1,228 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. t may be that in using his system hedeveloped his mind and his knowledge of history to the point wherehe expected his readers to draw more inferences from the facts heselected than most modern readers are accustomed to doing, in thisday of the predigested book.

      It's possible that the process of note taking and excerpting may impose levels of analysis and synthesis on their users such that when writing and synthesizing their works that they more subtly expect their readers to do the same thing when their audiences may require more handholding and explanation.

      Here, both the authors' experiences and that of the cultures in which they're writing will determine the relationship.

      There's lots of analogies between thinking and digesting (rumination, consumption, etc), in reading and understanding contexts.

      Source: https://hypothes.is/a/hhCGsljeEe2QlccJUQ55fA

    1. Merchants have their waste book, Sudelbuch or Klitterbuch in German I believe, in which they list all that they have sold or bought every single day, everything as it comes and in no particular order. The waste book’s content is then transferred to the Journal in a more systematic fashion, and at last it ends up in the “Leidger [sic] at double entrance,” following the Italian way of bookkeeping. […] This is a process worthy of imitation by the learned.”(See Ulrich Joost’s analysis in this volume, 24-35.)

      I've seen this quote earlier today, but interesting seeing another source quote it.

    1. (~6:00) Discussion of messiness as a record of working - notes don't need to be "perfect".

      (9:08) He shows the wikipedia page for waste book with my additions :)

      (late) quote from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's waste books about waste books


      A brief overview of Newton's note taking in his waste book

    1. Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg: Philosophical Writings. Edited and translated by Steven Tester. SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy, 1.0. State University of New York Press, 2012.

    2. Merchants and traders have a waste book (Sudelbuch, Klitterbuch in GermanI believe) in which they enter daily everything they purchase and sell,messily, without order. From this, it is transferred to their journal, whereeverything appears more systematic, and finally to a ledger, in double entryafter the Italian manner of bookkeeping, where one settles accounts witheach man, once as debtor and then as creditor. This deserves to be imitatedby scholars. First it should be entered in a book in which I record everythingas I see it or as it is given to me in my thoughts; then it may be enteredin another book in which the material is more separated and ordered, andthe ledger might then contain, in an ordered expression, the connectionsand explanations of the material that flow from it. [46]

      —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook E, #46, 1775–1776

      In this single paragraph quote Lichtenberg, using the model of Italian bookkeepers of the 18th century, broadly outlines almost all of the note taking technique suggested by Sönke Ahrens in How to Take Smart Notes. He's got writing down and keeping fleeting notes as well as literature notes. (Keeping academic references would have been commonplace by this time.) He follows up with rewriting and expanding on the original note to create additional "explanations" and even "connections" (links) to create what Ahrens describes as permanent notes or which some would call evergreen notes.

      Lichtenberg's version calls for the permanent notes to be "separated and ordered" and while he may have kept them in book format himself, it's easy to see from Konrad Gessner's suggestion at the use of slips centuries before, that one could easily put their permanent notes on index cards ("separated") and then number and index or categorize them ("ordered"). The only serious missing piece of Luhmann's version of a zettelkasten then are the ideas of placing related ideas nearby each other, though the idea of creating connections between notes is immediately adjacent to this, and his numbering system, which was broadly based on the popularity of Melvil Dewey's decimal system.

      It may bear noticing that John Locke's indexing system for commonplace books was suggested, originally in French in 1685, and later in English in 1706. Given it's popularity, it's not unlikely that Lichtenberg would have been aware of it.

      Given Lichtenberg's very popular waste books were known to have influenced Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, Andre Breton, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. (Reference: Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph (2000). The Waste Books. New York: New York Review Books Classics. ISBN 978-0940322509.) It would not be hard to imagine that Niklas Luhmann would have also been aware of them.

      Open questions: <br /> - did Lichtenberg number the entries in his own waste books? This would be early evidence toward the practice of numbering notes for future reference. Based on this text, it's obvious that the editor numbered the translated notes for this edition, were they Lichtenberg's numbering? - Is there evidence that Lichtenberg knew of Locke's indexing system? Did his waste books have an index?

    1. In 1896, they invented a simple mending tape to fix torn currency, but it soon became a hit with librarians for mending books. Gaylord Bros. became a purveyor of supplies to libraries across the country.
  2. Sep 2023
    1. I mean, just what I said. If you adapt the zettelkasten to meet knowledge management needs, that’s great. But it does need adapting (as your examples, none of which are conversation-partner zettelkästen but, as syntopicon implies, a collection of information gathered into categories) and is not the best way to do it. (Edit: Ryan Holiday’s system is, by his own admission, not a zettelkästen despite being a bunch of cards with notes on them categorized in a box). Even the source you use about Goitein admits that he was more in the commonplace book tradition, and that other people’s use of his cards is not common to the point of being remarked on here. He doesn’t even call it a zettelkästen, and shouldn’t. There’s not even links or reference numbers, which are integral to the ZK system.It’s not an argument. But as with everything ymmv.(For what it’s worth, my ZK is extremely specific to my individual projects and readings. But I imagine that yes, with time and heavy adaptations, you can make it into little more than a record of my knowledge into broad topics. That you can use it that way does not mean that’s what it is for.)

      reply to u/glugolly at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16njtfx/comment/k1l8lyk/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      How is it that you're defining knowledge management or knowledge management system?

      I would argue that any zettelkasten of any stripe is taking knowledge/ideas from either content or one's own brain and transferring them into some sort of media by which they are managed or structured in some way for later linking, combination, or other reuse. By base definition this is clearly knowledge management. I don't know how one defines it otherwise except by pure denial.

      Your view of zettelkasten seems remarkably narrow. As a small sample the original Maschinen der Phantasie Marbach exhibition in 2013, which broadly prefigured the popularization of zettelkasten (and in particular the launch of zettelkasten.de) which we see today featured six zettelkasten of which Luhmann's was the only one with reference numbers or what we might now consider explicit HTML-like links. Most of the others contained either explicit groupings or implied links, but that doesn't diminish the value they held for their creators for creating a conversation of ideas for them. Incidentally most of the zettelkasten featured there prefigured Luhmann's and only two were roughly contemporaneous with his.

      If you look more closely at Adler, et al. you'll notice that the entire purpose of their enterprise was to create and nurture a conversation between themselves and their readers with texts and authors spanning over 2,500 years, a point which is underlined by the introductory volume which preceded the two volumes of the Syntopicon. Not coincidentally, that first volume of the 54 book series was entitled "The Great Conversation."

      Specifically from Adler's "How to Read a Book", the first edition of which predated the Great Books of the Western World:

      Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author.

      This is a process which is effectuated by

      Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.

      and later,

      That is to make notes about the shape of the discussion-the discussion that is engaged in by all of the authors, even if unbeknownst to them. For reasons that will become clear in Part Four, we prefer to call such notes dialectical.

      (As an aside, why aren't more people talking about the nature of dialectical notes, which seem far more important and useful than either fleeting notes and permanent notes?)

      In your link to Holiday, he doesn't say his system isn't a zettelkasten, a word which an English speaker was highly unlikely to have used in 2013 in any case, even when referencing Manfred Kuehn from 2007. It simply indicates that "[Luhmann's] discipline seems to exceed mine because I am a lot less ordered".

      The Goitein source (which I wrote) may use commonplace book as a descriptor but that doesn't mitigate the fact that the entirety of the zettelkasten tradition arises from it (the primary difference being things written (usually) on bound pages versus slips of paper). Before these there was the closely related idea of florilegia stemming from the earlier locus communis (Latin) and tópos koinós (Greek).

    1. According to his biographer, Michael Keene, General Patton used to use a similar system: “He read every treatise on warfare ever written. He would take copious notes on 4-by-6 index cards for every book that he ever read. It was that immense knowledge of history that he had that he could bring to battle. So he could almost anticipate what the enemy was going to do next.”

      via SAMUEL MORNINGSTAR comment on August 14, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      According to Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer by Michael Keene, General George Patton used a 4x6" index card system for note taking.

    2. I was searching for notecard systems after reading Will and Ariel Durant’s dual autobiography and not having much luck. The book talks a lot about his writing and the use of “classification slips” to cover the depth of material, especially for The Story of Civilization series they did.

      via SAM on January 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Apparently Will Durant and Ariel Durant used a form of commonplace book set up in which they used "classification slips".

    3. -It looks like the system is also very similar to Luhmann’s Zettelkasten

      Ryan Holiday's system puts some of the work farther from the note taking origin compared with Nicholas Luhmann's system which places more of it up front.

      How, if at all, do the payoffs from doing each of these vary for the end user of the system?

    1. folgezettel pushes the note maker toward making at least one connection at the time of import.

      There is a difference between the sorts of links one might make when placing an idea into an (analog) zettelkasten. A folgezettel link is more valuable than a simple tag/category link because it places an idea into a more specific neighborhood than any handful of tags. This is one of the benefits of a Luhmann-artig ZK system over a more traditional commonplace one, particularly when the work is done up front instead of being punted to a later time.

      For those with a 1A2B3Z linking system (versus a pure decimal system), it may be more difficult to insert a card before other cards rather than after them because of the potential gymnastics of numbering and the natural tendency to put things into a continuing linear order.

      See also: - https://hypothes.is/a/ToqCPq1bEe2Q0b88j4whwQ - https://hyp.is/WtB2AqmlEe2wvCsB5ZyL5A/docdrop.org/download_annotation_doc/Introduction-to-Luhmanns-Zette---Ludecke-Daniel-h4nh8.pdf

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

      Scott Sheper demonstrates one of the lowest forms of zettelkasten: simply indexing an idea from a book into one's index. This includes skipping the step of excerpting the idea into it's own card.

      He describes it as zettelkasten knowledge building for busy people. It's definitely a hard turn from his all-in Luhmann-esque method.

      In the end it comes down to where one puts in the work. Saving the work of having done some reading for a small idea one may tangentially reference later is most of the distance, but he's still going to have to do more work later to use the idea.

    1. The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education. 27th Printing. Vol. 1. 54 vols. The Great Books of the Western World. 1952. Reprint, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1984.

      I read the first edition.

      Hutchins, Robert M. The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education. Edited by Robert M. Hutchins and Mortimer J. Adler. 1st ed. Vol. 1. 54 vols. Great Books of the Western World. Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952.

      urn:x-pdf:0ce8391ed9f9f1cfc78c28b6c923abac<br /> Annotation search: https://jonudell.info/h/facet/?user=chrisaldrich&max=100&exactTagSearch=true&expanded=true&addQuoteContext=true&url=urn%3Ax-pdf%3A0ce8391ed9f9f1cfc78c28b6c923abac

    1. Underlines and margin notes in an unknown hand are interspersed throughout the texts. Volume I includes a daily devotional page that has been used as a bookmark. The back endpapers of Volume IV has been copiously annotated.

      Jack Kerouac followed the general advice of Mortimer J. Adler to write notes into the endpapers of his books as evidenced by the endpapers of Volume IV of the 7th Year Course of The Great Books Foundation series with which Adler was closely associated.

    1. (1:20.00-1:40.00) What he describes is the following: Most of his notes originate from the digital using hypothes.is, where he reads material online and can annotate, highlight, and tag to help future him find the material by tag or bulk digital search. He calls his hypothes.is a commonplace book that is somewhat pre-organized.

      Aldrich continues by explaining that in his commonplace hypothes.is his notes are not interlinked in a Luhmannian Zettelkasten sense, but he "sucks the data" right into Obsidian where he plays around with the content and does some of that interlinking and massage it.

      Then, the best of the best material, or that which he is most interested in working with, writing about, etc., converted into a more Luhmannesque type Zettelkasten where it is much more densely interlinked. He emphasizes that his Luhmann zettelkasten is mostly consisting of his own thoughts and is very well-developed, to the point where he can "take a string of 20 cards and ostensibly it's its own essay and then publish it as a blog post or article."

    1. Wills, Garry. “After 54 Great Books, 102 Great Ideas, Now—Count Them !—Three Revolutions.” The New York Times, June 13, 1971, sec. BR. https://www.nytimes.com/1971/06/13/archives/the-common-sense-of-politics-by-mortimer-j-adler-265-pp-new-york.html

      It's not super obvious from the digitized context (text), but this review is in relation to The Common Sense of Politics (1971) by Mortimer J. Adler.

      Wills criticizes Adler and his take in the book as well as the general enterprise of the Great Books of the Western World.

      There seem to be interesting sparks here in the turn of the Republican party in the early 70s moving into the coming Reagan era.


      Compare this list to what ultimately became the Great Books of the Western World in 1952. Lots more 20th century writing on it to begin...

    2. Although not all of the books listed are "great" in any of the commonly accepted meanings of the term, all of them will reward you for the effort you make to read them.

      This book was published originally in 1940 and apparently the Great Books of the Western World was hatched in 1943, so this book isn't necessarily a stepping stone to pitching/selling those, though obviously it informs the ideas which led up to its creation.

      Note that it is roughly contemporaneous to his article a year later:

      Adler, Mortimer J. “How to Mark a Book.” Saturday Review of Literature, July 6, 1941.<br /> https://stevenson.ucsc.edu/academics/stevenson-college-core-courses/how-to-mark-a-book-1.pdf

    3. The first is a commonplace. By combining analysis with experimentation-by combining theorizing with systematic observation of natural phenomena-men like Gali­leo and Newton launched an intellectual revolution and helped to usher in our modern age of science. Not only did they dis­cover truths about the physical world that continue to be rele­vant and important, but they also developed new methods of studying nature that have proved to be of wide usefulness in many areas of study and research.

      Adler has juxtaposed the ideas of genius and commonplace together, but somehow doesn't notice the ratchet that ties them together to be one and the same tool for making them so productive?!?

  3. Aug 2023
    1. For context, I don't use a traditional Zettelkasten system. It's more of a commonplace book/notecard system similar to Ryan HolidayI recently transitioned to a digital system and have been using Logseq, which I enjoy. It's made organizing my notes and ideas much easier, but I've noticed that I spend a lot of time on organizing my notesSince most of my reading is on Kindle, my process involves reading and highlighting as I read, then exporting those highlights to Markdown and making a page in Logseq. Then I tag every individual highlightThis usually isn't too bad if a book/research article has 20-30 highlights, but, for example, I recently had a book with over 150 highlights, and I spent about half an hour tagging each oneI started wondering if it's overkill to tag each highlight since it can be so time consuming. The advantage is that if I'm looking for passages about a certain idea/topic, I can find it specifically rather than having to go through the whole bookI was also thinking I could just have a set of tags for each book/article that capture what contexts I'd want to find the information in. This would save time, but I'd spend a little more time digging through each document looking for specificsCurious to hear your thoughts, appreciate any suggestions

      reply to m_t_rv_s__n/ at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/164n6qg/is_this_overkill/

      First, your system is historically far more traditional than Luhmann's more specific practice. See: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/22/the-two-definitions-of-zettelkasten/

      If you're taking all the notes/highlights from a particular book and keeping them in a single file, then it may be far quicker and more productive to do some high level tagging on the entire book/file itself and then relying on and using basic text search to find particular passages you might use at a later date.

      Spending time reviewing over all of your notes and tagging/indexing them individually may be beneficial for some basic review work. But this should be balanced out with your long term needs. If your area is "sociology", for example, and you tag every single idea related to the topic of sociology with #sociology, then it will cease to have any value you to you when you search for it and find thousands of disconnected notes you will need to sift through. Compare this with Luhmann's ZK which only had a few index entries under "sociology". A better long term productive practice, and one which Luhmann used, is indexing one or two key words when he started in a new area and then "tagging" each new idea in that branch or train of though with links to other neighboring ideas. If you forget a particular note, you can search your index for a keyword and know you'll find that idea you need somewhere nearby. Scanning through the neighborhood of notes you find will provide a useful reminder of what you'd been working on and allow you to continue your work in that space or link new things as appropriate.

      If it helps to reframe the long term scaling problem of over-tagging, think of a link from one idea to another as the most specific tag you can put on an idea. To put this important idea into context, if you do a Google search for "tagging" you'll find 240,000,000 results! If you do a search for the entirety of the first sentence in this paragraph, you'll likely only find one very good and very specific result, and the things which are linked to it are going to have tremendous specific value to you by comparison.

      Perhaps the better portions of your time while reviewing notes would be taking the 150 highlights and finding the three to five most important, useful, and (importantly) reusable ones to write out in your own words and begin expanding upon and linking? These are the excerpts you'll want to spend more time on and tag/index for future use rather than the other hundreds. Over time, you may eventually realize that the hundreds are far less useful than the handful (in management spaces this philosophy is known as the Pareto principle), so spending a lot of make work time on them is less beneficial for whatever end goals you may have. (The make work portions are often the number one reason I see people abandoning these practices because they feel overwhelmed working on raw administrivia instead of building something useful and interesting to themselves.) Naturally though, you'll still have those hundreds sitting around in a file if you need to search, review, or use them. You won't have lost them by not working on them, but more importantly you'll have gained loads of extra time to work on the more important pieces. You should notice that the time you save and the value you create will compound over time.

      And as ever, play around with these to see if they work for you and your specific needs. Some may be good and others bad—it will depend on your needs and your goals. Practice, experiment, have fun.

      Meme image from Office Space featuring a crowd of office employees standing in front of a banner on the wall that reads: Is this Good for the Zettelkasten?

    1. Journalist John Dickerson [https://twitter.com/jdickerson/status/1458036871531937798 indicates] that he uses [[Instagram]] as a commonplace: https://www.instagram.com/jfdlibrary/ where he keeps a collection of photo "cards" with quotes from famous people rather than photos. He also keeps collections there of photos of notes from scraps of paper as well as photos of [[annotation]]s he makes in books.

      syndication links: https://www.reddit.com/r/commonplacebook/comments/16118vy/john_dickersons_digital_commonplace/

    1. In general the professors of the humanities and the socialsciences and history, fascinated by the marvels of experi-mental natural science, were overpowered by the idea thatsimilar marvels could be produced in their own fields by theuse of the same methods. They also seemed convinced thatany results obtained in these fields by any other methods werenot worth achieving. This automatically ruled out writerspreviously thought great who had had the misfortune to livebefore the method of empirical natural science had reachedits present predominance and who had never thought ofapplying it to problems and subject matters outside the rangeof empirical natural science.

      Hutchins indicates that part of the fall of the humanities was the result of the rise of the scientific method and experimental science. In wanting fields from the humanities—like social sciences and history—to be a part of this new scientific paradigm, professors completely reframed their paradigms in a more scientific mode and thereby erased the progenitors and ideas in these fields for newer material which replaced the old which was now viewed as "less than" in the new paradigms. This same sort of erasure of Indigenous knowledges was also similarly effected as they were also seen as "less than" from the perspective of the new scientific regime.

      One might also suggest that some of it was the result of the acceleration of life brought on by the invention of writing, literacy, and the spread of the printing press making for larger swaths of knowledge to be more immediately available.

    2. This set of books is offered not merely as an object uponwhich leisure may be expended, but also as a means to thehumanization of work through understanding.16

      Purpose of the Great Books of the Western World

    3. Sir RichardLivingstone said: "We are tied down, all our days and forthe greater part of our days, to the commonplace. That iswhere contact with great thinkers, great literature helps.

      What is the original context of this quote? Which meaning of "the commonplace" does he mean? The generic or the commonplace book?

    1. The American Philosopher Eric Hoffer was a great quotation collector. he has boxes and boxes of them all typed up on index cards. I began doing it after reading his biography where before they were scattered everywhere.

      Eric Hoffer apparently had a collection of quotes which he kept on index cards in boxes.

      Potentially mentioned in one of his biographies. Possibly:<br /> - American Iconoclast: The Life and Times of Eric Hoffer by Tom Shachtman https://www.amazon.com/American-Iconoclast-Life-Times-Hoffer/dp/1933435380<br /> - Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher by Tom Bethell https://www.amazon.com/Eric-Hoffer-Longshoreman-Philosopher-Institution/dp/0817914153

    1. Barzun, Jacques. “The Great Books.” The Atlantic, December 1952. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1952/12/the-great-books/642341/.

      Barzun heaps praise on Great Books of the Western World with some criticism of what it is also missing. He finds more than a few superlative words for the majesty of the Syntopicon.

    2. I he fact is that there arc some three thousand subheadings. So persons who feel that an official ceiling of 102 ideas would cramp their style can breathe freely.

      According to Jacques Barzun (and possibly written in the volumes itself), while the Syntopicon has 102 ideas, there are "some three thousand subheadings."

    3. It is not quite a five-foot shelf: 1 make it four feet eight-and-a-half — standard railroad gauge.

      the five-foot shelf reference is to the Harvard Classics competitor

    4. The late John Erskine, Professor of English in Columbia College, was in charge of an American study center at Dijon (where there is now a memorial library named after him) and there he drew up for the doughboys the first list of great books considered as a body of secular scripture. When he came back to his post at Columbia, he persuaded the faculty to establish a two-year course in which selected upperclassmen would read and dismiss these great books, one each week, withr a minimum of scholarly apparatus and a maximum of attention to the author’s words.

      Brief story of John Erskine's creation of "Great Books" study program.

    1. I like their simplicity and cloth texture, but family members seem to think that my 1952 set of The Great Books of the Western World are a bit on the "dreary looking side" compared with the more colorful books in our home library. (It says something that the 12 year old thinks my yellow Springer graduate math texts are more inviting...) Has anyone else had this problem and solved it with custom printed dust jackets?

      • Has anyone seen them for sale?
      • Made their own?
      • Interested in commissioning some as a bigger group?
      • Used a third-party company to design and print something?

      In doing something like this for fun, I might hope that the younger kids in the house might show more interest in some more lively/colorful custom covers.

      I'm partially tempted to use a classical painting as a display across the spines (a la Juniper Books collections) perhaps using:

      Other thoughts? suggestions?

      Syndication link: https://www.reddit.com/r/ClassicalEducation/comments/15gv2cz/custom_dust_jackets_for_the_great_books_of_the/

  4. Jul 2023
    1. I regret that the ideal of a home or family library has pretty much vanished along with door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen and sets of the “Great Books of the Western World.”
    2. I regularly copy favorite sentences and passages from my reading into a small notebook I’ve kept since I was in my early 20s.

      Michael Dirda keeps a version of a commonplace book.

    3. To paraphrase Gibbon on the Roman Emperor Gordian’s 22 acknowledged concubines, my books are for use, not ostentation.
    4. I feel insanely chuffed at recognizing scarce and desirable works that have been overlooked or underpriced. I once paid $5 for an inscribed first edition of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Tell My Horse” in a very good dust jacket. Try to find a like copy today.

      It's particularly difficult to find inscribed or rare books with odd quirks in an online marketplace where one can't hold a book and browse through it in person.

    5. Books aren’t commoditiesAdvertisementI despise — viscerally, perhaps irrationally — the people one sometimes sees at used book stores scanning every title with a handheld device to check its online price. They regard books strictly as products and usually don’t know anything about them, only caring about what they can buy low and sell high on Amazon or eBay.
    1. Margin Shopping suggestions?

      I've browsed through dozens of publishers who reprint translations of popular classics to find ones that have good broad margins to more easily be able to annotate in them. I've often considered self-publishing nice hardcover copies of out of copyright versions so that I could make nice wide margins or even interleave the books so that every other page was blank for taking notes.

      Notes on some publishers I've been contemplating:

      • The Folio Society seems to have some of the widest margins, but at a steep cost and a more limited selection.
      • Heritage Press has some good margins, but they're out of business and can be more expensive
      • Library of America has some of the larger mass-market hard cover margins with excellent quality, though their offerings are American writers only.
      • Penguin Classics seem to have some of the best margin widths for inexpensive paperbacks and has one of the widest offerings.
      • Norton Critical editions usually have reasonable paperback margins with excellent additional editorial for reasonable prices.

      Does anyone who marks up their books have particular publishers they like best for their ample margins, preferably in hard cover at a reasonable prices?

      Other than reprinting things myself, what other options are there for physical books? (For digital books, I often rely on my Kindle or I use Hypothes.is which offers endless margins digitally.)

      syndication link: https://www.reddit.com/r/ClassicalEducation/comments/15clwfd/margin_shopping_suggestions/

    1. Overloaded with notes .t3_15218d5._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } A few years ago I moved from Evernote to Obsidian. Evernote had this cool web clipper feature that helped me gather literary quotes, tweets, Wikipedia facts, interview bits, and any kinds of texts all around the web. And now I have a vault with 10k notes.I am trying to review a few every time I open Obsidian (add tags, link it, or delete) but it is still too much.Did someone have the same experience? How did you manage to fix everything and move to a bit more controllable system (zettelkasten or any other)?Cus I feel like I am standing in front of a text tsunami

      reply to u/posh-and-repressed at https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/15218d5/overloaded_with_notes/

      Overwhelm of notes always reminds me of this note taking story from 1908: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/24/death-by-zettelkasten/ If you've not sorted them, tagged/categorized them or other, then search is really your only recourse. One of the benefits of Luhmann's particular structure is that it nudged him to read and review through older cards as he worked and filed new ones. Those with commonplace books would have occasionally picked up their notebooks and paged through them from time to time. Digital methods like Obsidian don't always do a good job of allowing or even forcing this review work on the user, so you may want to look at synthetic means like one of the random note plugins. Otherwise don't worry too much. Fix your tagging/categorizing/indexing now so that things slowly improve in the future. (I'm sitting on a pile of over 50K notes without the worry of overwhelm, primarily as I've managed to figure out how to rely on my index and search.)

    1. A helpful website that has the feature of seeing 4 side by side translations of the [[Tao Te Ching]].

    1. The Editors wish especially to mention their debt to thelate John Erskine, who over thirty years ago began the move-ment to reintroduce the study of great books into Americaneducation, and who labored long and arduously on thepreparation of this set.
    2. We attach importance to making whole works, as distin-guished from excerpts, available; and in all but three cases,Aquinas, Kepler, and Fourier, the 443 works of the 74 auth-ors in this set are printed complete.

      There are 443 works by 74 authors in the Great Books of the Western World. All of them are printed in their entirety except for Aquinas, Kepler and Fourier.

    3. In many cases, all or some of an author'sworks included in this set were unavailable.

      One of the primary goals of The Great Books, was to make some of the (especially ancient writers) more accessible to modern audiences with respect to ready availability of their works which were otherwise much more expensive.

      This certainly says something about both publishing and reading practices of the early 20th century.

    4. The final decision on the list wasmade by me.

      Robert Hutchins takes sole responsibility for the final decision on the selection for the books which appear in The Great Books of the Western World series.

      One wonders what sort of advice he may have sought out or received with respect to a much broader diversity of topics and writers with respect to his own time. I reminded a bit of the article The 102 Great Ideas (Life, 1948) which highlights a more progressive stance with respect to women and feminism in the examples used.

      See: LIFE. “The 102 Great Ideas: Scholars Complete a Monumental Catalog.” January 26, 1948. Https://books.google.com/books?id=p0gEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA92&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false. Google Books.

    5. They now have the chance to understandthemselves through understanding their tradition.

      It feels odd that people wouldn't understand their own traditions, but it obviously happens. Information overload can obviously heavily afflict societies toward forgetting their traditions and the formation of new traditions, particularly in non-oral traditions which focus more on written texts which can more easily be ignored (not read) and then later replaced with seemingly newer traditions.

      Take for example the resurgence of note taking ideas circa 2014-2020 which completely disregarded the prior histories, particularly in lieu of new technologies for doing them.

      As a means of focusing on Western Culture, the editors here have highlighted some of the most important thoughts for encapsulating and influencing their current and future cultures.

      How do oral traditions embrace the idea of the "Great Conversation"?

    6. democracyrequires liberal education for all.

      Two of the driving reasons behind the Great Books project were improvement of both education and democracy.

      The democracy portion was likely prompted by the second Red Scare from ~1947-1957 which had profound effects on America. Published in 1952, this series would have considered it closely and it's interesting they included Marx in the thinkers at the end of the series.

    7. We may havemade errors of selection.

      A great admission to make upfront in such a massive endeavor which one hopes to shape the future.

      What does this mean for ars excerpendi writ large? Particularly when it may apply to hundreds of thousands?

    8. Great books alone will not do the trick; for the peoplemust have the information on which to base a judgment aswell as the ability to make one.
    1. Converting Commonplace Books? .t3_14v2ohz._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/ihaveascone at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/14v2ohz/converting_commonplace_books/

      Don't convert unless you absolutely need to, it will be a lot of soul-crushing make work. Since some of your practice already looks like Ross Ashby's system, why not just continue what you've been doing all along and start a physical index card-based index for your commonplaces? (As opposed to a more classical Lockian index.) As you browse your commonplaces create index cards for topics you find and write down the associated book/page numbers. Over time you'll more quickly make your commonplace books more valuable while still continuing on as you always have without skipping much a beat or attempting to convert over your entire system. Alternately you could do a paper notebook with a digital index too. I came across https://www.indxd.ink, a digital, web-based index tool for your analog notebooks. Ostensibly allows one to digitally index their paper notebooks (page numbers optional). It emails you weekly text updates, so you've got a back up of your data if the site/service disappears. This could potentially be used by those who have analog commonplace/zettelkasten practices, but want the digital search and some back up of their system.

    1. How do you use pocket sized notebooks? .t3_14to50w._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/peaberryxo at https://www.reddit.com/r/notebooks/comments/14to50w/how_do_you_use_pocket_sized_notebooks/

      I generally carry one all the time and use it as a convenient "waste book". I quickly collect fleeting ideas or notes throughout the day so I don't forget the tidbits that are important. When I'm back at my desk or at the end of the day/week, I will transfer things into my calendar/planner, my primary to do list, copy out more fleshed out ideas or quotes into my commonplace book or add particular ideas and sources to my zettelkasten. It's really there for quick convenience and nothing more. If it's important it always goes somewhere else.

    1. CPB vs Reading Notes .t3_14li1ri._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } Does anyone separate their reading notes from their common place Notebook? I’ve always used a notebook to combine my Bullet Journal, reading notes, and Common Place. It’s been a mesh of words and I’ve been ok w that, but I just got the Remarkable 2 and I’m trying to figure out how to set it up. Any ideas?

      reply to u/Nil205 at https://www.reddit.com/r/commonplacebook/comments/14li1ri/cpb_vs_reading_notes/

      I have a similar and differently formed, but still simple system compared to most here. Rather than a traditional commonplace book, I keep all my notes on index cards. I keep all my reading notes for a particular book on a series of index cards that I staple together with a citation card for the book and then file them by author and title.

      When I'm done, I'll excerpt the most important parts each individual note (highlight/annotation) and expand on them on its own index card which I file away and index. In your case you might equivalently have a reading notebook where you might keep a section of notes as you read a book and then excerpt the most important or salient parts into your main commonplace. Some may prefer, especially if they own the book in question, to annotate (put their reading notes into) the book directly and then excerpt either as they go or at the end when they're done and can frame their ideas with a broader knowledge of the area in question. Sometimes at later dates you may realize you read something useful which you don't find in your commonplace book, but you can find the gist of it in your reading notes which you can reference, refresh your memory, and then excerpt into your commonplace.

      For more on my sort of card index or zettelkasten (German: slip box) practice you might take a look at one or more of the following which explain the broad generalities:

      If it's useful/inspiring as an example, Ross Ashby had a lifelong series of notebooks, much like a commonplace, and a separate card index where he cross-indexed all of his ideas to make them more easily searchable, findable, and cross referenceable. You can see digitized versions of the journals and index online which you can explore at http://www.rossashby.info/journal/index.html.

    1. reply to Bob Doto at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/14lcb4z/using_diaries_and_journals_as_source_material_for/

      Ross Ashby kept his notes in notebooks/journals but he did cross-index them by topic using index cards. Rather than reference them by notebook (name/title/date) and page number, he kept a set of handwritten running page numbers across the entirety of his notebooks, so instead of Notebook 15 page 55, 1952 he'd simply write "3786" for page 3786. This can be seen on his index card for the indexed word "determinate" as an example.

      For other examples, see: http://www.rossashby.info/journal/index/index.html

      My own notebooks are usually titled by year and date spans along with page numbers, so I'll use those roughly as Bob describes. This has made it much easier to not need to move all my older notes into a card-based system, but still make them useable and referenceable.

      For those with more explicit journaling, diary, or other writing habits, Ralph Waldo Emmerson makes an interesting example of practice as he maintained at least two commonplace books (a poetry-specific one and a general one) as well as a large set of writing journals where he experimented with writing before later publishing his work. Since there are extant (digitized and published copies) and large bodies of scholarship around them, they make an interesting case study of how his process worked and how others might imitate it.

      On the diary front, of the historical examples I've seen floating around, only Roland Barthes had a significant practice of keeping his "diary" in index card form, a portion of which was published on October 12, 2010. Mourning Diary is a collection published for the first time from Roland Barthes' 330 index cards focusing on his mourning following the death of his mother in 1977.

      Not as extensive, Vladimir Nabokov recorded a "diary" of sixty-four dreams on 118 index cards beginning on October 14, 1964 as an experiment. He was following the instructions of John Dunne, a British philosopher, in An Experiment with Time. The results were published by Princeton University Press in Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov which was edited by Gennady Barabtarlo.

      Presumably if one keeps a diary or journal in index card form in chronological order, they can simply reference it by date and either time or card X of Y, if there are multiple card entries for a single day. I keep a dated diary of sorts on index cards, though they rarely go past one card a day.

  5. Jun 2023
    1. The men who crafted Great Books programs, most prominently John Erskine, Mortimer Adler, and Scott Buchanan, promoted the idea that the reading of classics was a task meant for all students, at all levels, even if the works were translated from their original language. At several colleges, the curricula of undergraduate programs came to be based upon the reading of these Great Books.
    1. According to Henderson, there are three steps to keeping a commonplace book:

      1) Read (Consume)

      "Commonplace books begin with observation."

      2) Capture (Write) Always also capture the source.

      3) Reflect Write own thoughts about the material. Synthesize, think.

      I'd personally use a digital commonplace book (hypothes.is), like Chris Aldrich explains, as my capture method and my Antinet Zettelkasten as my reflect methodology. This way the commonplace book fosters what Luhmann would call the thought rumination process.

    1. A commonplace book, according to Jared Henderson, is a way to not collect own thoughts (though sometimes it is) but rather to collect thoughts by others that you deem interesting.

    1. (1:21:20-1:39:40) Chris Aldrich describes his hypothes.is to Zettelkasten workflow. Prevents Collector's Fallacy, still allows to collect a lot. Open Bucket vs. Closed Bucket. Aldrich mentions he uses a common place book using hypothes.is which is where all his interesting highlights and annotations go to, unfiltered, but adequately tagged. This allows him to easily find his material whenever necessary in the future. These are digital. Then the best of the best material that he's interested in and works with (in a project or writing sense?) will go into his Zettelkasten and become fully fledged. This allows to maintain a high gold to mud (signal to noise) ratio for the Zettelkasten. In addition, Aldrich mentions that his ZK is more of his own thoughts and reflections whilst the commonplace book is more of other people's thoughts.

    1. if you aren't in those spaces you're oblivious to just how powerful this is
      • Evangelical Christian media
        • has a very lot of vested interest in media
        • because evangelicals are all about spreading the message
        • and growing their population
    1. I would advise you to read with a pen in your hand, and enter in a little book short hints of what you find that is curious or that may be useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such particulars in your memory, where they will be ready either for practice on some future occasion if they are matters of utility, or at least to adorn and improve your conversation if they are rather points of curiosity.

      Benjamin Franklin letter to Miss Stevenson, Wanstead. Craven-street, May 16, 1760.

      Franklin doesn't use the word commonplace book here, but is actively recommending the creation and use of one. He's also encouraging the practice of annotation, though in commonplace form rather than within the book itself.

    1. I always like to point to a text that changed my thinking about this question, and that’s Kathleen Yancey’s “Writing in the 21st Century.” It basically states that students are writing more than ever before. If you were to challenge a group of students (which I have) to document how many text messages, TikTok, IG posts, Facebook posts, tweets, emails they send out in a day, the sheer volume of writing is staggering. Why we don’t value that writing in academia is the question for me.

      interesting point! some other things in my head:

      1) in addition to our increased writing endeavors, we've also been engaging in extensive reading as well, but our reading material has evolved beyond books, encompassing the plethora of content available in the vast expanse of cyberspace

      2) and while the quantity of reading has expanded significantly, it is equally intriguing to recognize that the nature of these texts has shifted towards shorter formats—tweets, ig post captions, microblogs, etc

      3) AND lastly, the act of reading has swiftly evolved into the realm of listening, with the emergence of podcasts, audiobooks, listenable videos, and similar forms of content consumption

    1. The books on the shelves have largely turned into wallpaper as students and faculty have become more comfortable with digital formats.
    2. All digital transitions have had losers, some of whom we may care about more than others. Musicians seem to have a raw deal in the streaming age, receiving fractions of pennies for streams when they used to get dollars for the sales of physical media. Countless regional newspapers went out of business in the move to the web and the disappearance of lucrative classified advertising. The question before society, with even a partial transition to digital books, is: Do we want libraries to be the losers?

      Will libraries have the same problems with the digital transition that music and journalism have had?

  6. May 2023
    1. Grading guidelines New. Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition. Protective wrapping should be intact. No blemishes on the outside cover. Stickers/marks indicating it may be “bargain” or “remainder” should not be considered new. Used: Like New. Item has very few defects and looks as good as new. Some minor blemishes and/or remainder marks are acceptable for this condition.   Dust cover/outside case (if applicable) should be intact.   Pages: No marking or highlighting of any kind. Shrink wrap: May be opened or missing for standard bound items. Loose leafs should be shrink wrapped to ensure all pages are present. Supplemental materials: (e.g.) CDs, DVDs, access codes should be unused. Used: Very Good. Items may have some minor defects such as marks, wear, bends, spine and page creases. Dust covers/outside case may be missing. Supplemental materials: May be missing. Water/stains: No water damage or stains of any kind acceptable in this condition. Pages: Very minor writing or highlighting (a few pages) OK. Personalization: No library labels acceptable in this condition. Name written inside OK. Binding/covers: Minimal blemishes and slight defects acceptable. No missing or loose pages. Loose leafs should be wrapped or rubber banded together and all pages must be present. Used: Good. Items with moderate wear and tear. Binding and pages should be intact. Covers: Can have curl and small creases. Moderate scuff marks or small cut OK. Corners: Can have some damage, light (1-2 inches) peeling OK, some (25%) bend OK. Pages: Minor highlighting (~20%) OK. Dog ear folds on page corners OK. Water/Stains: No visible water/spill damage. Minimal stains OK. Supplements: Can be missing/opened, unless the ISBN is a stand alone access card or a bundle edition (book with access code). Personalization: Name written inside or library labels OK. Binding: Moderate wear is OK, no loose pages. Loose leafs should be wrapped or rubber banded together and all pages must be present. Used: Acceptable. Items with more than moderate wear and tear. Binding and pages should be intact. Pages: Should be readable. Moderate highlighting and writing OK (more than ~20%). Water/Stains: Minor water/spill damage OK. Binding: Heavy wear OK, must still be intact, no loose or missing pages. Used: Unacceptable. Cover: Cover not intact. Cuts going through the cover into multiple pages. Page damage: Lines unreadable from highlighting. Page completely torn (part of page is missing) or major partial tear (high probability that normal wear and tear during next usage will result in part or all of page falling out). Water damage: Pages swollen, major wrinkling, excessive stains, major discoloration or moldy (foxing). Mismatch ISBN: Submitted ISBN does not match ISBN of what was received. Stickers or Tape: Used deliberately to hide markings specific to instructor, international, and sample editions, which are all deemed unacceptable. Rebound items. Binding: Pages are separating from binding or have been fixed with tape.
    1. I recommend the large, squared-grid Moleskine to serve as the journal. I like the quality, aesthetic and the history of a Moleskine. The back pocket serves as a wallet and holds a few Frictionless Capture Cards in case I need to pass on a note to someone.


      Link is dead. What were these exactly? Sounds a tool in a waste book setting.

    1. https://brettterpstra.com/2012/05/29/frictionless-capture-cards/

      Brett Terpstra was a Frictionless Capture Card fan, especially for quick capture and he used them in a waste book-like fashion. He indicated that he usually transferred the data to a digital location, but kept the cards as backups filed by alphabetical subject line in a Vaultz card index.

    1. unemployed diaries - ep. 01 - book haul, my commonplace notebook system

      found via Richard Carter

      Really nice example of someone using colour-coding and marginal notes/cross-references in a (paper) commonplace book. (My link skips the first 09:20 of the video, which comprises a book unboxing and notebook description.) #PKM<br /> cc. @chrisaldrich https://youtu.be/90gb7Eo8uMk?t=560

    1. Let us take down one of those old notebooks which we have all, at one time or another, had a passion for beginning. Most of the pages are blank, it is true; but at the beginning we shall find a certain number very beautifully covered with a strikingly legible hand-writing. Here we have written down the names of great writers in their order of merit; here we have copied out fine passages from the classics; here are lists of books to be read; and here, most interesting of all, lists of books that have actually been read, as the reader testifies with some youthful vanity by a dash of red ink. —“Hours in a Library”
    1. In the 20th century it mostly came to be regarded like graffiti: something polite and respectful people did not do.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storyPaul F. Gehl, a curator at the Newberry, blamed generations of librarians and teachers for “inflicting us with the idea” that writing in books makes them “spoiled or damaged.”
    2. association copies — books once owned or annotated by the authors

      An association copy is a copy of a book which belonged to the author or someone connected to them or a copy of a book that once belonged to someone particularly associated with its contents, often annotated.

      I've got association copies of some information theory texts...

  7. Apr 2023
    1. Hutchins, Robert M., Mortimer J. Adler, and William Gorman, eds. The Great Ideas: A Syntopicon of Great Books of the Western World, Volume II, Man to World. 1st ed. Vol. 3. 54 vols. The Great Books of the Western World. Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1952.

    1. Hutchins, Robert M., Mortimer J. Adler, and William Gorman, eds. The Great Ideas: A Syntopicon of Great Books of the Western World, Volume I, Angel to Love. 1st ed. Vol. 2. 54 vols. Great Books of the Western World. Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1952.

    1. Rebinding a book for more margin space? .t3_12noly2._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } I was thinking about cutting a book's spine and gluing the pages against bigger notebooks to get more margin space to write in with a heat erasable pen. Maybe I could combine this with antinet Zettlekasten cards somehow.That way, I can bring a chapter with me at a time more portably, and erase all the way to notes when I'm done by putting it in the oven.Thing is, I thought I'd do a search to find how someone else did this, but there's nothing on YouTube.Did I miss something?

      reply to u/After-Cell at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/12noly2/rebinding_a_book_for_more_margin_space/

      The historical practice of "interleaved books" was more popular in a bygone era. If you search you can find publishers that still make bibles this way, but it's relatively rare now.

      Given the popularity and ease of e-books and print on demand, you could relatively easily and cheaply get an e-book and reformat it at your local print shop to either print with larger margins or to add blank sheets every other page to have more room for writing your notes. For some classic texts (usually out of copyright) you can "margin shop" for publishers that leave more marginal space or find larger folio editions (The Folio Society, as an example) for your scribbles if you like.

      Writing your notes on index cards with page references is quick and simple. These also make good temporary bookmarks. Other related ideas here: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=tag:%22interleaved%20books%22

      Have I just coined "margin shopping"?

    1. reply to u/noobinPython at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/12rfku6/how_has_the_zettelkasten_system_changed_the_way/

      Historically there is the popular idea of a waste book, which originally comes from double entry accounting, in which one might keep quick scribbled notes and ephemera. Upon reaching a quiet space for work and reflection one would then transcribe all the most important ideas into a more permanent place in their commonplace book or zettelkasten. I suspect this historical practice is part of where Ahrens came up with the often used terms "fleeting notes" and "permanent notes" which serve the same purpose.

      I follow this practice and either have a small pocket notebook (usually a small Field Notes) or an index card at hand for writing things down throughout the day. Then every evening or every few days at worst, I transcribe/rewrite the idea.

      As examples, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's Waste Books were ultimately published and were highly influential. Isaac Newton developed his version of the Calculus in his waste book.

    1. Die Republica Interviewt David Van Reybrouck zu seinem Buch über Indonesien und die indonesische Unabhängigkeit. Die Dekolonisierung Indonesiens war eine Initialzündung für viele Länder mit Wirkungen bis hin zur europäischen Einigung. Van Reybrouck fordert dazu auf sie vor dem Hintergrund der gegenwärtigen Kolonisierung in Verbindung mit der Klimakrise zu verstehen. Er weist auch auf die #GlobalAssembly-Bewegung hin. https://www.repubblica.it/venerdi/2023/04/10/news/revolusi_indonesia_nascita_stato_moderno_libro_david_van_reybrouck-395034373/?ref=RHLM-BG-I387467671-P1-S1-T1

    1. My biggest realization recently is to do whatever the opposite of atomicity is.

      Too many go too deep into the idea of "atomic notes" without either questioning or realizing their use case. What is your purpose in having atomic notes? Most writing about them online talk about the theoretical without addressing the underlying "why".

      They're great for capturing things on the go and having the ability to re-arrange and reuse them into much larger works. Often once you've used them a few times, they're less useful, specially for the average person. (Of course it's another matter if you're an academic researcher, they're probably your bread and butter.) For the beekeepers of the world who need some quick tidbits which they use frequently, then keeping them in a larger outlined document or file is really more than enough. Of course, if you're creating some longer book-length treatise on beekeeping, then it can be incredibly helpful to have them at atomic length.

      There's a spectrum from the small atomic note to the longer length file (or even book). Ask yourself, "what's your goal in having one or the other, or something in between?" They're tools, choose the best one for your needs.

  8. books.google.com books.google.com
    1. Two page spread of Life Magazine article with the title "The 102 Great Ideas" featuring a photo of 26 people behind 102 card indexes with categorized topical labels from Angel to Will.

    2. LIFE. “The 102 Great Ideas: Scholars Complete a Monumental Catalog.” January 26, 1948. https://books.google.com/books?id=p0gEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA92&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false. Google Books.

      Provides an small example of "the great conversation" on the equality of men and women.

    3. Amidst a number of very gendered advertisements in issue 4 of volume 24 of LIFE magazine from 1948 is a short piece on the pending release of The Encyclopædia Britannica's Great Books of the Western World.

      The piece starts out talking about the 432 classical works written by 71 men and highlights the fact that "Woman, not a main idea, is included [with] in [the topical category] Family Man and Love." The piece goes on by way of example of the work to excerpt portions on Idea number 51: "Man". To show the flexibility of the included Syntopicon categorization they elaborate with 15 excerpted passages from authors from Plato to Freud on Idea 51, subdivision 6b: "Men and Women: their equality or inequality".

      It provides a fantastic mini-study on the emerging conversation on gender studies as seen in a mainstream magazine in 1948.

      Were there any follow up letters to the editor on this topic in subsequent issues? How was this broader piece received with respect to the idea of gender at the time?

    4. A staff of at least 26 created the underlying index that would lay at the heart of the Great Books of the Western World which was prepared in a rented old fraternity house on the University of Chicago campus. (p. 93)

    1. Oakeshott saw educationas part of the ‘conversation of mankind’, wherein teachers induct their studentsinto that conversation by teaching them how to participate in the dialogue—howto hear the ‘voices’ of previous generations while cultivating their own uniquevoices.

      How did Michael Oakeshott's philosophy overlap with the idea of the 'Great Conversation' or 20th century movement of Adler's Great Books of the Western World.

      How does it influence the idea of "having conversations with the text" in the annotation space?

    1. Compared to this structure that offers actualizable connection possibilities, the relevance of the actual content of the note subsides. Much of it quickly becomes useless or is unusable for a concrete occasion. That is true for both collected quotes, which are only worth collecting when they are exceptionally concise, and for your own thoughts.

      Luhmann felt that quotations aren't worth collecting unless they were "exceptionally concise, and for your own thoughts."

    2. A Zettelkasten that is constructed based on our instructions can achieve high independence. There may be other ways to achieve this goal. The described reduction to a fixed-placement (but merely formal) order, and the corresponding combination of order and disorder, is at least one of them.

      The structural components of Luhmann's zettelkasten which allow for "achieving high independence" are also the same structures found in an indexed commonplace book: namely fixed placement (formally by the order in which things are found and collected) as well as combinations of order and disorder (the methods by which they can be retrieved and read).

    3. Similarly, you must give up the assumption that there are privileged places, notes of special and knowledge-ensuring quality. Each note is just an element that gets its value from being a part of a network of references and cross-references in the system. A note that is not connected to this network will get lost in the Zettelkasten, and will be forgotten by the Zettelkasten.

      This section is almost exactly the same as Umberto Eco's description of a slip box practice:

      No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them. -- Umberto Eco. Foucault's Pendulum

      See: https://hypothes.is/a/jqug2tNlEeyg2JfEczmepw

      Interestingly, these structures map reasonably well onto Paul Baran's work from 1964: Paul Baran's graphs for Centralized, Decentralized, and Distributed systems

      The subject heading based filing system looks and functions a lot like a centralized system where the center (on a per topic basis) is the subject heading or topical category and the notes related to that section are filed within it. Luhmann's zettelkasten has the feel of a mixture of the decentralized and distributed graphs, but each sub-portion has its own topology. The index is decentralized in nature, while the bibliographical section/notes are all somewhat centralized in form.

      Cross reference:<br /> Baran, Paul. “On Distributed Communications: I. Introduction to Distributed Communications Networks.” Research Memoranda. Santa Monica, California: RAND Corporation, August 1964. https://doi.org/10.7249/RM3420.

  9. Mar 2023
    1. The ability to intentionally and strategically allocateour attention is a competitive advantage in a distracted world. Wehave to jealously guard it like a valuable treasure.

      It would seem that the word treasure here is being used to modify one's attention. Historically in books about "knowledge work" or commonplacing, the word was used with respect to one's storehouse of knowledge itself and not one's attention. Some of the effect is the result of the break in historical tradition being passed down from one generation to another. It's also an indication that the shift in value has moved not from what one knows or has, but that the attention itself is more valued now, even in a book about excerpting, thinking, and keeping knowledge!

      Oh how far we have fallen!

      It's also an indication of the extremes of information overload we're facing that the treasure is attention and not the small tidbits of knowledge and understanding we're able to glean from the massive volumes we face on a daily basis.

    1. Or, we canpicture ourselves collecting bones, breaking and roastingthem, and then boiling them for hours or days in a stockpot to release the nutritious and tasty marrow.

      We can imagine mining the information we encounter, following veins and seams underground, then smelting and refining the ore into useful metals. Occasionally we might come across gems that are nearly perfect when we discover them, perhaps needing only a bit of cutting and setting to reveal their beauty. But mostly the work involves patience and effort, as we go through the steps of finding, collecting, refining, and concentrating information from a raw material into exactly what we need for our structure

      I love these two new clever metaphors (mining and refining and cooking) for note taking for building knowledge. They're a welcome addition to the older and more classical metaphor of bees (Latin: apes) collecting pollen to make honey in the commonplace tradition.

    1. Die Erfahrungen Ermans und seiner Mitarbeiter lehren nur zu deutlich, dass die Buchform der Präsentation eines solchen Materialbestands durchaus nicht entgegenkommt.

      For some research the book form is just not conducive to the most productive work. Both the experiences of Beatrice Webb (My Apprenticeship, Appendix C) and Adolph Erman (on Wb) show that database forms for sorting, filtering, and comparing have been highly productive and provide a wealth of information which simply couldn't be done otherwise.

    1. Oxford English Dictionary first attests 'commonplace' (from the Latin 'locus communis') asnoun in 1531 and a verb in 1656; 'excerpt' (from the Latin 'excerpere') as a verb in 1536 and anoun in 1656.

      The split between the ideas of commonplace book and zettelkasten may stem from the time period of the Anglicization of the first. If Gessner was just forming the tenets of a zettelkasten practice in 1548 and the name following(?) [what was the first use of zettelkasten?] while the word commonplace was entering English in 1531 using a book format, then the two traditions would likely have been splitting from that point forward in their different areas.

    1. At present I am using index cards as to index the books (and documents saved on the computer).

      u/zleonska in discussing their paper notebook commonplace practice reports that finding their material within multiple notebooks isn't difficult but that, like W. Ross Ashby, they use index cards to index their commonplaces.

    1. Google Books .pdf document equivalence problem #7884

      I've noticed on a couple of .pdf documents from Google books that their fingerprints, lack thereof, or some other glitch in creating document equivalency all seem to clash creating orphans.

      Example, the downloadable .pdf of Geyer's Stationer 1904 found at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Geyer_s_Stationer/L507AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 currently has 109 orphaned annotations caused by this issue.

      See also a specific annotation on this document: https://hypothes.is/a/vNmUHMB3Ee2VKgt4yhjofg

    1. In 1886, during a lecture on the "pleasure of reading," the British scientist, politician, and man of letters John Lubbock spoke of his wish for "a list of a hundred good books"; in the absence of such, he offered his own selection.
    1. Lisa Jacobs, the founder and chief executive of Imagine It Done, a home organization service in New York City, said that out of hundreds of projects in the past few years, she can recall only three requests to organize books. In one of those examples, the arranged books were treated as a backdrop — to be admired, but not read. “The clientele that has collected books through the years are not as numerous for us,” she said.

      Any book collector worth their salt will already have in mind the way they want their collection arranged. Only someone who wants to use it as wallpaper would have a service arrange it.

      I wonder what the other two cases were?

    1. In a postwar world in which educational self-improvement seemed within everyone’s reach, the Great Books could be presented as an item of intellectual furniture, rather like their prototype, the Encyclopedia Britannica (which also backed the project).

      the phrase "intellectual furniture" is sort of painful here...

    1. This is the Deluxe edition of the Great Books of the Western World. There are three versions of the set. the least expensive was cloth-bound. That was the original version published in 1952. In the 1970's a tan edition was issued that was more expensive. The problem is that the binding tends to chip and crack unless it was kept in a dark, refrigerated closet. This set, which is half bound in black Fabricoid (imitation Morocco leather) and half in cloth was the most expensive of the three, costing upwards of $1800 in the mid-Eighties, and the most durable with gilt tops.

      1952, 1970s, 1980s editions and their differences.