18 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2022
    1. The best way to remember is to connect a piece of information to as many meaningful contexts as possible. This allows for a self-supporting network of interconnected ideas and facts that work reciprocally as cues for each other. By doing this, you are creating a "memory palace," which will help you to remember the information more easily.

      This is NOT what a memory palace is... ugh.

  2. Jul 2022
    1. Many of the workers reported that first thing in themorning, or after any interruption in their thought(like a ‘phone call), they have the “where was 1?”problem in a complex and ill-defined space of ideas.The layout of physical materials on their desk givesthem powerful and immediate contextual cues torecover a complex set of threads without difilcultyand delay, “this is my whole context, these are mypersonal piles”

      Following interruptions by colleagues or phone calls at work, people may frequently ask themselves "where was I?" more frequently than "what was I doing?" This colloquialism isn't surprising as our memories for visual items and location are much stronger than actions. Knowledge workers will look around at their environments for contextual clues for what they were doing and find them in piles of paper on their desks, tabs in their computer browser, or even documents (physical or virtual) on their desktops.

    2. portability, thedisplays are getting ever smaller. Unfortunately,small displays force you to classify your notesimmediately you receive or generate them. The studysuggests that knowledge workers may beuncomfortable with these devices as note-takersexcept for non-prima~ aspects of their work such asnoting a telephone number, a diary date or a shortmessage for a colleague. In these cases, users canclassify the note’s subsequent use before they start towrite it. In contrast, if knowledge workers are usingsuch a notebook to jot down an idea they have justheard, they will be forced to classi~ the inherently“unclassifiable” and it is unlikely to inform themlater as it will have disappeared for ever into thebowels of the device. Maybe this is why the A4 pador notebook is an old-favourite of knowledge workerswhose functionality will be hard to match.

      Kidd indicates that knowledge workers may prefer to take notes in physical notebooks because they're not forced to classify them immediately, but they can use their physical presence and location as a means of indicating that some sort of follow up is required. Comparing this to most digital notes which don't have this same sort of location, one is more worried that the computer filing them away will mean that they become lost almost instantaneously. Some notes like diary dates and phone numbers which may have very specific locations for noting them don't fall under these auspices, but other longer and more detailed notes certainly would.


      A digital zettelkasten or commonplace may help to alleviate this as individual ideas are linked and indexed in multiple ways which make them easier to both find, use and expand upon.

    3. Filing is certainlynot their goal.

      I'm reminded here of the old aphorism "Out of sight is out of mind."

      This harkens back to the idea of oral cultures using their environments as memory palaces to remember their culture, laws, and knowledge. Things being within sight mean that they were immediately brought to mind.


      For an office worker, filing an item is tantamount to literally putting both out of their sight as well as their mind.

      Compare this to the more advanced zettelkasten methods where knowledge workers file everything away out of their sight, but with the tacit idea that they'll be regularly revisiting their ideas on index cards to link other ideas to them to keep building upon them. While things may be temporarily out of mind, they're regularly recycled and linked to new ideas. Their re-emergence can cause them to be remembered, re-contextualized, and often feel like serendipity for linking to other ideas in one's collection.

    4. Mander, R., Salomon, G. and Wong, Y. A PileMetaphor for Supporting Casual Organisationof Information. Proceedings of Human Factorsin Computing Systems CHI’92, pp 627-634,1992.

      The quote from this paper references Mander 1992:

      It seems that knowledge workers use physical space, such as desks or floors, as a temporary holding pattern for inputs and ideas which they cannot yet categorise or even decide how they might use [12].

      leads me to believe that the original paper has information which supports office workers using their physical environments as thinking and memory spaces much as indigenous peoples have for their knowledge management systems using orality and memory.

    5. Many knowledge workers have extremely cluttereddesks and floors and yet are seriously disrupted bychanges made to this apparent “muddle” or byneeding to move offices regularly. This supportsearlier studies of otllce work [10, 11]. It seems thatthis apparent “muddle” plays a number of importantroles for them in their work:-

      For scholars of orality, the value of the messiness in many knowledge workers' work spaces is probably not surprising. It's likely that these workers are using their local environment as oral cultures have since time immemorial. They're creating physical songlines or memory palaces in their local environment to which they're spatially attaching memories of the work they're doing, performing, or need to perform. This allows them to offload some of their memory work, storage, and retention to items in their physical space.

  3. May 2022
    1. the memory castle that jordan peter peterson described i think it has potentially a risk of inducing 00:58:28 confirmation bias

      Jordan Peterson apparently has described using a memory palace (castle?) he used with 12 spaces for writing his book (presumably 12 Rules for life?).

  4. Feb 2022
    1. To create trails  When we are studying a text we need to take the time to understand more than just the storyline. During your second reading, any comments made during the first reading (marginal comments or summaries) will quickly give you the gist of your first reading, so that you can take advantage of your second.

      While multiple readings of a text in antiquity may have been rarer, due to the cheap proliferation of books, one can more easily "blaze a trail" through their reading to make it easier or quicker to rebuild context on subsequent readings.


      Look at history of reading to see which books would have been more likely re-read, particularly outside of one's primary "area" of expertise.

      Link to the trails mentioned by Vannevar Bush in As We May Think.

  5. Jan 2022
    1. The effect was beautifully suggested by Victor Hugo in a familiar passage in Notre-Dame de Paris (183 1) when the scholar holding his first printed book turns away from his manuscripts, looks a t the cathedral, and says "This will kill that" (Ceci tuera cela). Print also destroyed "the invisible cathedrals of memory." For the printed book made it less nec- essary to shape ideas and things into vivid images and then store them in Memory-places.

      In Notre-Dame de Paris (1831) Victor Hugo depicts a scholar holding his first printed book. He turns away from his manuscripts to look at the cathedral and says "This will kill that" (Ceci tuera cela). Similarly the printed book made it far less necessary to store one's knowledge into cathedrals of memory.

  6. Nov 2021
    1. As the book recounts, annotation is a centuries-old practice. For example, decorative images called drolleries were added in the margins of medieval texts as visual comments on themes in the text.

      I've not seen it argued elsewhere (yet), but I would make a case that the majority of drolleries weren't so much comment on themes in text as that they were loci placed into the books at either intervals or in particular locations as part of the practice of the art of memory. They act as signposts to which the reader can more easily memorize portions of books by attaching the ideas on those pages to the dramatic and absurd images painted into them as suggested by Rhetorica ad Herennium (https://www.loebclassics.com/view/LCL403/1954/volume.xml).

      Cross reference: The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates (University of Chicago, 1966).for the historical practice of memory in the West, though she doesn't mention drolleries at all.

      cc: @remikalir

    1. So the big secret then is, how did he know that this note here exists? How could he remember that this existing note was relevant to the new one he was writing? A mystery we haven't solved yet.

      I'm surprised to see/hear this!

      How did Niklas Luhmann cross link his notes? Apparently researchers don't quite know, but I'd suggest that in working with them diligently over time, he'd have a reasonable internal idea from memory in addition to working with his indices and his outline cards.

      The cards in some sense form a physical path through which he regularly traverses, so he's making a physical memory palace (or songline) out of index cards.

  7. Oct 2021
    1. The Bruniquel cave, in southwest France, is believed to be a Neanderthal dwelling 100,000 years before humans in Europe. Stalagmites in the cave may have been arranged as walls, and possibly as a fireplace. Charred bone found in the walls date to 175,000 years ago.

      This cave is apparently fairly deep. Cross reference this with deep cave fires and asphyxiation research.

      Is it possible that such a place was used as a memory palace? Being secluded away and the play of fire inside would certainly fit some of Lynne Kelly's criteria from Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies. More evidence would be needed however.

    2. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>LynneKelly </span> in "Ancient Australian Aboriginal Memory Tool Superior to ‘Memory Palace’ Learning" - Neuroscience, Psychology, and Health - Art of Memory Forum (<time class='dt-published'>10/19/2021 09:26:03</time>)</cite></small>

      I don’t think the methods were worked out as much as evolved with the human brain. I suspect those who started using mnemonics survived and bred better than those who didn’t.

      I have been pointed to this discovery of a Neanderthal cave many times, with archaeologists suggesting to me that it points to Neanderthal use of a memory palace. It would need more evidence to be convincing, but that would go back a very long time.

    1. I have been pointed to this discovery of a Neanderthal cave many times, with archaeologists suggesting to me that it points to Neanderthal use of a memory palace. It would need more evidence to be convincing, but that would go back a very long time. the Guardian – 25 May 16 Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 years ago 2 Constructions discovered deep in a French cave rank among the earliest human building projects ever discovered, but their purpose remains unclear

      Interesting article to read and build evidence as Kelly suggests.

  8. Sep 2021
    1. Note to self: mind garden is the first term I came across for this type of note-taking, but perhaps in the way I use this site, it would be more accurate to think of it as a commonplace book?

      I love the phrase mind garden here. It almost feels to me like a portmanteau concept that ties together the ideas of mind (or memory) palace and digital garden.

    1. Bigger is better.

      Research shows that high-resolution monitors make thinking easier. This also seems true of classrooms which use large posters and maps as teaching aids at lower grades.

      Why don't we use these methods as we grow older?

      When used in mnemonic traditions, one can use vast spaces to create memory palaces that become thinking vistas within the brain. How can we better leverage these effects while still maintaining the effectiveness of focused journeys?

  9. Jun 2021
    1. Willis is more concerned with the construction of a perfectly orderedmental place system than with imagery.

      How similar or dissimilar is this over description in Mnemonica by John Willis to the palace built using Noah's Ark by Hugh of St. Victor?

  10. May 2021
    1. I must stop equating songlines and memory palaces - the professor and student involved see the complexity of songlines as a level higher than memory palaces because so much knowledge and understanding is layered. The first post-grad working on my stuff, and she’s found fault already! And rightly so. They are also arguing against some researcher who claims that the peg system and the method of loci are equivalent. That is part of the research project, but I haven’t read the psychology papers they have sent yet.

      songlines != memory palaces