13 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2022
  2. Local file Local file
    1. 'I don't think it's anything—I mean, I don't think it was ever put to anyuse. That's what I like about it. It's a little chunk of history that they'veforgotten to alter. It's a message from a hundred years ago, if one knew howto read it.'

      Walter and Julia are examining a glass paperweight in George Orwell's 1984 without having context of what it is or for what it was used.

      This is the same sort of context collapse caused by distance in time and memory that archaeologists face when examining found objects.

      How does one pull out the meaning from such distant objects in an exegetical way? How can we more reliably rebuild or recreate lost contexts?

      Link to: - Stonehenge is a mnemonic device - mnemonic devices in archaeological contexts (Neolithic carved stone balls


      Some forms of orality-based methods and practices can be viewed as a method of "reading" physical objects.


      Ideograms are an evolution on the spectrum from orality to literacy.


      It seems odd to be pulling these sorts of insight out my prior experiences and reading while reading something so wholly "other". But isn't this just what "myths" in oral cultures actually accomplish? We link particular ideas to pieces of story, song, art, and dance so that they may be remembered. In this case Orwell's glass paperweight has now become a sort of "talking rock" for me. Certainly it isn't done in any sort of sense that Orwell would have expected, presumed, or even intended.

  3. May 2022
    1. However, what if we replace “ human face ” in this decisive quotewith “interface,” that is, the interface between man and apparatus?

      This wording seems quite profound.

      It means that by creating a personification of our tools, we can more easily communicate with them.

      Do people personify their computers? I remember in the late 80s and early 90s computer workstations, especially in university settings, having personified names.

      Link this to the personification of rocks w.r.t. talking rocks and oral traditions.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/KosdVt1qEeykU2dTuVZT3Q

    1. Tools for Thought Rocks!

      Related to talking rocks (for me), but also completely opposite to talking and thinking rocks altogether.

  4. Apr 2022
    1. https://www.themarginalian.org/2011/06/20/inside-notebooks/

      There are a number of books which feature the sketchbooks and notebooks of famous writers, researchers and artists. However, most of their work is presented as art in and of itself. Rarely are the messiest and ugliest pages pictured. Most of the layouts in these books are laid out as art. Frequently missing are the structural parts and interviews with the original authors talking about their process. How do they actually use these notebooks in practice? How do ideas move from their heads into the notebooks and from there into their practical work? The notebooks only capture raw ideas as a scaffolding for extending the user's brain and thinking, but it doesn't capture the intangible ideas and portions of process which are still trapped within their brains. To be able to evaluate these portions, the author needs to talk or write about those missing portions of the process otherwise the way they create genius is wholly missing. A viewer of such notebooks would be no closer to creating genius for themselves by attempting to follow the same patterns without these additional structures. It's like the indigenous peoples who talk with rocks as part of their cultural practice—so much of what is happening is missing from the description of "talking with rocks" that most people wouldn't even know where to begin, but for the initiated, the process would be imminently crystal clear.

      Which of these books actually delves into the process and does interviews as well?

      This article actually lays out the notebooks as their own form of art rather than centering the idea of creative process as a means of helping others to follow these same patterns. We need the book that does for the art and design area what Sönke Ahrens' book How to Take Smart Notes does for the note taking space. It's interesting to see Niklas Luhmann's collection of 90,000 index cards, but without knowing how he used them and what purpose they served, the enterprise is lost. Similarly the depiction of Roland Barthes' index cards in Roland Barthes has a similar function. Showing them is not equivalent to actually understanding them.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/3SOmoMcMEey8n9dSUWhPJw

    1. It is notinsignificant either that among the illustrations of the Roland Barthes par RolandBarthes there are a series of facsimile reproductions of the author’s handwriting,analogic reproductions of linguistic graphemes, pieces of writing silenced,abstracted from the universe of discourse by their photographic reproduction. Inparticular, as we have seen, the three index cards are reproduced not for the sakeof their content, not for their signified, but for a reality-effect value for which ourexpanding taste, says Barthes, encompasses the fashion of diaries, of testimonials,of historical documents, and, most of all, the massive development of photogra-

      phy. In that sense, the reproduction of these three slips ironically resonates, if on a different scale, with the world tour of the mask of Tutankhamen. It refers, if not to the magic silence of a relic, at least to the ghostly parergonal quality of what French language calls a reliquat.

      Hollier argues that Barthes' reproduced cards are not only completely divorced from their original context and use, but that they are reproduced for the sheen of reality and artistic fashion they convey to the reader. So much thought, value, and culture is lost in the worship of these items in this setting compared to their original context.

      This is closely linked to the same sort of context collapse highlighted by the photo of Chief William Berens seated beside the living stones of his elders in Tim Ingold's Why Anthropology Matters. There we only appreciate the sense of antiquity, curiosity, and exoticness of an elder of a culture that is not ours. These rocks, by very direct analogy, are the index cards of the zettelkasten of an oral culture.

      Black and white photo of a man in Western dress (pants, white shirt, and vest) sits on a rock with a forrest in the background. Beside him are several large round, but generally otherwise unremarkable rocks. Chief William Berens seated beside the living stones of his elders; a picture taken by A. Irving Hallowell in 1930, between Grand Rapids and Pikangikum, Ontario, Canada. (American Philosophical Society)

  5. Feb 2022
    1. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-02-09/riverside-sohcahtoa-teacher-viral-video-mocked-native-americans-fired

      Riverside teacher who dressed up and mocked Native Americans for a trigonometry lesson involving a mnemonic using SOH CAH TOA in Riverside, CA is fired.

      There is a right way to teach mnemonic techniques and a wrong way. This one took the advice to be big and provocative went way overboard. The children are unlikely to forget the many lessons (particularly the social one) contained here.

      It's unfortunate that this could have potentially been a chance to bring indigenous memory methods into a classroom for a far better pedagogical and cultural outcome. Sad that the methods are so widely unknown that media missed a good teaching moment here.

      referenced video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu4fulKVv2c

      A snippet at the end of the video has the teacher talking to rocks and a "rock god", but it's extremely unlikely that she was doing so using indigenous methods or for indigenous reasons.

      read: 7:00 AM

  6. Jan 2022
    1. The physical reality of packed switched routing, the awkward unlikely miracle of a bunch of computers – rocks we flattened and jammed lightning into – talking to each other. Interacting.

      This is a version of talking rocks in a whole different manner, but it reminds me of the book title The Pattern on the Stone about digital communications.

  7. Dec 2021
    1. Neither, we think, would anyonewho has ever learned a truly alien language deny that doing so takesa great deal of imaginative work, trying to grasp unfamiliar concepts.

      Learning and mastering an alien language takes a tremendous amount of work, taxing one's imagination attempting to come to terms with similarly alien cultural concepts.

    2. Already tens of thousands of years ago, one can find evidence ofobjects – very often precious stones, shells or other items ofadornment – being moved around over enormous distances. Oftenthese were just the sort of objects that anthropologists would laterfind being used as ‘primitive currencies’ all over the world.

      Is it also possible that these items may have served the purpose of mnemonic devices as a means of transporting (otherwise invisible) information from one area or culture to another?

      Can we build evidence for this from the archaeological record?

      Relate this to the idea of expanding the traditional "land, labor, capital" theory of economics to include "information" as a basic building block

    1. there's an exception ah yes indeed there is an exception to that which is largely 00:08:28 when you're talking to someone else so in conversation and in dialogue you're actually can maintain consciousness for very long periods of time well which is why you need to imagine you're talking 00:08:41 to someone else to really be able to think out a problem

      Humans in general have a seven second window of self-consciousness. (What is the reference for this? Double check it.) The exception is when one is in conversation with someone else, and then people have much longer spans of self-consciousness.

      I'm left to wonder if this is a useful fact for writing in the margins in books or into one's notebook, commonplace book, or zettelkasten? By having a conversation with yourself, or more specifically with the imaginary author you're annotating or if you prefer to frame it as a conversation with your zettelkasten, one expands their self-consciousness for much longer periods of time? What benefit does this have for the individual? What benefit for humanity in aggregate?

      Is it this fact or just coincidence that much early philosophy was done as dialectic?

      From an orality perspective, this makes it much more useful to talk to one's surroundings or objects like rocks. Did mnemonic techniques help give rise to our ability to be more self-conscious as a species? Is it like a muscle that we've been slowly and evolutionarily exercising for 250,000 years?

    1. With secondary sources, I like to check and see what the author is doing with the information. It's standard to refer to interpretations that agree with yours, but often even more interesting when the new interpretation is arguing with, modifying, or "complicating" the previous one.

      I have noticed in some anthropological literature that it appears that the authors completely missed the boat as the result of the lack of ability to communicate with their subjects or better understand their broader basic contexts.

      Particular examples of this: -1930s: A. Irving Hallowell conversations with William Berens, Chief of the Berens River Anishinaabe about rocks

      • Robin Wall Kimmerer mentions in Braiding Sweetgrass that the new American immigrants looked down on the indigenous people for not "giving thanks" for their food, when in fact it was so embedded into their general culture that it should never have been in question. The immigrants just didn't possess the ability to see the how the thanks had been given.