16 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. For instance, particular insights related to the sun or the moon may be filed under the(foreign) keyword “Astronomie” [Astronomy] or under the (German) keyword “Sternkunde”[Science of the Stars]. This can happen even more easily when using just one language, e.g.when notes related to the sociological term “Bund” [Association] are not just filed under“Bund” but also under “Gemeinschaft” [Community] or “Gesellschaft” [Society]. Againstthis one can protect by using dictionaries of synonyms and then create enough referencesheets (e.g. Astronomy: cf. Science of the Stars)

      related, but not drawn from as I've been thinking about the continuum of taxonomies and subject headings for a while...

      On the Spectrum of Topic Headings in note making

      Any reasonable note one may take will likely have a hierarchical chain of tags/subject headings/keywords going from the broad to the very specific. One might start out with something broad like "humanities" (as opposed to science), and proceed into "history", "anthropology", "biological anthropology", "evolution", and even more specific. At the bottom of the chain is the specific atomic idea on the card itself. Each of the subject headings helps to situate the idea and provide the context in which it sits, but how useful within a note taking system is having one or more of these tags on it? What about overlaps with other broader subjects (one will note that "evolution" might also sit under "science" / "biology" as well), but that note may have a different tone and perspective than the prior one.

      This becomes an interesting problem or issue as one explores ideas in a pre-designed note taking system. As a student just beginning to explore anthropology, one may tag hundreds of notes with anthropology to the point that the meaning of the tag is so diluted that a search of the index becomes useless as there's too much to sort through underneath it. But as one continues their studies in the topic further branches and sub headings will appear to better differentiate the ideas. This process will continue as the space further differentiates. Of course one may continue their research into areas that don't have a specific subject heading until they accumulate enough ideas within that space. (Take for example Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky's work which is now known under the heading of Behavioral Economics, a subject which broadly didn't exist before their work.) The note taker might also leverage this idea as they tag their own work as specifically as they might so as not to pollute their system as it grows without bound (or at least to the end of their lifetime).

      The design of one's note taking system should take these eventualities into account and more easily allow the user to start out broad, but slowly hone in on direct specificity.

      Some of this principle of atomicity of ideas and the growth from broad to specific can be seen in Luhmann's zettelkasten (especially ZK II) which starts out fairly broad and branches into the more specific. The index reflects this as well and each index heading ideally points to the most specific sub-card which begins the discussion of that particular topic.

      Perhaps it was this narrowing of specificity which encouraged Luhmann to start ZKII after years of building ZKII which had a broader variety of topics?

    2. Who can say whether I will actually be searchingfor e.g. the note on the relation between freedom of will and responsibility by looking at itunder the keyword “Verantwortlichkeit” [Responsibility]? What if, as is only natural, I willbe unable to remember the keyword and instead search for “Willensfreiheit” [Freedom ofWill] or “Freiheit” [Freedom], hoping to find the entry? This seems to be the biggestcomplaint about the entire system of the sheet box and its merit.

      Heyde specifically highlights that planning for one's future search efforts by choosing the right keyword or even multiple keywords "seems to be the biggest complaint about the entire system of the slip box and its merit."

      Niklas Luhmann apparently spent some time thinking about this, or perhaps even practicing it, before changing his system so that the issue was no longer a problem. As a result, Luhmann's system is much simpler to use and maintain.

      Given his primary use of his slip box for academic research and writing, perhaps his solution was in part motivated by putting the notes and ideas exactly where he would both be able to easily find them, but also exactly where he would need them for creating final products in journal articles and books.

    3. For the sheets that are filled with content on one side however, the most most importantaspect is its actual “address”, which at the same time gives it its title by which it can alwaysbe found among its comrades: the keyword belongs to the upper row of the sheet, as thegraphic shows.

      With respect to Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten, it seems he eschewed the Heyde's advice to use subject headings as the Anschrift (address). Instead, much like a physical street address or card card catalog system, he substituted a card address instead. This freed him up from needing to copy cards multiple times to insert them in different places as well as needing to create multiple cards to properly index the ideas and their locations.

      Without this subtle change Luhmann's 90,000 card collection could have easily been 4-5 times its size.

  2. Sep 2022
    1. So entstanden 98 Bände, hergestellt nach einem Zettelkasten-System (Verne hinterließ 25 000 Stichwort-Karten), zum größeren Teil geschrieben in dem Turm zu Amiens, den Verne innen wie ein Schiff ausgestattet hatte.


      Google translation:

      The result was 98 volumes, produced according to a Zettelkasten system (Verne left 25,000 keyword cards), mostly written in the tower at Amiens, the interior of which Verne had decorated like a ship.

      Jules Verne had a zettelkasten which he used to write 98 volumes.

      Given that he was French we should cross check his name with "fichier boîte".

    1. Tagsare simple yet powerful forms of categorizing used in social mediathat further organize categorical information according to user needsand preferences (Shimic, 2008). Tags help people find and situateideas, providing a mode of peripheral social collaborativeparticipation (Lave & Wenger, 2012). Tags also create flexiblesearch tools, not available with traditional annotation tools, thatsupport reading-for-writing by making the process of retrieval fasterand more straightforward.

      This discussion seems to miss the broader intellectual historical background of tags in prior generations. There's not even a nod to commonplaces, topic headings, subject headings, indices, etc.

  3. Aug 2022
    1. While Heyde outlines using keywords/subject headings and dates on the bottom of cards with multiple copies using carbon paper, we're left with the question of where Luhmann pulled his particular non-topical ordering as well as his numbering scheme.

      While it's highly likely that Luhmann would have been familiar with the German practice of Aktenzeichen ("file numbers") and may have gotten some interesting ideas about organization from the closing sections of the "Die Kartei" section 1.2 of the book, which discusses library organization and the Dewey Decimal system, we're still left with the bigger question of organization.

      It's obvious that Luhmann didn't follow the heavy use of subject headings nor the advice about multiple copies of cards in various portions of an alphabetical index.

      While the Dewey Decimal System set up described is indicative of some of the numbering practices, it doesn't get us the entirety of his numbering system and practice.

      One need only take a look at the Inhalt (table of contents) of Heyde's book! The outline portion of the contents displays a very traditional branching tree structure of ideas. Further, the outline is very specifically and similarly numbered to that of Luhmann's zettelkasten. This structure and numbering system is highly suggestive of branching ideas where each branch builds on the ideas immediately above it or on the ideas at the next section above that level.

      Just as one can add an infinite number of books into the Dewey Decimal system in a way that similar ideas are relatively close together to provide serendipity for both search and idea development, one can continue adding ideas to this branching structure so they're near their colleagues.

      Thus it's highly possible that the confluence of descriptions with the book and the outline of the table of contents itself suggested a better method of note keeping to Luhmann. Doing this solves the issue of needing to create multiple copies of note cards as well as trying to find cards in various places throughout the overall collection, not to mention slimming down the collection immensely. Searching for and finding a place to put new cards ensures not only that one places one's ideas into a growing logical structure, but it also ensures that one doesn't duplicate information that may already exist within one's over-arching outline. From an indexing perspective, it also solves the problem of cross referencing information along the axes of the source author, source title, and a large variety of potential subject headings.

      And of course if we add even a soupcon of domain expertise in systems theory to the mix...

      While thinking about Aktenzeichen, keep in mind that it was used in German public administration since at least 1934, only a few years following Heyde's first edition, but would have been more heavily used by the late 1940's when Luhmann would have begun his law studies.


      When thinking about taking notes for creating output, one can follow one thought with another logically both within one's card index not only to write an actual paper, but the collection and development happens the same way one is filling in an invisible outline which builds itself over time.

      Linking different ideas to other ideas separate from one chain of thought also provides the ability to create multiple of these invisible, but organically growing outlines.

    1. one can protect by using dictionaries of synonyms and then create enough referencesheets (e.g. Astronomy: cf. Science of the Stars). The only premise for this is that one knowsbeforehand the one location where the sheet belongs in the box.

      use of theausaurus to limit subject headings...

    2. Apart from a higher probability to retrieve particular note sheets, that advantage lies in thecircumstance that notes having a similar keyword will, as the box grows, find themselves atthe same location because of the alphabetical structure. That means not only an automaticcollection of content, but also a comparative review of those related note sheets, which inturn leads to new thoughts basd on the relation between the note sheets with identicalkeywords
    1. Don’t worry about organization…at least at first. I get a lot of emails from people asking me what categories I organize my notes in. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. The information I personally find is what dictates my categories. Your search will dictate your own. Focus on finding good stuff and the themes will reveal themselves.

      Ryan Holiday's experience and advice indicates that he does little organization and doesn't put emphasis on categories for organization. He advises "Focus on finding good stuff and the themes will reveal themselves."

      This puts him on a very particular part of the spectrum in terms of his practice.

  4. Jun 2022
    1. First, while using the previous retrieval methods, it is a good ideato keep your focus a little broad. Don’t begin and end your searchwith only the specific folder that matches your criteria.

      The area of serendipity becomes much more powerful when one has ideas both directly interlinked, ideas categorized with subject headings or tags, or when one can have affordances like auto-complete.

      The method Forte suggests and outlines allows for some serendipity, but not as much as other methods with additional refinements. Serendipity in Forte's method isn't as strong as in others.

      In this section he's talking about some of the true "magic of note taking" which is discussed by Luhmann and others.

      link to:<br /> Luhmann's writings on serendipity and surprise when using his zettelkasten (Communication with the Slipbox...)<br /> Ahrens mentions of this effect

    2. How to Resurface and Reuse Your Past Work

      Coming back to the beginning of this section. He talks about tags, solely after-the-fact instead of when taking notes on the fly. While it might seem that he would have been using tags as subject headings in a traditional commonplace book, he really isn't. This is a significant departure from the historical method!! It's also ill advised not to be either tagging/categorizing as one goes along to make searching and linking things together dramatically easier.

      How has he missed the power of this from the start?! This is really a massive flaw in his method from my perspective, particularly as he quotes John Locke's work on the topic.

      Did I maybe miss some of this in earlier sections when he quoted John Locke? Double check, just in case, but this is certainly the section of the book to discuss using these ideas!

    3. Tags can overcomethis limitation by infusing your Second Brain with connections,making it easier to see cross-disciplinary themes and patterns thatdefy simple categorization.

      Forte frames things primarily from a digital perspective so he talks about folders and tags, but seems to wholly forget the grand power of having an subject index. While they're broadly the same, it's as if he's forgoing two thousand years of rhetorical tradition to have something that seems new and innovative, but which are paths that are incredibly well travelled.

    1. You may prefer notebooks to cards for note taking-very well:use what you like, but invariably; it will save you time andannoyance. If you use cards , use small ones (3" x 5") so that youuse a separate card for each fact, title, or memorandum toyourself. The cards are then easily shuffled for grouping. If youuse a notebook, leave a margin for the key word, letter, or num-ber which you will insert later as an index to the contents.
  5. Apr 2022
    1. Francis Bacon explained succinctlythat notes could be made either “by epitome or abridgement” (that is, by sum-marizing the source) or “by heads or commonplaces” (that is, by copying a pas-sage verbatim or nearly so and storing it in a notebook under a commonplaceheading for later retrieval and use). Bacon considered the latter method “of farmore profit and use,” and most note-taking advice focused on this practice of ex-cerpting.46

      This quote is worth looking up and checking its context. Particularly I'm interested to know if the purpose of summarizing the source is to check one's understanding of the ideas as is done in the Feynman technique, or if the purpose is a reminder summary of the piece itself?

      Link to Ahrens mentions of this technique for checking understanding. (Did he use the phrase Feynman in his text?)

  6. Mar 2022
    1. Lemmata from the main text are underlined in red, and the commentary is provided after.

      : lemmata ; a heading indicating the subject or argument of a literary composition, an annotation, or a dictionary entry.