14 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2023
    1. this is just a hypothesis there's a thing called the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics like why is it the case that you go off and you invent complex numbers and quaternions and do abstract algebra and somehow that has something 00:33:26 to say about the physical world still a mystery but there's an unreasonable effectiveness of deep learning there is no a priori reason why DNA and images and video and speech synthesis and fmri 00:33:40 should share a kind of universal shape but they do and I think that's telling us something very deep about the structure of the universe
      • for: unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics, emptiness, emptiness - unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

      • comment

        • everything is an expression of emptiness
  2. Feb 2023
    1. At once intended as a foundationfor a systematic history of the Jews, it was deeply unsystematic; meant to be a means ofproductivity, in the end Deutsch was essentially unproductive.

      An example of a zettelkasten, meant for productivity in most settings, being called unproductive in Gotthard Deutsch's case.

      Of course this calls to mind the definition of productivity and from who's perspective. From Deutsch's written output perspective it may have been exceptionally low in comparison to the outputs of others like Niklas Luhmann, S.D. Goitein, or Roland Barthes. But when viewed from the perspective of a teaching instrument and influence on his students, perhaps it was monumentally productive?

    1. According to Shulman, "Cargo-cult is a belief that mock airplanes made of manure and straw-bale may summon the real airplanes who bring canned beef. Reverse cargo-cult is used by the political elites in countries lagging behind who proclaim that, in the developed world, airplanes are also made of manure and straw-bale, and there is also a shortage of canned beef."[29]

      "Екатерина Шульман: Практический Нострадамус, или 12 умственных привычек, которые мешают нам предвидеть будущее". vedomosti/ (in Russian). Retrieved 24 June 2021.


      A Note on the Cargo Cult of Zettelkasten

      Modern cargo cults can be seen in many technology and productivity spaces where people are pulled in by exaggerated (or sometimes even real claims) of productivity or the general "magic" of a technology or method.

      An example is Niklas Luhmann's use of his zettelkasten which has created a cargo cult of zettelkasten aspirants and users who read one or more of the short one page blog posts about his unreasonable productivity and try to mimic it without understanding the system, how it works, or how to make it work for them. They often spend several months collecting notes, and following the motions, but don't realize the promised gains and may eventually give up, sometimes in shame (or as so-called "rubbish men") while watching others still touting its use.

      To prevent one's indoctrination into the zettelkasten cult, I'll make a few recommendations:

      Distance yourself from the one or two page blog posts or the breathless YouTube delineations. Ask yourself very pointedly: what you hope to get out of such a process? What's your goal? Does that goal align with others' prior uses and their outcomes?

      Be careful of the productivity gurus who are selling expensive courses and whose focus may not necessarily be on your particular goals. Some are selling very pointed courses, which is good, while others are selling products which may be so broad that they'll be sure to have some success stories, but their hodge-podge mixture of methods won't suit your particular purpose, or worse, you'll have to experiment with pieces of their courses to discover what may suit your modes of working and hope they'll suffice in the long run. Some are selling other productivity solutions for task management like getting things done (GTD) or bullet journals, which can be a whole other cargo cults in and of themselves. Don't conflate these![^1] The only thing worse than being in a cargo cult is being in multiple at the same time.

      If you go the digital route, be extremely wary of shiny object syndrome. Everyone has a favorite tool and will advocate that it's the one you should be using. (Often their method of use will dictate how much they love it potentially over and above the affordances of the tool itself.) All of these tools can be endlessly configured, tweaked, or extended with plugins or third party services. Everyone wants to show you their workflow and set up, lots of which is based on large amounts of work and experimentation. Ignore 99.999% of this. Most tools are converging to a similar feature set, so pick a reasonable one that seems like it'll be around in 5 years (and which has export, just in case). Try out the very basic features for several months before you change anything. Don't add endless plugins and widgets. You're ultimately using a digital tool to recreate the functionality of index cards, a pencil, and a box. How complicated should this really be? Do you need to spend hundreds of hours tweaking your system to save yourself a few minutes a year? Be aware that far too many people touting the system and marketers talking about the tools are missing several thousands of years of uses of some of these basic literacy-based technologies. Don't join their island cult, but instead figure out how the visiting culture has been doing this for ages.[^2] Recall Will Hunting's admonition against cargo cults in education: “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”[^3]

      Most people ultimately realize that the output of their own thinking is only as good as the inputs they're consuming. Leverage this from the moment you begin and ignore the short bite-sized advice for longer form or older advice from those with experience. You're much more likely to get more long term value out of reading Umberto Eco or Mortimer J. Adler & Charles van Doren[^4] than you are an equivalent amount of time reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos, or trolling social media like Reddit and Twitter.

      Realize that reaching your goal is going to take honest-to-goodness actual work, though there is potential for fun. No matter how shiny or optimized your system, you've still got to do the daily work of reading, watching, listening and using it to create anything. Focus on this daily work and don't get sidetracked by the minutiae of trying to shave off just a few more seconds.[^5] In short, don't get caught up in the "productivity porn" of it all. Even the high priest at whose altar they worship once wrote on a slip he filed:

      "A ghost in the note card index? Spectators visit [my office to see my notes] and they get to see everything and nothing all at once. Ultimately, like having watched a porn movie, their disappointment is correspondingly high." —Niklas Luhmann. <small>“Geist im Kasten?” ZKII 9/8,3. Niklas Luhmann-Archiv. Accessed December 10, 2021. https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_NB_9-8-3_V. (Personal translation from German with context added.)</small>


      [^1] Aldrich, Chris. “Zettelkasten Overreach.” BoffoSocko (blog), February 5, 2022. https://boffosocko.com/2022/02/05/zettelkasten-overreach/.

      [^2]: Blair, Ann M. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. Yale University Press, 2010. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300165395/too-much-know.

      [^3]: Good Will Hunting. Miramax, Lawrence Bender Productions, 1998.

      [^4]: Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Revised and Updated edition. 1940. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972.

      [^5]: Munroe, Randall. “Is It Worth the Time?” Web comic. xkcd, April 29, 2013. https://xkcd.com/1205/.


      Recommended resources

      Choose only one of the following and remember you may not need to read the entire work:

      Ahrens, Sönke. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. Create Space, 2017.

      Allosso, Dan, and S. F. Allosso. How to Make Notes and Write. Minnesota State Pressbooks, 2022. https://minnstate.pressbooks.pub/write/.

      Bernstein, Mark. Tinderbox: The Tinderbox Way. 3rd ed. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems, Inc., 2017. http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/TinderboxWay/index.html.

      Dow, Earle Wilbur. Principles of a Note-System for Historical Studies. New York: Century Company, 1924.

      Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. Translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina. 1977. Reprint, Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2015. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-write-thesis.

      Gessner, Konrad. Pandectarum Sive Partitionum Universalium. 1st Edition. Zurich: Christoph Froschauer, 1548.

      Goutor, Jacques. The Card-File System of Note-Taking. Approaching Ontario’s Past 3. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1980. http://archive.org/details/cardfilesystemof0000gout.

      Sertillanges, Antonin Gilbert, and Mary Ryan. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. First English Edition, Fifth printing. 1921. Reprint, Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1960. http://archive.org/details/a.d.sertillangestheintellectuallife.

      Webb, Sidney, and Beatrice Webb. Methods of Social Study. London; New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1932. http://archive.org/details/b31357891.

      Weinberg, Gerald M. Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. New York, N.Y: Dorset House, 2005.

  3. Oct 2022
    1. The mass of Paxson's paper work may appear more clearly nowthan the zest with which he labored, but the essence of his methodwas in the spirit rather than in the product.

      Ahrens and others following him have argued that there is a sort of lightness imbued both in one's thinking processes and life by making and accumulating notes. The cognitive load is lessened by offloading one's thoughts onto pieces of paper that can be revised, compared, and juxtaposed as a means of building some written or creative endeavor, even if it's slowly over time.

      Frederic L. Paxson's mode of life made this seem to be the case for him. There is evidence that he was easier able to manage his daily life by his note taking system. He accumulated no work on his desk and carried none home and was able to more easily give his attention to others.

      Is this a result of breaking things down into tiny, bite sized chunks that were difficult to actually interrupt?

      Was it the system or his particular temperament? Are there other examples of this easier mode of life for note takers? Is there a pattern? What portions can be attributed to the system and one's ability to stick to it versus their particular temperaments?

      Other than small examples in my own life, this may be one of the first examples I've seen of this mode of work. Definitely worth looking at others.

  4. Sep 2022
    1. In short, the questions about Google’s behavior are not about free speech; they do, though, touch on other Amendments in the Bill of Rights. For example: The Fourth Amendment bars “unreasonable searches and seizures”; while you can make the case that search warrants were justified once the photos in question were discovered, said photos were only discovered because Mark’s photo library was indiscriminately searched in the first place. The Fifth Amendment says no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; Mark lost all of his data, email account, phone number, and everything else Google touched forever with no due process at all. The Sixth Amendment is about the rights to a trial; Mark was not accused of any crime in the real world, but when it came to his digital life Google was, as I noted, “judge, jury, and executioner” (the Seventh Amendment is, relatedly, about the right to a jury trial for all controversies exceeding $20).

      Ben Thompson argues that questions about Google's behavior towards a false positive case of CSAM does not pertain to free speech or to the First Amendment. But it does pertain to other Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

  5. Aug 2022
    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?

  6. Sep 2020
  7. May 2020
    1. Make it clear that signing up is optional. Consent must be “freely given”; you may not coerce users into joining your mailing list or make it appear as if joining the list is mandatory. For this reason, you must make it clear that signing up is optional. This is especially relevant in cases where you offer free white-papers (or e-books) for download. While the user’s email address is required for the delivery of the service, signing up for your newsletter is not. In such a case, you must not make it appear as if signing-up to the newsletter list mandatory and must make it clear that it is optional.

      Question (answer below)

      Are they saying that it's not allowed to make signing up for a mailing list a precondition/requirement for anything? This was surprising to me.

      So if you have a newsletter sign-up page that sends a digital bonus gift (like an e-book) to new subscribers, are required to completely change/repurpose your "newsletter sign-up page" into a "download e-book page" (that has an optional checkbox to also sign up for the newsletter, if you want)? That seems dumb to me, since it requires completely reversing the purpose of the page — which was, in my mind, primarily about signing up for the newsletter, with a bonus (an essentially optional one) thrown in for those who do so. Are you required to either repurpose it like that or remove the free bonus offer that would be sent to new subscribers?

      The irony of this is that it requires websites that have a newsletter sign-up page like that to change it into a "newsletter sign-up page" where the newsletter sign-up part is optional. Which make you look kind of stupid, making a page that claims to be one thing but doesn't necessarily do what it says it's for.

      Does this mean, in effect, that you may not lawfully provide any sort of incentive or reward for signing up for something (like a mailing list)? As long as it's very clear that some action is required before delivery of some thing, I don't see why this sort of thing should not be permitted? Would this fall under contract law? And as such, wouldn't such a contract be allowed and valid? Are mailing lists a special class of [service] that has special requirements like this? Or is it part of a broader category to which this requirement applies more generally?

      Why is requiring the user to provide an email address before they can download a digital reward allowed but not requiring signing up to a mailing list? Why isn't it required that even the email address be optional to provide? (To answer my own question, probably because it's allowed to allow a user to request a specific thing to be sent via email, and an email address is required in order to fulfill that request. But...) It seems that the website could just provide a direct link to download it via HTTP/FTP/etc. as an option for users that chose not to provide an email address. (But should they be required to provide that option anytime they / just because they provide the option to have the same thing delivered via email?)

      Answer

      Looks like my question was answered below:

      Explicit Form (where the purpose of the sign-up mechanism is unequivocal). So for example, in a scenario where your site has a pop-up window that invites users to sign up to your newsletter using a clear phrase such as: “Subscribe to our newsletter for access to discount vouchers and product updates!“, the affirmative action that the user performs by typing in their email address would be considered valid consent.

      So the case I described, where it is made very clear that the incentive that is offered is conditional on subscribing, is listed as an exception to the general rule. That's good; it should be allowed.

  8. Apr 2020
  9. Mar 2020
    1. the publisher would be required to check, from time to time, that what is declared by the third parties corresponds to the purposes they are actually aiming at via their cookies. This is a daunting task because a publisher often has no direct contacts with all the third parties installing cookies via his website, nor does he/she know the logic underlying the respective processing.
    2. In general, the directive does not specifically require that you list and name individual third-party cookies, however, you are required to clearly state their categories and purpose. This decision by the Authority is likely deliberate as to require such would mean that individual website/app owners would bear the burden of constantly watching over every single third-party cookie, looking for changes that are outside of their control; this would be largely unreasonable, inefficient and likely unhelpful to users.