- Sep 2022
There has been much discussion about “atomic notes”, which represents the key ideas from a person’s research on some topic or source (sources one and two). These are not the kind of thing I am interested in creating/collecting, or at least not what I have been doing. A far more typical thing for me is something I did at work today. I was trying to figure out how to convert the output of a program into another format. I did some searching, installed a tool, found a script, played with the script in the tool, figured out how to use it, then wrote down a summary of my steps and added links to what I found in my search. Since I am not doing research for a book or for writing academic papers, the idea of an atomic note does not fit into my information world. However, capturing the steps of a discovery or how I worked out a problem. is very real and concrete to me. I used to know a fellow engineer who wrote “technical notes” to capture work he was doing (like a journal entry). Maybe that is how I should consider this type of knowledge creation.
Andy Sylvester says his engineering type of notes don't fit with the concept of atomic note. A 'how to solve x' type of note would fit my working def of 'atomic' as being a self-contained whole, focused on a single thing (here how to solve x). If the summary can be its title I'd say it's pretty atomic. Interestingly in [[Technik des wissenschaflichen Arbeitens by Johannes Erich Heyde]] 1970, Heyde on p18 explicitly mentions ZK being useful for engineers, not just to process new scientific insights from e.g. articles, but to index specific experiences, experiments and results. And on p19 suggests using 1 ZK system for all of your material of various types. Luhmann's might have been geared to writing articles, but it can be something else. Solving problems is also output. I have these types of notes in my 'ZK' if not in the conceptual section of it.
Vgl [[Ambachtelijke engineering 20190715143342]] artisanal engineering, Lovelock Novacene 2019, plays a role here too. Keeping a know-how notes collection in an environment where also your intuition can play a creative role is useful. I've done this for coding things, as I saw experienced coders do it, just as Andy describes, and it helped me create most of my personal IndieWeb scripts, because they were integrated in the rest of my stuff about my work and notions. Vgl [[Vastklik notes als ratchet zonder terugval 20220302102702]]