27 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. There are all kinds of devices for marking a book intelligently and fruitfully

      General methods of annotating or marking a text:<br /> - underlining, circling, boxing, enclosing, or highlighting - vertical lines in margin - stars, asterisks, symbols, dogears, (implied: bookmarks) - numbers sequencing arguments - page numbers as cross references - writing in the margin: questions and answers - writing in the endpapers


      Are there other methods and marks that aren't catalogued here?

      The idea of drolleries used as mnemonics is one which quickly comes to mind.

      They do mention cross-references to page numbers within the text, but fail to mention links to ideas in other texts. (Perhaps they cover this later under syntopical reading and marking?)

  2. Oct 2022
    1. J.H. Plumb once showed me a set of Swift’s works given him by G.M. Trevelyan; it had originally belonged to Macaulay, who had drawn a line all the way down the margin of every page as he read it, no doubt committing the whole to memory.

      A line in the margin doesn't fit with any mnemotechniques I'm aware of, so it's more likely a method to indicate what he had read, and up to what point. Likely not an indicator of storage to memory.

    2. According to the Jacobean educational writer John Brinsley, ‘the choycest books of most great learned men, and the notablest students’ were marked through, ‘with little lines under or above’ or ‘by some prickes, or whatsoever letter or mark may best help to call the knowledge of the thing to remembrance’.
    1. The grammar of History should consist, I think, of dates, events, anecdotes,and personalities. A set of dates to which one can peg all later historicalknowledge is of enormous help later on in establishing the perspective ofhistory. It does not greatly matter which dates: those of the Kings of Englandwill do very nicely, provided they are accompanied by pictures of costume,architecture, and all “every-day things,” so that the mere mention of a datecalls up a strong visual presentment of the whole period.

      She seems to be encouraging the association of dates with easily visualized images, but is she doing so with the knowledge of the art of memory?

      I suspect not, but we could look for other evidence here.

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  3. Sep 2022
    1. After looking at various studies fromthe 1960s until the early 1980s, Barry S. Stein et al. summarises:“The results of several recent studies support the hypothesis that

      retention is facilitated by acquisition conditions that prompt people to elaborate information in a way that increases the distinctiveness of their memory representations.” (Stein et al. 1984, 522)

      Want to read this paper.

      Isn't this a major portion of what many mnemotechniques attempt to do? "increase distinctiveness of memory representations"? And didn't he just wholly dismiss the entirety of mnemotechniques as "tricks" a few paragraphs back? (see: https://hypothes.is/a/dwktfDiuEe2sxaePuVIECg)

      How can one build or design this into a pedagogical system? How is this potentially related to Andy Matuschak's mnemonic medium research?

    2. Memory techniques are the fix for a rather artificial situation. Whenit comes to academic writing, we don't have the need for this trick,

      He's wholly wrong on this score because he lacks a deeper appreciation for how this works or its value to oral societies. He uses the word "trick" in a disparaging sense with respect to mnemotechniques.

  4. Apr 2022
    1. One of his last works, the Aurifodina, “The Mine of All Arts and Sci-ences, or the Habit of Excerpting,” was printed in 1638 (in 2,000 copies) andin another fourteen editions down to 1695 and spawned abridgments in Latin(1658), German (1684), and English.

      Simply the word abridgement here leads me to wonder:

      Was the continual abridgement of texts and excerpting small pieces for later use the partial cause of the loss of the arts of memory? Ars excerpendi ad infinitum? It's possible that this, with the growth of note taking practices, continual information overload, and other pressures for educational reform swamped the prior practices.

      For evidence, take a look at William Engel's work following the arts of memory in England and Europe to see if we can track the slow demise by attrition of the descriptions and practices. What would such a study show? How might we assign values to the various pressures at play? Which was the most responsible?

      Could it have also been the slow, inexorable death of many of these classical means of taking notes as well? How did we loose the practices of excerpting for creating new ideas? Where did the commonplace books go? Where did the zettelkasten disappear to?

      One author, with a carefully honed practice and the extant context of their life writes some brief notes which get passed along to their students or which are put into a new book that misses a lot of their existing context with respect to the new readers. These readers then don't know about the attrition happening and slowly, but surely the knowledge goes missing amidst a wash of information overload. Over time the ideas and practices slowly erode and are replaced with newer techniques which may not have been well tested or stood the test of time. One day the world wakes up and the common practices are no longer of use.

      This is potentially all the more likely because of the extremely basic ideas underpinning some of memory and note taking. They seem like such basic knowledge we're also prone to take them for granted and not teach them as thoroughly as we ought.

      How does one juxtapose this with the idea of humanist scholars excerpting, copying, and using classical texts with a specific eye toward preventing the loss of these very classical texts?

      Is this potentially the idea of having one's eye on a particular target and losing sight of other creeping effects?

      It's also difficult to remember what it was like when we ourselves didn't know something and once that is lost, it can be harder and harder to teach newcomers.

    1. It shouldn't escape the mnemonists' attention that while Wozniak recognizes some basic attributes of memory and mnemonics, he obviously isn't steeped in the traditions of the art of memory. Specifically he doesn't seem to be aware of associative methods beyond peg systems and some low level basics which he's come across via Tony Buzan. He's also missing the major system and the method of loci in general. However, when looking at his list of "Twenty rules of formulating knowledge", the majority of the items on the list are either heavily informed by the memory canon within classical rhetoric. Some of the items on the list actually move in an opposite direction from good memory principles (his admonitions against sets and enumeration), but it's because Wozniak is explicitly missing some of the basic mnemotechnical tools.

      Have any writers on space repetition gone beyond Wozniak's state of the art with respect to mnemotechniques before?

      I had started it and lost it due to a technical glitch, but it might be worth highlighting the places where Wozniak's list either directly dovetails or diverges from the arts of memory. His list could be dramatically improved and compressed by brining it closer in line with the fourth canon of rhetoric.

    2. https://super-memory.com/articles/20rules.htm

      Who created SuperMemo? ::: Piotr Wozniak

    3. Rely on emotional states If you can illustrate your items with examples that are vivid or even shocking, you are likely to enhance retrieval (as long as you do not overuse same tools and fall victim of interference!). Your items may assume bizarre form; however, as long as they are produced for your private consumption, the end justifies the means. Use objects that evoke very specific and strong emotions: love, sex, war, your late relative, object of your infatuation, Linda Tripp, Nelson Mandela, etc. It is well known that emotional states can facilitate recall; however, you should make sure that you are not deprived of the said emotional clues at the moment when you need to retrieve a given memory in a real-life situation

      This section reads as if it was lifted from any of the treatises on the art of memory over the last 2000 years.


      Piotr Wozniak seems to have independently rediscovered the value of the arts of memory from ancient rhetoric.

      He advises to use the "vivid or even shocking" to "enhance retrieval".

      He even goes so far as to recommend that people who use the bizarre to keep those images for their private consumption.

    4. Personalized examples are very resistant to interference and can greatly reduce your learning time

      Creating links to one's own personal context can help one to both learn and retain new material.

    5. However, the great advantage of enumerations over sets is that they are ordered and they force the brain to list them always in the same order. An ordered list of countries contains more information than the set of countries that can be listed in any order. Paradoxically, despite containing more information, enumerations are easier to remember.

      Enumerations are sets with a particular order. The fact that they have an order, in which each item might be associated with the next, makes them easier to remember.

      The greater information in an enumeration provides additional structure which makes the items easier to remember.

    6. You should avoid such items whenever possible due to the high cost of retaining memories based on sets.

      Piotr Wozniak recommends against avoiding memorizing sets and prefers enumerations.

      Is this a result of his not knowing the method of loci as a means of travelling through sets and remembering them easily? It's certainly evidence he wasn't aware of the as a general technique.

      He does mention peg techniques, mind maps, and general mnemonic techniques.

    7. Before you start believing that mastering such techniques will provide you with an eternal solution to the problem of forgetting, be warned that the true bottleneck towards long-lasting and useful memories is not in quickly memorizing knowledge! This is indeed the easier part. The bottleneck lies in retaining memories for months, years or for lifetime! To accomplish the latter you will need SuperMemo and the compliance with the 20 rules presented herein. There have been dozens of books written about mnemonic techniques. Probably those written by Tony Buzan are most popular and respected. You can search the web for keywords such as: mind maps, peg lists, mnemonic techniques, etc.

      Dr. Piotr Wozniak was apparently aware of at least some mnemonic techniques, but didn't rely on them heavily. Was this the result of the fact that he was pushing a product which he relied on for income? Was there something else?

      Why didn't he more tightly integrate the two ideas?

    8. Use mnemonic techniques

      I'm surprised that given the topic of the site and a mention of Tony Buzan on this page that mnemonic techniques don't have a more primary place here.

  5. Mar 2022
    1. René Descartes designed a deck of playing cards that also functioned as flash cards to learn geometry and mechanics. (King of Clubs from The use of the geometrical playing-cards, as also A discourse of the mechanick powers. By Monsi. Des-Cartes. Translated from his own manuscript copy. Printed and sold by J. Moxon at the Atlas in Warwick Lane, London. Via the Beinecke Library, from which you can download the entire deck.)

      My immediate thought is that this deck of cards was meant as a memory palace. I'm curious what training in rhetoric/memory methods Descartes must have had?

  6. Oct 2020
    1. ...conversations take random walks through events and ideas in a manner determined by the associative networks of the participants." --Douglas Hofstadter, Foreward, Sparse Distributed Memory

      This is reminiscent of Zegnat's mention during the Gardens and Streams session of remembering where things were in the IndieWeb wiki by remembering the pathways more so than the things themselves. This is very reminiscent of Australian songlines.

    1. Plotting the find sites on a map shows that these petrospheres were often located in the vicinity of Neolithic recumbent stone circles.
    2. They are usually round of reasonably uniform size at around 2.75 inches or 7 cm across. They can have from 3 to 160 protruding knob shapes on the surface. These carved stone balls are nearly all have been found in north-east Scotland, the majority in Aberdeenshire. As portable objects, they are straightforward to transport and have been found on Iona, Skye, Harris, Uist, Lewis, Arran, Hawick, Wigtownshire, and fifteen from Orkney. A similar distribution to that of Pictish symbols led to the early suggestion that carved stone balls are Pictish artifacts. However, examples have been found in Ireland and England.
    1. Similar lists of 100 words had been in circulation well before Celtis, however, those were not alphabetically designed.

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    1. Based on all available forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s (pl. *druwides) meaning "oak-knower".

      With the early history of druids going into the 4th century BCE (and keeping in mind that Stonehenge's dates go to about 1600 BCE), is it possible that the druids used trees as the basis for their mnemonics in lieu of standing stones? Thus the name oak-knower is more specific to what they were doing than we give them credit for? To an outsider unaware of their ways, their ritual memory systems would have made it seem like they worshiped the trees in ways other cultures would not have?

  7. Oct 2019
    1. But the fact that so many patrons did not balk at the expense implies that many people considered these ridiculous monstrosities to be desirable, even valuable.  In the last 30 years or so, significant efforts have been made to understand marginalia in its proper context; there are many theories about its function and purpose (see for example Lillian Randall's Images in the Margins of Gothic Manuscripts or Michael Camille's Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art).
    2. Criticism of these kinds of images is nearly as old as the images themselves.  The most famous (and freqently cited) is that of Bernard of Clairvaux, who asked: 'What excuse can there be for these ridiculous monstrosities...? One could spend the whole day gazing fascinated at these things, one by one, instead of meditating on the law of God. Good Lord, even if the foolishness of it all occasion no shame, at least one might balk at the expense.' (Bernard of Clairvaux, Excerpts from the Apologia to Abbot William of St-Thierry, VII.30; see here for more). 

      mnemotechnics illuminated manuscripts

    1. Below are some versions from  the German Dominican Johann Host von Romberch who wrote about memory methods (among other things) around 1530.

      Add Johann Host von Romberch to my bibliography to read relating to mnemotechnics.

  8. Aug 2019
    1. The psychological Interpretation according to which the “I” has something ‘in the memory’ [“im Gedächtnis”] is at bottom a way of alluding to the existentially constitutive state of Being-in-the-world.

      Heidegger: inwardness of memory ["Gedächtnis"] as an allusion to "Being-in-the-world" ||

    1. The genetic/epigenetic relation is a dimension of différance qua the history of life. The question then is that of a specification of différance differing and deferred, of the possibility of such specification, if it is true that Leroi-Gourhan’s major point consists in putting into question a clear break between the animal and the human. His way of broaching this problem brings him back, in the final analysis, to the heart of a simple opposition, albeit one shifted to the also quite traditional level of faber/sapiens. He is brought back in the same stroke (the coup of the second origin) to the metaphysics of an opposition between the inside and the outside, the before and the after, of the animal human and the spiritual human, and so on. We are trying to preserve and to broach the aporetic impossibility of simply opposing the interior to the exterior in speaking of an instrumental maieutics that alone permits an understanding of how tools do not derive from a creation or from a consciousness present to itself, master of matter, but pursue a process engaged long before the rupture yet nevertheless constitute a rupture— a new organization of différance, a différance of différance. Now, if the central concept is in fact that of epiphylogenetic memory, allowing for both the contestation of oppositions and the description and preservation of differentiations, it does not seem to us to have any equivalent in grammatological deconstructions. We shall develop this question further on the level of linear writing. Without such a concept, it seems to us impossible to specify the différance, differing and deferring, with respect to différance in general qua the history of life in general, or to say what the human is or is not. We are left: with the ambiguity of the invention of the human, that is, of the subject of the verb “to invent,” that which holds together the who and the what, as being that which binds them while separating them; this is, then, différance— this double movement, this intersection of reflection, this reflecting whereby the who and the what are constituted as the twin faces of the same phenomenon.

      Stiegler: (partial) critique of "différance" || interested to know whether Derrida ever responds to this point directly