- Apr 2022
Krapp argues that, despite its ‘respectablelineage’, the card index generally ‘figures only as an anonymous,furtive factor in text generation, acknowledged – all the way into thetwentieth century – merely as a memory crutch’ (361).2 A keyreason for this is due to the fact that the ‘enlightened scholar isexpected to produce innovative thought’ (361); knowledgeproduction, and any prostheses involved in it, ‘became and remaineda private matter’ (361).
'Memory crutch' implies a physical human failing that needs assistance rather than a phrase like aide-mémoire that doesn't draw that same attention.
- external scaffolding
- memory crutch
- note taking
- index cards
- external structures for thought
- Peter Krapp
However, the great advantage of enumerations over sets is that they are ordered and they force the brain to list them always in the same order. An ordered list of countries contains more information than the set of countries that can be listed in any order. Paradoxically, despite containing more information, enumerations are easier to remember.
Enumerations are sets with a particular order. The fact that they have an order, in which each item might be associated with the next, makes them easier to remember.
The greater information in an enumeration provides additional structure which makes the items easier to remember.
- Feb 2022
Local file Local file
We need a reliable and simple external structure tothink in that compensates for the limitations of our brains
Let's be honest that there are certainly methods for doing all of this within our brains and not needing to rely on external structures. This being said, using writing, literacy, and external structures does allow us to process things faster than before.
Can we calculate what the level of greater efficiency allows for doing this? What is the overall throughput difference in being able to forget and write? Not rely on communication with others? What does a back of the envelope calculation for this look like?