5 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2023
    1. I'm not actually setting a productivity goal, I'm just tracking metadata because it's related to my research. Of which the ZettelKasten is one subject.That being said, in your other post you point to "Quality over Quantity" what, in your opinion, is a quality note?Size? Number of Links? Subjective "goodness"?

      reply to u/jordynfly at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/13b0b5c/comment/jjcu3cn/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      I'm curious what your area of research is? What are you studying with respect to Zettelkasten?

      Caveat notetarius. Note collections are highly idiosyncratic to the user or intended audience, thus quality will vary dramatically on the creator's needs and future desires and potential uses. Contemporaneous, very simple notes can be valuable for their initial sensemaking and quite often in actual practice stop there.

      Ultimately, only the user can determine perceived quality and long term value for themselves. Future generations of historians, anthropologists, scholars, and readers, might also find value in notes and note collections, but it seems rare that the initial creators have written them with future readers and audiences in mind. Often they're less useful as the external reader is missing large swaths of context.

      For my own personal notes, I consider high quality notes to be well-sourced, highly reusable, easily findable, and reasonably tagged/linked. My favorite, highest quality notes are those that are new ideas which stem from the combination of two high quality notes. With respect to subjectivity, some of my philosophy is summarized by one of my favorite meta-zettels (alt text also available) from zettelmeister Umberto Eco.

      Anecdotally, 95% of my notes are done digitally and in public, but I've only got scant personal evidence that anyone is reading or interacting with them. I never write them with any perceived public consumption in mind (beyond the readers of the finished pieces that ultimately make use of them), but it is often very useful to get comments and reactions to them. I'm only aware of a small handful of people publishing their otherwise personal note collections (usually subsets) to the web (outside of social media presences which generally have a different function and intent).

      Intellectual historians have looked at and documented external use cases of shared note collections, commonplace books, annotated volumes, and even diaries. There are even examples of published (usually posthumously) commonplace books, waste books, etc., but these are often for influential public and intellectual figures. Here Ludwig Wittgenstein's Zettel, Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura, Roland Barthes' Mourning Diary, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's Waste Books, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Ronald Reagan's card index commonplace, Stobaeus' Anthology, W. H. Auden's A Certain World, and Robert Southey’s Common-Place Book come quickly to mind not to mention digitized scholarly collections of Niklas Luhmann, W. Ross Ashby, S.D. Goitein, Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies, and Aby Warburg's notes. Some of these latter will give you an idea of what they may have thought quality notes to have been for them, but often they mean little if nothing to the unstudied reader because they lack broader context or indication of linkages.

  2. Mar 2023
    1. What type of note did Niklas Luhmann average 6 times a day? .t3_11z08fq._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/dotphrasealpha at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/11z08fq/what_type_of_note_did_niklas_luhmann_average_6/

      The true insight you're looking for here is: Forget the numbers and just aim for quality followed very closely by consistency!

      Of course most will ignore my insight and experience and be more interested in the numbers, so let's query a the 30+ notes I've got on this topic in my own zettelkasten to answer the distal question.

      Over the 45 years from 1952 to 1997 Luhmann produced approximately 90,000 slips which averages out to:

      • 45 years * 365 days/year = 16,425 days
      • 90,000 slips / 16,425 days = 5.47 slips per day

      In a video, Ahrens indicates that Luhmann didn't make notes on weekends, and if true, this would revise the count to 7.69 slips per day.

      260 working days a year (on average, not accounting for leap years or potential governmental holidays)

      • 45 years x 260 work days/year = 11,700 days
      • 90,000 slips / 11,700 days = 7.69 slips per day

      Compare these closer numbers to Ahrens' stated and often quoted 6 notes per day in How to Take Smart Notes.

      I've counted from the start of '52 through all of '97 to get 45 years, but the true amount of time was a bit shorter than this in reality, so the number of days should be slightly smaller.

      Keep in mind that Luhmann worked at this roughly full time for decades, so don't try to measure yourself against him. (He also published in a different era and broadly without the hurdle of peer review.) Again: Aim for quality over quantity! If it helps, S.D. Goitein created a zettelkasten of 27,000 notes which he used to publish almost a third more papers and books than Luhmann. Wittgenstein left far fewer notes and only published one book during his lifetime, but published a lot posthumously and was massively influential. Similarly Roland Barthes had only about 12,500 slips and loads of influential work.

      I keep notes on various historical practitioners' notes/day output over several decades using these sorts of practices. Most are in the 1-2 notes per day range. A sampling of them can be found here: https://boffosocko.com/2023/01/14/s-d-goiteins-card-index-or-zettelkasten/#Notes%20per%20day.

      Anecdotally, I've found that most of the more serious people here and on the zettelkasten.de forum are in the 4-10 slips per week range.


  3. Oct 2022
    1. Workflow for capturing and processing online content for use in a Zettlekasten

      reply to https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/ye3bvk/workflow_for_capturing_and_processing_online/

      While it's possible that some set of tools will work best for you and potentially be more "fun" than other combinations, the upper limit you'll find on efficiency and productivity in this area is limited.

      As a result, I'd recommend looking at the quality of the material you're putting into your stream as potentially the best means of improvement at your disposal. The quality of your ideas and thought will increase if you're reading and conversing with the highest quality sources you can get your hands on. Well-researched, long form material (books, journal articles) will have likely done a lot of the filtering and heavy work for you, so use those as input when you can.

      Unless you're a sociologist or cultural anthropologist looking for examples of behaviors and material in social media, it may not be the best place to turn. Before I open social media apps I remind myself of note #1267 from Goethe's slipbox (Maxims and Reflections): "Ignorant people raise questions which were answered by the wise thousands of years ago."

      Similarly, upon hearing the words "firehose", "drowning", or "information overload", I'm reminded that, presuming you'd even want to make the effort, there's only one way to eat a whale: one bite at a time.

  4. Aug 2022
  5. May 2022
    1. In part in order to heighten his praise of Aldus as the ideal printer, Erasmus noted by contrast that most printers, given the absence of regulations, “fill the world with pamphlets and books [that are] . . . foolish, ignorant, malig-nant, libellous, mad, impious and subversive; and such is the flood that even

      things that might have done some good lose all their goodness.”198 The overabundance of bad books drowned out even any good bits that might be present among them.

      And we now say these same sorts of things about the internet and social media.