- Oct 2022
The design of Goutor's note taking method is such that each note should have "a life of its own, so that it can stand independently of every other one in the file." (p28) This concept is broadly similar to the ideas of both atomic notes and evergreen notes in related contexts.
Goutor says that a note's life stems from its identity by means of its bibliographic source, its unique content, and its ultimate purpose. Here he uses the singular "purpose" and doesn't explicitly use "purposes" thereby indicating that an individual note can have multiple potential lives in different places within one's lifetime of work. It seems most likely that he may not have thought of using ideas in multiple different locations, but again, his particular audience (see: https://hypothes.is/a/8jKcTkNPEe2sCntTfNWf2Q) may have also dictated this choice. One could argue that it would have been quite easy for him to have used the plural to suggest the idea simply and tangentially, but that his use of the singular here is specifically because the idea wasn't part of his note taking worldview.
- Jul 2022
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.
probefahrer · 7 hr. agoAre you familiar with Mark Granovetter‘s theory of weak ties?He used it in the sense of the value of weak social connections but I am pretty sure one could make a case for weak connections in a Zettelkasten as being very valuable
Humanity is a zettelkasten in biological form.
Our social ties (links) putting us into proximity with other humans over time creates a new links between us and our ideas, and slowly evolves new ideas over time. Those new ideas that win this evolutionary process are called innovation.
The general statistical thermodynamics of this idea innovation process can be "heated up" by improving communication channels with those far away from us (think letters, telegraph, radio, television, internet, social media).
This reaction can be further accelerated by actively permuting the ideas with respect to each other as suggested by Raymond Llull's combinatorial arts.
motivating reference: Matt Ridley in The Rational Optimist
link to: - Mark Granovetter and weak ties - life of x
- Matt Ridley
- combinatorial creativity
- Llullan combinatorial diffusion
- life of x
- ideas have sex
- Llullan combinatorial arts
- Mark Granovetter
- weak ties
- Jun 2022
The Antinet’s permanent-address scheme, with its shifting nature, gives the system a unique personality. The Antinet’s unique personality stands as one of the most integral aspects of the system. A key component that enables insightful communication with a human being is the human’s personality–the person’s unique way of communicating with you based on their unique perspectives and interpretations. The Numeric-alpha addresses provide the Zettelkasten with a unique personality. Over time, unique structures form due to Numeric-alpha addresses. This is important because it allows one to communicate with the Antinet, transforming it into a communication experience with a second mind, a doppelgänger, or a ghost in a box, as Luhmann called it. (5)5 This is the entity Luhmann referred to when he titled his paper, Communicating with Noteboxes. Numeric-alpha addresses make all of this possible.
Scheper seems to indicate that it is the addressing system alone which provides the "personality" of a zettelkasten, whereby he's actively providing personification of a paper and pencil system by way of literacy. We need to look more closely, however at the idea of what communication truly is to discern this. A person might be able to read an individual card and have a conversation with just it, but this conversation will be wholly one sided, and stops at the level of that single card. We also need the links between that individual card and multiple others to fill in the rest of the resulting potential conversation. Or we will rely on the reader of the card extending the idea or linking it to others of their ideas (and that of the zettelkasten), to grow the system and thereby its "personality".
Thus the personality is part that of the collection of cards using their addresses and the links between them. This personality, however, isn't immediate. It might grow over time reaching some upper limit at the length of time of the user's life, but much of its personality is contingent upon the knowledge of the missing context of the system that is contained in or by its creator. Few zettelkasten will be so well composed as to provide full context. (cross reference: https://hyp.is/5gWedOs7Eeyrg2cTFW4iCg/niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/Zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_NB_9-8_V).
The question we might want to look at: Is there a limiting upper bound (a la a Shannon Limit) to the amount of information that a zettelkasten might contain or transmit, even beyond the life of an initial creator? Could it converse with itself without the assistance of an outside actor of some sort? What pieces are missing that might help us to define communication or even life itself?