265 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. here are several ways I havefound useful to invite the sociological imagination:

      C. Wright Mills delineates a rough definition of "sociological imagination" which could be thought of as a framework within tools for thought: 1. Combinatorial creativity<br /> 2. Diffuse thinking, flâneur<br /> 3. Changing perspective (how would x see this?) Writing dialogues is a useful method to accomplish this. (He doesn't state it, but acting as a devil's advocate is a useful technique here as well.)<br /> 4. Collecting and lay out all the multiple viewpoints and arguments on a topic. (This might presume the method of devil's advocate I mentioned above 😀)<br /> 5. Play and exploration with words and terms<br /> 6. Watching levels of generality and breaking things down into smaller constituent parts or building blocks. (This also might benefit of abstracting ideas from one space to another.)<br /> 7. Categorization or casting ideas into types 8. Cross-tabulating and creation of charts, tables, and diagrams or other visualizations 9. Comparative cases and examples - finding examples of an idea in other contexts and time settings for comparison and contrast 10. Extreme types and opposites (or polar types) - coming up with the most extreme examples of comparative cases or opposites of one's idea. (cross reference: Compass Points https://hypothes.is/a/Di4hzvftEeyY9EOsxaOg7w and thinking routines). This includes creating dimensions of study on an object - what axes define it? What indices can one find data or statistics on? 11. Create historical depth - examples may be limited in number, so what might exist in the historical record to provide depth.

    2. ( 1) The rearranging of the file, as I have already said, isone way. One simply dumps out heretofore disconnectedfolders, mixing up their contents, and then re-sorts themmany times. How often and how extensively one does thiswill of course vary with different problems and the devel-opment of their solutions. But in general the mechanics ofit are as simple as that.

      The first part of "sociological imagination" for Mills is what I term combinatorial creativity. In his instance, at varying intervals he dumps out disconnected ideas, files and resorts them to find interesting potential solutions.

    3. I do not want toacquire any technique of work that would limit the play offancy.
    4. As I thus rearranged the filing system, I found that I wasloosening my imagination.

      "loosening my imagination" !!

    5. examine my entire file, not only thoseparts of it which obviously bore on the topic, but alsomany others which seemed to have no relevance whatso-ever. For imagination and " t h e structuring of an i d e a " areoften exercised by putting together hitherto isolated items,by finding unsuspected connections. 1 made new units inthe file for this particular range of problems, which, o fcourse, led to a new arrangement of other parts of the file.

      What a lot to unpack here.

      He's actively looking through all parts of his files to find potential links and connections between ideas. He brings up the idea of "unsuspected connections" which touches on Luhmann's idea of serendipity, Llull's combinatorial arts, or what one might call combinatorial creativity.

    1. sociologist C. WrightMills

      Note takers reading this may appreciate that Mills had a note taking system:

      https://hypothes.is/a/Wbm09giuEe2-tH8vp1LziA<br /> https://hypothes.is/a/_7SQkPdFEeunDX9htFmQ8w

      This particular note and my notice of it is an interesting case of faint recognition and combinatorial creativity at play. I vaguely recognized Mills' name but was able to quickly find it within my reading notes to discover I'd run across him and his intellectual practice before.

  2. Sep 2022
    1. Many know from their own experience how uncontrollable and irretrievable the oftenvaluable notes and chains of thought are in note books and in the cabinets they are stored in

      Heyde indicates how "valuable notes and chains of thought are" but also points out "how uncontrollable and irretrievable" they are.

      This statement is strong evidence along with others in this chapter which may have inspired Niklas Luhmann to invent his iteration of the zettelkasten method of excerpting and making notes.

      (link to: Clemens /Heyde and Luhmann timeline: https://hypothes.is/a/4wxHdDqeEe2OKGMHXDKezA)

      Presumably he may have either heard or seen others talking about or using these general methods either during his undergraduate or law school experiences. Even with some scant experience, this line may have struck him significantly as an organization barrier of earlier methods.

      Why have notes strewn about in a box or notebook as Heyde says? Why spend the time indexing everything and then needing to search for it later? Why not take the time to actively place new ideas into one's box as close as possibly to ideas they directly relate to?

      But how do we manage this in a findable way? Since we can't index ideas based on tabs in a notebook or even notebook page numbers, we need to have some sort of handle on where ideas are in slips within our box. The development of European card catalog systems had started in the late 1700s, and further refinements of Melvil Dewey as well as standardization had come about by the early to mid 1900s. One could have used the Dewey Decimal System to index their notes using smaller decimals to infinitely intersperse cards on a growing basis.

      But Niklas Luhmann had gone to law school and spent time in civil administration. He would have been aware of aktenzeichen file numbers used in German law/court settings and public administration. He seems to have used a simplified version of this sort of filing system as the base of his numbering system. And why not? He would have likely been intimately familiar with its use and application, so why not adopt it or a simplified version of it for his use? Because it's extensible in a a branching tree fashion, one can add an infinite number of cards or files into the midst of a preexisting collection. And isn't this just the function aktenzeichen file numbers served within the German court system? Incidentally these file numbers began use around 1932, but were likely heavily influenced by the Austrian conscription numbers and house numbers of the late 1770s which also influenced library card cataloging numbers, so the whole system comes right back around. (Ref Krajewski here).

      (Cross reference/ see: https://hypothes.is/a/CqGhGvchEey6heekrEJ9WA

      Other pieces he may have been attempting to get around include the excessive work of additional copying involved in this piece as well as a lot of the additional work of indexing.

      One will note that Luhmann's index was much more sparse than without his methods. Often in books, a reader will find a reference or two in an index and then go right to the spot they need and read around it. Luhmann did exactly this in his sequence of cards. An index entry or two would send him to the general local and sifting through a handful of cards would place him in the correct vicinity. This results in a slight increase in time for some searches, but it pays off in massive savings of time of not needing to cross index everything onto cards as one goes, and it also dramatically increases the probability that one will serendipitously review over related cards and potentially generate new insights and links for new ideas going into one's slip box.

    1. • Daily writing prevents writer’s block.• Daily writing demystifies the writing process.• Daily writing keeps your research always at the top of your mind.• Daily writing generates new ideas.• Daily writing stimulates creativity• Daily writing adds up incrementally.• Daily writing helps you figure out what you want to say.

      What specifically does she define "writing" to be? What exactly is she writing, and how much? What does her process look like?

      One might also consider the idea of active reading and writing notes. I may not "write" daily in the way she means, but my note writing, is cumulative and beneficial in the ways she describes in her list. I might further posit that the amount of work/effort it takes me to do my writing is far more fruitful and productive than her writing.

      When I say writing, I mean focused note taking (either excerpting, rephrasing, or original small ideas which can be stitched together later). I don't think this is her same definition.

      I'm curious how her process of writing generates new ideas and creativity specifically?


      One might analogize the idea of active reading with a pen in hand as a sort of Einsteinian space-time. Many view reading and writing as to separate and distinct practices. What if they're melded together the way Einstein reconceptualized the space time continuum? The writing advice provided by those who write about commonplace books, zettelkasten, and general note taking combines an active reading practice with a focused writing practice that moves one toward not only more output, but higher quality output without the deleterious effects seen in other methods.

    1. The casting director Marion Dougherty, in the documentary Casting By (dir. Tom Donahue, 2012): “I would keep the three-by-five card. I would put down anything that hit my mind.” The card for Dustin Hoffman (whose first screen appearance was in an episode of Naked City) notes Bob Duval’s (Robert Duvall’s) judgment that Hoffman is “v.g.” — very good. Notice the name of Blair Brown in the third screenshot. The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd is an Orange Crate Art and Musical Assumptions favorite.

      The documentary Casting By (2012) shows casting director Marion Dougherty's 3 x 5" index card collection which she used for casting notes. In particular they show an example card for Dustin Hoffman with his details. In Hoffman's case, his card included the older telephone numbers with exchanges (EN2-6933 or Endicott2 6933), so these cards may have also served a contact purpose similar to more modern rolodexes. Different from them however, Dougherty's also included heights, credits, and other observations relevant to the casting process.

      Screen capture from the movie

    1. Originality has three dimensions: new sources, new arguments, and/or new audiences.

      Originality has many facets including:<br /> - new arguments - new sources - new audiences

      What other facets may exist? Think about communication theory to explore this.

      I particularly like the new audiences aspect as there are dramatically different audiences for different pieces. (Eg: academic articles, newspapers, magazines, books, blog posts, social media, etc.) A plethora of audiences may be needed to reach the right audiences.

      Compare this with Terry Tao's list of mathematical talents which includes communication.

    1. Not related to this text, but just thinking...

      Writing against a blank page is dreadful and we all wish we would be visited by the muses. But writing against another piece of text can be incredibly fruitful for generating ideas, even if they don't necessarily relate to the text at hand. The text gives us something to latch onto for creating work.

      Try the following exercise:<br /> Write down 20 things that are white.<br /> (Not easy is it?)

      Now write down 20 things in your refrigerator that are white?<br /> (The ideas come a lot easier don't they, even if you couldn't come up with 20.)

      The more specific area helped you anchor your thoughts and give them a positive direction. Annotating against texts in which you're interested does this same sort of anchoring for your brain when you're writing.

      Is there research on this area of concentration with respect to creativity?

    1. Robert King Merton

      Mario Bunge indicated that he was directly influenced by American Sociologist Robert Merton.

      What particular areas did this include? Serendipity? Note taking practices? Creativity? Systems theory?

    1. https://lu.ma/az338ptc

      Joey Cofone: Are there laws to creativity?

      Joey Cofone, author of the upcoming book The Laws of Creativity, is selling the idea of "float" (in comparison to Mihaly Csikzentmihaly's "flow"), which is ostensibly similar to Barbara Oakley's diffuse thinking framework, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's flâneur framing, and a dose of the Zeigarnik effect.

      I'm concerned that this book will be broadly prescriptive without any founding on any of the extant research, literature, or science of the past. I'll think more highly of it if it were to quote/reference something like Merton and Barber's The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity: A Study in Sociological Semantics and the Sociology of Science.


      Following on the above:

      David Allen (of GTD fame) indicates that one should close all open loops to free up working memory, but leaving some open for active thought, follow up, and potential future insight creation can be a useful pattern too. (2022-09-09 9:05 AM)

    1. Yolanda Gibb: How a mindset of Ambidextrous Creativity can get you generating AND exploiting your ideas?

      https://lu.ma/poo355tg

      Ambidextrous creativity is having a balance between exploration and subsequent exploitation of those explorations.

      Small companies and individuals are good at exploration, but often less good at exploitation.

      Triple loop learning<br /> this would visually form a spiral (versus overlap)<br /> - Single loop learning: doing things right (correcting mistakes)<br /> - double loop learning: doing the right things (causality)<br /> - triple loop learning: why these systems and processes (learning to learn)

      Assets<br /> Relational capital * Structural capital - pkm is part of this<br /> there's value in a well structured PKM for a particualr thing as it's been used and tested over time; this is one of the issues with LYT or Second Brain (PARA, et al.) how well-tested are these? How well designed?<br /> * Structural capital is the part that stays at the office when all the people have gone home * Human Capital

      Eleanor Konik

      4 Es of cognition<br /> * embodied * embedded * enacted * extended<br /> by way of extra-cranial processes

      see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7250653/

      Yolanda Gibb's book<br /> Entrepreneurship, Neurodiversity & Gender: Exploring Opportunities for Enterprise and Self-employment As Pathways to Fulfilling Lives https://www.amazon.com/Entrepreneurship-Neurodiversity-Gender-Opportunities-Self-employment/dp/1800430582

      Tools: - Ryyan - for literature searches - NVIVO - Obsidian - many others including getting out into one's environment

      NVIVO<br /> https://www.qsrinternational.com/nvivo-qualitative-data-analysis-software/home

      a software program used for qualitative and mixed-methods research. Specifically, it is used for the analysis of unstructured text, audio, video, and image data, including (but not limited to) interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media, and journal articles.

      Ryyan<br /> https://www.rayyan.ai/<br /> for organizing, managing, and accelerating collaborative literature reviews

    1. https://lu.ma/w6c1b9cd

      [[Anne-Laure Le Cunff & Nick Milo - How can we do Combinational Creativity]]

      Details

      Date: [[2022-09-06]]<br /> Time: 9:00 - 10:00 AM<br /> Host: [[Nick Milo]]<br /> Location / Platform: #Zoom<br /> URL: https://lu.ma/w6c1b9cd<br /> Calendar: link <br /> Parent event: [[LYT Conference 2]]<br /> Subject(s): [[combinational creativity]]

      To Do / Follow up

      • [ ] Clean up notes
      • [ ] Post video link when available (@2022-09-11)

      Video

      TK

      Attendees

      Notes

      generational effect

      Silent muses which resulted in drugs, alcohol as chemical muses.

      All creativity is combinational in nature. - A-L L C

      mash-ups are a tacit form of combinatorial creativity

      Methods: - chaining<br /> - clustering (what do things have in common? eg: Cities and living organisms have in common?)<br /> - c...

      Peter Wohlleben is the author of “hidden life of trees”

      CMAPT tools https://cmap.ihmc.us/

      mind mapping

      Metaphor theory is apparently a "thing" follow up on this to see what the work/research looks like

      I put the following into the chat/Q&A:

      The phrase combinatorial creativity seems to stem from this 2014 article: https://fs.blog/networked-knowledge-and-combinatorial-creativity/, the ideas go back much further obviously, often with different names across cultures. Matt Ridley describes it as "ideas have sex" https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex; Raymond Llull - Llullan combinatorial arts; Niklas Luhmann - linked zettels; Marshall Kirkpatrick - "triangle thinking" - Dan Pink - "symphonic thinking" are some others.

      For those who really want to blow their minds on how not new some of these ideas are, try out Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly's book Songlines: The Power and Promise which describes songlines which were indigenous methods for memory (note taking for oral cultures) and created "combinatorial creativity" for peoples in modern day Australia going back 65,000 years.

      Side benefit of this work:

      "You'll be a lot more fun at dinner parties." -Anne-Laure

      Improv's "yes and" concept is a means of forcing creativity.

      Originality is undetected plagiarism - Gish? English writer 9:41 AM quote; source?

      Me: "Play off of [that]" is a command to encourage combintorial creativity. In music one might say "riff off"...

      Chat log

      none available

    2. Anne-Laure Le Cunff & Nick Milo: How can we do Combinational Creativity?

      Interesting to see people talking about these ideas in these spaces. It's too often a missed piece of the puzzle, and is really one of the most valuable parts.

      What was the origin of the phrase "combinatorial creativity"? Was if Farnam Street in 2014 https://fs.blog/networked-knowledge-and-combinatorial-creativity/

      Some of Anne-Laure Le Cunff's discussion of this in the past: - Building a Creativity Inbox: Anne-Laure Le Cunff & David Perell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTSAuSUxuj0 (taped: June 23, 2020; released: Jun 25, 2020) where the phrase is uased as well as "idea sex" - Combinational creativity: the myth of originality https://nesslabs.com/combinational-creativity (see https://twitter.com/anthilemoon/status/1275820127058120705)

    1. https://fs.blog/networked-knowledge-and-combinatorial-creativity

      Originally published: 2014-07-21T11:45:00+00:00

      Is this where I saw the phrase "combinatorial creativity" first?

  3. Aug 2022
    1. At the time he was selling, Jay-Z was also coming up with rhymes. He normally wrote down his material in a green notebook he carried around with him — but he never took the notebook with him on the streets, he says. "I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice — anything just to get a paper bag," he says. "And I'd write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook. As I got further and further away from home and my notebook, I had to memorize these rhymes — longer and longer and longer. ... By the time I got to record my first album, I was 26, I didn't need pen or paper — my memory had been trained just to listen to a song, think of the words, and lay them to tape." Since his first album, he says, he's never written down any of his lyrics. "I've lost plenty of material," he says. "It's not the best way. I wouldn't advise it to anyone. I've lost a couple albums' worth of great material. ... Think about when you can't remember a word and it drives you crazy. So imagine forgetting an entire rhyme. 'What's that? I said I was the greatest something?' "

      In his youth, while selling drugs on the side, Jay-Z would write down material for lyrics into a green notebook. He never took the notebook around with him on the streets, but instead would buy anything at a corner store just for the paper bags as writing material. He would write the words onto these paper bags and stuff them into his pockets (wearable Zettelkasten anyone? or maybe Zetteltasche?) When he got home, in long standing waste book tradition, he would transfer the words to his notebook.

      Jay-Z has said he hasn't written down any lyrics since his first album, but warns, "I've lost plenty of material. It's not the best way. I wouldn't advise it to anyone. I've lost a couple albums' worth of great material."

      https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/fa/2010/11/20101116_fa_01.mp3

      Link to: https://hypothes.is/a/T3Z38uDUEeuFcPu2U_w_zA (Jonathan Edwards' zettelmantle)

    1. Should I always create a Bib-note? .t3_x2f4hn._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to: https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/x2f4hn/should_i_always_create_a_bibnote/

      If you want to be lazy you could just create the one card with the quote and full source and save a full bibliographical note. Your future self will likely be pleasantly surprised if you do create a full bib note (filed separately) which allows for a greater level of future findability and potential serendipity, It may happen when you've run across that possibly obscure author multiple times and it may spur you to read other material by them or cross reference other related authors. It's these small, but seemingly "useless", practices in the present that generate creativity and serendipity over longer periods of time that really bring out the compounding value of ZK.

      More and more I find that the randomly referenced and obscure writer or historical figure I noted weeks/months/years ago pops up and becomes a key player in research I'm doing now, but that I otherwise would have long forgotten and thus not able to connect or inform my current pursuits. These golden moments are too frequently not written about or highlighted properly in much of the literature about these practices.

      Naturally, however, everyone's practices may differ. You want to save the source at the very least, even if it's just on that slip with the quote. If you're pressed for time now, save the step and do it later when you install the card.

      Often is the time that I don't think of anything useful contemporaneously but then a week or two later I'll think of something relevant and go back and write another note or two, or I'll want to recommend it to someone and then at least it's findable to recommend.

      Frequently I find that the rule "If it's worth reading, then it's worth writing down the author, title, publisher and date at a minimum" saves me from reading a lot of useless material. Of course if you're researching and writing about the broader idea of "listicles" then perhaps you have other priorities?

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o49C8jQIsvs

      Video about the Double-Bubble Map: https://youtu.be/Hm4En13TDjs

      The double-bubble map is a tool for thought for comparing and contrasting ideas. Albert Rosenberg indicates that construction of opposites is one of the most reliable ways for generating ideas. (35:50)

      Bluma Zeigarnik - open tasks tend to occupy short-term memory.

      I love his compounding interest graphic with the steps moving up to the right with the quote: "Even groundbreaking paradigm shifts are most often the consequence of many small moves in the right direction instead of one big idea." This could be an awesome t-shirt or motivational poster.

      Watched this up to about 36 minutes on 2022-08-10 and finished on 2022-08-22.

    1. I see connections between ideas more easily following this approach. Plus, the combinations of ideas lead to even more new ideas. It’s great!

      Like many others, the idea of combinatorial creativity and serendipity stemming from the slip box is undersold.

    1. Huarte postulates a third kind of wit, “by means of which some, withoutart or study, speak such subtle and surprising things, yet true, that were neverbefore seen, heard, or writ, no, nor ever so much as thought of.” The referencehere is to true creativity, an exercise of the creative imagination in ways that gobeyond normal intelligence and may, he felt, involve “a mixture of madness.”

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. I'm working on my zettelkasten—creating literature notes and permanent notes—for 90 min a day from Monday to Friday but I struggle with my permanent note output. Namely, I manage to complete no more than 3-4 permanent notes per week. By complete I mean notes that are atomic (limited to 1 idea), autonomous (make sense on their own), connected (link to at least 3 other notes), and brief (no more than 300 words).That said, I have two questions:How many permanent notes do you complete per week on average?What are your tips to increase your output?

      reply to: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/wjigq6/how_do_you_increase_your_permanent_note_output

      In addition to all the other good advice from others, it might be worth taking a look at others' production and output from a historical perspective. Luhmann working at his project full time managed to average about 6 cards a day.1 Roland Barthes who had a similar practice for 37 years averaged about 1.3 cards a day.2 Tiago Forte has self-reported that he makes two notes a day, though obviously his isn't the same sort of practice nor has he done it consistently for as long.3 As you request, it would be useful to have some better data about the output of people with long term, consistent use.

      Given even these few, but reasonably solid, data points at just 90 minutes a day, one might think you're maybe too "productive"! I suspect that unless one is an academic working at something consistently nearly full time, most are more likely to be in the 1-3 notes a day average output at best. On a per hour basis Luhmann was close to 0.75 cards while you're at 0.53 cards. Knowing this, perhaps the best advice is to slow down a bit and focus on quality over quantity. This combined with continued consistency will probably serve your enterprise much better in the long run than in focusing on card per hour or card per day productivity.

      Internal idea generation/creation productivity will naturally compound over time as your collection grows and you continue to work with it. This may be a better sort of productivity to focus on in the long term compared with short term raw inputs.

      Another useful tidbit that some neglect is the level of quality and diversity of the reading (or other) inputs you're using. The better the journal articles and books you're reading, the more value and insight you're likely to find and generate more quickly over time.

    1. http://cluster.cis.drexel.edu/~cchen/talks/2011/ICSTI_Chen.pdf

      The Nature of Creativity: Mechanism, Measurement, and Analysis<br /> Chaomei Chen, Ph.D.<br /> Editor in Chief, Information Visualization<br /> College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University<br /> June 7‐8, 2011

      Randomly ran across while attempting to source Randall Collins quote from https://hypothes.is/a/8e9hThZ4Ee2hWAcV1j5B9w

    1. I consider this a Public Domain image as the image does not pass the ‘creativity involved’ threshold which generally presupposes a human creator, for copyright to apply (meaning neither AI nor macaques).

      I say this, but there's a nuance to consider. I read a post by someone creating their company logo with Dall-E by repeatedly changing and tweaking their prompt to get to a usable output. That is definitely above the creativity threshold, with the AI as a tool, not as the creator. Similarly, NLP AI tools can help authors to get to e.g. a first draft, then shaped, rewritten, changed, edited etc., which crosses the human creativity threshold for copyright to kick in. Compare with how I sometimes use machine translation of my own text and then clean it up, to be able to write faster in e.g. German of French, where the algo is a lever to turn my higher passive language skills into active language use. (Btw comment added to see if that updates my original hypothesis annotations of this article in my Obsidian notes, or if it happens only once when first annotated. The latter would mean forcing annotation and thus break my workflow)

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJLDF6qZUX0

      The classic Reece's Peanut Butter Cups commercial (circa 1981) in which a boy and a girl run into each other on the street with the following exchange:

      Girl: Hey! You got your chocolate in my peanut butter. Boy: You got peanut butter on my chocolate.

      is a good example of the productive collision of ideas behind the concepts of "ideas have sex" or "combinatorial creativity".

    1. As Tiago Forte writes in his excellent book, ‘Building a Second Brain’, “every bit of energy we spend straining to recall things is energy not spent doing the thinking that only humans can do: inventing new things, crafting stories, recognising patterns, following our intuition, collaborating with others, investigating new subjects, making plans, testing theories”.

      This is exactly the kind of language that is driving people psychotic: that there's only 2 modes - recalling and creating. Yes, there are these 2 modes. But there are others too, the most important of which are "resting", "reflecting", and "gestating". Without these others, which we must visit in balance with recalling and creating, we will end up in a rubber room.

  4. Jul 2022
    1. https://vimeo.com/729407073

      <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/729407073?h=054ecbcc7b" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

      MakingKnowledge: Scott Scheper from Dan Allosso on Vimeo.


      Various names Luhmann gives to the effects seen in his slip box: - ghost in the box - second mind - alter ego - communication partner

      These are tangential ideas and words which lead up to the serendipity of combinatorial creativity, but aren't quite there.

    1. https://danallosso.substack.com/p/thoughts-prior-to-publishing

      <iframe title="vimeo-player" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/735211043?h=68a6bdd022" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

      I love the pointed focus @danallosso puts on output here. I think he's right that the "conversation between the writer, the text, and their notes" (in my framing combinatorial creativity) is where the real value is to be had.

      His explanation of the "evergreen note" is highly valuable here. One should really do as much work upfront to make it as evergreen as possible. Too many people (especially in the digital gardens space) put the emphasis on working on these evergreen notes over time to slowly improve and evolve them and that's probably the wrong framing to take. Write it once, write it well, then reuse it.

    1. Writing a Point Note about an idea can trigger acascade of other thoughts that you can explore on theirown (and write additional notes about).

      Allosso seems to be grasping for the idea of combinatorial creativity here, but doesn't make it concrete or name it the way other authors have in the past (though all different words)

    2. the better we can become at collecting,understanding, and remembering information, the morelikely we are to solve hard problems.
    3. . I thinkit’s often an issue for people when they first become note-makers: an anxiety about getting the “right” stuff out ofa book, or even “all the stuff”. I don’t think this iscompletely possible, and I think it’s increasingly lesspossible, the better the book.

      In the 1400s-1600s it was a common desire to excerpt all the value of books and attempts were made, though ultimately futile. This seems to be a commonly occurring desire.


      Often having a simple synopsis and notes isn't as useful as it may not spark the same sort of creativity and juxtaposition of ideas a particular reader might have had with their own context.


      Some have said that "content is king". I've previously thought that "context is king". Perhaps content and context end up ruling as joint monarchs.

    1. Man sieht, die stoffliche Ordnung setzt bereits bestimmteGesichtspunkte voraus und ist daher durch die ,Auffassung“bedingt; allein bei tibersichtlicher Materialordnung werden wirauch umgekehrt oft genug durch sich anhtufende Daten einergewissen von uns anfangs nicht erwarteten Art auf ganz neueGesichtspunkte unseres Themas aufmerksam gemacht.

      Google translation:

      One sees that the material order already sets certain ones points of view ahead and is therefore conditional; only with a clear arrangement of the material will we also vice versa often enough due to accumulating data in a way that we didn't expect at first, in a completely new way points of view of our topic.

      While discussing the various orders of research material, Ernst Bernheim mentions the potential of accumulating data and arranging it in various manners such that we obtain new points of view in unexpected ways. This sounds quite similar to a process of idea generation similar to combinatorial creativity, though not as explicit.

      The process creates the creativity, but isn't necessarily used to force the creativity here.

      While he doesn't point out a specific generative mechanism for the creation of the surprise, it's obvious that his collection and collation method underpins it.

    1. with established worldwide fame and prestige, to step in his previous successes to write more-of-the-same books and convert all the attention in cheap money. Just like Robert Kiyosaki did with his 942357 books about “Rich dad”.

      Many artists fall into a creativity trap caused by fame. They spend years developing a great work, but then when it's released, the industry requires they follow it up almost immediately with something even stronger.

      Jewel is an reasonable and perhaps typical example of this phenomenon. She spent several years writing the entirety of her first album Pieces of You (1995), which had three to four solid singles. As it became popular she was rushed to release Spirit (1998), which, while it was ultimately successful, didn't measure up to the first album which had far more incubation time. She wasn't able to build up enough material over time to more easily ride her initial wave of fame. Creativity on demand can be a difficult master, particularly when one is actively touring or supporting their first work while needing to

      (Compare the number of titles she self-wrote on album one vs. album two).

      M. Night Shyamalan is in a similar space, though as a director he preferred to direct scripts that he himself had written. While he'd had several years of writing and many scripts, some were owned by other production companies/studios which forced him to start from scratch several times and both write and direct at the same time, a process which is difficult to do by oneself.

      Another example is Robert Kiyosaki who spun off several similar "Rich Dad" books after the success of his first.

      Compare this with artists who have a note taking or commonplacing practice for maintaining the velocity of their creative output: - Eminem - stacking ammo - Taylor Swift - commonplace practice

    1. But it's not a trivial problem. I have compiled, at latest reckoning, 35,669 posts - my version of a Zettelkasten. But how to use them when writing a paper? It's not straightforward - and I find myself typically looking outside my own notes to do searches on Google and elsewhere. So how is my own Zettel useful? For me, the magic happens in the creation, not in the subsequent use. They become grist for pattern recognition. I don't find value in classifying them or categorizing them (except for historical purposes, to create a chronology of some concept over time), but by linking them intuitively to form overarching themes or concepts not actually contained in the resources themselves. But this my brain does, not my software. Then I write a paper (or an outline) based on those themes (usually at the prompt of an interview, speaking or paper invitation) and then I flesh out the paper by doing a much wider search, and not just my limited collection of resources.

      Stephen Downes describes some of his note taking process for creation here. He doesn't actively reuse his notes (or in this case blog posts, bookmarks, etc.) which number a sizeable 35669, directly, at least in the sort of cut and paste method suggested by Sönke Ahrens. Rather he follows a sort of broad idea, outline creation, and search plan akin to that described by Cory Doctorow in 20 years a blogger

      Link to: - https://hyp.is/_XgTCm9GEeyn4Dv6eR9ypw/pluralistic.net/2021/01/13/two-decades/


      Downes suggests that the "magic happens in the creation" of his notes. He uses them as "grist for pattern recognition". He doesn't mention words like surprise or serendipity coming from his notes by linking them, though he does use them "intuitively to form overarching themes or concepts not actually contained in the resources themselves." This is closely akin to the broader ideas ensconced in inventio, Llullan Wheels, triangle thinking, ideas have sex, combinatorial creativity, serendipity (Luhmann), insight, etc. which have been described by others.


      Note that Downes indicates that his brain creates the links and he doesn't rely on his software to do this. The break is compounded by the fact that he doesn't find value in classifying or categorizing his notes.


      I appreciate that Downes uses the word "grist" to describe part of his note taking practice which evokes the idea of grinding up complex ideas (the grain) to sort out the portions of the whole to find simpler ideas (the flour) which one might use later to combine to make new ideas (bread, cake, etc.) Similar analogies might be had in the grain harvesting space including winnowing or threshing.

      One can compare this use of a grist mill analogy of thinking with the analogy of the crucible, which implies a chamber or space in which elements are brought together often with work or extreme conditions to create new products by their combination.

      Of course these also follow the older classical analogy of imitating the bees (apes).

    1. Unfortunately, many corporate software programsaim to level or standardise the differences betweenindividual workers. In supporting knowledgeworkers, we should be careful to provide tools whichenable diversification of individuals’ outputs.Word-processors satisfi this criterion; tools whichembed a model of a knowledge worker’s task in thesoftware do not.

      Tools which allow for flexibility and creativity are better for knowledge workers than those which attempt to crystalize their tasks into ruts. This may tend to force the outputs in a programmatic way and thereby dramatically decrease the potential for innovative outputs. If the tools force the automation of thought without a concurrent increase in creativity then one may as well rely on manual labor for their thinking.


      This may be one of the major flaws of tools for thought in the educational technology space. They often attempt to facilitate the delivery of education in an automated way which dramatically decreases the creativity of the students and the value of the overall outputs. While attempting to automate education may suit the needs of institutions which are delivering the education, particularly with respect to the overall cost of delivery, the automation itself is dramatically at odds with the desire to expand upon ideas and continue innovation for all participants involved. Students also require diverse modes of input (seen/heard) as well as internal processing followed by subsequent outputs (written/drawn/sculpted/painted, spoken/sung, movement/dance). Many teachers don't excel at providing all of these neurodiverse modes and most educational technology tools are even less flexible, thus requiring an even larger panoply of them (often not interoperable because of corporate siloing for competitive reasons) to provide reasonable replacements. Given their ultimate costs, providing a variety of these tools may only serve to increase the overall costs of delivering education or risk diminishing the overall quality. Educators and institutions not watching out for these traps will tend to serve only a small portion of their intended audiences, and even those may be served poorly as they only receive a limited variety of modalities of inputs and outputs. As an example Western cultures' overreliance on primary literacy modes is their Achilles' heel.


      Tools for thought should actively attempt to increase the potential solution spaces available to their users, while later still allowing for focusing of attention. How can we better allow for the divergence of ideas and later convergence? Better, how might we allow for regular and repeated cycles of divergence and convergence? Advanced zettelkasten note taking techniques (which also allow for drawing, visual, auditory and other modalities beyond just basic literacy) seem to allow for this sort of practice over long periods of time, particularly when coupled with outputs which are then published for public consumption and divergence/convergence cycles by others.

      This may also point out some of the stagnation allowed by social media whose primary modes is neither convergence nor divergence. While they allow for the transmission/communication portion, they primarily don't actively encourage their users to closely evaluate the transmitted ideas, internalize them, or ultimately expand upon them. Their primary mode is for maximizing on time of attention (including base emotions including excitement and fear) and the lowest levels of interaction and engagement (likes, retweets, short gut reaction commentary).

    1. In The Beginning of Infinity, physicist David Deutsch defines The Principle of Optimism: “All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge.” From that principle, Deutsch writes, flow a few implications that help understand optimism:Optimism is “a way of explaining failure, not prophesying success”: If we’ve failed at something, it’s because we didn’t have the right knowledge in time. Optimism is a stance towards the future: Nearly all failures, and nearly all successes, are yet to come. Optimism follows from the explicability of the physical world: If something is permitted by the laws of physics, then the only thing that can prevent it from being possible is not knowing how.In the long run, there are no insuperable evils: There can be no such thing as a disease for which there can’t be a cure, because bodies are physical things that follow the laws of physics. If you want, you can call it “realistic optimism” or “pragmatic optimism” or “realistic skeptical optimism” or whatever you want to call it in your head to make it feel less doe-eyed, but the actual definition of optimism captures those, so I’ll just call it optimism.

      This is the kind if definition of optimism I have in mind when thinking about how I try to approach the world. Combined with a (hopefully!) well balanced sense of Humour, a bit of stubbornness and the kind of “naivetë” [[Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi]] described in his opus magnum “Flow” I am convinced it’s, in the long run, a quite unstoppable combination and quality that can, in fact, be trained and developed.

    1. Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind and learned about what he calls Symphonic Thinking, or the ability to find connections between seemingly disparate entities, as a key thinking pattern for the future of work,

      Dan Pink's book A Whole New Mind lays out an idea he call's "Symphonic Thinking" which is a practice of finding connections between unrelated ideas. He suggests that this practice is an important key to the future of work.


      Link this to other incarnations of this pattern in history: - Raymond Llull - Llullan combinatorial arts - Niklas Luhmann - linked zettelkasten - Marshall Kirkpatrick - triangle thinking - Dan Pink - symphonic thinking - etc...


      Dan Pink A Whole New Mind #books/wanttoread

    1. https://www.zylstra.org/blog/2022/06/spring-83/

      I've been thinking about this sort of thing off and on myself.

      I too almost immediately thought of Fraidyc.at and its nudge at shifting the importance of content based on time and recency. I'd love to have a social reader with additional affordances for both this time shifting and Ton's idea of reading based on social distance.

      I'm struck by the seemingly related idea of @peterhagen's LindyLearn platform and annotations: https://annotations.lindylearn.io/new/ which focuses on taking some of the longer term interesting ideas as the basis for browsing and chewing on. Though even here, one needs some of the odd, the cutting edge, and the avant garde in their balanced internet diet. Would Spring '83 provide some of this?

      I'm also struck by some similarities this has with the idea of Derek Siver's /now page movement. I see some updating regularly while others have let it slip by the wayside. Still the "board" of users exists, though one must click through a sea of mostly smiling and welcoming faces to get to it the individual pieces of content. (The smiling faces are more inviting and personal than the cacophony of yelling and chaos I see in models for Spring '83.) This reminds me of Stanley Meyers' frequent assertion that he attempted to design a certain "sense of quiet" into the early television show Dragnet to balance the seeming loudness of the everyday as well as the noise of other contemporaneous television programming.

      The form reminds me a bit of the signature pages of one's high school year book. But here, instead of the goal being timeless scribbles, one has the opportunity to change the message over time. Does the potential commercialization of the form (you know it will happen in a VC world crazed with surveillance capitalism) follow the same trajectory of the old college paper facebook? Next up, Yearbook.com!

      Beyond the thing as a standard, I wondered what the actual form of Spring '83 adds to a broader conversation? What does it add to the diversity of voices that we don't already see in other spaces. How might it be abused? Would people come back to it regularly? What might be its emergent properties?

      It definitely seems quirky and fun in and old school web sort of way, but it also stresses me out looking at the zany busyness of some of the examples of magazine stands. The general form reminds me of the bargain bins at book stores which have the promise of finding valuable hidden gems and at an excellent price, but often the ideas and quality of what I find usually isn't worth the discounted price and the return on investment is rarely worth the effort. How might this get beyond these forms?

      It also brings up the idea of what other online forms we may have had with this same sort of raw experimentation? How might the internet have looked if there had been a bigger rise of the wiki before that of the blog? What would the world be like if Webmention had existed before social media rose to prominence? Did we somehow miss some interesting digital animals because the web rose so quickly to prominence without more early experimentation before its "Cambrian explosion"?

      I've been thinking about distilled note taking forms recently and what a network of atomic ideas on index cards look like and what emerges from them. What if the standard were digital index cards that linked and cross linked to each other, particularly in a world without adherence to time based orders and streams? What does a new story look like if I can pull out a card either at random or based on a single topic and only see it or perhaps some short linked chain of ideas (mine or others) which come along with it? Does the choice of a random "Markov monkey" change my thinking or perspective? What comes out of this jar of Pandora? Is it just a new form of cadavre exquis?

      This standard has been out for a bit and presumably folks are experimenting with it. What do the early results look like? How are they using it? Do they like it? Does it need more scale? What do small changes make to the overall form?


      For more on these related ideas, see: https://hypothes.is/search?q=tag%3A%22spring+%2783%22

    1. probefahrer · 7 hr. agoAre you familiar with Mark Granovetter‘s theory of weak ties?He used it in the sense of the value of weak social connections but I am pretty sure one could make a case for weak connections in a Zettelkasten as being very valuable

      Humanity is a zettelkasten in biological form.

      Our social ties (links) putting us into proximity with other humans over time creates a new links between us and our ideas, and slowly evolves new ideas over time. Those new ideas that win this evolutionary process are called innovation.

      The general statistical thermodynamics of this idea innovation process can be "heated up" by improving communication channels with those far away from us (think letters, telegraph, radio, television, internet, social media).

      This reaction can be further accelerated by actively permuting the ideas with respect to each other as suggested by Raymond Llull's combinatorial arts.

      motivating reference: Matt Ridley in The Rational Optimist

      link to: - Mark Granovetter and weak ties - life of x

  5. Jun 2022
    1. The trending topics on Twitter can be used as a form of juxtaposition of random ideas which could be brought together to make new and interesting things.

      Here's but one example of someone practicing just this:

      Y’all, imagine Spielberg’s Sailor Moon pic.twitter.com/xZ1DEsbLTy

      — Matty Illustration (@MN_illustration) June 30, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      cc: https://twitter.com/marshallk

    1. The paradox of hoarding isthat no matter how much we collect and accumulate, it’s neverenough.

      How is the paradox of hoarding related to the collector's fallacy?

      Regardless of how much you collect, you can't take it with you. So what's the value? - Having and using it to sustain you while you're alive. - Combining it in creative ways to leave behind new ideas and new innovations for those who follow you. - others?

    2. You might have arrived at this book because you heard about thisnew field called personal knowledge management, or maybe whenyou were trying to find guidance in how to use a cool new notetakingapp. Maybe you were drawn in by the promise of new techniques forenhancing your productivity, or perhaps it was the allure of asystematic approach to creativity.

      The broad audiences for this book.

      This may have been better place in the introduction to draw these people in.

    3. automate the repetitive parts of cooking so they can focuscompletely on the creative parts.

      The creative parts of cooking are all done way before setting out the mise en place. Restaurant cooking is all about process for speed grinding it out. It's about efficiency. Few line cooks or chefs in a professional kitchen are exercising any sort of creativity, it's nearly 100% skill and production in the most repetitive way.

      Anyone who tells you different is selling you something.

    4. send off your draft or beta orproposal for feedback. Share this Intermediate Packet with a friend,family member, colleague, or collaborator; tell them that it’s still awork-in-process and ask them to send you their thoughts on it. Thenext time you sit down to work on it again, you’ll have their input andsuggestions to add to the mix of material you’re working with.

      A major benefit of working in public is that it invites immediate feedback (hopefully positive, constructive criticism) from anyone who might be reading it including pre-built audiences, whether this is through social media or in a classroom setting utilizing discussion or social annotation methods.

      This feedback along the way may help to further find flaws in arguments, additional examples of patterns, or links to ideas one may not have considered by themselves.

      Sadly, depending on your reader's context and understanding of your work, there are the attendant dangers of context collapse which may provide or elicit the wrong sorts of feedback, not to mention general abuse.

    5. This standardized routine is known as the creative process, and itoperates according to timeless principles that can be foundthroughout history.

      If the creative process has timeless principles found throughout history, why aren't they written down and practiced religiously withing our culture that is so enamored of creativity and innovation?

      As an example of how this isn't true, we've managed to lose our commonplace tradition and haven't really replaced it with anything useful. Even the evolved practice of the zettelkasten has been created and generally discarded (pun intended) without replacement.

      How much of our creative process is reliant on simple imitation, which is a basic human trait? It's typically more often that imitation juxtaposed with other experiences which is the crucible of innovation. How often, if ever, is true innovation in an entirely different domain created? By this I mean innovation outside of the adjacent possible domains from which it stems? Are there any examples of this?

      Even my own note taking practice is a mélange of broad imitation of what I read combined with the combinatorial juxtaposition of other ideas in an attempt to create new ideas.

    6. the time you sit down tomake progress on something, all the work to gather and organize thesource material needs to already be done. We can’t expectourselves to instantly come up with brilliant ideas on demand. Ilearned that innovation and problem-solving depend on a routine thatsystematically brings interesting ideas to the surface of ourawareness.

      By writing down and collecting ideas slowly over time, working on them in small fits and spurts, when one finally comes to do the final work on their writing project or other work, the pieces only need minor shaping to take their final form. This process allows for a much greater level of serendipity, creativity, and potential sustained genius of connecting ideas across time to take shape in a final piece.


      How does this relate to diffuse thinking? How can slow diffuse thinking be leveraged into this process?

      Writing down fleeting notes while walking around can be valuable as one's ideas brew slowly in the mind (diffuse thinking) in combination with active combinatorial creativity, thus a form of Llullan combinatorial diffusion.


      Many business books seem so shallow and often only have one real insight which is repeated multiple times, perhaps to drive the point home or perhaps just to have enough filler to seem being worth the purchase of a book.

      Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is an example of this, though it shows a different form of genius in expanding the idea from a variety of perspectives so that eventually everyone will absorb the broader idea which is distilled to great effect into the title.

    7. My father planned for creativity.

      One can plan and make explicit space for creativity.

    8. Third, sharing our ideas with others introduces a major element ofserendipity

      There is lots of serendipity here, particularly when people are willing to either share their knowledge or feel compelled to share it as part of an imagined life "competition" or even low forms of mansplaining, though this last tends to be called this when the ultimate idea isn't serendipitous but potentially so commonly known that there is no insight in the information.

      This sort of "public serendipity" or "group serendipity" is nice because it means that much of the work of discovery and connecting ideas is done by others against your own work rather that you sorting/searching through your own more limited realm of work to potentially create it.

      Group focused combinatorial creativity can be dramatically more powerful than that done on one's own. This can be part of the major value behind public digital gardens, zettelkasten, etc.

    9. Our creativity thrives on examples

      This pulls into question our zeal for innovation. Most thought is created and honed against other pre-existing thought.

      Some of the fun of note taking is not only rewriting an idea in one's own words for potential understanding, but expanding upon it to extend the ideas, sometimes based on our pre-existing world view and knowledge. The rest is linking this idea into place with our other knowledge and then combining an permuting it with that knowledge to create new knowledge.


      This seems to be a building block of the broader idea of "combinatorial creativity".

      link to: - Annie Murphy Paul's contention that imitation > innovation - Lee Vinsel's The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsession with the New Has Disrupted the Work That Matters Most

      can imitation lead to innovation?

      innovation is the use of combinatorial creativity to make new things... rarely, if ever?, is true innovation made from whole cloth, there is always(?) something used as a base which is extended.

    10. The myth of the writer sitting down before a completely blankpage, or the artist at a completely blank canvas, is just that—a myth.
    11. Your efforts to capture content for future use will be tremendouslyeasier and more effective if you know what that content is for.

      Within the P.A.R.A. framework it's helpful if you know what your note capture is meant for, but it's wholly against a lot of note taking for things which may simply spark joy. This may be helpful for the work-a-day productivity person, but is painfully out of sync with keeping notes as a means of generating new ideas. Many of these sorts of notes will be hidden away in an archive and thus broadly unusable in the long run.

      Sorting ideas into folders is still an older classical way of thinking instead of linking an idea to related things that make it imminently more usable. Cross linked ideas seem wholly more interesting, vibrant and more useable to me.

    12. Tharp calls her approach “the box.”

      In The Creative Habit, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp has creative inspiration and note taking practice which she calls "the box" in which she organizes “notebooks, news clippings, CDs, videotapes of me working alone in my studio, videos of the dancers rehearsing, books and photographs and pieces of art that may have inspired me”. She also calls her linking of ideas within her box method "the art of scratching" (chapter 6).

      related: combinatorial creativity triangle thinking


      [[Twyla Tharp]] [[The Creative Habit]] #books/wanttoread

    13. Here are four criteria I suggest to help you decide exactly whichnuggets of knowledge are worth keeping

      Four broad criteria for collecting notes: - Is it surprising? - Is it useful? - Is it personal? - Does it inspire me?

      Forte places these in the exact reverse order, but I would prefer to place them in order of importance to me, based on experience. I don't use the inspiration portion as often, but it may be more valuable for fiction writers, artists, and other creatives.

    1. For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”

      One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.

      Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?

      Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.

      Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?

      Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"


      aside on serendipity

      As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,

    1. Real learning cannot happen in a vacuum. Connecting oneself and one’s new ideas with others across classrooms, across the curricula, and into the community build confidence , deepens experience, and maximizes success.
    1. Mixup Method of Synthetic Idea Generation: Write out 3 sentences from past notes. Write a new sentence made of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd part of each respective sentence. Repeat total of 3 times. Now look at the 3 synthesized lines & ask if wrong or right and why. Clarifies a lot.

      —Marshall Kirkpatrick

      Mixup Method of Synthetic Idea Generation: Write out 3 sentences from past notes. Write a new sentence made of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd part of each respective sentence. Repeat total of 3 times. Now look at the 3 synthesized lines & ask if wrong or right and why. Clarifies a lot.

      — Marshall Kirkpatrick (@marshallk) June 14, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. d. She puts the ideas together and tries to broker a deal for theconglomerate to acquire a radio network. At the end, she’s challenged to describehow she came up with the plan for the acquisition. It’s a telling scene. She has justbeen fired. On her way out of the building, with all her files and personal itemspacked in a box (a box just like mine!), she gets a chance to explain her thoughtprocess to the mogul:See? This is Forbes. It’s just your basic article about how you were lookingto expand into broadcasting. Right? Okay now. The same day—I’ll never forgetthis—I’m reading Page Six of the New York Post and there’s this item on BobbyStein, the radio talk show guy who does all those gross jokes about Ethiopiaand the Betty Ford Center. Well, anyway, he’s hosting this charity auction thatnight. Real bluebloods and won’t that be funny? Now I turn the page to Suzywho does the society stuff and there’s this picture of your daughter—see, nicepicture—and she’s helping to organize the charity ball. So I started to think:Trask, Radio, Trask, Radio.... So now here we are.He’s impressed and hires her on the spot. Forget the fairy-tale plot; as ademonstration of how to link A to B and come up with C, Working Girl is a primerin the art of scratching.

      The plot twist at the end of Working Girl (Twentieth Century Fox, 1988) turns on Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) explaining her stroke of combinatorial creativity in coming up with a business pitch. Because she had juxtaposed several disparate ideas from the New York Post several pages from each other in a creative way, she got the job and Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) is left embarrassed because she can't explain how she came up with a complicated combination of ideas.

      Tess McGill (portrayed by a big 80's haired Melanie Griffith) packing a brown banker's box with her office items and papers leaving her office and her job. Is this Tess McGill's zettelkasten in the movie Working Girl?

      Tess McGill has slips of newspaper with ideas on them and a physical box to put them in.

      slips with ideas+box=zettelkasten

      Bonus points because she links her ideas, right?!

    2. the true value of the box: It contains your inspirations without confiningyour creativity.
    3. Above all, learn to respect your box’s strange and disorderly ways. As arepository of half-baked inspirations and unformed aids, the box can seem to be ahaphazard tool while you’re filling it. But when you want to go back and make senseof your path, every step is there to be found, and the order emerges if only inhindsight. Your box is proof that you have prepared well. If you want to know howany creative project will turn out, your box’s contents are as good a predictor ofsuccess or failure as anything I know.

      Just as Luhmann and others discuss the seeming disorder and potential serendipity of their boxes, Tharp notices this same "strange and disorderly way..." of her box method. She remarks that "order emerges if only in hindsight." She also indicates that the contents of one's box "are as good a predictor of success or failure [of a project] as anything I know."

    4. The box is not a substitute for creating. The box doesn’t compose or write apoem or create a dance step. The box is the raw index of your preparation. It is therepository of your creative potential, but it is not that potential realized.

      Great quote about what a zettelkasten isn't. This is also one of the reasons why I've underlined the amount of work that one must put into the box to get productive material back out the other end.

    5. Everyone hashis or her own organizational system. Mine is a box, the kind you can buy at OfficeDepot for transferring files.I start every dance with a box. I write the project name on the box, and as thepiece progresses I fill it up with every item that went into the making of the dance.This means notebooks, news clippings, CDs, videotapes of me working alone in mystudio, videos of the dancers rehearsing, books and photographs and pieces of artthat may have inspired me.

      While she keeps more than just slips of paper (or index cards) in it, Twyla Tharp definitely falls into the pattern of creative collection related to the zettelkasten tradition.

    1. graphic designer Paula Scher likens creativity to a slot machine that aligns the seemingly random jumble of stuff in our heads into a suddenly miraculous combination
    2. There is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.

      ==combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought==<br /> —Albert Einstein in a 1945 response to Jacques Hadamard's survey of famous scientists' mental processes which was published in An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field.

      Hadamard's essay was inspired by Henri Poincaré's The Foundations of Science.

    3. what we call “intuition” is based on the unconscious application of this very mental faculty.

      Intuition is a form of combinatorial creativity that has fuzzy edges and potentially incoherent physical links between ideas.

    4. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press embodied this combinatorial creativity

      She actively uses the phrase "combinatorial creativity"!

    5. Stephen Jay Gould maintained that connecting the seemingly unconnected is the secret of genius;
    6. T. S. Eliot believed that the poet’s mind incubates fragmentary thoughts into beautiful ideas
    7. Arthur Koestler’s famous theory of “bisociation” explained creativity through the combination of elements that don’t ordinarily belong together
    8. creativity is combinatorial

      Others have noticed!

    1. Marshall’s method for connecting which he calls Triangle Thinking (26:41)

      Marshall Kirkpatrick describes a method of taking three ostensibly random ideas and attempting to view each from the others' perspectives as a way to create new ideas by linking them together.

      This method is quite similar to that of Raymond Llull as described in Frances Yate's The Art of Memory (UChicago Press, 1966), though there Llull was memorizing and combinatorially permuting 20 or more ideas at a time. It's also quite similar to the sort of meditative practice found in the lectio divina, though there ideas are generally limited to religious ones for contemplation.

      https://content.blubrry.com/thrivingonoverload/THRIVING_013_Marshall_Kirkpatrick.mp3#t=1559,1745

      Other examples: - https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22combinatorial+creativity%22 - https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22Llullan%20combinatorial%20arts%22

    1. If Luhmann’s notebox system was not dynamic and fluid and not one of pure order, either, how can one think of Luhmann’s notebox system? In my experience using an Antinet Zettelkasten, I find it to be more organic in nature. Like nature, it has simple laws and fundamental rules by which it operates (like the laws of thermodynamics in physics); yet, it’s also subject to arbitrary decisions. We know this because in describing it, Luhmann uses the word arbitrary to describe its arbitrary internal branching. We can infer that arbitrary, means something that was decided by Luhmann outside of some external and strict criteria (i.e., strict schemes like the Dewey Decimal Classification). (12)12 This arbitrary, random structure contributes to one of its most distinctive aspects of the system–the aspect of surprises. Because of its unique structure, the Antinet is noted as “a surprise generator,” and a system that develops “a creativity of its own.” (13)

      There's some magical thinking involved here. While the system has some arbitrary internal branching, the surprises come from the system's perfect memory that the human user doesn't have. This makes it appear that the system creates its own creativity, but it is really the combinatorics of the perfect memory system with use over time.

      Link to: serendipity of systems based on auto-complete

    1. The addressing system that many digital note taking systems offer is reminiscent of Luhmann's paper system where it served a particular use. Many might ask themselves if they really need this functionality in digital contexts where text search and other affordances can be more directly useful.

      Frequently missed by many, perhaps because they're befuddled by the complex branching numbering system which gets more publicity, Luhmann's paper-based system had a highly useful and simple subject heading index (see: https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_SW1_001_V, for example) which can be replicated using either #tags or [[wikilinks]] within tools like Obsidian. Of course having an index doesn't preclude the incredible usefulness of directly linking one idea to potentially multiple others in some branching tree-like or network structure.

      Note that one highly valuable feature of Luhmann's paper version was that the totality of cards were linked to a minimum of at least one other card by the default that they were placed into the file itself. Those putting notes into Obsidian often place them into their system as singlet, un-linked notes as a default, and this can lead to problems down the road. However this can be mitigated by utilizing topical or subject headings on individual cards which allows for searching on a heading and then cross-linking individual ideas as appropriate.

      As an example, because two cards may be tagged with "archaeology" doesn't necessarily mean they're closely related as ideas. This tends to decrease in likelihood if one is an archaeologist and a large proportion of cards might contain that tag, but will simultaneously create more value over time as generic tags increase in number but the specific ideas cross link in small numbers. Similarly as one delves more deeply into archaeology, one will also come up with more granular and useful sub-tags (like Zooarcheology, Paleobotany, Archeopedology, Forensic Archeology, Archeoastronomy, Geoarcheology, etc.) as their knowledge in sub areas increases.

      Concretely, one might expect that the subject heading "sociology" would be nearly useless to Luhmann as that was the overarching topic of both of his zettelkästen (I & II), whereas "Autonomie" was much more specific and useful for cross linking a smaller handful of potentially related ideas in the future.

      Looking beyond Luhmann can be highly helpful in designing and using one's own system. I'd recommend taking a look at John Locke's work on indexing (1685) (https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/john-lockes-method-for-common-place-books-1685 is an interesting source, though you're obviously applying it to (digital) cards and not a notebook) or Ross Ashby's hybrid notebook/index card system which is also available online (http://www.rossashby.info/journal/index.html) as an example.

      Another helpful tip some are sure to appreciate in systems that have an auto-complete function is simply starting to write a wikilink with various related subject heading words that may appear within your system. You'll then be presented with potential options of things to link to serendipitously that you may not have otherwise considered. Within a digital zettelkasten, the popularly used DYAC (Damn You Auto Complete) may turn into Bless You Auto Complete.

  6. May 2022
    1. As told in Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman byJames Gleick

      Forte cleverly combines a story about Feynman from Genius with a quote about Feynman's 12 favorite problems from a piece by Rota. Did they both appear in Gleick's Genius together and Forte quoted them separately, or did he actively use his commonplace to do the juxtaposition for him and thus create a nice juxtaposition himself or was it Gleick's juxtaposition?

      The answer will reveal whether Forte is actively using his system for creative and productive work or if the practice is Gleick's.

    2. new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to seewhether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, andpeople will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”

      You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a

      Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts (Boston: Birkhäuser Boston, 1997), 202.

      Richard Feynman indicated in an interview that he kept a dozen of his favorite problems at the top of his mind. As he encountered new results and tricks, he tried applying them to those problems in hopes of either solving them or in coming up with new ideas. Over time by random but combinatorial chance, solutions or ideas would present themselves as ideas were juxtaposed.

      One would suspect that Feynman hadn't actually read Raymond Llull, but this technique sounds very similar to the Llullan combinatorial arts from centuries earlier, albeit in a much more simplified form.

      Can we find evidence of Feynman having read or interacted with Llull? Was it independently created or was he influenced?

      I had an example of this on 2022-05-28 in Dan Allosso's book club on Equality in the closing minutes where a bit of inspiration hit me to combine the ideas of memes, evolution, and Indigenous knowledge and storytelling to our current political situation. Several of them are problems and ideas I've been working with over years or months, and they came together all at once to present a surprising and useful new combination. #examples

      Link this also to the idea of diffuse thinking as a means of solving problems. One can combine the idea of diffuse thinking with combinatorial creativity to super-charge one's problem solving and idea generation capacity this way. What would one call this combination? It definitely needs a name. Llullan combinatorial diffusion, perhaps? To some extent Llull was doing this already as part of his practice, it's just that he didn't know or write explicitly about the diffuse thinking portion (to my knowledge), though this doesn't mean that he wasn't the beneficiary of it in actual practice, particularly when it's known that many of his time practiced lectio divina and meditated on their ideas. Alternately meditating on ideas and then "walking away" from them will by force cause diffuse thinking to be triggered.

      Are there people for whom diffuse thinking doesn't work from a physiological perspective? What type of neurodiversity does this cause?

    3. Creativity depends on acreative process.
    4. put them where they fit and construct the bridge out of more linesthat come up within the last couple of years . . . ‘Blank Space’ wasthe culmination of all my best ones one after the other.”

      In an interview about how she wrote the smash hit “Blank Space,”3 Swift says, “I’ll be going about my daily life and I’ll think, ‘Wow, so we only have two real options in relationships—it’s going to be forever or it’s going to go down in flames,’ so I’ll jot that down in my notes . . . I’ll come up with a line that I think is clever like ‘Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream’ and I just pick them and

      NME, “Taylor Swift—How I Wrote My Massive Hit ‘Blank Space,’ ”NME.com, October 9, 2015, YouTube video, 3:58, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bYUDY4lmls


      link to Eminem and "stacking ammo"

    5. If you’ve ever played the word-tile game Scrabble, you know thebest way to come up with new words is to mix up the letters indifferent combinations until a word jumps out at you

      Strategies for playing Scrabble are similar to those of Raymond Llull's combinatorial arts.

      I've done this with other games as well...

    6. Remembering, Connecting, Creating: The Three Stages ofPersonal Knowledge Management
    7. There are four essential capabilities that we can rely on a SecondBrain to perform for us:1. Making our ideas concrete.2. Revealing new associations between ideas.3. Incubating our ideas over time.4. Sharpening our unique perspectives.

      Does the system really do each of these? Writing things down for our future selves is the thing that makes ideas concrete, not the system itself. Most notebooks don't reveal new associations, we actively have to do that ourselves via memory or through active search and linking within the system itself. The system may help, but it doesn't automatically create associations nor reveal them. By keeping our ideas in one place they do incubate to some extent, but isn't the real incubation taking place in a diffuse way in our minds to come out later?

    8. Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done

      David Allen has apparently not acquainted himself with any of the arts of memory.

    9. I’ve spent years studying how prolific writers, artists, and thinkersof the past managed their creative process. I’ve spent countlesshours researching how human beings can use technology to extendand enhance our natural cognitive abilities. I’ve personally

      experimented with every tool, trick, and technique available today for making sense of information. This book distills the very best insights I’ve discovered from teaching thousands of people around the world how to realize the potential of their ideas.

      All this work just for this? When some basic reading of historical note taking, information management, and intellectual history would have saved him the time and effort? Looking through the references I'm not seeing much before even 2010, so it seems as if he's spent most of his time reinventing the wheel.

    1. Stephen Downes commented on this post:

      According to the authors, "there are skills that AI cannot master: strategy, creativity, empathy-based social skills, and dexterity." The article goes on to explain why, and to describe how humans will apply these skills in order to work with AI. My perspective is that we would be very short-sighted if we assume AI will not be able to master these skills. AIs already display more dexterity than humans in some cases. They are also demonstrating interesting forms of creativity. A lot of what appear to be human-only skills are the sorts of automatic non-cognitive abilities we demonstrate. But that's precisely where AI will excel, since these are based on pattern recognition and response. An AI won't feel things the way we do. But it's not al all clear that feeling a certain way is essential for any of these skills.

    1. People in the Renaissance broke texts into fragments and used these to assemble and connect. It was, perhaps, the original remix culture and ultimate foundation of creativity.

      I'm wondering if I'm going to see signs of Raymond Lull's ideas here?

    1. the Llullian combinatory was not really different: by rotating and re-rotating wheels, the user always got the same combinations. One who had mastered this complicated mechanism would have nothing new to learn, despite the astonishing number of possible combinations. This machine was designed to

      repeat the known rather than to explore the unknown; therefore, it functioned as an engine of redundancy rather than as an engine of variety. 53

      1. This distinction is drawn from Blair, Too Much to Know, 236, who uses it with respect to early modern reference books.

      I'm not sure that I agree with this as the number of combinations can quickly become incredibly large.

    2. In §§ 4–5, I examine the socio-evolutionary circumstances under which a closed combinatory, such as the one triggered by the Llullian art, was replaced by an open-ended combinatory, such as the one triggered by a card index based on removable entries. In early modernity, improvement in abstraction compelled scholars to abandon the idea that the order of knowledge should mirror the order of nature. This development also implied giving up the use of space as a type of externalization and as the main rule for checking consis-tency.

      F*ck! I've been scooped!

      Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed this, though I notice that he doesn't cite Frances A. Yates, which would have certainly been the place for having come up with this historical background (at least that's where I found it.)


      The Llullian arts can be more easily practiced with ideas placed on moveable index cards than they might be with ideas stored in one's own memory. Thus the index card as a tool significantly decreases the overhead and provides an easier user interface for permuting one's ideas and combining them. This decrease in mental work appearing at a time of information overload also puts specific pressure on the older use of the art of memory to put it out of fashion.

    1. I suspect that rather than being totally dreary, this transcribing step can also be a creative step, and I will see patterns of thought, generate new ideas…

      On the value of revising and revisiting notes. Similar to Raymond Llull's combinatorial creativity, but in a different form which doesn't require memory the same way.

    1. The aim of these books wasn’t regurgitation but rather combinatorial creativity. People were encouraged to improvise on themes and topics. Gathering raw material alone — in this case, information — is not enough. We must transform it into something new. It is in this light that Seneca advised copying the bee and Einstein advised combinatorial play.

      I was really hoping for so much more in this essay on the combinatorial creativity, espcially since the author threw the idea into the title. The real meat must be in the two linked articles about Seneca and Einstein.

      There is a slight mention of combinatorics in the justaposition of pieces within one's commonplace book, and a mention that these books may date back to the 12th century where they were probably more influenced by the combinatoric creativity of Raymond Lull. It's still an open question for me just how far back the idea of commonplaces goes as well as how far back Lull's combinatoric pieces go...

    1. suggested by Gessner for bibliographical units on slips of paper in subject or alphabetical order, for the generation of new texts through recombination.

      This sort of recombination is also seen in the work of Raymond Llull, though there he did it in a specific combinatorial way and implemented it in his memory rather than on paper.

    1. In the case ofLévi-Strauss, meanwhile, the card index continued to serve inimportant ways as a ‘memory crutch’, albeit with a key differencefrom previous uses of the index as an aide-memoire. In Lévi-Strauss’case, what the fallibility of memory takes away, the card index givesback via the workings of chance. As he explains in an interview withDidier Erebon:I get by when I work by accumulating notes – a bitabout everything, ideas captured on the fly,summaries of what I have read, references,quotations... And when I want to start a project, Ipull a packet of notes out of their pigeonhole anddeal them out like a deck of cards. This kind ofoperation, where chance plays a role, helps merevive my failing memory. (Cited in Krapp, 2006:361)For Krapp, the crucial point here is that, through his use of indexcards, Lévi-Strauss ‘seems to allow that the notes may either restorememory – or else restore the possibilities of contingency which givesthinking a chance under the conditions of modernity’ (2006: 361).

      Claude Lévi-Strauss had a note taking practice in which he accumulated notes of ideas on the fly, summaries of what he read, references, and quotations. He kept them on cards which he would keep in a pigeonhole. When planning a project, he would pull them out and use them to "revive [his] failing memory."


      Questions: - Did his system have any internal linkages? - How big was his system? (Manageable, unmanageable?) - Was it only used for memory, or was it also used for creativity? - Did the combinatorial reshufflings of his cards provide inspiration a la the Llullan arts?


      Link this to the ideas of Raymond Llull's combinatorial arts.

    1. For the combinatorial logics used to make book catalogues at this time, see Garberson, ‘Libraries, Memory and theSpace of Knowledge’. See also Chapter 8, ‘The Library Catalogue’, in W. Clark, Academic Charisma and the Origins ofthe Research University (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

      What influence, if any, would the ideas of Raymond Llull have had here?

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. In explaining his approach, Luhmann emphasized, with the first stepsof computer technology in mind, the benefits of the principle of “multiple storage”: in the card index itserves to provide different avenues of accessing a topic or concept since the respective notes may be filedin different places and different contexts. Conversely, embedding a topic in various contexts gives rise todifferent lines of information by means of opening up different realms of comparison in each case due tothe fact that a note is an information only in a web of other notes. Furthermore it was Luhmann’s intentionto “avoid premature systematization and closure and maintain openness toward the future.”11 His way oforganizing the collection allows for it to continuously adapt to the evolution of his thinking and his overalltheory which as well is not conceptualized in a hierarchical manner but rather in a cybernetical way inwhich every term or theoretical concept is dependent on the other.

      While he's couching it in the computer science milieu of his day, this is not dissimilar to the Llullan combinatorial arts.

    1. To produce meaningful work, and then forget about it, so you can move on to another and hopefully greater act of linear will.

      This completely loses the fact that two different areas of work can be used fruitfully in combinatorically creative ways to expand insight and knowledge. While you can loosely forget what is in your notes, the fact that they exist and are interlinked helps you resurface and reuse them. If you're not reusing and constantly linking them, then you're failing.

  7. Apr 2022
    1. one of those powerful things that any musician can do like take this song [Music] and you could basically cut out little loops from that

      An easy way of creating new music is to take a short length of music and break it down into smaller constitutive parts and then loop them and potentially then build them back up into longer pieces.

    2. it starts with 00:32:31 this one kind of thing called single finger and these are all just variations or practice styles [Music] 00:32:45 and then octave double stop skills [Music] and you know just down the list but you know these things are all developed 00:32:59 through the practice the daily practice but then once once they've been developed then i can just plug them into songs and and create so that's just i'm really excited about this form like the fiddle wrong is because

      Jason Kleinberg takes basic tunes and then has a list of variations of practice styles which he runs through with each one (eg. single-finger, octave double stops scale, old-time, polkafy, blues, etc.) and he plays those tunes in these modified styles not only to practice, but to take these "musical conversations" and translate them into his own words. This is a clever way of generating new music and potentially even new styles by mixing those which have come before. To a great sense, he's having a musical conversation with prior composers and musicians in the same way that an annotator will have a conversation in the margins with an author. It's also an example of the sort of combinatorial creativity suggested by Raymond Llull's work.

  8. www.goodreads.com www.goodreads.com
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Winnie Lim</span> in peeking into people’s routines (<time class='dt-published'>04/24/2022 02:40:01</time>)</cite></small>

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Winnie Lim</span> in peeking into people’s routines (<time class='dt-published'>04/24/2022 02:40:01</time>)</cite></small>

    1. A filing system is indefinitely expandable, rhizomatic (at any point of timeor space, one can always insert a new card); in contradistinction with the sequen-tial irreversibility of the pages of the notebook and of the book, its interiormobility allows for permanent reordering (for, even if there is no narrative conclu-sion of a diary, there is a last page of the notebook on which it is written: its pagesare numbered, like days on a calendar).

      Most writing systems and forms force a beginning and an end, they force a particular structure that is both finite and limiting. The card index (zettelkasten) may have a beginning—there's always a first note or card, but it never has to have an end unless one's ownership is so absolute it ends with the life of its author. There are an ever-increasing number of ways to order a card index, though some try to get around this to create some artificial stability by numbering or specifically ordering their cards. New ideas can be accepted into the index at a multitude of places and are always internally mobile and re-orderable.

      link to Luhmann's works on describing this sort of rhizomatic behavior of his zettelkasten


      Within a network model framing for a zettelkasten, one might define thinking as traversing a graph of idea nodes in a particular order. Alternately it might also include randomly juxtaposing cards and creating links between ones which have similarities. Which of these modes of thinking has a higher order? Which creates more value? Which requires more work?

    2. Not unlike Duchamp’s door that is both open and closed at thesame time, the card file resists the syntagmatic closure of the sentence by sustain-ing the openness of the paradigm.

      Resisting syntagmatic closure

      Ideas placed into a card file or zettelkasten resist syntagmatic closure. Even well-formed structures in a card file can accept, expand, and integrate new ideas.

      Is a zettelkasten ever done?

    3. In his practice, Leiris wrote,Duchamp demonstratesall the honesty of a gambler who knows that the game only has meaningto the extent that one scrupulously observes the rules from the very out-set. What makes the game so compelling is not its final result or how wellone performs, but rather the game in and of itself, the constant shiftingaround of pawns, the circulation of cards, everything that contributes tothe fact that the game—as opposed to a work of art—never stands still.

      particularly:

      but rather the game in and of itself, the constant shifting around of pawns, the circulation of cards, everything that contributes to the fact that the game--as opposed to a work of art--never stands still.

      This reminds me of some of the mnemonic devices (cowrie shells) that Lynne Kelly describes in combinatorial mnemonic practice. These are like games or stories that change through time. And these are fairly similar to the statistical thermodynamics of life and our multitude of paths through it. Or stories which change over time.

      Is life just a game?

      there's a kernel of something interesting here, we'll just need to tie it all together.

      Think also of combining various notes together in a zettelkasten.

      Were these indigenous tribes doing combinatorial work in a more rigorous mathematical fashion?

    1. Wilken, Rowan. “The Card Index as Creativity Machine.” Culture Machine 11 (2010): 7–30.

      file: https://culturemachine.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/373-604-1-PB.pdf

    2. Furthermore,combinatorial logic dictates that the card index is also the wellspringof creativity insofar as it permits expansive possibilities for futureintellectual endeavours (see Hollier, 2005: 40; cf. Krapp, 2006:367).
    3. the card indexis the quintessential structuralist tool in that it simultaneouslycombines the paradigmatic (selection) with the syntagmatic(combination) in one mechanism.
    4. As Calvetexplains, in thinking through the organisation of Michelet, Barthes‘tried out different combinations of cards, as in playing a game ofpatience, in order to work out a way of organising them and to findcorrespondences between them’ (113).

      Louis-Jean Calvet explains that in writing Michelet, Barthes used his notes on index cards to try out various combinations of cards to both organize them as well as "to find correspondences between them."

    5. The filing cards or slipsthat Barthes inserted into his index-card system adhered to a ‘strictformat’: they had to be precisely one quarter the size of his usualsheet of writing paper. Barthes (1991: 180) records that this systemchanged when standards were readjusted as part of moves towardsEuropean unification. Within the collection there was considerable‘interior mobility’ (Hollier, 2005: 40), with cards constantlyreordered. There were also multiple layerings of text on each card,with original text frequently annotated and altered.

      Barthes kept his system to a 'strict format' of cards which were one quarter the size of his usual sheet of writing paper, though he did adjust the size over time as paper sizes standardized within Europe. Hollier indicates that the collection had considerable 'interior mobility' and the cards were constantly reordered with use. Barthes also apparently frequently annotated and altered his notes on cards, so they were also changing with use over time.


      Did he make his own cards or purchase them? The sizing of his paper with respect to his cards might indicate that he made his own as it would have been relatively easy to fold his own paper in half twice and cut it up.

      Were his cards numbered or marked so as to be able to put them into some sort of standard order? There's a mention of 'interior mobility' and if this was the case were they just floating around internally or were they somehow indexed and tethered (linked) together?

      The fact that they were regularly used, revise, and easily reordered means that they could definitely have been used to elicit creativity in the same manner as Raymond Llull's combinatorial art, though done externally rather than within one's own mind.

    1. It’s paradoxical but true: imitating well demands a considerable degree ofcreativity.

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. Reviewing The Original of Laura, Alexander Theroux describes the cards as a “portable strategy that allowed [Nabokov] to compose in the car while his wife drove the devoted lepidopterist on butterfly expeditions.”

      While note cards have a certain portability about them for writing almost anywhere, aren't notebooks just as easily portable? In fact, with a notebook, one doesn't need to worry about spilling and unordering the entire enterprise.

      There are, however, other benefits. By using small atomic pieces on note cards, one can be far more focused on the idea and words immediately at hand. It's also far easier in a creative and editorial process to move pieces around experimentally.

      Similarly, when facing Hemmingway's White Bull, the size and space of an index card is fall smaller. This may have the effect that Twitter's short status updates have for writers who aren't faced with the seemingly insurmountable burden of writing a long blog post or essay in other software. They can write 280 characters and stop. Of if they feel motivated, they can continue on by adding to the prior parts of a growing thread. Sadly, Twitter doesn't allow either editing or rearrangements, so the endeavor and analogy are lost beyond here.

  9. Mar 2022
    1. A major advance in user interfaces that supports creative exploration would the capacity to go back in time, to review and manipulate the history of actions taken during an entire session. Users will be able to see all the steps in designing an engine and change an early design decision. They will be able to extract sections of the history to replay them or to convert into permanent macros that can be applied in similar situations. Extracting and replaying sections of history is a form of direct man ipulation programming. It enables users to explore every alternative in a decision-making situation, and then chose the one with the most favorable outcomes.

      While being able to view the history of a problem space from the perspective of a creation process is interesting, in reverse, it is also an interesting way to view a potential learning experience.

      I can't help but think about the branching tree networks of knowledge in some math texts providing potential alternate paths through the text to allow learners to go from novice to expert in areas in which they're interested. We need more user interfaces like this.

    2. Immersion in previous work may bia s creativity and limit imagination if users cannot break free from tradition.

      Being bound in the shackles of prior traditions and even one's own work can be stifling for future creativity and the expansion of our imaginations.

      Link to the scientific revolution thesis of Thomas Kuhn.

    3. Powerful tools can support creativity: Innovation can be facilitated by powerful tools that supply templates and support exploratory processes such as brainstorming (offering links to related concepts), state-space expl oration (trying out all permutations), idea combining (systematic pairings), rapid prototyping, and simulation modeling.

      State-space exploration and idea combining (systematic pairings) are just modern reimaginings of ideas going back to Raymond Llull and possibly earlier.

    4. Creativity occurs when a person, using the symbols of a given domain ... has a new idea or sees a new pattern, and when this novelty is selected by the appropriate field for inclusion in the relevant domain. The next generation will encounter that novelty as part of the domain they are exposed to, and if they are creative, they in turn will change it further.

      —Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

  10. Feb 2022
    1. Some content from this blog has been copied over to TiddlySpace so I can farm it for ideas and such.

      Example of a blog being used as a source of material for creating new ideas.

    1. Purple Numbers are a clever hack because you can work them into many existing kinds of systems. You don’t have to reinvent the document format, or cut it up into many pieces. You just stick a few ID tags in useful places. It’s like dog-earing the page of a book to find your way back.

      As permanently identified paragraph level locations, purple numbers might allow one to combinatorically rearrange sets of notes or facts in a variety of different ways.

      This pattern might be seen in earlier instantiations of note taking tools like the German zettelkasten.

      Documents might be generated by creating playlists of purple numbers in particular (useful) orders.

    1. his suggests that successful problem solvingmay be a function of flexible strategy application in relation to taskdemands.” (Vartanian 2009, 57)

      Successful problem solving requires having the ability to adaptively and flexibly focus one's attention with respect to the demands of the work. Having a toolbelt of potential methods and combinatorially working through them can be incredibly helpful and we too often forget to explicitly think about doing or how to do that.

      This is particularly important in mathematics where students forget to look over at their toolbox of methods. What are the different means of proof? Some mathematicians will use direct proof during the day and indirect forms of proof at night. Look for examples and counter-examples. Why not look at a problem from disparate areas of mathematical thought? If topology isn't revealing any results, why not look at an algebraic or combinatoric approach?

      How can you put a problem into a different context and leverage that to your benefit?

    2. As proper note-taking is rarely taught or discussed, it is no wonderthat almost every guide on writing recommends to start withbrainstorming. If you haven’t written along the way, the brain isindeed the only place to turn to. On its own, it is not such a greatchoice: it is neither objective nor reliable – two quite importantaspects in academic or nonfiction writing.

      Brainstorming can be a miserable way to start a creative process. Without a pre-existing source of ideas (one's own notes) it can be the only place to start, but it suffers from being unreliable and having no objectivity. It is tremendously difficult to plumb the depths of one's memory for great ideas, questions, or interesting places to start an endeavor, but if you've been collecting these for ages, it becomes much easier to span a space and see tangential spaces.

    3. Theseemingly pragmatic and down-to-earth-sounding advice – to decidewhat to write about before you start writing – is therefore eithermisleading or banal.

      Properly framed note taking methods are themselves a hermeneutic circle for thinking and creating.

    4. a system is neededto keep track of the ever-increasing pool of information, which allowsone to combine different ideas in an intelligent way with the aim ofgenerating new ideas.

      The point of good tools of thought is to allow one to keep track of the ever increasing flood of information that also allows them to juxtapose or combine ideas in novel and interesting ways. Further, this should provide them with a means of generating and then improving upon their new ideas.

    1. https://every.to/superorganizers/tasting-notes-with-robin-sloan-25629085

      A discussion with Robin Sloan about the creativity portion of his writing practice which is heavily driven by his store of creative notes which he takes in a Field Notes waste book and keeps in nvAlt.

    2. Based on that lived, visceral experience, I’ve tried to pay more attention to the feeling of momentum when I get it, and really lean into it.

      Not everyone has a job where they can drop what they're doing and go work on something more interesting. But being able to switch gears to lean into creative momentum can help to increase and encourage productivity with respect to creative work and endeavors. This switching can be dramatically facilitated by having a wealth of alternate interesting options to delve into.

    3. The third way I interact with my notes is a mechanism I’ve engineered whereby they are slowly presented to me randomly, and on a steady drip, every day.I’ve created a system so random notes appear every time I open a browser tabI like the idea of being presented and re-presented with my notations of things that were interesting to me at some point, but that in many cases I had forgotten about. The effect of surprise creates interesting and productive new connections in my brain.

      Robin Sloan has built a system that will present him with random notes from his archive every time he opens a browser tab.

    4. I learned from using those Macs early on that form is always malleable. This became even more apparent when the web came into the picture. Think about it: there’s no way to make a web page or a blog that is not an act of playing with its form at the same time as you're creating its content. So it just seemed natural: the world was always telling me that you worked on those two things – the container and its contents – together.

      There is a generation of people who grew up at the edge of the creation of computers and the web where they were simultaneously designing both the container and its contents at the same time. People before and after this typically worked on one or the other and most often on the contents themselves without access to the containers.

  11. <