14 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. It never helps historians to say too much about their working methods. For just as the conjuror’s magic disappears if the audience knows how the trick is done, so the credibility of scholars can be sharply diminished if readers learn everything about how exactly their books came to be written.

      Except that, seemingly, many historians have written and published about just this very topic!

      People often talk about the "magic of note taking", but it's not frequent that they frame the methods as magician's secrets.

    1. A friend of mine, well versed in all sorts of PKM and stuff, was convinced the ZK was beneficial, but took a long time before you started seeing benefits. My experience was completely different. I think I had about 5 permanent cards established when I made my first jump to a new idea... I don't know if the idea is any good at this moment, but I got a chill up my spine when I did it. I have more cards now, and have had a few more "new thoughts" that I would not have had otherwise. Don't put it off.

      The zettelkasten can be a useful educational substrate for thinking in as few as five cards.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/Iwy7MGlMEeyztTNgvCXUOA

    1. Provided with some sort of a card box, whether of metal or wood, oreven of cardboard, the English teacher will find that an era of peace andorder has come over his classe

      Sounds like magic, n'cest pas? 😜

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  2. Sep 2022
    1. https://lu.ma/x7zlzv95

      NoMa Method (note making method)<br /> JOMO mindset (Joy of Missing Out)<br /> MIMO - Mindfully In, Magically Out

      Nick Milo's got WAY too many buzzwords and acronyms. Are we creating a new cult with in groups and out groups using language?

      "Notice when you do" --- the root word of notice and note are related...

  3. Jul 2022
    1. I think claims of magical moments of “emergentcomplexity” where the note system reaches some sortof critical mass and begins spitting out answers like anoracle are probably a bit exaggerated. They sound a bittoo much like the Singularity. But it’s also true, I suspect,that by reviewing our notes regularly, comparing SourceNotes and making Point Notes out of them, anddiligently connecting new ideas into the train of thoughtthey emerged from, we’ll create a tree that will have morebranches and leaves in some places than in others. Thosebranches will be where the action is; where we can expectto find a lot of material we can turn into output.
    1. But it's not a trivial problem. I have compiled, at latest reckoning, 35,669 posts - my version of a Zettelkasten. But how to use them when writing a paper? It's not straightforward - and I find myself typically looking outside my own notes to do searches on Google and elsewhere. So how is my own Zettel useful? For me, the magic happens in the creation, not in the subsequent use. They become grist for pattern recognition. I don't find value in classifying them or categorizing them (except for historical purposes, to create a chronology of some concept over time), but by linking them intuitively to form overarching themes or concepts not actually contained in the resources themselves. But this my brain does, not my software. Then I write a paper (or an outline) based on those themes (usually at the prompt of an interview, speaking or paper invitation) and then I flesh out the paper by doing a much wider search, and not just my limited collection of resources.

      Stephen Downes describes some of his note taking process for creation here. He doesn't actively reuse his notes (or in this case blog posts, bookmarks, etc.) which number a sizeable 35669, directly, at least in the sort of cut and paste method suggested by Sönke Ahrens. Rather he follows a sort of broad idea, outline creation, and search plan akin to that described by Cory Doctorow in 20 years a blogger

      Link to: - https://hyp.is/_XgTCm9GEeyn4Dv6eR9ypw/pluralistic.net/2021/01/13/two-decades/


      Downes suggests that the "magic happens in the creation" of his notes. He uses them as "grist for pattern recognition". He doesn't mention words like surprise or serendipity coming from his notes by linking them, though he does use them "intuitively to form overarching themes or concepts not actually contained in the resources themselves." This is closely akin to the broader ideas ensconced in inventio, Llullan Wheels, triangle thinking, ideas have sex, combinatorial creativity, serendipity (Luhmann), insight, etc. which have been described by others.


      Note that Downes indicates that his brain creates the links and he doesn't rely on his software to do this. The break is compounded by the fact that he doesn't find value in classifying or categorizing his notes.


      I appreciate that Downes uses the word "grist" to describe part of his note taking practice which evokes the idea of grinding up complex ideas (the grain) to sort out the portions of the whole to find simpler ideas (the flour) which one might use later to combine to make new ideas (bread, cake, etc.) Similar analogies might be had in the grain harvesting space including winnowing or threshing.

      One can compare this use of a grist mill analogy of thinking with the analogy of the crucible, which implies a chamber or space in which elements are brought together often with work or extreme conditions to create new products by their combination.

      Of course these also follow the older classical analogy of imitating the bees (apes).

    1. In one of his videos he talks about "approaching the mind of god" or something similar, in a way I can't entirely tell whether he is paraphrasing an early-modern note-taker or saying that's what he thinks he is doing himself. I don't really care whether he's religious or not, unless it compromises the system he's building.

      These always read as hyperbole to me, but it's difficult to explain the surprise and serendipity of re-finding things in one's notes on a regular basis. It's akin to the sort of cognitive dissonance that religious people have when encountering the levels of complexity formed by living systems through evolution. Not having better words for describing the experience, they may resort to descriptions of magic or religion to frame their experiences.

  4. Jun 2022
    1. 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

    2. eventually you’ll have so many IPs at yourdisposal that you can execute entire projects just by assemblingpreviously created IPs. This is a magical experience that willcompletely change how you view productivity.

      another example of the idea of "magical" experience that comes when taking notes. This one isn't about idea creation or even serendipity though, but relates specifically to being "bulk productive".

    1. If Luhmann’s notebox system was not dynamic and fluid and not one of pure order, either, how can one think of Luhmann’s notebox system? In my experience using an Antinet Zettelkasten, I find it to be more organic in nature. Like nature, it has simple laws and fundamental rules by which it operates (like the laws of thermodynamics in physics); yet, it’s also subject to arbitrary decisions. We know this because in describing it, Luhmann uses the word arbitrary to describe its arbitrary internal branching. We can infer that arbitrary, means something that was decided by Luhmann outside of some external and strict criteria (i.e., strict schemes like the Dewey Decimal Classification). (12)12 This arbitrary, random structure contributes to one of its most distinctive aspects of the system–the aspect of surprises. Because of its unique structure, the Antinet is noted as “a surprise generator,” and a system that develops “a creativity of its own.” (13)

      There's some magical thinking involved here. While the system has some arbitrary internal branching, the surprises come from the system's perfect memory that the human user doesn't have. This makes it appear that the system creates its own creativity, but it is really the combinatorics of the perfect memory system with use over time.

      Link to: serendipity of systems based on auto-complete

  5. May 2022
    1. The second way that people use their Second Brain is to connectideas together. Their Second Brain evolves from being primarily amemory tool to becoming a thinking tool. A piece of advice from amentor comes in handy as they encounter a similar situation on adifferent team. An illuminating metaphor from a book finds its wayinto a presentation they’re delivering. The ideas they’ve capturedbegin gravitating toward each other and cross-pollinating.

      Missing from this description is the work that is involved in revisting, re-reading, and interacting with your notes. This is not an easy process, but this paragraph belies the work involved and makes it seem "magical" with the use of the words 'illuminating', 'gravitating', 'cross-pollinating' which are all external processes or forces that don't require work from the individual.

    2. In the digital realm, informationcould be molded and shaped and directed to any purpose, like amagical, primordial force of nature.

      He does build a sense of excitement and magic around the idea of taking notes here, though sadly he's covering up the amount of work that maintaining such a system entails.

  6. Apr 2022
    1. nother factor militating against completeadvice was the notion that methods should be kept secret to be most effective.One author of a university thesis on the topic noted that most scholars were un-willing to share their secrets on note-taking with others. A few advice givers rec-ommended “keeping the secrets of your studies to yourself ” on the grounds thatpeople would be most impressed by achievements that they did not understand.39

      Sönke Ahrens apparently missed this bit of advice.

      link to the Arthur C. Clarke quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." which appeared in his 1962 book “Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible”.

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

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