33 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2023
    1. As to the mechanics of research, I take notes on four-by-six indexcards, reminding myself about once an hour of a rule I read long agoin a research manual, “Never write on the back of anything.”

      Barbara Tuchman took her notes on four-by-six inch index cards.

      She repeated the oft-advised mantra to only write on one side of a sheet.

      What manual did she read this in? She specifically puts quotes on "Never write on the back of anything." so perhaps it might be something that could be tracked down?

      Who was the earliest version of this quote? And was it always towards the idea of cutting up slips or pages and not wanting to lose material on the back? or did it also (later? when?) include ease-of-use and user interface features even when not cutting things up?

      At what point did double sided become a thing for personal printed materials? Certainly out of a duty to minimize materials, but it also needed the ability to duplex print pages or photocopy them that way.

  2. May 2023
    1. British historian of science, StaffanMueller-Wille at the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter, recently claimedthat Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), the father of modern taxonomy,had “invented” the card index to manage his information storage and retrieval.

      How can Linnaeus (1707-1778) be said to have invented the card index or the index card when there are systems that predate him including Vincent Placcius and Leibnitz?

      Linnaeus' version were all of a standard size at least. Would this have been a shift in the definition or did others have and recommend "cards of equal size" before this?

  3. Apr 2023
    1. Based on yesterday's discussion at Dan Allosso's Book Club, we don't include defense spending into the consumer price index for calculating inflation or other market indicators. What other things (communal goods) aren't included into these measures, but which potentially should be to take into account the balance of governmental spending versus individual spending. It seems unfair that individual sectors, particularly those like defense contracting which are capitalistic in nature, but which are living on governmental rent extraction, should be free from the vagaries of inflation?

      Throwing them into the basket may create broader stability for the broader system and act as a brake via feedback mechanisms which would push those corporations to work for the broader economic good, particularly when they're taking such a large piece of the overall pie.

      Similarly how might we adjust corporate tax rates with respect to the level of inflation to prevent corporate price gouging during times of inflation which seems to be seen in the current 2023 economic climate. Workers have seen some small gains in salary since the pandemic, but inflationary pressures have dramatically eaten into these taking the gains and then some back into corporate coffers. The FED can increase interest rates to effect some change, but this doesn't change corporate price gouging in any way, tax or other policies will be necessary to do this.

  4. Mar 2023
    1. Die schiere Menge sprengt die Möglichkeiten der Buchpublikation, die komplexe, vieldimensionale Struktur einer vernetzten Informationsbasis ist im Druck nicht nachzubilden, und schließlich fügt sich die Dynamik eines stetig wachsenden und auch stetig zu korrigierenden Materials nicht in den starren Rhythmus der Buchproduktion, in der jede erweiterte und korrigierte Neuauflage mit unübersehbarem Aufwand verbunden ist. Eine Buchpublikation könnte stets nur die Momentaufnahme einer solchen Datenbank, reduziert auf eine bestimmte Perspektive, bieten. Auch das kann hin und wieder sehr nützlich sein, aber dadurch wird das Problem der Publikation des Gesamtmaterials nicht gelöst.

      Google translation:

      The sheer quantity exceeds the possibilities of book publication, the complex, multidimensional structure of a networked information base cannot be reproduced in print, and finally the dynamic of a constantly growing and constantly correcting material does not fit into the rigid rhythm of book production, in which each expanded and corrected new edition is associated with an incalculable amount of effort. A book publication could only offer a snapshot of such a database, reduced to a specific perspective. This too can be very useful from time to time, but it does not solve the problem of publishing the entire material.

      While the writing criticism of "dumping out one's zettelkasten" into a paper, journal article, chapter, book, etc. has been reasonably frequent in the 20th century, often as a means of attempting to create a linear book-bound context in a local neighborhood of ideas, are there other more complex networks of ideas which we're not communicating because they don't neatly fit into linear narrative forms? Is it possible that there is a non-linear form(s) based on network theory in which more complex ideas ought to better be embedded for understanding?

      Some of Niklas Luhmann's writing may show some of this complexity and local or even regional circularity, but perhaps it's a necessary means of communication to get these ideas across as they can't be placed into linear forms.

      One can analogize this to Lie groups and algebras in which our reading and thinking experiences are limited only to local regions which appear on smaller scales to be Euclidean, when, in fact, looking at larger portions of the region become dramatically non-Euclidean. How are we to appropriately relate these more complex ideas?

      What are the second and third order effects of this phenomenon?

      An example of this sort of non-linear examination can be seen in attempting to translate the complexity inherent in the Wb (Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache) into a simple, linear dictionary of the Egyptian language. While the simplicity can be handy on one level, the complexity of transforming the entirety of the complexity of the network of potential meanings is tremendously difficult.

  5. Feb 2023
    1. What screenwriting books recommend note cards for drafting/outlining? Do any go beyond the general outlining advice?

      What is the overlap of this sort of writing practice with comedians who had a practice of writing jokes on index cards? (Ronald Reagan, Phyllis Diller, etc.?

    1. Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library

      One of Ronald Reagan's Index cards with four bullet-pointed one-liners has the annotation "(over)" written on the bottom which indicates that he wrote on both sides of his cards.

      If he was keeping these in clear plastic sheets in a binder, this would have been easy to see the opposite sides.

      Were all of his cards double-sided? This particular example seems to be a list of one liners which may have been used in the same speech (or timeframe) and thus served solely as a reminder of the jokes to be told.

    1. “...it can be very useful for coming up with ideas out of thin air, essentially. All you need is a little bit of seed text, maybe some notes on a story you've been thinking about or random bits of inspiration and you can hit a button that gives you nearly infinite story ideas.”- Eugenia Triantafyllou

      Eugenia Triantafyllou is talking about crutches for creativity and inspiration, but seems to miss the value of collecting interesting tidbits along the road of life that one can use later. Instead, the emphasis here becomes one of relying on an artificial intelligence doing it for you at the "hit of a button". If this is the case, then why not just let the artificial intelligence do all the work for you?

      This is the area where the cultural loss of mnemonics used in orality or even the simple commonplace book will make us easier prey for (over-)reliance on technology.

      Is serendipity really serendipity if it's programmed for you?

  6. Jan 2023
    1. One even better plan is to get regular library index cards and, afterthe lecture is fairly well learned, transfer the points underlined to them, onecard to a lecture. These cards can be carried about and studied at oddmoments. One is enabled by their use to get the perspective view of thelecture which brings out the sense of values which one loses when onestudies the notes in their mass of detail only. With the skeleton in mindone has little difficulty in recalling the details .

      Here again he comes close to some of the methods and ideas of having flashcards for spaced repetition, but isn't explicitly aware of the words or techniques. Note that he also doesn't use the word flashcard. When was the word first used?

      Rewriting things as flashcards also tends to be a part of the spaced repetition itself.

      By cutting the notes up he's specifically decontextualizing them so as to make one's memory be better tested in coming up with the solutions/answers as they are more likely to appear on a test, decontextualized from the original lecture.

    1. For some scholars, it is critical thatthis new Warburg obsessively kept tabs on antisemitic incidents on the Easternfront, scribbling down aphorisms and thoughts on scraps of paper and storingthem in Zettelkasten that are now searchable.

      Apparently Aby Warburg "obsessively kept" notes on antisemitic incidents on the Eastern front in his zettelkasten.

      This piece looks at Warburg's Jewish identity as supported or not by the contents of his zettelkasten, thus placing it in the use of zettelkasten or card index as autobiography.

      Might one's notes reflect who they were as a means of creating both their identity while alive as well as revealing it once they've passed on? Might the use of historical method provide its own historical method to be taken up on a meta basis after one's death?

    1. May 19, 2004 #1 Hello everyone here at the forum. I want to thank everyone here for all of the helpful and informative advice on GTD. I am a beginner in the field of GTD and wish to give back some of what I have received. What is posted below is not much of tips-and-tricks I found it very helpful in understanding GTD. The paragraphs posted below are from the book Lila, by Robert Pirsig. Some of you may have read the book and some may have not. It’s an outstanding read on philosophy. Robert Pirsig wrote his philosophy using what David Allen does, basically getting everything out of his head. I found Robert Pirsigs writing on it fascinating and it gave me a wider perspective in using GTD. I hope you all enjoy it, and by all means check out the book, Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals. Thanks everyone. arthur

      Arthur introduces the topic of Robert Pirsig and slips into the GTD conversation on 2004-05-19.

      Was this a precursor link to the Pile of Index Cards in 2006?

      Note that there doesn't seem to be any discussion of any of the methods with respect to direct knowledge management until the very end in which arthur returns almost four months later to describe a 4 x 6" card index with various topics he's using for filing away his knowledge on cards. He's essentially recreated the index card based commonplace book suggested by Robert Pirsig in Lila.

    1. About twenty thousand of those cards are 3 × 5 inches and seven thousand 5 × 8 inches.

      Goitein's zettelkasten is comprised of about 20,000 3 x 5" index cards and 7,000 5 x 8" index cards.

      Link to: https://hypothes.is/a/TEiQ5H1rEe2_Amfzi4XXmg

      While not directly confirmed (yet), due to the seeming correspondence of the number of cards and their corpus descriptions, it's likely that the 20,000 3 x 5" cards were his notes covering individual topics while the 7,000 5 x 8" cards were his notes and descriptions of a single fragment from the Cairo Geniza.

  7. Oct 2022
    1. GTD Card Icon : Square (check box)Tag : 4th block. Squared as open-loop first, and filled later as accomplished. The GTD is advanced To-Do system proposed by David Allen. Next action of your project is described and processed through a certain flow. The GTD cards are classified into this class. 4th block is squared as open-loop first, and filled later as accomplished. The percentage of GTD Cards in my dock is less than 5 %.
    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.

      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.

    1. Max Raisin (1881–1957),reflected that lessons often devolved into ‘reading several events with dates out of alittle notebook’ (Raisin, 1952: 147; Hertzman, 1985: 83-8).

      Max Raisin indicated that Gotthard Deutsch read several events with dates out of a little notebook during lectures. Was this really a notebook or possibly a small stack/deck of index cards? The could certainly be easily mistaken....

      Check these references

    1. Indeed, Deutsch’s index is massive but middling, especially when placed alongside those of Niklas Luhmann, Paul Otlet, or Gershom Scholem.

      Curious how Deutsch's 70,000 facts would be middling compared to Luhmann's 90,000? - How many years did Deutsch maintain and collect his version?<br /> - How many publications did he contribute to? - Was his also used for teaching?

      Otlet didn't create his collection alone did he? Wasn't it a massive group effort?

      Check into Gershom Scholem's collection and use. I've not come across his work in this space.

    2. Does Deutsch’s index constitute a great unwritten work of history, as some have claimed, or are the cards ultimately useless ‘chips from his workshop’?

      From his bibliography, it appears that Deutsch was a prolific writer and teacher, so how will Lustig (or others he mentions) make the case that his card index was useless "chips from his workshop"? Certainly he used them in writing his books, articles, and newspaper articles? He also was listed as a significant contributor to an encyclopedia as well.

      It'd be interesting to look at the record to see if he taught with them the way Roland Barthes was known to have done.

    1. Thesis to bear out (only tangentially related to this particular text):

      Part of the reason that index card files didn't catch on, especially in America, was that they didn't have a solid/concrete name by which they went. The generic term card index subsumed so much in relation to library card catalogues or rolodexes which had very specific functions and individualized names. Other cultures had more descriptive names like zettelkasten or fichier boîte which, while potentially bland within their languages, had more specific names for what they were.

    2. For the second time Goutor mentions using different size cards for different note types, but doesn't specifically advise for it or provide a reason. Perhaps his advice for consistency and card size applies only to cards of particular types? (p28)

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/XPphjkNZEe2s3i9VV4qt1g

      Incidentally he also specifically mentions 7x9" cards here too. How frequently used were these as a standard?

    3. Goutor defines self-help notes as notes which one would use to refresh their memory about what remains to be done or researched, problems that remain to be solved, or information which is needed to be researched or found. (p26) These are akin in some sense to what I call "open questions". He also indicates that these notes might be triggered by one's daily activities or occasional musings which relate to one's project but occur outside of its active pursuit. In this sense, they have a similar feel to the idea of Ahrens' fleeting notes, but in Goutor's practice they aren't defined as occurring while one is doing active reading or research.

      He suggests that one keeps these notes in a separate area so that they might be systematically and regularly visited for review, further research, or answering as the opportunities to do so present themselves. Once the questions have been answered and appropriate notes updated or added, these self-help notes can be discarded.

  8. Sep 2022
    1. I’m not sure how to explain the photograph — that might be a cardfile, not a shoebox. The number of blue lines per card in the Pale Fire passage suggests that John Shade used 6 x 4 cards. It looks like Nabokov in the car has 6 x 4s too.

      What size index cards did Vladimir Nabokov use?

      See also: series of Nabokov photos of him and index cards.

  9. Aug 2022
    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. 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.



      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


      • 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. https://universitylifecafe.k-state.edu/bookshelf/academicskills/indexcardstudysystem.html

      Natalie Umberger is writing about an "index card study system" in an academic study skills context, but it's an admixture of come ideas from Cornell Notes and using index cards as flashcards.

      The advice to "Review your notes and readings frequently, so the material is 'fresh.' " is a common one (through at least the 1980s to the present), though research on the mere-exposure effect indicates that it's not as valuable as other methods.

      How can we stamp out the misconception that this sort of review is practical?

    1. The system of card indexing was propagated by a French Person called Abb’e Jean Rozier (1734-93). The index is prepared by allotting a separate card to each piece of information. The required information are written on the cards. All cards are of uniform size and are arranged in alphabetical, numerical or geographical order.


      This source is questionable in it's sourcing and seems to mix several different methods and systems, so we'll need to treat it with a massive grain of salt.

      It does Mention Abb'e Jean Rozier (1734-93) as a historical figure related to propagating a system of card indexing which is a new name to me and thus worth looking into.

      Is Abb'e here a title? (potentially the French translation of the English abbot which is correctly abbé, so this may have had a typo.)

      The dates of life given would indicate that this is not the balloonist/scientist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois_Pil%C3%A2tre_de_Rozier

  10. Jun 2022
    1. The second was “makedance pay for the dancers.” I’ve always been resentful of the fact that some of theso-called elite art forms can’t survive on their own without sponsorship andsubsidies. It bothers me that dance companies around the world are not-for-profitorganizations and that dancers, who are as devoted and disciplined as any NFL orNBA superstar, are at the low end of the entertainment industry’s income scale. Iwanted this Broadway-bound project not only to elevate serious dance in thecommercial arena but also to pay the dancers well. So I wrote my goals for theproject, “tell a story” and “make dance pay,” on two blue index cards and watchedthem float to the bottom of the Joel box.

      Given the importance of dance in oral cultures, what, why, and how has dance moved to be one of the seemingly lowest and least well paid art forms in modern society?

      How might modern dance regain its teaching and mnemonic status in our culture?

  11. Apr 2022
    1. It is also the best support for the opera aperta, whose desire was pervasive in the1950s and 1960s

      Denis Hollier suggests that the index card file is "the best support for the opera aperta, whose desire was pervasive in the 1950s and 1960s."

    1. published under the title‘An Almost Obsessive Relation to Writing Instruments’, which firstappeared in Le Monde in 1973, Barthes describes the method thatguides his use of index cards:I’m content to read the text in question, in a ratherfetishistic way: writing down certain passages,moments, even words which have the power tomove me. As I go along, I use my cards to writedown quotations, or ideas which come to me, asthey do so, curiously, already in the rhythm of asentence, so that from that moment on, things arealready taking on an existence as writing. (1991:181)

      In an interview with Le Monde in 1973, Barthes indicated that while his note taking practice was somewhat akin to that of a commonplace book where one might collect interesting passages, or quotations, he was also specifically writing down ideas which came to him, but doing so in "in the rhythm of a sentence, so that from that moment on, things are already taking on an existence as writing." This indicates that he's already preparing for future publications in which he might use those very ideas and putting them into a more finished form than most might think of when considering shorter fleeting notes used simply as a reminder. By having the work already done, he can easily put his own ideas directly into longer works.

      Was there any evidence that his notes were crosslinked or indexed in a way so that he could more rapidly rearrange his ideas and pre-written thoughts to more easily copy them into longer articles or books?

  12. Jan 2022
  13. Nov 2021
  14. Aug 2020