53 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. https://lifehacker.com/the-pile-of-index-cards-system-efficiently-organizes-ta-1599093089

      LifeHacker covers the Hawk Sugano's Pile of Index Cards method, which assuredly helped promote it to the GTD and productivity crowd.

      One commenter notices the similarities to Ryan Holiday's system and ostensibly links to https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2013/08/how-and-why-to-keep-a-commonplace-book/

      Two others snarkily reference using such a system to "keep track of books in the library [,,,] Sort them out using decimal numbers on index cards in drawers or something..." and "I need to tell my friend Dewey about this! He would run with it." Obviously they see the intellectual precursors and cousins of the method, though they haven't looked at the specifics very carefully.

      One should note that this may have been one of the first systems to mix information management/personal knowledge management with an explicit Getting Things Done set up. Surely there are hints of this in the commonplace book tradition, but are there any examples that go this far?

  2. Aug 2022
    1. Fickert, Kevin-Steven. “Die Geschichte des Zettelkatalogs : eine historisch-kritische Betrachtung eines Verzeichnismediums und seiner Regelwerke.” Fachhochschule Stuttgart Hochschule der Medien, 2003. https://hdms.bsz-bw.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/141

      via Ton Zijlstra

    1. ManuelRodriguez331 · 8 hr. agotaurusnoises wrote on Aug 20, 2022: Technik des Wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens by Johannes Erich HeydeThe idea of grouping similar notes together with the help of index cards was mainstream knowledge in the 1920'er. Melvil Dewey has invented the decimal classification in 1876 and it was applied to libraries and personal note taking as well.quote: “because for every note there is a systematically related one in the immediate vicinity. [...] A good, scholarly book can grow out of the mere collection of notes — not an ingenious one, indeed" [1]The single cause why it wasn't applied more frequently was because of the limitation of the printing press. In the year 1900 only 100 scholarly journals were available in the world. There was no need to write more manuscripts and teach the art of Scientific Writing to a larger audience.[1] Kuntze, Friedrich: Die Technik der geistigen Arbeit, 1922

      reply to: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/wrytqj/comment/ilax9tc/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Index card systems were insanely popular in the early 1900's for note taking and uses of all other sorts (business administration, libraries, etc.). The note taking tradition of the slip box goes back even further in intellectual history with precedents including miscellanies, commonplace books, and florilegia. Konrad Gessner may have been one of the first to have created a method using slips of rearrangeable paper in the 1500s, but this general pattern of excerpting, note taking and writing goes back to antiquity with the concept of locus communis (Latin) and tópos koinós (Greek).

      What some intellectual historians are hoping for evidence of in this particular source is a possible origin of the idea of the increased complexity of direct links from one card to another as well as the juxtaposition of ideas which build on each other. Did Luhmann innovate this himself or was this something he read or was in general practice which he picked up? Most examples of zettelkasten outside of Luhmann's until those in the present, could be described reasonably accurately as commonplace books on index cards usually arranged by topic/subject heading/head word (with or without internal indices).

      Perhaps it was Luhmann's familiarity with Aktenzeichen (German administrative "file numbers") prior to his academic work which inspired the dramatically different form his index card-based commonplace took? See: https://hyp.is/CqGhGvchEey6heekrEJ9WA/www.wikiwand.com/de/Aktenzeichen_(Deutschland)

      Is it possible that he was influenced by Beatrice Webb's ideas on note taking from Appendix C of My Apprenticeship (1924) which was widely influential in the humanities and particularly sociology and anthropology? Would he have been aware of the work of historians Ernst Bernheim followed by Charles Victor Langlois and Charles Seignobos? (see: https://hypothes.is/a/DLP52hqFEe2nrIMdrd4U7g) Did Luhmann's law studies expose him to the work of jurist Johann Jacob Moser (1701-1785) who wrote about his practice in his autobiography and subsequently influenced generations of practitioners including Jean Paul and potentially Hegel?

      There are obviously lots of unanswered questions...

    1. History and Foundations of Information Science

      This series of books focuses on the historical approach or theoretical approach to information science and seeks a broader interpretation of what we consider as information (i.e., information is in the eye of the beholder, be it sets of data, scholarly publications, works of art, material objects, or DNA samples), and an emphasis upon how people access and interact with this information.

      https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/series/history-and-foundations-information-science

    1. https://multimediaman.blog/2016/09/30/how-the-index-card-launched-the-information-age/

      A quick overview of the index card and it's role in history from Linnaeus to Dewey to the Mundaneum.

    2. One year ago this month, the final order of library catalog cards was printed by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in Dublin, Ohio. On October 2, 2015, The Columbus Dispatch wrote, “Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, an era ended. About a dozen people gathered in a basement workroom to watch as a machine printed the final sheets of library catalog cards to be made …”
    1. https://www.preservearticles.com/business/what-is-card-indexing-and-explain-its-advantages-and-disadvantages/1740

      This page seems to be broadly copied from the book Secretarial Practice and Company Law by Arun Kumar and Rachana Sharma (Atlantic Publishers & Distributors (P) Limited, 1998) # and specifically page 529.

      It contains no other history or references that I can immediately see. The book seems to be written for a secretarial audience in India in the 1990's, and while interesting not otherwise pertinent to immediate to my historical questions.

    1. I like to imagine all the thoughts and ideas I’vecollected in my system of notes as a forest. I imagine itas three-dimensional, because the trains of thought I’vebeen working on for some time look like trees, withbranches of argument, point, and counterpoint andleaves of source-based evidence. Actually, the forest isfour-dimensional, because it changes over time, growingas I add more to it. A piece of output I make using thisforest of thoughts is like a path through the woods. It’sa one-dimensional narrative or interpretation that startsat one point, moves in a line or an arc (sometimes azig-zag) through the woods, touching some but not allof the trees and leaves. I like this imagery, because itsuggests there are many ways to move through the forest.
  3. Jul 2022
    1. For example, in the Phaedrus, one of Plato’s dialogues from the 4th century BCE, Socrates relates the myth of the king Thamus and the god Theuth. Theuth was the inventor of letters — the first technology of thinking!

      Another of the abounding examples of people thinking that writing and literacy are the first technology of thinking.

    1. Langlois, Charles-Victor / Seignobos, Charles (1898): Introduction to the Study of History. London

      Niklas Luhmann cites Langlois and Seignobos' Introduction to the Study of History (1898) at least once, so there's evidence that he read at least a portion of the book which outlines some portions of note taking practice that resemble portions of his zettelkasten method.

    1. On many occasions we have been com¬pelled to break off the writing of a particular chapter, or even of aparticular paragraph, in order to test, by reshuffling the whole of ournotes dealing with a particular subject, a particular place, a particularorganisation or a particular date, the relative validity of hypotheses asto cause and effect. I may remark, parenthetically, that we have foundthis “ game with reality ”, this building up of one hypothesis andknocking it down in favour of others that had been revealed or verifiedby a new shuffle of the notes—especially when we severally “ backed ”rival hypotheses—a most stimulating recreation! In that way alonehave we been able “ to put our bias out of gear ”, and to make ourorder of thought correspond, not with our own prepossessions, butwith the order of things discovered by our investigations.

      Beatrice Webb's note taking system here shows indications of being actively used as a database system!

    2. “ Every one agrees nowadays ”, observethe most noted French writers on the study of history, “ that it is advisable to collectmaterials on separate cards or slips of paper. . . . The advantages of this artifice areobvious; the detachability of the slips enables us to group them at will in a host ofdifferent combinations; if necessary, to change their places; it is easy to bring textsof the same kind together, and to incorporate additions, as they are acquired, in theinterior of the groups to which they belong ” (Introduction to the Study of History,by Charles Langlois and Charles Seignobos, translated by C. G. Berry, 1898, p.103). “
    1. Bernheim, Ernst. Lehrbuch der historischen Methode und der Geschichtsphilosophie: mit Nachweis der wichtigsten Quellen und Hilfsmittel zum Studium der Geschichte. Leipzig : Duncker & Humblot, 1908. http://archive.org/details/lehrbuchderhist03berngoog.

      Title translation: Textbook of the historical method and the philosophy of history : with reference to the most important sources and aids for the study of history

      A copy of the original 1889 copy can be found at https://digital.ub.uni-leipzig.de/mirador/index.php

    2. der Beschaffenheit des Themas und des Materials wird es oft_ praktisch sein, von sachlicher Ordnung abzusehen und nur dieHuGBerlich chronologische anzuwenden. Gerade dann ist es vongréBtem Wert, die Eintragungen auf lose Blu&tter zu machen,damit man dieselben nach den verschiedenen Gesichtspunktender Zusammengehirigkeit zeitweilig umordnen und dann wiederin die Grundordoung zurticklegen kann. Um die einzelnenNotizen leicht auffinden zu kinnen, ist es ratsam, die Datenoder Schlagwirter oben dartiberzuschreiben; und die Bl&tteroder Zettel miissen von nicht zu diinnem Papier sein, damitman sie schnell durchblattern kann.Soweit es sich um Abschriften ganzer Akten oder Nach-richten handelt, bedarf es keiner besonderen Erérterungen.Doch solche véllige Abschriften wird man nur machen, wo essich um archivalische Quellen oder entlegenere Drucke handelt,die man nicht so leicht wieder erreichen kann. Im tibrigenwird man sich mit Ausztigen und Notizen begniigen, welcheentweder das aus den Quellen ausheben, was fiir das Themain Betracht kommt, oder nur im allgemeinen auf die Quellen-stellen hinweisen. Im ersteren Falle kommt es darauf an, dasBrauchbare und Wichtige scharf zu erkennen und prizis zunotieren; im letzteren Falle mu8 die Hindeutung wenigstensderart prizisiert sein, daf8 man beim sp&teren Durchsehen derNotizen gleich ersieht, was in der betreffenden Quellenstellezu erwarten ist, und da® die Identit&t der Notiz mit dem Inhaltder Quellenstelle nicht zweifelhaft sein kann; bei Urkundenerfordert letzteres besondere Sorgfalt, da nicht selten iiber den-selben (tegenstand zur selben Zeit mehrere dhnliche Dokumenteausgestellt worden sind: man tut daher gut, die Identitét jedesStiickes durch Aufnotierung des Anfanges und Schlusses (In-cipit und Explicit) sicherzustellen, wobei zu bemerken ist, dafhier als Anfang und Schlu8 nicht die formelhaften Teile, diesogenannten Protokolle, welche eben als feststehende Formelnnicht fiir die einzelne Urkunde unterscheidend sind, gelten,sondern daf man Anfang und Schlu8 des individuellen Textesnotiert, eine Art der Bezeichnung, die allgemein bei den pupst-lichen Bullen angewandt wird, indem man von der Bulle Unamsanctam oder Ausculta fili usw. spricht.

      Je nach der Beschaffenheit des Themas und des Materials wird es oft praktisch sein, von sachlicher Ordnung abzusehen und nur die äußerlich chronologische anzuwenden. Gerade dann ist es von größtem Wert, die Eintragungen auf lose Blätter zu machen, damit man dieselben nach den verschiedenen Gesichtspunkten der Zusammengehörigkeit zeitweilig umordnen und dann wieder in die Grundordoung zurücklegen kann. Um die einzelnen Notizen leicht auffinden zu können, ist es ratsam, die Daten oder Schlagwörter oben darüberzuschreiben; und die Blätter oder Zettel müssen von nicht zu dünnem Papier sein, damit man sie schnell durchblättern kann.

      Soweit es sich um Abschriften ganzer Akten oder Nachrichten handelt, bedarf es keiner besonderen Erörterungen. Doch solche völlige Abschriften wird man nur machen, wo es sich um archivalische Quellen oder entlegenere Drucke handelt, die man nicht so leicht wieder erreichen kann. Im übrigen wird man sich mit Auszügen und Notizen begnügen, welche entweder das aus den Quellen ausheben, was für das Thema in Betracht kommt, oder nur im allgemeinen auf die Quellenstellen hinweisen. Im ersteren Falle kommt es darauf an, das Brauchbare und Wichtige scharf zu erkennen und präzis zu notieren; im letzteren Falle muß die Hindeutung wenigstens derart präzisiert sein, daß man beim späteren Durchsehen der Notizen gleich ersieht, was in der betreffenden Quellenstelle zu erwarten ist, und daß die Identität der Notiz mit dem Inhalt der Quellenstelle nicht zweifelhaft sein kann; bei Urkunden erfordert letzteres besondere Sorgfalt, da nicht selten über den-selben (tegenstand zur selben Zeit mehrere ähnliche Dokumente ausgestellt worden sind: man tut daher gut, die Identität jedes Stückes durch Aufnotierung des Anfanges und Schlusses (Incipit und Explicit) sicherzustellen, wobei zu bemerken ist, daf hier als Anfang und Schluß nicht die formelhaften Teile, die sogenannten Protokolle, welche eben als feststehende Formeln nicht für die einzelne Urkunde unterscheidend sind, gelten, sondern daß man Anfang und Schluß des individuellen Textes notiert, eine Art der Bezeichnung, die allgemein bei den päpstlichen Bullen angewandt wird, indem man von der Bulle Unam sanctam oder Ausculta fili usw. spricht.

      Google translation:

      Depending on the nature of the subject and the material, it will often be practical to dispense with factual order and use only the outwardly chronological one. It is precisely then that it is of the greatest value to make the entries on loose sheets of paper, so that they can be temporarily rearranged according to the various aspects of belonging together and then put back into the basic order. In order to be able to easily find the individual notes, it is advisable to write the dates or keywords above them; and the sheets or slips of paper must be of paper that is not too thin so that they can be leafed through quickly.

      As far as copies of entire files or messages are concerned, no special discussion is required. But such complete copies will only be made from archival sources or more remote prints that cannot easily be accessed again. For the rest, one will be content with excerpts and notes, which either extract from the sources what comes into consideration for the subject, or only refer to the sources in general. In the first case it is important to clearly recognize what is useful and important and to write it down precisely; in the latter case, the indication must at least be specified in such a way that, when looking through the notes later, one can immediately see what is to be expected in the relevant source and that the identity of the note with the content of the source cannot be in doubt; for certificates the latter requires special care, as it is not uncommon for same (te, several similar documents existed at the same time have been issued: one does therefore well, the identity of each piece by notating the beginning and end (Incipit and explicit), noting that here as beginning and end not the formulaic parts that so-called protocols, which are simply fixed formulas are not distinctive for the individual document, apply, but that one sees the beginning and end of the individual text noted, a form of designation commonly applied to the papal bulls, speaking of the bull Unam sanctam or Ausculta fili, etc.


      Continuing on in his advice on note taking, Bernheim tells us that notes on loose sheets of paper (presumably in contrast with the bound pages of a commonplace book or other types of notebooks), "can be temporarily rearranged according to the various aspects of belonging together and then put back into the basic order". He recommends giving them dates (presumably to be able to put them back into their temporal order), as well as keywords. He also suggest that "the sheets or slips of paper must be of paper that is not too thin so that they can be leafed through quickly." (translated from German)

      Note that he doesn't specify the exact size of the paper (at least not in this general section) other than to specify either "die Blätter oder Zettel" (sheets or slips) . Other practices may be more indicative of the paper size he may have had in mind. Are his own papers extant? Might those have an indication of his own personal practice as it may have differed from his published advice?

  4. Jun 2022
    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hodge-podge

      How is this broadly related to the intellectual history of commonplace books, zettelkasten, and other note taking matters.

      I recall an idea of a Hodge-podge book from my youth, but these may have been published children's activity books for fun rather than collecting tidbits as in something closer to a scrapbook.

      Link to: - Eminem's stacking ammo - Thought about this randomly while editing notes for [[Forte2022]]

  5. May 2022
    1. I think it may have been the British Library interview in which Wengrow says something like, you know, no one ever challenges a new conservative book and says, so and so has just offered a neoliberal perspective on X. But when an anarchist says something, people are sure to spend most of their time remarking on his politics. I think it's relevant that G&W call out Pinker's cherry-picking of Ötzi the ice man. They counter this with the Romito 2 specimen, but they insist that it is no more conclusive than Ötzi. So how does a challenging new interpretation gain ground in the face of an entrenched dominant narrative?

      This sentiment is very similar to one in a recent lecture series I'd started listening to: The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida #.

      Lawrence Cahoone specifically pointed out that he would be highlighting the revolutionary (and also consequently the most famous) writers because they were the ones over history that created the most change in their field of thought.

      How does the novel and the different manage to break through?

      How does this relate to the broad thesis of Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions?


      The comment Wengrow makes about "remarking on [an anarchist's] politics" as a means of attacking their ideas is quite similar to the sort of attacks that are commonly made on women. When female politicians make relevant remarks and points, mainstream culture goes to standbys about their voice or appearance: "She's 'shrill'", or "She doesn't look very good in that dress." They attack anything but the idea itself.

    1. In §§ 4–5, I examine the socio-evolutionary circumstances under which a closed combinatory, such as the one triggered by the Llullian art, was replaced by an open-ended combinatory, such as the one triggered by a card index based on removable entries. In early modernity, improvement in abstraction compelled scholars to abandon the idea that the order of knowledge should mirror the order of nature. This development also implied giving up the use of space as a type of externalization and as the main rule for checking consis-tency.

      F*ck! I've been scooped!

      Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed this, though I notice that he doesn't cite Frances A. Yates, which would have certainly been the place for having come up with this historical background (at least that's where I found it.)


      The Llullian arts can be more easily practiced with ideas placed on moveable index cards than they might be with ideas stored in one's own memory. Thus the index card as a tool significantly decreases the overhead and provides an easier user interface for permuting one's ideas and combining them. This decrease in mental work appearing at a time of information overload also puts specific pressure on the older use of the art of memory to put it out of fashion.

    1. https://www.otherlife.co/pkm/

      The PKM space has gotten crazy, but mostly through bad practice, lack of history, and hype. There are a few valid points I see mirrored here, but on the whole this piece is broadly off base due to a lack of proper experience, practice and study. I definitely would recommend he take a paid course to fix the issue, but delve more deeply into recommended historical practices.

  6. Apr 2022
    1. In this way the pressures of the multitude and diversity of authorita-tive opinion, already articulated in the previous century by Peter Abelard (1079–1142), were heightened by the development of reference books, from indexes and concordances that made originalia searchable and to the large compilations that excerpted and summarized from diverse sources.

      Prior to the flourishing of reference materials, Peter Abelard (1079-1142) had articulated the idea of "the multitude and diversity of authoritative opinion" to be found in available material. How was one to decide which authority to believe in a time before the scientific method?

      link to https://hypothes.is/a/oMSaKLb2EeyXOE_0Yh1Chw

    2. Even if the Speculum was copied only in parts, Vincent of Beauvais exposed the reader to multiple opinions on any topic he discussed. Neither the concordance nor the encyclo-pedic compendium resolved the textual difficulties or contradictions that they helped bring to light. Vincent explicitly left to the reader the task of reaching a final conclusion amid the diversity of authoritative opinions that might exist on a question: “I am not unaware of the fact that philosophers have said many contradictory things, especially about the nature of things. . . . I warn the reader, lest he perhaps be horrified, if he finds some contradictions of this kind among the names of diverse authors in many places of this work, especially since I have acted in this work not as an author, but as an excerptor, that I did not try to reduce the sayings of the philosophers to agreement but report what each said or wrote on each thing; leaving to the judgment of the reader to decide which opinion to prefer.”161

      Interesting that Vincent of Beauvais indicates that there were discrepancies between the authors, but leaves it up to the reader to decide for themself.

      What would the reader do in these cases in a culture before the scientific method and the coming scientific revolutions? Does this statement prefigure the beginning of a cultural shift?

      Are there other examples of (earlier) writers encouraging the the comparison of two different excerpts from "expert" or authoritative sources to determine which should have precedence?

      What other methods would have encouraged this sort of behavior?

    3. A number of ancient compilations, like those of Pliny, Diogenes Laertius, and Stobaeus, were indeed valued as both sources and models in the Renaissance, and authors of miscellaneously arranged compila-tions invoked Aulus Gellius as the founder of that genre.

      While there are ancient compilations by writers including Pliny, Diogenes Laertius, and Stobaeus, many authors in the Renaissance credited Aulus Gellius as the founder of the genre.

    4. On leaf numbering in the Middle Ages, see Saenger (1996), 258, 275–76, and Stoneman (1999), 6. Saenger notes nonetheless that printing created the context in which leaf numbering flourished in both print and manuscript.

      Leaf numbering was seen in the Middle Ages, but printing in the Renaissance greatly increased the number of books with page numbers.

  7. Mar 2022
    1. this is george have you have you um found that there are people who are natural thinkers like this uh the zettlecaston type thinking the 01:15:45 bottom-up thinking whatever you want to call it have you studied great thinkers and looked at their patterns and seen that they do that or is it all over the place 01:16:00 i i'm not an expert on i i know what i like in in terms of works um 01:16:13 i think there are similarities between the thinkers i read and i believe 01:16:26 they're often systematic and have found a way to deal with complexity to be able to put heterogeneous 01:16:40 ideas different ideas into a coherent theory system and i think the only way to do that 01:16:54 is by having some kind of external um brain or an equivalent of it

      George is asking a good question here and one I've even asked myself, but doesn't seem to have spent any time looking at intellectual history.

      Almost all great thinkers were not only significant writers as well, but most, at least in Western culture, kept significant notes of their work, had a commonplace book(s), waste books, sudelbücher, zettelkasten, etc.

      Of course most were also fairly wealthy and had the free time to be able to do their work which also helped to tip the balance in their favor.

    1. This hierarchical system ensures accuracy, rigour and competencyof information.

      Hierarchical systems of knowledge in Indigenous cultures helps to ensure rigor, competency, and most importantly accuracy of knowledge passed down from generation to generation.

    2. Wanta JampijinpaPatrick, a Warlpiri Elder, teaches that north corresponds to ‘Law’,south to ‘ceremony’, west to ‘language’ and east to ‘skin’. ‘Country’lies at the intersection of these directions, at the centre of thecompass: Westerners conceptualise it as ‘here’.

      In Warlpiri, the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west associatively correspond with the ideas of "Law", "ceremony", "skin", and "language" respectively. The idea of "Country" lies at the center of these directions in a space that Westerners would describe as "here".

      This directional set up underlines the value of each of the related concepts and provides pride of place to "Country" and one's being "in Country".


      Compare these with the Japanese pattern of こ (ko), そ (so), あ (a), ど (do) which describe a location with respect to the speaker.


      Western readers should notice here, that the author centers the name and position of the origin of this knowledge at the start of the sentence. While it is associated with him, it is also certainly associated with all his preceding ancestors and Elders who passed this information down.

      One might suspect that this practice isn't as common with base-level cultural knowledge, but that it becomes more important at succeeding levels of intimate area-based restricted knowledge. Placing the origin of the knowledge here at a more basic level of knowledge may help to instruct Western readers slowly and more surely understand how this foreign culture works.

      How closely does this practice generally look like the Western idea of citing one's sources which only evolved slowly over history and became more common with the flood of information in the 1500s?

    3. Indigenous scholars conducting scientific research combine formalacademic training and a personal lived experience that bridgesIndigenous and Western ways of knowing. In the United States andCanada, this concept is called Etuaptmumk, meaning ‘Two-EyedSeeing’. Etuaptmumk comes from the Mi’kmaw language of easternCanada and Maine, and was developed by Elders Dr Albert Marshalland Murdina Marshall.

      Developed by Elders Dr. Albert Marshall and Murdina Marshall, the Mi'kmaw word Etuaptmunk describes the concept of "Two-Eyed Seeing". It is based on the lived experience of Indigenous peoples who have the ability to see the world from both the Western and Indigenous perspectives with one eye on the strengths of each practice.


      The idea behind Etuaptmunk is designed and geared toward Western thinkers who place additional value on the eyes and literacy. Perhaps a second analogy of "Two-Eared Hearing" might better center the orality techniques for the smaller number of people with lived experiences coming from the other direction?

      These ideas seem somewhat similar to that of the third culture kid.

  8. Feb 2022
    1. https://collect.readwriterespond.com/monks-a-polymath-and-an-invention-made-by-two-people-at-the-same-time-its-all-in-the-history-of-the-index/

      Great find Aaron. Thanks for the ping.

      I've gone back further than this for the commonplace and the florilegium which helped to influence their creation, though I've not delved into the specific invention or general use of indices in the space heavily. I suspected that they grew out of the tradition of using headwords, though I'm not sure that indices became more popular until the paper by John Locke in 1689 (in French) or 1706 (in English).

      I'll put Dr. Duncan's book into the hopper and see what he's got to say on the topic.

    1. The undertaking that begins on May 22, 1780, later to be called the Jose-phinian catalog , is extant in “ 205 small boxes ” in an airtight locker in the

      Austrian National Library; it is widely, and often proudly, considered the first card catalog in library history.

      The first card catalogue in library history, later known as the Josephinian catalog, began on May 22, 1780 in the Austrian National Library.

    1. Iwonder how long it will take until the advantages of Luhmann’s slip-box and work routines become equally obvious to everyone. But bythen, everyone will already have known it all along the way.

      Ahrens focuses almost exclusively on Niklas Luhmann in his book How to Take Smart Notes. Sadly he misses that many others used not only the zettelkasten but other closely similar techniques including the commonplace book as a means of knowledge gathering and productivity.

      There are thousands of productive researchers and writers who have broadly used many of these techniques to great advantage. In fact, it's almost hard to find famous writers or thinkers in the early Renaissance or since who did not use these systems.

      Certainly Luhmann's system was one of the most refined of the group and his success is heavily underlined by his gargantuan output, but by not highlight other users of these systems, we're missing a lot more of the power of these systems.

  9. Jan 2022
  10. Dec 2021
    1. Historians are aware of all this. Yet the overwhelming majority stillconclude that even when European authors explicitly say they areborrowing ideas, concepts and arguments from indigenous thinkers,one should not take them seriously. It’s all just supposed to be somekind of misunderstanding, fabrication, or at best a naive projection ofpre-existing European ideas. American intellectuals, when theyappear in European accounts, are assumed to be mererepresentatives of some Western archetype of the ‘noble savage’ orsock-puppets, used as plausible alibis to an author who mightotherwise get into trouble for presenting subversive ideas (deism, forexample, or rational materialism, or unconventional views onmarriage).11

      Just as Western historians erase indigenous ideas as misunderstandings or fabrications or outright appropriation of those ideas as pre-existing ideas in European culture, is it possible that we do the same thing with orality and memory? Are medievalists seeing mnemotechniques of the time and not properly interpreting them by not seeing them in their original contexts and practices?

      The idea of talking rocks, as an example, is dismissed as lunacy, crazy, or some new-age hokum, but in reality it's at the far end of the spectrum. It's so unknowable for Western audiences that it's wholly dismissed rather than embraced, extended, and erased.

      What does the spectrum of potentially appropriated ideas look like? What causes their adoption or not, particularly in cases of otherwise cultural heterodoxy?

    1. Jacob Leupold, Theatrum machinarum. Theatrum arithmetico-geometricum, Das ist: Schau-Platz der Rechnen- und Meß-Kunst, vol. 7 (Leipzig, 1727)

      Reference that discusses calculating machines and information processors.

    2. critical edition of Harrison’s manuscript: Thomas Harrison, The Ark of Studies, ed. Alberto Cevolini (Turnhout, 2017)
    3. Commonplaces were no longer repositories of redundancy, but devices for storing knowledge expansion.

      With the invention of the index card and atomic, easily moveable information that can be permuted and re-ordered, the idea of commonplacing doesn't simply highlight and repeat the older wise sayings (sententiae), but allows them to become repositories of new and expanding information. We don't just excerpt anymore, but mix the older thoughts with newer thoughts. This evolution creates a Cambrian explosion of ideas that helps to fuel the information overload from the 16th century onward.

    4. Through an inner structure of recursive links and semantic pointers, a card index achieves a proper autonomy; it behaves as a ‘communication partner’ who can recommend unexpected associations among different ideas. I suggest that in this respect pre-adaptive advances took root in early modern Europe, and that this basic requisite for information pro-cessing machines was formulated largely by the keyword ‘order’.

      aliases for "topical headings": headwords keywords tags categories

    5. In § 3, I explain that to have a life of its own, a card index must be provid-ed with self-referential closure.

      In order to become a free-standing tool, the card index needed to have self-referential closure.

      This may have been one of the necessary steps for the early ideas behind computers. In addition to the idea of a clockwork universe, the index card may have been a step towards early efforts at creating the modern computer.

    6. The main hypothesis is that in the use of a card index as a surprise generator, there is nothing particularly surpris-ing if one considers the evolution of knowledge management in early modern Europe.

      This is what I have been arguing all along as I've been doing my research as well.

  11. Oct 2021
  12. Aug 2021
    1. The impactof such practices upon eighteenth-century visual and material culture is recounted in te Heesen, The World in a Box.

      This reference appears to show some of the historical link between the method of loci in rhetoric with that of commonplacing ideas within books. The fact that the word box may suggest some relational link between commonplacing and zettelkasten.

  13. May 2021
  14. Feb 2014
    1. One cannot call the history of intellectual property a purely proletarian struggle. While ancient Roman laws afforded a form of copyright protection to authors, n14 the rise of Anglo-Saxon copyright was a saga of publishing interests attempting to protect a concentrated market and a central government attempting to apply a subtle form of censorship to the new technology of the printing press.

      One cannot call the history of intellectual property a purely proletarian struggle.