking process is a a precursor to larger database processes seen in digital computing.

      Were there other earlier references that are this explicit within either note making or accounting contexts? Surely... (See also: Beatrice Webb's scientific note taking)


      Just the word "digital" computing defines that there must have been an "analog' computing which preceded it. However we think of digital computing in much broader terms than we may have of the analog process.

      Human thinking is heavily influenced by associative links, so it's only natural that we should want to link our notes together on paper as we've done for tens of thousands of years (at least.)

  15. Aug 2022
    1. Each type of index card should have a dif-ferent color, and should include in the top right corner abbre-viations that cross-reference one series of cards to another,and to the general plan. The result is something majestic.

      Finally a concrete statement about actively cross-linking ideas on note cards together!

    1. (see paragraph 28)

      an example within this essay of a cross reference from one note to another showing the potential linkages of individual notes within one's own slipbox.

    2. the slips by the topicalheadings. Guide cards are useful to gdicate the several head-ings and subheadings. Under each heading classif the slipsin writing, discarding any that may not prove useful andmaking cross references for notes which may be needed foruse in more than one lace. This classification will reveal,almost automatically, wiere there are deficiencies in the ma-terials collected which should be remedied. The completedand classified collection of notes then becomes the basis ofcomposition.

      missing some textual context here for full quote...

      Dutcher is recommending arranging notes and cards by topical headings in a commonplace sort of method. He does recommend a sub-arrangement of placing them in logical order for one's writing however. He goes even further and indicates one may "make cross references for notes which may be needed for use in more than one place." Which provides an early indication of linking or cross linking cards to multiple places within in one's card index. (Has this cross referencing (linking) idea appeared in the literature specifically before, or is this an early instantiation of this idea?)

    1. Historical Hypermedia: An Alternative History of the Semantic Web and Web 2.0 and Implications for e-Research. .mp3. Berkeley School of Information Regents’ Lecture. UC Berkeley School of Information, 2010. https://archive.org/details/podcast_uc-berkeley-school-informat_historical-hypermedia-an-alte_1000088371512. archive.org.

      https://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/events/2010/historical-hypermedia-alternative-history-semantic-web-and-web-20-and-implications-e.

      https://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/audio/2010-10-20-vandenheuvel_0.mp3

      headshot of Charles van den Heuvel

      Interface as Thing - book on Paul Otlet (not released, though he said he was working on it)

      • W. Boyd Rayward 1994 expert on Otlet
      • Otlet on annotation, visualization, of text
      • TBL married internet and hypertext (ideas have sex)
      • V. Bush As We May Think - crosslinks between microfilms, not in a computer context
      • Ted Nelson 1965, hypermedia

      t=540

      • Michael Buckland book about machine developed by Emanuel Goldberg antecedent to memex
      • Emanuel Goldberg and His Knowledge Machine: Information, Invention, and Political Forces (New Directions in Information Management) by Michael Buckland (Libraries Unlimited, (March 31, 2006)
      • Otlet and Goldsmith were precursors as well

      four figures in his research: - Patrick Gattis - biologist, architect, diagrams of knowledge, metaphorical use of architecture; classification - Paul Otlet, Brussels born - Wilhelm Ostwalt - nobel prize in chemistry - Otto Neurath, philosophher, designer of isotype

      Paul Otlet

      Otlet was interested in both the physical as well as the intangible aspects of the Mundaneum including as an idea, an institution, method, body of work, building, and as a network.<br /> (#t=1020)

      Early iPhone diagram?!?

      (roughly) armchair to do the things in the web of life (Nelson quote) (get full quote and source for use) (circa 19:30)

      compares Otlet to TBL


      Michael Buckland 1991 <s>internet of things</s> coinage - did I hear this correctly? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things lists different coinages

      Turns out it was "information as thing"<br /> See: https://hypothes.is/a/kXIjaBaOEe2MEi8Fav6QsA


      sugane brierre and otlet<br /> "everything can be in a document"<br /> importance of evidence


      The idea of evidence implies a passiveness. For evidence to be useful then, one has to actively do something with it, use it for comparison or analysis with other facts, knowledge, or evidence for it to become useful.


      transformation of sound into writing<br /> movement of pieces at will to create a new combination of facts - combinatorial creativity idea here. (circa 27:30 and again at 29:00)<br /> not just efficiency but improvement and purification of humanity

      put things on system cards and put them into new orders<br /> breaking things down into smaller pieces, whether books or index cards....

      Otlet doesn't use the word interfaces, but makes these with language and annotations that existed at the time. (32:00)

      Otlet created diagrams and images to expand his ideas

      Otlet used octagonal index cards to create extra edges to connect them together by topic. This created more complex trees of knowledge beyond the four sides of standard index cards. (diagram referenced, but not contained in the lecture)

      Otlet is interested in the "materialization of knowledge": how to transfer idea into an object. (How does this related to mnemonic devices for daily use? How does it relate to broader material culture?)

      Otlet inspired by work of Herbert Spencer

      space an time are forms of thought, I hold myself that they are forms of things. (get full quote and source) from spencer influence of Plato's forms here?

      Otlet visualization of information (38:20)

      S. R. Ranganathan may have had these ideas about visualization too

      atomization of knowledge; atomist approach 19th century examples:S. R. Ranganathan, Wilson, Otlet, Richardson, (atomic notes are NOT new either...) (39:40)

      Otlet creates interfaces to the world - time with cyclic representation - space - moving cube along time and space axes as well as levels of detail - comparison to Ted Nelson and zoomable screens even though Ted Nelson didn't have screens, but simulated them in paper - globes

      Katie Berner - semantic web; claims that reporting a scholarly result won't be a paper, but a nugget of information that links to other portions of the network of knowledge.<br /> (so not just one's own system, but the global commons system)

      Mention of Open Annotation (Consortium) Collaboration:<br /> - Jane Hunter, University of Australia Brisbane & Queensland<br /> - Tim Cole, University of Urbana Champaign<br /> - Herbert Van de Sompel, Los Alamos National Laboratory annotations of various media<br /> see:<br /> - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311366469_The_Open_Annotation_Collaboration_A_Data_Model_to_Support_Sharing_and_Interoperability_of_Scholarly_Annotations - http://www.openannotation.org/spec/core/20130205/index.html - http://www.openannotation.org/PhaseIII_Team.html

      trust must be put into the system for it to work

      coloration of the provenance of links goes back to Otlet (~52:00)

      Creativity is the friction of the attention space at the moments when the structural blocks are grinding against one another the hardest. —Randall Collins (1998) The sociology of philosophers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (p.76)

    1. Half the time I begin typing something, I'm not even sure what I'm writing yet. Writing it out is an essential part of thinking it out. Once I've captured it, re-read it, and probably rewritten it, I can then worry about what to label it, what it connects to, and where it should 'live' in my system.

      One of my favorite things about Hypothes.is is that with a quick click, I've got a space to write and type and my thinking is off to the races.

      Sometimes it's tacitly (linked) attached to another idea I've just read (as it is in this case), while other times it's not. Either way, it's coming out and has at least a temporary place to live.

      Later on, my note is transported (via API) from Hypothes.is to my system where I can figure out how to modify it or attach it to something else.

      This one click facility is dramatically important in reducing the friction of the work for me. I hate systems which require me to leave what I'm doing and opening up another app, tool, or interface to begin.

  16. Jul 2022
    1. I'll push back on this a bit. I suspect that even though one might create multiple links to digital notes in all directions like this, it really doesn't happen happen at scale like this in practice.

      I'd be willing to guess that very few people in the digital space are linking their ideas to more than two or three others. In fact, I suspect that if you looked at many digital ZKs you'd find a lot of orphaned notes floating around.

      Separately, even in the analog space, the two links (down or forward) isn't always correct either. I cross link all over the place. The one constant benefit of the analog is that you're generally required to create at least one link because you have to place the card somewhere, and this isn't the case in most digital contexts/tools.

      I'd posit that it's a lot of work to link a new idea into your system once much less in multiple places. Generally the more ideas you can link/cross-link it to, the more likely you'll run across it in the future and have potential to reuse it. I'd also suggest that the more links it's got, the better you'll "own" it. These addition links will also allow you to better compare/contrast various ideas by juxtaposing them in the future.

      Theorem: more (good/great) links = more complexity which yields more "life", serendipity, and surprise to be found in your slip box for future use.

    1. Finally, new notes should be connected with anexisting note when you add them to your system. I’lldescribe this in greater detail shortly; the point for now isthat linking a new thought to an existing train of thoughtseems to be a key to your note-making system workingfor you. Where does this new idea fit into your thoughtson an issue? Your questions about a topic? Your ideasabout a puzzle you’re working on understanding?Disciplining yourself to make this connection can be abit tough and time-consuming at first. It is worth theinvestment. Without understanding how these ideas thatinterest us fit together, all we have is a pile of unrelatedtrivia.

      Writing and refining one's note about an idea can be key to helping one's basic understanding of that idea, but this understanding is dramatically increased by linking it into the rest of one's framework of understanding of that idea. A useful side benefit of creating this basic understanding and extending it is that one can also reuse one's (better understood) ideas to create new papers for expanding other's reading and subsequent understanding.

    1. After each review session, there’s often one flashcard in particular that I really dig into. I might spend 5 minutes writing about it. I might just think about it while going about my day.

      Spending just a few minutes writing about an idea in one's flash card review can be a useful way to better integrate that idea into one's field of thought. Bringing it out and expressing it more fully, linking it to other thoughts, and shifting the modality from reading into writing can be powerful methods for ensconcing it into one's memory as well as mentally owning it and even potentially extending it.

    2. Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind and learned about what he calls Symphonic Thinking, or the ability to find connections between seemingly disparate entities, as a key thinking pattern for the future of work,

      Dan Pink's book A Whole New Mind lays out an idea he call's "Symphonic Thinking" which is a practice of finding connections between unrelated ideas. He suggests that this practice is an important key to the future of work.


      Link this to other incarnations of this pattern in history: - Raymond Llull - Llullan combinatorial arts - Niklas Luhmann - linked zettelkasten - Marshall Kirkpatrick - triangle thinking - Dan Pink - symphonic thinking - etc...


      Dan Pink A Whole New Mind #books/wanttoread

    1. https://www.zylstra.org/blog/2022/06/spring-83/

      I've been thinking about this sort of thing off and on myself.

      I too almost immediately thought of Fraidyc.at and its nudge at shifting the importance of content based on time and recency. I'd love to have a social reader with additional affordances for both this time shifting and Ton's idea of reading based on social distance.

      I'm struck by the seemingly related idea of @peterhagen's LindyLearn platform and annotations: https://annotations.lindylearn.io/new/ which focuses on taking some of the longer term interesting ideas as the basis for browsing and chewing on. Though even here, one needs some of the odd, the cutting edge, and the avant garde in their balanced internet diet. Would Spring '83 provide some of this?

      I'm also struck by some similarities this has with the idea of Derek Siver's /now page movement. I see some updating regularly while others have let it slip by the wayside. Still the "board" of users exists, though one must click through a sea of mostly smiling and welcoming faces to get to it the individual pieces of content. (The smiling faces are more inviting and personal than the cacophony of yelling and chaos I see in models for Spring '83.) This reminds me of Stanley Meyers' frequent assertion that he attempted to design a certain "sense of quiet" into the early television show Dragnet to balance the seeming loudness of the everyday as well as the noise of other contemporaneous television programming.

      The form reminds me a bit of the signature pages of one's high school year book. But here, instead of the goal being timeless scribbles, one has the opportunity to change the message over time. Does the potential commercialization of the form (you know it will happen in a VC world crazed with surveillance capitalism) follow the same trajectory of the old college paper facebook? Next up, Yearbook.com!

      Beyond the thing as a standard, I wondered what the actual form of Spring '83 adds to a broader conversation? What does it add to the diversity of voices that we don't already see in other spaces. How might it be abused? Would people come back to it regularly? What might be its emergent properties?

      It definitely seems quirky and fun in and old school web sort of way, but it also stresses me out looking at the zany busyness of some of the examples of magazine stands. The general form reminds me of the bargain bins at book stores which have the promise of finding valuable hidden gems and at an excellent price, but often the ideas and quality of what I find usually isn't worth the discounted price and the return on investment is rarely worth the effort. How might this get beyond these forms?

      It also brings up the idea of what other online forms we may have had with this same sort of raw experimentation? How might the internet have looked if there had been a bigger rise of the wiki before that of the blog? What would the world be like if Webmention had existed before social media rose to prominence? Did we somehow miss some interesting digital animals because the web rose so quickly to prominence without more early experimentation before its "Cambrian explosion"?

      I've been thinking about distilled note taking forms recently and what a network of atomic ideas on index cards look like and what emerges from them. What if the standard were digital index cards that linked and cross linked to each other, particularly in a world without adherence to time based orders and streams? What does a new story look like if I can pull out a card either at random or based on a single topic and only see it or perhaps some short linked chain of ideas (mine or others) which come along with it? Does the choice of a random "Markov monkey" change my thinking or perspective? What comes out of this jar of Pandora? Is it just a new form of cadavre exquis?

      This standard has been out for a bit and presumably folks are experimenting with it. What do the early results look like? How are they using it? Do they like it? Does it need more scale? What do small changes make to the overall form?


      For more on these related ideas, see: https://hypothes.is/search?q=tag%3A%22spring+%2783%22

  17. Jun 2022
    1. For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”

      One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.

      Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?

      Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.

      Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?

      Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"


      aside on serendipity

      As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,

    1. send off your draft or beta orproposal for feedback. Share this Intermediate Packet with a friend,family member, colleague, or collaborator; tell them that it’s still awork-in-process and ask them to send you their thoughts on it. Thenext time you sit down to work on it again, you’ll have their input andsuggestions to add to the mix of material you’re working with.

      A major benefit of working in public is that it invites immediate feedback (hopefully positive, constructive criticism) from anyone who might be reading it including pre-built audiences, whether this is through social media or in a classroom setting utilizing discussion or social annotation methods.

      This feedback along the way may help to further find flaws in arguments, additional examples of patterns, or links to ideas one may not have considered by themselves.

      Sadly, depending on your reader's context and understanding of your work, there are the attendant dangers of context collapse which may provide or elicit the wrong sorts of feedback, not to mention general abuse.

    2. The Archipelago of Ideas

      This idea doesn't appear in Steven Johnson's book itself, but only in this quirky little BoingBoing piece, so I'll give Forte credit for using his reading and notes from this piece to create a larger thesis here.

      I'm not really a fan of this broader archipelago of ideas as it puts the work much later in the process. For those not doing it upfront by linking ideas as they go, it's the only reasonable strategy left for leveraging one's notes.

    3. When a few of his friends became interested in thetopic, he took eight minutes to progressively summarize the bestexcerpts before sharing the summarized article with them. The timethat he had spent reading and understanding a complex subject paidoff in time savings for his friends, while also giving them a newinterest to connect over.

      To test one's own understanding of a topic one has read about and studied, it can be useful to discuss it or describe one's understanding to friends or colleagues in conversations. This will help you discover where the holes are based on the person's understanding and comprehension of what you've said. Can you fill in all the holes where they have questions? Are their questions your new questions which have exposed holes that need to be filled in your understanding or in the space itself.

      I do this regularly in conversations with people. It makes the topics of conversation more varied and interesting and helps out your thinking at the same time. In particular I've been doing this method in Dan Allosso's book club. It's almost like trying on a new idea the way one might try on a piece of clothing to see how it fits or how one likes it for potential purchase. If an idea "fits" then continue refining it and add it to your knowledge base. These conversations also help to better link ideas in my thought space to those of what we're reading. (I wonder if others are doing these same patterns, Dan seems to, but I don't have as good a grasp on this with other participants).

      Link to :<br /> - Ahren's idea of writing to expose understanding<br /> - Feynman technique<br /> - Socratic method (this is sort of side or tangential method to this) <- define this better/refine

    4. First, while using the previous retrieval methods, it is a good ideato keep your focus a little broad. Don’t begin and end your searchwith only the specific folder that matches your criteria.

      The area of serendipity becomes much more powerful when one has ideas both directly interlinked, ideas categorized with subject headings or tags, or when one can have affordances like auto-complete.

      The method Forte suggests and outlines allows for some serendipity, but not as much as other methods with additional refinements. Serendipity in Forte's method isn't as strong as in others.

      In this section he's talking about some of the true "magic of note taking" which is discussed by Luhmann and others.

      link to:<br /> Luhmann's writings on serendipity and surprise when using his zettelkasten (Communication with the Slipbox...)<br /> Ahrens mentions of this effect

    5. Our notes are things to use,not just things to collect.

      Many people take notes, they just don't know where they're taking them to. It's having a concrete use for them after you've written them down that makes all the difference. At this point, most would say that they do read back over them, but this generally creates a false sense of learning through familiarity. Better would be turning them into spaced repetition flashcards, or linking them to ideas and thoughts already in our field of knowledge to see if and where they fit into our worldview.

      link to - research on false feeling of knowledge by re-reading notes in Ahrens

    6. Your efforts to capture content for future use will be tremendouslyeasier and more effective if you know what that content is for.

      Within the P.A.R.A. framework it's helpful if you know what your note capture is meant for, but it's wholly against a lot of note taking for things which may simply spark joy. This may be helpful for the work-a-day productivity person, but is painfully out of sync with keeping notes as a means of generating new ideas. Many of these sorts of notes will be hidden away in an archive and thus broadly unusable in the long run.

      Sorting ideas into folders is still an older classical way of thinking instead of linking an idea to related things that make it imminently more usable. Cross linked ideas seem wholly more interesting, vibrant and more useable to me.

    1. The third UDL principle is to provide multiple means of expression and action. We find it helpful to think of this as the principle that transcends social annotation: at this point, students use what they’ve learned through engagement with the material to create new knowledge. This kind of work tends to happen outside of the social annotation platform as students create videos, essays, presentations, graphics, and other products that showcase their new knowledge.

      I'm not sure I agree here as one can take other annotations from various texts throughout a course and link them together to create new ideas and knowledge within the margins themselves. Of course, at some point the ideas need to escape the margins to potentially take shape with a class wiki, new essays, papers, journal articles or longer pieces.

      Use of social annotation across several years of a program this way may help to super-charge students' experiences.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxfTVdohSwA

      Christine Moskell talks about a professor's final exam design prompting students to go back to annotations and add new commentary (or links to other related knowledge) that they've gained during the length of a course.


      Link to:

      This is very similar to the sort of sensemaking and interlinking of information that Sönke Ahrens outlines in his book How to Take Smart Notes though his broader note taking thesis goes a few additional steps for more broadly synthesizing ideas into longer papers, articles, theses, and books.

      Dr. Moskell also outlined a similar tactic at the [[Hypothesis Social Learning Summit - Spotlight on Social Reading & Social Annotation]] earlier today, though that video may not be accessible for a bit.

      Cross reference: https://web.hypothes.is/event/social-learning-summit-spotlight-on-social-reading-social-annotation/

      How can we better center and model these educational practices in our pedagogies?

    1. Real learning cannot happen in a vacuum. Connecting oneself and one’s new ideas with others across classrooms, across the curricula, and into the community build confidence , deepens experience, and maximizes success.
    1. you label boxes so you knowwhat’s in them; you arrange your clothes according to color. Eventually you reach apoint where you look around and you’re satisfied. There are no loose ends.Everything is in its place, put away or accounted for or easily accessed. The roomexudes order and harmony. When you look around, you’re happy.

      Interlinking your ideas can help to create a harmony within your collection. There are no loose ends or lost ideas. There is a place for everything and everything is in its proper place, ready to be used and reused.

    1. Marshall’s method for connecting which he calls Triangle Thinking (26:41)

      Marshall Kirkpatrick describes a method of taking three ostensibly random ideas and attempting to view each from the others' perspectives as a way to create new ideas by linking them together.

      This method is quite similar to that of Raymond Llull as described in Frances Yate's The Art of Memory (UChicago Press, 1966), though there Llull was memorizing and combinatorially permuting 20 or more ideas at a time. It's also quite similar to the sort of meditative practice found in the lectio divina, though there ideas are generally limited to religious ones for contemplation.

      https://content.blubrry.com/thrivingonoverload/THRIVING_013_Marshall_Kirkpatrick.mp3#t=1559,1745

      Other examples: - https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22combinatorial+creativity%22 - https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22Llullan%20combinatorial%20arts%22

    1. Connections that seemed self-evident whenenvisaged abstractly turned out to be weak or artificial when itcame to the task of setting down one sentence after another.

      It would seem that Barzun didn't create links between particular ideas as he made them given the fact that his outlines are abstract and his connections felt "weak and artificial".

    Tags

    Annotators

  18. May 2022
    1. There are four essential capabilities that we can rely on a SecondBrain to perform for us:1. Making our ideas concrete.2. Revealing new associations between ideas.3. Incubating our ideas over time.4. Sharpening our unique perspectives.

      Does the system really do each of these? Writing things down for our future selves is the thing that makes ideas concrete, not the system itself. Most notebooks don't reveal new associations, we actively have to do that ourselves via memory or through active search and linking within the system itself. The system may help, but it doesn't automatically create associations nor reveal them. By keeping our ideas in one place they do incubate to some extent, but isn't the real incubation taking place in a diffuse way in our minds to come out later?

    1. The biggest mistake—and one I’ve made myself—is linking with categories. In other words, it’s adding links like we would with tags. When we link this way we’re more focused on grouping rather than connecting. As a result, we have notes that contain many connections with little to no relevance. Additionally, we add clutter to our links which makes it difficult to find useful links when adding links. That being said, there are times when we might want to group some things. In these cases, use tags or folders.

      Most people born since the advent of the filing cabinet and the computer have spent a lifetime using a hierarchical folder-based mental model for their knowledge. For greater value and efficiency one needs to get away from this model and move toward linking individual ideas together in ways that they can more easily be re-used.

      To accomplish this many people use an index-based method that uses topical or subject headings which can be useful. However after even a few years of utilizing a generic tag (science for example) it may become overwhelmed and generally useless in a broad search. Even switching to narrower sub-headings (physics, biology, chemistry) may show the same effect. As a result one will increasingly need to spend time and effort to maintain and work at this sort of taxonomical system.

      The better option is to directly link related ideas to each other. Each atomic idea will have a much more limited set of links to other ideas which will create a much more valuable set of interlinks for later use. Limiting your links at this level will be incredibly more useful over time.

      One of the biggest benefits of the physical system used by Niklas Luhmann was that each card was required to be placed next to at least one card in a branching tree of knowledge (or a whole new branch had to be created.) Though he often noted links to other atomic ideas there was at least a minimum link of one on every idea in the system.

      For those who have difficulty deciding where to place a new idea within their system, it can certainly be helpful to add a few broad keywords of the type one might put into an index. This may help you in linking your individual ideas as you can do a search of one or more of your keywords to narrow down the existing ones within your collection. This may help you link your new idea to one or more of those already in your system. This method may be even more useful and helpful for those who are starting out and have fewer than 500-1000 notes in their system and have even less to link their new atomic ideas to.

      For those who have graphical systems, it may be helpful to look for one or two individual "tags" in a graph structure to visually see the number of first degree notes that link to them as a means of creating links between atomic ideas.

      To have a better idea of a hierarchy of value within these ideas, it may help to have some names and delineate this hierarchy of potential links. Perhaps we might borrow some well ideas from library and information science to guide us? There's a system in library science that uses a hierarchical set up using the phrases: "broader terms", "narrower terms", "related terms", and "used for" (think alias or also known as) for cataloging books and related materials.

      We might try using tags or index-like links in each of these levels to become more specific, but let's append "connected atomic ideas" to the bottom of the list.

      Here's an example:

      • broader terms (BT): [[physics]]
      • narrower terms (NT): [[mechanics]], [[dynamics]]
      • related terms (RT): [[acceleration]], [[velocity]]
      • used for (UF) or aliases:
      • connected atomic ideas: [[force = mass * acceleration]], [[$$v^2=v_0^2​+2aΔx$$]]

      Chances are that within a particular text, one's notes may connect and interrelate to each other quite easily, but it's important to also link those ideas to other ideas that are already in your pre-existing body of knowledge.


      See also: Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms (TGM I) https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tgm1/ic.html

  19. Feb 2022
    1. 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.