1,032 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Rhetoric of encomium

      How do institutions form around notions of merit?

      Me: what about blurbs as evidence of implied social networks? Who blurbs whom? How are these invitations sent/received and by whom?

      diachronic: how blurbs evolve over time

      Signals, can blurbs predict: - the field of the work - gender - other

      Emergence or decrease of signals with respect to time

      Imitation of styles and choices. - how does this happen? contagion - I'm reminded of George Mathew Dutcher admonition:

      Imitation to be avoided. Avoid the mannerisms and personal peculiarities of method or style of well-known writers, such as Carlyle or Macaulay. (see: https://hypothes.is/a/ROR3VCDEEe2sZNOy4rwRgQ )

      Systematic studies of related words within corpora. (this idea should have a clever name) word2vec, word correlations, information theory

      How does praise work?

      metaphors within blurbs (eg: light, scintillating, brilliant, new lens, etc.)

    2. Rebecca Spang: Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution (book)

      Part of Sprang's process (per conversation with DeDeo) is reading each line out loud and revising it until it sounds good.

    1. The studies were designed to test the hypothesis that AAV-mediated DRG pathology is due to transgene overexpression and to subsequently develop a mitigation strategy.

      The authors do a good job making their intent and goals clear throughout the paper. For one reason or another, a lot of papers are ambiguous about their thesis and I think a lot of it has to do with the writing style. The authors just outright state what they are testing, in plain English. And this is published in Science. Note to everyone: keep it simple and unambiguous.

    1. This process has as much todo with taking ownership of ideas as it does with apps.

      Too many in the productivity porn space focus on the apps and the potential workflows without looking at the question "why" at all. It's rare that any focus on understanding or actual output.

    1. synthesizes reading with writing (e.g.Wolfe, 2002)

      Yes, I would like to read more on this topic.

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. Some dance to rememberSome dance to forget

      —Eagles, Hotel California, track 1 on the album Hotel California<br /> https://genius.com/Eagles-hotel-california-lyrics

      In many oral societies, dance is a common tool for memory in much the same way that we might pick up a pen and write. Though written in and performed in one of the most literate societies in human history, one might replace "dance" in Hotel California with other forms like writing: "Some write to remember; Some write to forget".

      The first half might be interpreted by the majority as a tautology, but others write in their diaries as a means to purge their memories and let go of them. Similarly the idea of "morning pages" are designed to allow one to purge their surface thoughts so that they can clear their mind for other work: writing to forget.


      (Without hearing this song this morning, I kept (diffuse) thinking about the two line endings "...to remember / ...to forget" until I made the connection to the lyrics and then immediately bridged this to orality.)

  2. Feb 2023
    1. The most important aspect of the body of the Zettel is that you write it in your own words.

      Writing in your own words also helps you to confirm you understand others' ideas.

    1. how was I ever able to organise my thoughts without atomising them

      Yes! This is the killer feature of TiddlyWiki. I think of it as some kind of intrinsic reward associated with cognitive outsourcing/offloading. Don't hear this mentioned often.

      These "atoms" also seem like the fruit of the insight process, e.g. the moment when Leo Szilard conceived nuclear fission whilst waiting to cross the road near Russell Square. Oh! I just noticed the atom pun! Entirely accidental.

      The "atomising" aspect is also key to making "molecules".

    1. This whole rabbit hole that led to discovering hypothes.is originated because I wanted to suggest TiddlyWiki to an Obsidian user. It seems all roads lead to @chrisaldrich!

  3. Jan 2023
    1. I'd recommend a Book-to-Maincard approach for this (instead of the 2-step Bibcard Method). And I'd recommend Reformulation notes (i.e., summarization notes) instead of Excerpts.

      reply to u/sscheper at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10o4jnl/comment/j6ii64d/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3


      Is this about as close as Scott Scheper comes to recommending taking Cornell Notes?!? 😂


      Let's be honest that this is roughly what this (and Bibcards) ultimately is. You take some general notes on a lecture (book or other material) as a sense making tool to help you better understand the material. You write down some bits you want to remember and use for some brief spaced repetition perhaps. You write down some pointed questions to help review for a test later. The subtle difference is that Cornell notes were designed to do the sense making, summary, and repetition portions well for students and learners, but didn't focus as much on the longer tail of knowledge creation using analysis, and synthesis. To fill in the last mile for your card index, take the best idea(s) (maybe one or two at most) and flesh it out to create a useful maincard.

      If it's useful try some 8 x 12" paper for your lecture notes, and take them Bibcard or Cornell Notes style. Once you've excerpted your main card notes, you can fold your sheet in half twice and file it with your Bibcards, naturally taking care to have the paper's spine face up to prevent other slips from becoming lost in between. (This obviously works best for those using 4 x 6" index cards though if you're in the 3 x 5" camp, then use 6" x 10" sheets for folding.) For those with middle grades or high school students, this may be a more profitable method for introducing these methods to their study, learning, and creation patterns.

      Summary: Cornell Notes can be an excellent method for capturing session-based fleeting notes and distilling them down into permanent notes. Cornell Notes focus on the lower levels of Bloom's Taxonomy rather than the broader spectrum that a zettelkasten method might.

    1. Avoid both very long andvery short paragraphs: the length should usually vary from150 to 860 words. Attend carefully to the unity and correctstructure of the paragraph.

      His description of paragraphs from 150 to 350 words is interesting with respect to the amount of material that will fit on a 3x5" inch card during the note taking process.

    1. Now I understand the artists I love, no matter their medium, because I would write even if I never published a word. I have to write. It’s the only way I can figure anything out. So, maybe all those years of misery and dread were what I needed to overcome, and if so, totally worth it.
    1. Woit does not, for the most part, follow the death march of proposition, lemma, proof. He writes in the style of a theoretical physicist.

      "death march of proposition, lemma, proof"

      This is a bit harsh n'cest pas?

    1. A few months ago, during an insomnia-inducing crisis of confidence about where the hell I should be going next with my writing, I suddenly remembered my journal. I hadn’t written in it for a while. Although it was 1:30 in the morning, I got out of bed, went into my study, opened up my journal, and simply began to write. I wrote about being unable to write, the things I thought were preventing me from writing, and what I thought I should do about it. The simple act of writing these thoughts down meant that I no longer felt the need to rehearse them over and over in my head, so I could return to bed and sleep the sleep of the effortlessly talented. When I woke next morning, my crisis of confidence had reduced to a mild concern. My late-night journal session had put things in perspective. It had shown me a way forward.

      Example of someone getting the crap and worries out so that their writing can begin apace. Its sort of like writers' therapy and closely akin to those who talk about morning pages.

      Also similar to teachers of young children who encourage their students to get their "wiggles out" so that they can focus on the classwork at hand.

    1. It’s far more complicated than that, obviously. Different parts of this process are going on all the time. While working on one chapter, I’m also capturing and working on unrelated—for the time being at least—notes on other topics that interest me, including stuff that might well end up in future books.

      Because reading, annotating/note taking, and occasional outlining and writing can be broken down into small, concrete building blocks, each part of the process can be done separately and discretely with relatively easy ability to shift from one part of the process to another.

      Importantly, one can be working on multiple different high level projects (content production: writing, audio, video, etc.) simultaneously in a way which doesn't break the flow of one's immediate reading. While a particular note within a piece may not come to fruition within a current imagined project, it may spark an idea for a future as yet unimagined project.


      Aside: It would seem that Ryan Holiday's descriptions of his process are discrete with respect to each individual project. He's never mentioned using or reusing notes from past projects for current or future projects. He's even gone to the level that he creates custom note cards for his current project which have a title pre-printed on them.

      Does this pre-titling help to provide him with more singular focus for his specific workflow? Some who may be prone to being side-tracked or with specific ADHD issues may need or be helped by these visual and workflow cues to stay on task, and as a result be helped by them. For others it may hinder their workflows and creativity.

      This process may be different for beginning students or single project writers versus career writers (academics, journalists, fiction and non-fiction writers).


      As a concrete example of the above, I personally made a note here about Darwin and Lamarck for a separate interest in evolution which falls outside of my immediate area of interest with respect to note taking and writing output.

    2. The above is an attempt to describe how I went about writing one chapter of my book. I use the same basic approach for all my chapters, namely: make lots of linked notes about stuff I happen to find interesting;continue to develop those notes, splitting them into smaller notes when they become too wide-ranging;write Journal entries and draw mind-maps to explore what I’ve discovered;keep playing with my notes;await a lightbulb moment, when two or more notes suddenly make an unexpected new connection in my brain, and I think, “Oh, that’s interesting!”create a detailed bullet-point outline of my chapter, complete with links to supporting notes and references;write the chapter;compile the chapter references with the help of the chapter outline links;repeat until the first draft of the book is finished;then comes the fun part.

      Summary of Richard Carter's writing process from notes to product.

    3. All that remained was the small matter of actually writing the chapter. I don’t do this in Obsidian: I think it would be asking for trouble to mix notes and their end-products in the same place.

      I've not seen this explicitly laid out as advice before though in most contexts people's note taking spaces have historically been divorced from their writing spaces for publication because slips and notes are usually kept physically separate from the working spaces or finished parts, but Richard Carter specifically separates the digital spaces in which he takes his notes and then uses them for creating end products. While he could both take notes in Obsidian, his tool of choice for notes, as well as write his finished pieces there, he actively changes contexts to use a different digital app to compose his notes into final pieces.

      What affordances does this context shift provide? <br /> - blank slate may encourage reworking and expansion of original notes - is there a blank slate effect and what would it entail? - potentially moves the piece into a longer format space or tool which provides additional writing, formatting or other affordances (which? there don't seem to be any in this case aside from a potential "distraction free mode" which may tend to force one to focus only on the piece at hand rather than the thousands of other pieces (notes) hiding within the app)

      What affordances does this remove?<br /> - He's forced to repeat himself (cut & paste / DRY violation)

      Is it easier or harder (from a time/effort perspective) to provide citations with such a workflow? Carter does indicate that for him:

      Having links to original sources in my outline makes the compilation of references for the chapter far easier than it used to be.

    4. I make a habit of outlining chapters in Obsidian as it allows me to structure them with indented bullet points, and to link individual bullet points to supporting notes, including notes on original sources. I also make the bullet points into checkboxes, so I can check them off as I make my way through the outline as I’m drafting the actual chapter.
    5. At around this point, as is my habit when trying to work out where I’ve got to, and to devise a basic outline, I took out my trusty Leuchtturm1917 notebook and scrawled out a rough mind-map of my potential chapter:

      To test out some potential ideas and flow of a particular chapter for which he already had a corpus of notes, Richard Carter created a mindmap outline of some of his ideas. This in combination with testing out further ideas in his writing journal "three weeks later" caused him to make some significant changes in the structure of his chapter.

    6. Among other things, I have traditionally used my Journal to think out loud to myself about my work in hand: the progress I’m making, the problems I’m encountering, and so on. Many of my best ideas have arisen by writing to myself like this.

      Richard Carter uses his writing journal practice to "think out loud" to himself. Often, laying out extended arguments helps people to refine and reshape their thinking as they're better able to see potential holes or missing pieces of arguments. It's the same sort of mechanism which is at work in rubber duck debugging of computer code: by explaining a process one is more easily able to see the missing pieces, errors, or problems with the process at hand.

      Carter's separate note taking and writing journal practice being used as a thought space or writing workshop of sorts is very similar to the process seen in my preliminary studies of Henry David Thoreau's work in which he kept commonplace books and separate (writing) journals which show evidence of his trying ideas on for size and working them before committing them to his published works.

    1. What ideas are you wrestling with this week? January 19, 2023

      Reply to Will at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/2490/what-ideas-are-you-wrestling-with-this-week-january-19-2023#latest

      There's so much great looking material here, it's almost overwhelming on where to start. I almost feel like I should be reading all this in addition to everything else I've got on my list.

      Some of the direction with respect to writing, writing practice, and even your woodworking makes me think you'd appreciate the subtle idea hiding in this old blogpost I ran into in April 2021: https://jsomers.net/blog/dictionary.

    1. The popular recommendation is that there should be between 40 and 75 characters per line. The findings of multiple studies conclude that "short line lengths are easier to read". Regarding learning and information retention: "Subjects reading the narrow paragraphs had better retention than those reading the wide paragraphs"
    1. Like any journal, Thoreau’s is repetitive, which suggests naturalplaces to shorten the text but these are precisely what need to be keptin order to preserve the feel of a journal, Thoreau’s in particular. Itrimmed many of Thoreau’s repetitions but kept them wheneverpossible, because they are important to Thoreau and because theyare beautiful. Sometimes he repeats himself because he is drafting,revising, constructing sentences solid enough to outlast the centuries.

      Henry David Thoreau repeated himself frequently in his journals. Damion Searls who edited an edition of his journals suggested that some of this repetition was for the beauty and pleasure of the act, but that in many examples his repetition was an act of drafting, revising, and constructing.


      Scott Scheper has recommended finding the place in one's zettelkasten where one wants to install a card before writing it out. I believe (check this) that he does this in part to prevent one from repeating themselves, but one could use the opportunity and the new context that brings them to an idea again to rewrite or rework and expand on their ideas while they're so inspired.


      Thoreau's repetition may have also served the idea of spaced repetition: reminding him of his thoughts as he also revised them. We'll need examples of this through his writing to support such a claim. As the editor of this volume indicates that he removed some of the repetition, it may be better to go back to original sources than to look for these examples here.

      (This last paragraph on repetition was inspired by attempting to type a tag for repetition and seeing "spaced repetition" pop up. This is an example in my own writing practice where the serendipity of a previously tagged word auto-populating/auto-completing in my interface helps to trigger new thoughts and ideas from a combinatorial creativity perspective.)

    2. Sometimes, Isuspect, he copied his own words because he liked to copy: no one’scommonplace books could run to a million words—those are just theones that survive, in addition to a two-million-word Journal, andenormous quantities of other writing—without a sheer love of sittingwith pen in hand, a printed book and a blank page both open before

      him.

    1. Her work on borrowed function words was so far manifest in her Konkordanz der nichtflektierten griechischen Wörter im bohairischen Neuen Testament, Göttinger Orientforschungen VI/6, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1975, the tip of the iceberg as we know now.

      Gertrud Bauer used her zettelkasten on Coptic and Greek to write Konkordanz der nichtflektierten griechischen Wörter im bohairischen Neuen Testament, Göttinger Orientforschungen VI/6, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1975, a work on borrowed function words.

    1. Tobeuseful,thenotestakenatmedicallecturesshouldbeasummaryonly;noattempt shouldbemadetotakeaverbatimreport

      Verbatim notes are not the goal.

      The idea of note taking as a means of sensemaking and understanding is underlined in an 1892 article in a shorthand magazine whose general purpose was to encourage shorthand and increasing one's writing speed, often to create verbatim records:

      To be useful, the notes taken at medical lectures should be a summary only; no attempt should be made to take a verbatim report.

    2. This independent confirmation ofthe testimonythat Dr Gowers has personally borne to the helpfulness ofPhonography in his professional career, is peculiarlyvaluable, because there are still some able men in themedical world who discourage the practice of note- takingby students . Professor Struthers, for instance, is reportedto have said before the General Medical Council that" the student takes his notes, puts his book in his pocket,and walks out, knowing no more about the subject than amere reporter would do."

      There's an interesting parallel between this example and that of the character of Socrates in Plato with respect to writing and memory.

      Some take notes to increase understanding, while others might suggest that note taking decreases understanding. The answer to remedying the discrepancy is in using the proper process.

    1. But you should also be aware that current PKM theory has a hard-on for writing all your notes in your own words which, to me, seems like a limitation of "knowledge management" as compared to "information management". I'm fine excerpting and citing because some texts have better phrasing I could ever have.

      "current PKM theory"? There is such a thing beyond zeitgeist?!

    1. Expansion is led by focus. By taking time to edit, carve up, and refactor our notes, we put focus on ideas. This starts the Great Wheel of Positive Feedback. All hail to the Great Wheel of Positive Feedback.

      How can we better thing of card indexes as positive feedback mechanisms? Will describes it as the "Great Wheel of Positive Feedback" which reminds me a bit of flywheels for storing energy for later use.

    1. Bacon, Bennett, Azadeh Khatiri, James Palmer, Tony Freeth, Paul Pettitt, and Robert Kentridge. “An Upper Palaeolithic Proto-Writing System and Phenological Calendar.” Cambridge Archaeological Journal, January 5, 2023, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774322000415.

      https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal/article/an-upper-palaeolithic-protowriting-system-and-phenological-calendar/6F2AD8A705888F2226FE857840B4FE19

      There may be questions as to whether or not this represents written language, but, if true, this certainly represents one of the oldest examples of annotation in human history!

      cc: @remikalir

    2. record-keeping of animal behaviour in systematic units of time and incorporating at least one verb.
    3. Sumerologists place the origins of the development of writing around 3300 bc in the pictograms associated with abstract marks representing numbers; ‘the writing system invented or developed … of a pictographic character; its signs were drawings’ and cuneiform gradually developed out of this, which ‘is a script, not a language’ (Van de Mieroop Reference Van de Mieroop1999, 10: our emphases).
    4. One common definition of ‘writing’ is that it is written language, i.e. not only acts as a notational system but one which has a connection to the phonetic form of the language spoken by the writer (Van de Mieroop Reference Van de Mieroop1999).
    5. Using a database of images spanning the European Upper Palaeolithic, we suggest how three of the most frequently occurring signs—the line <|>, the dot <•>, and the <Y>—functioned as units of communication.
    1. I couldn’t have written this book without the aid of laying out all of thedifferent sections on my desk. I created a hub of cards that had collectivecardlinks on them. Each card was organized by topic and contained subtopicsthat pointed me to various card addresses in my Antinet. I then moved themaround a large table to create the perfect logical layout for this book. Here’sa picture of it:

      Despite doing the lion's share of the work of linking cards along the way, Scheper shows that there's still some work of laying out an outline and moving cards around to achieve a final written result.


      compare this with Victor Margolin's process: https://hypothes.is/a/oQFqvm3IEe2_Fivwvx596w

      also compare with the similar processes of Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene

    1. Let's say you want to tell your audience that your character is angry. You could just have them say “I'm angry.” But how often does a person in real life ever plainly announce their anger that way? Have you ever been able to tell someone was angry without them telling you? What if instead of having our character say “I'm angry,” you write them entering their house and slamming the door behind them so hard that picture frames fall off the wall and shatter on the floor. Air hisses out of their mouths as they huff and puff through gritted teeth. That's usually better writing. That's what “show, don't tell” means. But what if I told you that Kare Kano breaks this golden rule of writing, and does so with incredible results?

      I agree with this assessment of Kare Kano -- it made great use of a "tell before show" approach in its first episode, which remains one of the great opening episodes of any anime series. However, notwithstanding my agreement with the author, my first thought was that I have come across people who tell rather than show, which inspired an article. Maybe the general writing rule needs some fine-tuning.

    1. Educators are now administering the Turing test in reverse: What are questions that only humans can answer well? What kinds of thinking does writing make possible for us? 
    2. GPT-3 threatens to “[undermine] the kind of writing intensive course that had served as the backbone of [his] teaching for two decades.” “I was less worried about whether GPT-3 is genuinely intelligent,” Symons writes, “and more worried about whether the development of these tools would make us less intelligent.” 
  4. Dec 2022
    1. I’m a screenwriter. One of the reasons I use Obsidian is the ability to hashtag. It sounds so simple, but being able to tag notes with #theme or #sceneideas helps create linkages between notes that would not otherwise be linked. My ZK literally tells me what the movie is really about.

      via u/The_Bee_Sneeze

      Example of someone using Obsidian with a zettelkasten focus to write screenplays.

      Thought the example appears in r/Zettelkasten, one must wonder at how Luhmann-esque such a practice really appears?

    2. Is the ZK method worth it? and how it helped you in your projects? .t3_zwgeas._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionI am new to ZK method and I'd like to use it for my literature review paper. Altho the method is described as simple, watching all those YT videos about the ZK and softwares make it very complex to me. I want to know how it changed your writing??

      reply to u/Subject_Industry1633 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/zwgeas/is_the_zk_method_worth_it_and_how_it_helped_you/ (and further down)

      ZK is an excellent tool for literature reviews! It is a relative neologism (with a slightly shifted meaning in English over the past decade with respect to its prior historical use in German) for a specific form of note taking or commonplacing that has generally existed in academia for centuries. Excellent descriptions of it can be found littered around, though not under a specific easily searchable key word or phrase, though perhaps phrases like "historical method" or "wissenschaftlichen arbeitens" may come closest.

      Some of the more interesting examples of it being spelled out in academe include:

      For academic use, anecdotally I've seen very strong recent use of the general methods most compellingly demonstrated in Obsidian (they've also got a Discord server with an academic-focused channel) though many have profitably used DevonThink and Tinderbox (which has a strong, well-established community of academics around it) as much more established products with dovetails into a variety of other academic tools. Obviously there are several dozens of newer tools for doing this since about 2018, though for a lifetime's work, one might worry about their longevity as products.

    1. You can't think well without writing well, and you can't write well without reading well. And I mean that last "well" in both senses. You have to be good at reading, and read good things.
    2. Talking about your ideas with other people is a good way to develop them. But even after doing this, you'll find you still discover new things when you sit down to write.
    3. if you need to solve a complicated, ill-defined problem, it will almost always help to write about it. Which in turn means that someone who's not good at writing will almost always be at a disadvantage in solving such problems.
    1. Bun is written in Zig, a low-level programming language with manual memory management.

      Very awkwardly stated.

    1. Don’t try to convince everyone that what you say, feel, think, or have done is better than everyone else.

      This is pretty normal for those of us who are academically inclined so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch - after all a lot of the time what we're doing is thinking about other peoples' works critically

    2. My goal with my content is to make it so recognizable that you would know it was me even if it didn't have my name on it. The same style. The same thought process. The same character.

      building a recognisable tone of voice can help with repeat visitors

    1. But Thamus replied, " Most ingenious Theuth, oneman has the ability to beget arts, but the ability tojudge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their usersbelongs to another ; and now you, who are the fatherof letters, have been led by your affection to ascribeto them a power the opposite of that which theyreally possess. For this invention will produce for-getfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it,because they will not practise their memory. Theirtrust in writing, produced by external characterswhich are no part of themselves, will discourage theuse of their own memory within them. You haveinvented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding ;and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom,not true wisdom, for they will read many thingswithout instruction and will therefore seem to knowmany things, when they are for the most part ignorant

      and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise." pp 563-564

    1. even Socrates himself, we learnby way of his followers, derided the emerging popularity of taking physicalnotes.

      I recall portions about Socrates deriding "writing" as a mode of expression, but I don't recall specific sections on note taking. What is Ann Blair's referent for this?

      The "emerging popularity of taking physical notes" seems not to be in evidence with only one exemplar of a student who lost their notes within the Blair text.

    2. you’ll spend the beginning phases learning by readingbooks in brand new fields and noting down brand new ideas. You’ll mostlybe writing reformulation notes in this phase.

      Yet another new name for a sub-type of notes, here he uses reformulation notes as a shorthand for the old advice to rewrite ideas you find in your own words. This advice is often suggested to accomplish two things: - avoid plagiarism - restatement of ideas in your own words is related to the Feynman Technique and assists one in learning and ensuring they understand the concepts

    3. the Antinet can serve both states. It can assist someone who’s in thegrowth state (without a clear end goal), and it can also assist someone who’sin the contribution state (with a clearly defined book or project).

      This could be clearer and "growth state" and "contribution state" feel like jargon which muddles:

      two of the broad benefits/affordances of having a zettelkasten: - learning and scaffolding knowledge (writing for understanding) - collecting and arranging material for general output

      see also: https://boffosocko.com/2022/04/01/the-zettelkasten-method-of-note-taking-mirrors-most-of-the-levels-of-blooms-taxonomy/

    1. Fact-based disciplines such as natural sciences have less potential for deeply linked, atomic zettel notes than arts and humanities. There is not much to discuss about or 'generate insight' on photosynthesis, algebra or network protocols if you are not a scientist.

      Again note taking is the wrong tool for fact-based acquisition. Apparently this is not advice given in most sources. Spaced repetition and mnemonic methods are far better suited for memorizing and remembering basic facts.

      Take notes on the surprising and unique. Take notes as writing you'll reuse later. Take notes to understand.

    2. For example I had a few notes on principles of modern cryptography that came in handy when I had to write a paper about a related topic for my studies. But these cases were rare at best, most of these notes were never looked at again.

      The one shining moment in the whole essay and they don't seem to realize where the benefit or use actually was. They finally had a reason to have taken notes and the ideas shone here. But they've written off the tools because they didn't understand when to use them.

      Hammers are cool, but unless you're a professional carpenter, you don't carry it around all the time and use it constantly to hammer things. The same is true of note taking as a tool. You might use it regularly if you're a writer or an academic perhaps, but for hourly use in your day-to-day? Almost definitely not.

    1. Goitein accumulated more than 27,000 index cards in his research work over the span of 35 years. (Approximately 2.1 cards per day.)

      His collection can broadly be broken up into two broad categories: 1. Approximately 20,000 cards are notes covering individual topics generally making of the form of a commonplace book using index cards rather than books or notebooks. 2. Over 7,000 cards which contain descriptions of a single fragment from the Cairo Geniza.

      A large number of cards in the commonplace book section were used in the production of his magnum opus, a six volume series about aspects of Jewish life in the Middle Ages, which were published as A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (1967–1993).

    1. “I thought that art schools should just be places where you thought about creative behavior, whereas they thought an art school was a place where you made painters,” he said later.

      We should do better at teaching and training creative behavior in schools. We say that we encourage exploration but somehow do it in all the wrong ways such we discourage it wholly.

    1. The extraordinary ignorance on questions of society and history displayed by the men and women reshaping society and history has been the defining feature of the social-media era.
    1. Which is why I wonder if this may be the end of using writing as a benchmark for aptitude and intelligence.
    2. Perhaps there are reasons for optimism, if you push all this aside. Maybe every student is now immediately launched into that third category: The rudiments of writing will be considered a given, and every student will have direct access to the finer aspects of the enterprise. Whatever is inimitable within them can be made conspicuous, freed from the troublesome mechanics of comma splices, subject-verb disagreement, and dangling modifiers.
    3. I’ve also long held, for those who are interested in writing, that you need to learn the basic rules of good writing before you can start breaking them—that, like Picasso, you have to learn how to reliably fulfill an audience’s expectations before you get to start putting eyeballs in people’s ears and things.
    1. Then there were the three lots of blank notebooks, tied with twine. They went for $9,000, $11,000, and $11,000 each. They were empty, some still wrapped in plastic, yet they were totally talismanic. I wondered: Would you write in these notebooks, having paid that price? Perhaps that’s the whole appeal—to write in a blank space that Didion might once have intended to use herself. Maybe the buyer had a hidden wish that somehow her intent might infiltrate their own work—that in owning these notebooks they might crack some secret code to making sentences like hers. There are sillier superstitions. But more likely, I think, you would have paid too much for these notebooks to ever touch them, and they would sit in a drawer or on a desk, unused and empty, just as they sat on hers.
    1. Duolingo or whatever French and I had this idea well basically what it reminds me of is Stefan's Vig the Austrian

      https://youtu.be/r9idbh-U2kM?t=3544

      Stefan Zweig (reference? his memoir?) apparently suggested that students translate authors as a means of becoming more intimately acquainted with their work. This is similar to restating an author in one's own words as a means of improving one's understanding. It's a lower level of processing that osculates on the idea of having a conversation with a text.

      tk: track this reference down. appropriate context?

    1. This generally fits my criteria for submission as an example to https://boffosocko.com/2022/07/12/call-for-model-examples-of-zettelkasten-output-processes/

    2. https://edward-slingerland.medium.com/there-is-only-one-way-to-write-a-book-637535ef5bde

      Example of someone's research, note taking, and writing process using index cards.

      Broadly, this is very similar to the process used by Ryan Holiday, Robert Green, and Victor Margolin.

      While he can't recall the name of the teacher, he credits his 7th grade English teacher (1980-1981) for teaching him the method.


      Edward Slingerland is represented by Brockman Inc.

    3. That sounds challenging, of course, but I find that the writing, at this stage, is actually relatively easy: the card organization has already done most of the work. The cards tell the story, you now just need to (skillfully!) weave them together.

      Anecdotal evidence that the final "writing" portion of a card index process is "relatively easy" as the majority of the work has already been done.

    4. This is the absolute hardest part of the writing process, in my mind. The most exciting, too, because you’re never quite sure where it’s going to end up.

      Anecdotal evidence that categorizing and arranging index cards/ideas for a writing project for subsequent writing is one of the most difficult portions of the process.

      Niklas Luhmann subverted portions of this by pre-linking his ideas together either in threads or an outline form as he went.

    5. I’ve also got a vague sense in my head of how they should be organized — that is, what the structure of the book is going to be. This is generally when I write the formal book proposal. I know enough about the topic, now, that I have a good idea of what my central arguments are going to be and how I am going to organize the chapters.

      At what point in the process does one have a conceptualization for the overall outline of what they're writing?

      In cases where it's earlier than others, then heavy linking and organization may not be as necessary.

    6. I have a very specific method for organizing my research and thoughts whenever I’m writing anything longer than a short article. I learned this method from a teacher in middle school, and I cannot imagine how a human being could write a book any other way.

      Example of someone who learned an index card based commonplace book method for note taking and writing.

  5. Nov 2022
    1. For whom do we make knowledge and why? This question could not be timelier as humanists and administrators seek to make disciplines appear more relevant to students, applicable to social problems, and attendant to political, social, and economic exigencies” (2019, p. 351)
    1. When we are collecting new data to address a research question addressed in another context, it can be near impossible to re-create ex-act contexts with participants; researchers simply do not have that sort of control over any research context. This suggests that reproduction, rather than replication, may be a more useful goal.

      reproduction rather than replication may be a more useful goal for research work setting.

    1. Mark: Yeah. And I actually think the Agile revolution in software development is software development catching up to the fact that it’s a writer-ly art. Writers don’t know where they’re going or how they’re going to express it when they start out. Neither, it turns out, does software developers. They can pretend by writing it the first time in a spec language and then coding it and then, checking the specification, then finding out that they’ve written the wrong thing and writing a new specification. That was when I was getting started, the right way to write software.

      Agile software development is akin to the design of the writing process.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxyy0THLfuI

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Intrigue</span> in intrigue (<time class='dt-published'>08/29/2022 15:00:52</time>)</cite></small>

    1. “In literacy education, particularly for developing writers, instructors are looking for the level of desirable difficulty, or the point at which you are working yourself just as hard so that you don’t break but you also improve,” Laffin told Motherboard. “Finding the right, appropriate level of desirable difficulty level of instruction makes their capacity to write grow. So if you are doing compensation techniques that go beyond finding that level of desirable difficulty and instructing at that place, then you’re not helping them grow as a writer.”
    1. Honestly, at this point, I don't even know what tools I'm using, and which is responsible for what feature. Diving into the code of capybara and cucumber yields hundreds of lines of metaprogramming magic that somehow accretes into a testing framework. It's really making me loathe TDD despite my previous youthful enthusiasm.

      opinion: too much metaprogramming magic

      I'm not so sure it's "too much" though... Any framework or large software project is going to feel that way to a newcomer looking at the code, due to the number of layers of abstractions, etc. that eventually were added/needed by the maintainers to make it maintainable, decoupled, etc.

    1. Fifty years ago, coinciding with the centennial of the release of Darwin’s manuscript, author Morse Peckham collected all six editions into a single “variorum” text. Peckham painstakingly created a reference system that denotes the modifications and changes between editions. The text was created by Peckham’s careful enumeration of every sentence from every edition, copied onto index cards; from these cards, he carefully assembled them into a final text.
    1. I’m much less worried about free writes happening all the time, than that kids are writing with purpose about topics they care about

      I disagree somewhat on this. Certainly writing with purpose about topics students care about is key. However, my experience has been that #freewrites are a great tool to help students (and myself!) to "loosen up" and learn to breathe about writing.

    1. Abrams, Douglas. “Historian Barbara W. Tuchman on the ‘Art of Writing’ (Part II).” Precedent 9, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 18–21. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2581159

      Interesting view of writing and a short collection of reasonable writing advice. Perhaps a bit too much focus on other writers given the title of the piece. Not sure it was all brought together in the nice bow it may have otherwise had, but interesting nonetheless.

    2. Justice Louis D.Brandeis instructedlawyers that “there is nosuch thing as good writ-ing. There is only goodrewriting.”23
    3. “Broadly speaking, the shortwords are the best, and the old wordswhen short are best of all,” attestedformer British Prime Minister WinstonChurchill,
    4. “Usethe smallest word that does the job,”advised essayist and journalist E. B.White.20
    5. “[T]here is always a short word for it,”Rogers said. “‘I love words but I don’tlike strange ones. You don’t under-stand them, and they don’t understandyou. Old words is like old friends– you know ‘em the minute you see‘em.”17

      17 betty roGerS, wiLL roGerS 294 (1941; new ed. 1979) (quoting Rogers).

    6. Novelists Ernest Hemingway and Wil-liam Faulkner, for example, went backand forth about the virtues of simplic-ity in writing. Faulkner once criticizedHemingway, who he said “had nocourage, never been known to use aword that might send the reader to thedictionary.” “Poor Faulkner,” Heming-way responded, “Does he really thinkbig emotions come from big words?He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollarwords. I know them all right. But thereare older and simpler and better words,and those are the ones I use.”15

      15 A.E. Hotchner , PAPA heminGwAy 69-70 (1966) (quoting Hemingway).

    7. Justice Felix Frankfurter,a prolific writer as a Harvard lawprofessor before joining the SupremeCourt, was right that “[a]nything thatis written may present a problem ofmeaning” because words “seldomattain[] more than approximate preci-sion.”12

      12 Felix Frankfurter, Some Reflections On the Reading of Statutes, 47 CoLUm . L. rev. 527, 528 (1947), reprinting Felix Frankfurter, Sixth Annual Benjamin N. Cardozo Lecture, 2 Rec. Bar Ass'n City of N.Y. (No. 6, 1947).

    8. Guy de Maupassant, was no lawyer,but his advice can help guide lawyerswho seek precision in their writing.“Whatever you want to say,” he assert-ed, “there is only one word to expressit, only one verb to give it movement,only one adjective to qualify it. Youmust search for that word, that verb,that adjective, and never be contentwith an approximation, never resortto tricks, even clever ones, and neverhave recourse to verbal sleight-of-hand to avoid a difficulty.”11

      11 Guy de Maupassant, Selected Short Sto- ries 10-11 (Roger Colet ed., 1971) (Maupassant quoting French writer Gustave Flaubert).

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ueMHkGljK0

      Robert Greene's method goes back to junior high school when he was practicing something similar. He doesn't say he invented it, and it may be likely that teachers modeled some of the system for him. He revised the system over time to make it work for himself.


      • [x] Revisit this for some pull quotes and fine details of his method. (Done on 2022-11-08)
    2. Origin of Robert Greene's (May 14, 1959 - ) note taking system using index cards:<br /> Greene didn't recall a specific origin of his practices, but did mention that his mom found some index cards at his house from a junior high school class. (Presuming a 12 year old 7th grader, this would be roughly from 1971.) Ultimately when he wrote 48 Laws of Power, he was worried about being overwhelmed with his notes and ideas in notebooks. He naturally navigated to note cards as a solution.

      Uses about 50 cards per chapter.

      His method starts by annotating his books as he reads them. A few weeks later, he revisits these books and notes to transfer his ideas to index cards. He places a theme on the top of each card along with a page number of the original reference.

      He has kept much the same system as he started with though it has changed a bit over time.

      You're either a prisoner of your material or a master of your material.

      This might not be the best system ever created, but it works for me.

      When looking through a corpus of cards for a project, Robert Greene is able to make note of the need to potentially reuse a card within a particular work if necessary. The fact that index cards are inherently mobile within his projects make them easy to move and reuse.

      I haven't heard in either Robert Greene or Ryan Holiday's practices evidence that they reuse notes or note cards from one specific project to the next. Based on all the evidence I've seen, they maintain individual collections for each book project for which they're developing.

      [...] like a chameleon [the index card system is] constantly changing colors or [like] something that's able to change its shape at will. This whole system can change its shape as I direct it.

    1. https://www.cold-takes.com/learning-by-writing/

      Meh... generic process. Nothing broadly new here. The extended example is flawed because it's a broad thesis by a top level aggregator who doesn't have their own expert level experience (seemingly). Better to start from there, but delving more deeply into the primary literature of people who may have that experience.

    1. the front endpapers are oftenthe most important. Some people reserve them for a fancybookplate.

      Adler and Van Doren indicate that outlining the arguments and structure of a book on its endpapers is a better and higher measurement of one's ownership of a text compared to a bookplate which only indicates the lower level of "financial" ownership.

    2. writing your reactions downhelps you to remember the thoughts of the author.
    3. Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tendsto express itself in words, spoken or written. The person whosays he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually doesnot know what he thinks.

      Active reading is thinking, and thinking requires expression which can come in many forms including both spoken and written ones.


      I like that he acknowledges that expression (and thus thinking) can be done in both oral or written forms.

    1. A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial, reason, that "great wits have short memories;" and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day's reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men, as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there. For, take this for a rule, when an author is in your books, you have the same demand upon him for his wit, as a merchant has for your money, when you are in his. By these few and easy prescriptions, (with the help of a good genius) it is possible you may, in a short time, arrive at the accomplishments of a poet, and shine in that character[3].

      "Nullum numen abest si sit prudentia, is unquestionably true, with regard to every thing except poetry; and I am very sure that any man of common understanding may, by proper culture, care, attention, and labour, make himself whatever he pleases, except a good poet." Chesterfield, Letter lxxxi.

      See also: https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:The_Works_of_the_Rev._Jonathan_Swift,_Volume_5.djvu/261 as a source


      Swift, Jonathan. The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift. Edited by Thomas Sheridan and John Nichols. Vol. 5. 19 vols. London: H. Baldwin and Son, 1801.

    1. When he was coming up as a writer, the author and journalist Rex Murphy would write out longhand favorite poems and passages. He was asked, what’s that done for you? “There’s an energy attached to poetry and great prose,” Murphy said. “And when you bring it into your mind, into your living sensibility, by some weird osmosis, it lifts your style or the attempts of your mind.” When you read great writing, when you write down a great line or paragraph, Murphy continues, “somehow or another, it contaminates you in a rich way. You get something from it—from this osmotic imitation—that will only take place if you lodge it in your consciousness.”

      This writing advice from Rex Murphy sounds like the beginning portions of Benjamin Franklin's advice on writing and slowly rewriting one's way into better prose styles.

      Link to Franklin's quote

    2. David Brooks talks about what he calls the “theory of maximum taste.” It’s similar to what Murphy is saying. “Exposure to genius has the power to expand your consciousness,” Brooks writes. “If you spend a lot of time with genius, your mind will end up bigger and broader than if you [don’t].”
    3. “There is then creative reading as well as creative writing,” Emerson said. “The discerning will read…only the authentic utterances of the oracle—all the rest he rejects.”
    4. The novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler said he avoided reading books written by someone who didn’t “take the pains” to write out the words. (It used to be common for writers to dictate into a recorder then have an assistant transcribe those words.) “You have to have that mechanical resistance,” Chandler wrote in a 1949 letter to actor/writer Alex Barris. “When you have to use your energy to put those words down, you are more apt to make them count.”
    5. If you are like Lebron James or Paul Simon, if you were born with a gift for recall, you might not need a note-taking system.

      I would suggest that this is wholly wrong as both of the memories described are honed for specific situations and not broadly applicable.

      Even those with good natural memories as well as those with significant mnemonic practices can benefit from a structured note taking practice.

    1. Zettelkasten with the complicated digestive system of a ruminant. All arbitrary ideas, all coincidences of readings, can be brought in. The internal connectivity then decides.

      another in a long line of using analogizing thinking to food digestion.... I saw another just earlier today.

  6. Oct 2022
    1. A recent writer has called attention to apassage in Paxson's presidential address before the American Historical Associationin 1938, in which he remarked that historians "needed Cheyney's warning . . . not towrite in 1917 or 1918 what might be regretted in 1927 and 1928."

      There are lessons in Frederic L. Paxson's 1938 address to the American Historical Association for todays social media culture and the growing realm of cancel culture when he remarked that historians "needed Cheyney's warning... not to write in 1917 or 1918 what might be regretted in 1927 and 1928.

    2. the writer of "scissors and paste history" ;

      One cannot excerpt their way into knowledge, simply cutting and pasting one's way through life is useless. Your notes may temporarily serve you, but unless you apply judgement and reason to them to create something new, they will remain a scrapheap for future generations who will gain no wisdom or use from your efforts.

      relate to: notes about notes being only useful to their creator

    3. None of these notes wasever used in his writing; probably they were taken with no thoughtof specific use, but out of absorption in the American scene.

      It's quite likely that one will take a large number of notes with no immediate goal or plan for use and this is completely acceptable. Often these notes go towards the more immediate goal of forming one's own understanding and setting of a broader tableau for material one will write in the future.

    4. the author must not merely articulate his sources; he mustdigest them. A long passage quoted or closely followed "remainsan undigested bit of foreign matter." "Over quotation may meanunder thought."
    1. ‘What tho’ his head be empty, provided his common-place book be full?’ sneered Jonathan Swift.
    2. I feel sympathy for Robert Southey, whose excerpts from his voracious reading were posthumously published in four volumes as Southey’s Common-Place Book. He confessed in 1822 that,Like those persons who frequent sales, and fill their houses with useless purchases, because they may want them some time or other; so am I for ever making collections, and storing up materials which may not come into use till the Greek Calends. And this I have been doing for five-and-twenty years! It is true that I draw daily upon my hoards, and should be poor without them; but in prudence I ought now to be working up these materials rather than adding to so much dead stock.
    3. It is possible to take too many notes; the task of sorting, filing and assimilating them can take for ever, so that nothing gets written.
    1. Given your talents, if you've not explored some of the experimental fiction side of things (like Mark Bernstein's hypertext fiction http://www.eastgate.com/catalog/Fiction.html, Robin Sloan's fish http://www.robinsloan.com/fish/ or Writing with the Machine https://www.robinsloan.com/notes/writing-with-the-machine/, or a variety of others https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=tag%3A%22experimental+fiction%22), perhaps it may be fun and allow you to use some of your technology based-background at the same time?

    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/yd7t7u/creating_a_zk_dont_break_the_chain_calendar_in/\

      Much like the way the Obsidian journal plugin counts words within one's daily journal page, this app counts zettels within a folder to help encourage one to maintain some level of output.

    2. Creating a ZK Don't Break the Chain Calendar in Obsidian

      For those interested in the research on the "Write Every Day" mantra:

      Sword, Helen. “‘Write Every Day!’: A Mantra Dismantled.” International Journal for Academic Development 21, no. 4 (October 1, 2016): 312–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2016.1210153.

    1. For Tim, the practice is managed by routine.“My quota for writing is two crappy pages a day,” he explains. Those two pages help him get started, matter what other commitments he is meeting that day. And even if they’re bad, they’re at least done.The idea is to set goals that are “easily winnable” so you don’t panic when one day passes and you don’t make that goal, because you always know you can easily pick back up the next day.“If I don’t write my two pages I don’t panic and go into the spiral.”

      Tim Ferris has a routine for writing and has indicated "My quota for writing is two crappy pages a day." and "If I don't write my two pages, I don't panic and go into the spiral."

      (summary); possibly worth watching video for verifying quotes and pulling out additional practices.


      Note that this piece seems to indicate that his writing practice includes an idea of doing "morning pages", but this implication is likely false as Ferriss likely isn't doing this, but writing toward productive goals rather than to "clear his mental space" as is usually implied by morning pages.

    1. As an example, in The Crown season 1 episode 4 “Act of God” (Netflix, 2016) there is a scene portraying former British Prime Minister Clement Atlee in his office in which he is prominently bookended in the background by two four drawer card indexes: one 3 x 5″ and the other 4 x 6″.

      This example comes directly from my notes: https://hypothes.is/a/Cz7e_lHKEe2Qv79IbEgmNw

    1. I’m excited to see community efforts like Obsidian Ava
    2. The sentence in italics above was not written by me. It was autocompleted as I wrote in Obsidian, using the Text Generator plugin.
    3. In some ways it is surprising that filtering text is so technically challenging. Text seems like it would be easier to manipulate than images.
    1. don’t take critiques from someone who wouldn’t work as hard on their art as they are telling you to work on yours, they have no frame of reference, they have no foot in reality. Rae works as hard as I do, who better to take advice from?

      Having put in the work is a frame of reference for providing feedback. To ensure it matches up with the reality of the effort. This goes beyond the context of writing/art, I tie this to cybernetics, thinking about feedback in networks and systems.

    2. Repairing my errors has always led to the actual interesting places in the work, slowly emerging out of some fog, to surprise me

      Author talks about repair, then mentions emergence. The latter is probably the more important observation. Repeatedly revisiting things and making incremental changes also points back to author's earlier point of the qualitative effects of quantity through paying attention. Says this creates the most interesting value from his work. I'd say this is probably a crucial piece of work. Interacting with ones own material, like linking and going through cards, adding to them is the work. Makes it like Luhmann's communication and writing of books, and Sohrens notion that the written work emerges from the previous work put into the cards.

    3. Later, I have to fix everything. Tie it all up, make it gel. Connect the dots even further, which is just a way of saying ‘reverse engineering.’ I have a clerical mess to rearrange, but while I’m rearranging all of it logistically, I get a chance to enhance the language so it matches the characters and the place, which I had to discover through writing it all anyway.

      The process of connecting written fragments is not just editing, it is also creation: make the story work logistically, and improve the language to match characters and locations. The latter can only be done at this stage, because the writing process reveals characters to the author. Author calls this reverse engineering, which is an interesting metaphor.

    4. Then for the next draft I make a little punch list/index card of new scenes to create to properly finish ‘the thing.’ The cards become a vague map I can leaf through when I get stuck. Working through that punch list often happens out of linear order, too. Just jumping to which new scene I feel most like working on.

      After writing the first things based on energy, the author makes cards (vgl those in scrivener) that would help complete the story. Cards serve as a tentative map, not as a rigid outline to complete (see advice above wrt rigidity). Works through those to select what to write next, again based on energy/excitement.

    5. That’s what I mostly do. Write about things I’m really excited about. In the beginning I don’t have a plan, maybe just one or two scenes but I write them, and bumble towards creating things around them that thrill me in some way

      A non-linear approach to writing, starting from where your own energy is. Apparently combined with the earlier mentioned showing-up to do things repeatedly. Akin to non-linear reading?

    1. Be ready, as soon as you have read or heard the thing, to repeat it exactly in as far as you want to fix it in your memory. If it is a book, do not leave it without being able to sum it up and to estimate its value. Ta

      Sounds much like the Feynman technique and is quite similar to the advice of Sonke Ahrens.