35 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2023
    1. taking in sociological investigation

      The simplest and most direct way of bringing home to the reader the truth of this dogmatic assertion of the scientific value of note-taking in sociological investigation...

      Beatrice Webb indicates that it is an incontrovertible truth that sociologists should use a card index (zettelkasten) as a primary tool in their research.

      We ought to closely notice that she wrote this truism about the field of sociology in a book published in 1926, the year prior to Niklas Luhmann's <s>death</s> birth.

      How popular was her book with respect to the remainder of the field of sociology subsequently? What other sociology texts may have had similar ideas? Webb obviously quotes some of this technique in the late 1800s as being popular within the area of history. How evenly was it spread across the humanities in general?

      Is Beatrice Webb's card index amongst her papers? Where might they be stored today?

  2. Feb 2023
    1. During my journey of developing the Zettelkasten Method,

      Seems like he's saying he developed the Zettelkasten Method... perhaps his version of the method based on Luhmann's? Commodifying the version "created" by Luhmann?

      Credit here for native German speaker writing in English....

    1. I recently was invited by the Niklas-Luhmann-Archiv research group, to give an overview of my Zettelkasten and discuss aspects of the technical implementation of Luhmann’s Zettelkasten method.

      So nice to see a blog post specifically talk about "Luhmann's Zettelkasten method" rather than a more generic zettelkasten method as being Luhmann's. Notice the 2015 date before the "fame" had caught on in the blogosphere's productivity porn space closer to 2018.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2zY7l2tzoQ

      Ugh... another short mediocre introduction. Repeats the origin myth.

      Seems to take a very Ahrens' based framing, but screws up a few pieces. More focus on "hub notes" and completely misses the idea of an index somehow?!?

      The last section of 2+ minutes really goes off the rails and recommends converting notes from other places and muddles about "Favorite problems" (ostensibly a reference to Feynman's 12 Favorite Problems, but isn't direct about it?).

      Also encourages the "Feynman technique"...

  3. Jan 2023
    1. In the super-nerdy space where the fine details of digital note-taking are discussed, you’ll hear a lot about the Zettelkasten Method (ZK Method), popularized by a German professor called Niklas Luhmann who was incredibly prolific and famously wrote over 90,000 notes on index cards that were linked together.

      Not so much origin myth here, but popularization myth…

    1. he [Luhmann] popularized method of expanding your memory called the zettelkasten method (04:49)

      At least he doesn't go with the invention myth, but it's also false that he was the one who popularized it... others online popularized it.

  4. Dec 2022
    1. A pesar de que la administración sistemática del conocimiento no tiene orígenes recientes, el referente más común es el tema es el sociólogo alemán Niklas Luhmann, creador del Zettelkasten.


      Although the systematic administration of knowledge does not have recent origins, the most common referent on the subject is the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, creator of the Zettelkasten.

    1. The History of Zettelkasten The Zettelkasten method is a note-taking system developed by German sociologist and philosopher Niklas Luhmann. It involves creating a network of interconnected notes on index cards or in a digital database, allowing for flexible organization and easy access to information. The method has been widely used in academia and can help individuals better organize their thoughts and ideas.


      If generated, it almost perfect reflects the public consensus, but does a miserable job of reflecting deeper realities.

  5. Oct 2022
    1. Does anyone else work in project-based systems instead? .t3_y2pzuu._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/m_t_rv_s__n https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/y2pzuu/does_anyone_else_work_in_projectbased_systems/

      Historically, many had zettelkasten which were commonplace books kept on note cards, usually categorized by subject (read: "folders" or "tags"), so you're not far from that original tradition.

      Similar to your work pattern, you may find the idea of a "Pile of Index Cards" (PoIC) interesting. See https://lifehacker.com/the-pile-of-index-cards-system-efficiently-organizes-ta-1599093089 and https://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkexpress/albums/72157594200490122 (read the descriptions of the photos for more details; there was also a related, but now defunct wiki, which you can find copies of on Archive.org with more detail). This pattern was often seen implemented in the TiddlyWiki space, but can now be implemented in many note taking apps that have to do functionality along with search and tags. Similarly you may find those under Tiago Forte's banner "Building a Second Brain" to be closer to your project-based/productivity framing if you need additional examples or like-minded community. You may find that some of Nick Milo's Linking Your Thinking (LYT) is in this productivity spectrum as well. (Caveat emptor: these last two are selling products/services, but there's a lot of their material freely available online.)

      Luhmann changed the internal structure of his particular zettelkasten that created a new variation on the older traditions. It is this Luhmann-based tradition that many in r/Zettelkasten follow. Since many who used the prior (commonplace-based) tradition were also highly productive, attributing output to a particular practice is wrongly placed. Each user approaches these traditions idiosyncratically to get them to work for themselves, so ignore naysayers and those with purist tendencies, particularly when they're new to these practices or aren't aware of their richer history. As the sub-reddit rules indicate: "There is no [universal or orthodox] 'right' way", but you'll find a way that is right for you.

    1. https://youtu.be/ILuSxUYYjMs

      Luhmann zettelkasten origin myth at 165 second mark

      A short outline of several numbering schemes (essentially all decimal in nature) for zettelkasten including: - Luhmann's numbering - Bob Doto - Scott Scheper - Dan Allosso - Forrest Perry

      A little light on the "why", though it does get location as a primary focus. Misses the idea of density and branching. Touches on but broadly misses the arbitrariness of using the comma, period, or slash which functions primarily for readability.

  6. Sep 2022
    1. nicholas lumen the german sociologist who appears to be the one to have invented the zettelkostn method or at least popularized

      Earlier he uses the phrase "old school" to describe the zettelkasten (presumably Luhmann's version), and not the much older old school ones from Gessner on....

  7. Aug 2022
    1. Someone posted the video above about the Zettelkasten method of taking notes pioneered by the 20th century German sociologist Niklas Luhmann.

      Pioneered is a dreadful word instead of something having a connotation of putting a cherry on top of a pre-existing practice.

  8. Jul 2022
    1. In the United States, Luhmann is best known for anote-taking method he developed called Zettelkasten,which you’ll read more about very shortly.

      Perhaps better to indicate that he made some modifications to a pre-existing method as it's disingenuous historically to say he developed the broader idea which goes back at least as early as Konrad Gessner in 1548.

      Academics, writers, and thinkers have been using variations on the general ideas of note taking, commonplacing, and slip boxing for centuries, which may also help to motivate students.

    1. Well, this was a true early morning treat!You reeeeally botched that one. Like 180 degrees misinterpreted it.That thread is about how Luhmann developed a personal approach that worked for him (as we all do and should), and that there is no one way to work/do a zettelkasten. Ie. We all must (and inevitably will) interpret Luhmann's take on zettelkasten method (and any other tools/method/etc we encounter) in light of what our needs are.What's super dope, is that my whole jam in this ZK world is about showing the thread/lineage of these techniques and helping people specifically wrestle with some of the principles and practices Luhmann employed so that in the end they can apply them in whatever way they see fit. And yet, somehow....you actually miss that?Also, this.... (you)"We approach these methods from such a top down manner, in part, because our culture has broadly lost the thread of how these note taking practices were done historically. Instead of working with something that has always existed and been taught in our culture, and then using it to suit our needs, we're looking at it like a new shiny toy or app and then trying to modify it to make it suit our needs."... Is this....(me)"We're coming at [zettelkasten] top-down. We're appropriating something and trying to retrofit it in a desire to "be better." In doing so, we're trying "clean it up a bit."I'm critiquing this approach 😂 I'm saying we come at it top-down bc we see it as a reified object (which is incorrect) that is set in stone, when in fact those who present the "one true way" are actually presenting a "cleaned up version" of Luhmann's very personal approach and calling it "official." Again, I'm critiquing that! I am, by design and punk ethos, kinda against "official."Silly, dude. The whole thread is about not looking at it as a "shiny new toy" and seeing it as a more fluid aspect of note-taking and personal practice. It's about recognizing that the way to recreate Luhmann is to be flexible, interpret these methods for yourself. Why? Bc that's exactly what Luhmann did."Let the principles and practices guide your zettelkasten work. Throw them in a box with your defined workflow issues. Let them hash it out. Shake the box and let them tell you the "kind" of zk you should be working with." (thread the day before the above mentioned)Also, and you're gonna love this....Here's you above...."People have been using zettelkasten, commonplace books, florilegium, and other similar methods for centuries, and no one version is the "correct" one."And here's me....."The most well-known slip-boxes in the world have been employed by writers in service of their writing. Variations of the system date back to the 17th c., [3] and modern writers such as, Umberto Eco, Arno Schmidt, and Hans Blumenberg are all known for employing some version of the slip-box to capture, collect, organize, and transform notes into published work. Of course, today, the most famous zettelkasten is the one used...."Sound familiar? It's me citing you, ya dum dum 😂 Footnote numero tres....https://writing.bobdoto.computer/zettelkasten-linking-your-thinking-and-nick-milos-search-for-ground/Such a funny thing to see this fine Friday morning! ☀

      Sadly I think we're talking past each other somehow; I broadly agree with all of your original thread. Perhaps there's also some context collapse amidst our conversations across multiple platforms which doesn't help.

      Maybe my error was in placing my comment on your original thread rather than a sub branch on one of the top several comments? I didn't want to target anyone in particular as the "invented by Luhmann myth" is incredibly wide spread and is unlikely to ever go away. It's obvious by some of the responses I've seen from your thread here in r/antinet that folks without the explicit context of the history default to the misconception that Luhmann invented it. This misconception tends to reinforce the idea that there's "one true way" (the often canonically presented "perfect" Luhmann zettelkasten, rather than the messier method that he obviously practiced in reality) when, instead, there are lots of methods, many of which share some general principles or building blocks, but which can have dramatically different uses and outcomes. My hope in highlighting the history was specifically to give your point more power, not take the opposite stance. Not having the direct evidence to the contrary, you'll noticed I hedged my statement with the word "seems" in the opening sentence. I apologize to you that I apparently wasn't more clear.

      I love your comparison of LYT and zettelkasten by the way. It's reminiscent of the sort of comparison I'm hoping to bring forth in an upcoming review of Tiago Forte's recent book. His method—ostensibly a folder based digital commonplace book, which is similar to Milo's LYT—can be useful, but he doesn't seem to have the broader experience of history or the various use cases to be able to advise a general audience which method(s) they may want to try or for which ends. I worry that while he's got a useful method for potentially many people, too many may see it and his platform as a recipe they need to follow rather than having a set of choices for various outcomes they may wish to have. Too many "thought leaders" are trying to "own" portions of the space rather than presenting choices or comparisons the way you have. Elizabeth Butler is one of the few others I've seen taking a broader approach. A lot of these explorations also means there are multiple different words to describe each system's functionality, which I think only serves to muddy things up for potential users rather than make them clearer. (And doing this across multiple languages across time is even more confusing: is it zettelkasten, card index, or fichier boîte? Already the idea of zettelkasten (in English speaking areas) has taken on the semantic meaning "Luhmann's specific method of keeping a zettelkasten" rather than just a box with slips.)

  9. Jun 2022
    1. The term comes from Niklaus Luhmann, a German autodidact and famously prolific academic sociologist. Similar techniques were developed independently by Nabokov and Prisig, among others.


      Wow. Even in the pinned post on r/Zettelkasten, they propagate the myth by implication that Luhmann invented the Zettelkasten.

      They also suggest that Nabokov and Pirsig independently developed similar techniques rather than that it was a commonplace (excuse the pun) pattern in the broader culture.

    1. The zettelkästen creator, Niklas Luhmann, produced 70 books and over 550 publications in a short amount of time.
    1. Before we begin, please note that this piece assumes intermediate familiarity with Zettelkasten and its original creator, the social scientist Niklas Luhmann (1927–1998).

      Even the long running (2013) zettelkasten.de website credits Niklas Luhmann as being the "original creator" of the zettelkasten.


      We really need to track down the origin of linking one idea to another. Obviously writers, and especially novelists, would have had some sort of at least linear order in their writing due to narrative needs in using such a system. What does this tradition look like on the non-fiction side?

      Certainly some of the puzzle stems from the commonplace book tradition, but this is more likely to have relied on natural memory as well as searching and finding via index methods.

      Perhaps looking more closely at Hans Blumenberg's instantiation would be more helpful. Similarly looking at the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss and his predecessors like Marcel Mauss may provide at least an attack on this problem.

      My working hypothesis is that given the history of the Viennese numbering system, it may have stemmed from the late 1700s and this certainly wasn't an innovation by Luhmann.

      link to: https://hyp.is/hLy7NNtqEeuWQIP1UDkM6g/web.archive.org/web/20130916081433/https://christiantietze.de/posts/2013/06/zettelkasten-improves-thinking-writing/ for evidence of start of zettelkasten.de

    1. settle custon which a philosopher named nicholas lumen created

      Another example of an unsourced reference to Niklas Luhmann creating the zettelkasten.

  10. May 2022
    1. name means a slit box in german as in like a slip of paper a box containing such slips of paper it was invented or at least the modern form was described by a sociologist 00:02:32 named nicholas lumon

      Another example of someone misattributing the invention of the zettelkasten to Niklas Luhmann. At least Soren Bjornstad modifies the attribution to say modern form, but I suspect that this is more of a verbal hedge more than being backed up with actual evidence, though perhaps the video will bear out more detail?

      The availability heuristic is so strong in Luhmann's case, that he is attributed the invention. I find that few people can point to or ever mention any others who used the method.

    1. Luhmann realised his note-taking was not leadinganywhere. So he turned note-taking on its head.

      Here Ahrens doesn't say that Luhmann invented the zettelkasten, but he comes pretty close and is heavily implying it rather than delving into the ways which Luhmann may have been taught this practice.

    1. This is all too correct. Sadly the older methods for writing, note taking, thinking, and memory have fallen by the wayside, so most literate moderns don't have the tradition most of (elite educated) Western culture has had for the past 2000+ years. The long tradition of commonplace books and their related versions including waste books, florilegium, sudelbücher, scholia, glossae, notebooks, anthologies, sylvae, table books, vade mecum, memoranda books, diaries, miscellanies, pocket books, thesauruses, etc. underlines your thesis well. The Zettelkasten, exactly like almost all of these others, is simply an iteration of the commonplace book instantiated into index card form. One of the reasons that Umberto Eco's advice on writing seems so similar to the zettelkasten method is that he was a medievalist scholar who was aware of these long traditions of writing, note taking, and memory and leveraged these for himself, though likely in a slightly different manner. Would anyone suggest that he didn't have a voluminous output or an outsized impact on society and culture? If one really wants to go crazy on the idea of backlinks and the ideas of creativity and invention, perhaps they ought to brush up on their Catalan and read some Ramon Llull? He was an 11th century philosopher and polymath who spent a lot of time not only memorizing much of his personal knowledge, but who invented combinatorial creative methods for juxtaposing his volumes of information to actively create new ideas. I guarantee no backlinking system held a match to his associative methods. Now if someone wanted to mix some mysticism into the fray, then perhaps there might be a competition... Many who are now writing so positively about Zettelkasten or backlinks are doing so in much the same way that humanist scholars like Desiderius Erasmus, Rodolphus Agricola, and Philip Melanchthon did when writing about and re-popularizing commonplace books in the 1500s. The primary difference being that the chance that they leave as lasting a legacy is much smaller. Worse many of them are crediting Luhmann for the actual invention of the Zettelkasten when his is but one instantiation on a long evolution of many note taking devices over literal millennia. I'm still waiting for folks to spend more time talking about Carl Linnaeus' revolutionary invention and use of the index card. Or John Locke's system for creating a new indexing system for commonplace books. Generally we don't talk about these innovations because their users spent more of their time using their systems to get other more important things done for their legacies. In the end, the message seems clear, anyone can be incredibly productive; most of it boils down to having some sort of system of reading, thinking, note taking, and new production and sticking with it for a while. Have a system; use your system; evolve it slowly to work well for you and the way you think and work.

    1. Other popular terms for such a system include Zettelkasten (meaning “slipbox” in German, coined by influential sociologist Niklas Luhmann), Memex (aword invented by American inventor Vannevar Bush), and digital garden(named by popular online creator Anne-Laure Le Cunff)

      Zettelkasten existed prior to Niklas Luhmann, who neither invented them nor coined their name.

      The earliest concept of a digital garden stems from Mark Bernstein's essay Hypertext Gardens: Delightful Vistas in 1998.

      Anne-Laure Le Cunff's first mention of "digital garden" was on April 21, 2020

      Progress on my digital garden / evergreen notebook inspired by @andy_matuschak🌱<br><br>Super grateful for @alyssaxuu who's been literally handholding me through the whole thing — thank you! pic.twitter.com/ErzvEsdAUj

      — Anne-Laure Le Cunff (@anthilemoon) April 22, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Which occurred after Maggie Appleton's mention on 2020-04-15 https://twitter.com/Mappletons/status/1250532315459194880

      Nerding hard on digital gardens, personal wikis, and experimental knowledge systems with @_jonesian today.<br><br>We have an epic collection going, check these out...<br><br>1. @tomcritchlow's Wikifolders: https://t.co/QnXw0vzbMG pic.twitter.com/9ri6g9hD93

      — Maggie Appleton 🧭 (@Mappletons) April 15, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      And several days after Justin Tadlock on 2020-04-17 https://wptavern.com/on- digital-gardens-blogs-personal-spaces-and-the-future

      Before this there was Joel Hooks by at least 2020-02-04 https://web.archive.org/web/20200204180025/https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden, though he had been thinking about it in late 2019: https://github.com/joelhooks/joelhooks-com/blob/36c21b34f02ade14d4e67915ff412462030282cd/content/blog/2019-12-08--on-writing-more~~qG38AKqxq/index.mdx

      He was predated by Tom Critchlow on 2018-10-18 https://tomcritchlow.com/blogchains/digital-gardens/ who quotes Mike Caulfield's article from 2015-10-17 as an influence https://hapgood.us/2015/10/17/the-garden-and-the-stream-a-technopastoral/amp/

      Archive.org has versions going back into the early 2000's: https://web.archive.org/web/*/%22digital%20garden%22

  11. Apr 2022
  12. Mar 2022
    1. i knew that that this is that might be different but no i of course you you don't connect it 00:27:44 that much with your own book it's more about that you see the idea and the idea is lumens idea and you're trying to describe it as good as possible

      Even Sönke Ahrens has indirectly attributed the idea of the zettelkasten directly to Niklas Luhmann.


    1. it is called the zettelkasten method and this was originally used by nicholas lumen in the 1960s

      They don't say outright that Luhmann invented the zettelkasten, but it's implied with the words "originally used".

  13. Feb 2022
    1. Ahren’s book and ideas are not his original creation, but based on the method of Niklas Luhman referred to as the Zettelkasten. I see various references to Luhman’s ideas lately and predict this will become “a thing” in education.

      Another example of how much we've forgotten of our commonplacing and note taking traditions in rhetoric, and this from someone who's actively used note cards in the past.

      Luhmann did not invent the zettelkasten. (I should make bumper stickers...)

      Oops: https://www.zazzle.com/niklas_luhmann_bumper_sticker-128462770354241554