- Oct 2022
As is common in the tradition of the zettelkasten, Goutor advises "that each note-card should contain only one item of information, whether a quotation, a summary, or anything else". (p28) He ascribes this requirement to his earlier need for clarity. (cross reference: https://hypothes.is/a/SfWFwENIEe2KfGMbR5n7Qg)
He indicates that while it may seem wasteful to have only one item on each card that the savings in time, efficiency in handling, classification, and retrieval will more than compensate for the small waste.
This sort of small local waste being compensated for by a larger global savings and efficiency can be seen in the design of the shipping container industry as discussed in Mark Levinson's The Box (Princeton University Press, 2008). Was this the exact sort of efficiency mentioned by Ahrens'? (Compare at https://hypothes.is/a/t4i32IXoEeyF2n9jQxu6BA)
- atomic notes
- shipping containers
- The Box
- Mark Levinson
- small local wastes in exchange for greater global efficiencies
- local vs. global
- local changes
- global changes
- open questions
- Feb 2022
Local file Local file
Unfortunately, the most common way people organise their writingis by making plans. Although planning is almost universallyrecommended by study guides, it’s the equivalent of putting oneselfon rails.Don’t make plans. Become an expert.
Planning and especially overplanning your writing work can be counter-intuitively non-productive. A smarter reading and note taking approach can allow one to be playful and creative in a way that more focused, goal-oriented writing would never allow. It's also an incredibly valuable tool for when one becomes "stuck" and working on something else seems easier or more profitable.
An example of this is the Ahren's extended use of the shipping container metaphor with respect to the zettelkasten. By having a variety of ideas stewing in his zettelkasten, a simple search or link using the word box allowed him to create a fantastic metaphor for reshaping one's note taking practice. It's a bit sad that he didn't take a moment to point this out explicitly (though perhaps this isn't the way things came about?)
Only after aligning every single part of the delivery chain, frompackaging to delivery, from the design of the ships to the design ofthe harbours, was the full potential of the container unleashed.
Streamlining one's entire workflow from start to finish can unleash tremendous amounts of additional system-wide productivity. Starting out by tinkering with small things here and there is more likely to doom these smaller individual changes to failure with out associated global changes.
Once the overall system has been redesigned and reconfigured, then one can make and perfect smaller scale local changes.
Link this to the idea of kelp and sailing/rowing from The West Wing.
- Jan 2022
Book releases push when shipping containers go overboard.
There could be an interesting movie idea here...
- Oct 2018
- Jul 2018