1,146 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. I always like to point to a text that changed my thinking about this question, and that’s Kathleen Yancey’s “Writing in the 21st Century.” It basically states that students are writing more than ever before. If you were to challenge a group of students (which I have) to document how many text messages, TikTok, IG posts, Facebook posts, tweets, emails they send out in a day, the sheer volume of writing is staggering. Why we don’t value that writing in academia is the question for me.

      interesting point! some other things in my head:

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

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

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

    1. Each volume was bound andnumbered, and the set was titled whatwe had ended so many of our letters

      Really well written ending to this piece

    2. a bundle of cards withwarm words as palpable as the straw-berry cream cake, for which I lusted

      Good wording

    3. OVIDstill had some fangs,

      Good wording

    1. If you haven’t read any of his novels, it’s safe to describe Palahniuk’s characters and stories as dirty. It’s dark humor and appropriately the descriptions of the smells are not heavenly. He doesn’t describe the nice smell of perfume, but instead “smell a hint of Chanel No. 5 perfume mixed with his BO.” It’s not enough to say a dirty bedroom smells, but that it has the same smell as “tennis shoes in September after he’s worn them all summer without socks .” Palahniuk doesn’t just settle at describing the scent of someone’s bad breath, but instead makes note that it “smelled like a burp after you’ve ate pork sausage for breakfast.”

      detailed descriptions of smells

    1. framework for making claims with evidence. The simplest of which, which is what I use, is Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER). Students are taught to state their claim (The theme of the story is X), support it with evidence (Readers can infer this through the story's plot, particularly...), and explain their reasoning (Because the character's action result in X, ...) Another great framework is The Writing Revolution/The Hochman Method's "single paragraph outline". Students need to be taught that these are the units of thought -- the most basic forms of an argument. And, even before this, they need to know that a sentence is the form of an idea.
  2. May 2023
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU7efgGEOgk

      I wish he'd gotten into more of the detail of the research and index card making here as that's where most of the work lies. He does show some of his process of laying out and organizing the cards into some sort of sections using 1/3 cut tabbed cards. This is where his system diverges wildly from Luhmann's. He's now got to go through all the cards and do some additional re-reading and organizational work to put them into some sort of order. Luhmann did this as he went linking ideas and organizing them up front. This upfront work makes the back side of laying things out and writing/editing so much easier. It likely also makes one more creative as one is regularly revisiting ideas, juxtaposing them, and potentially generating new ones along the way rather than waiting until the organization stage to have some of this new material "fall out".

    1. I've been using index cards for tracking reading notes (lit or bib notes now) and I want to change this topic of index cards over to the Z system. In the past, the main section was "writing" and two subsections, "nonfiction" and "fiction". They are all how-to. I have some main notes but most are from every writing book published which I've read in the last 10 years (yep, shelves full). Approx. 3000 index cards, maybe more, with lots of sub-subsection, etc. I've been teaching writing for the last 10+ years and would love to connect the dots easier now than I have in the past. On the list, I couldn't find the recommended category to place these under. Maybe productivity is in there somewhere. I'm working on a mind map structure now. Any thoughts or advice on this? Anyone else done this?

      Has your prior system not been working for you? What do you want to gain from making the change? What list are you looking at that you don't see a category? Isn't the category "writing", "fiction writing", "nonfiction writing", etc.?

    1. I wanted to try something very different. So, I use another writing system to write my original thoughts. I use the Wakandan writing system to write my thoughts because I already know how to write in it and I virtually know almost no one else who knows how to.

      An example of someone (u/Nervous-Deal7560) using the Wakandan writing system to distinguish their ideas from those of sources!

      see also: - https://omniglot.com/conscripts/wakandan.htm - https://www.fandom.com/articles/how-the-black-panther-writing-system-subverts-our-expectations-of-africa

    1. 4/20/52[Keime.] Murder by mental nagging. Woman nags her husband to suicide, which he does so it looks like he has been murdered. Poison, which he puts in her desk drawer, her fingerprints on it.

      Jillian Hess noted that Patricia Highsmith uses the German word Keime, meaning "germ of an idea" in her cahiers to indicate ideas which might be used in her novels or short stories.

    2. July 7, 1942I want to take all my notebooks and read through them for important phrases — use them. It would be wonderful to do it on a weekend. Alone, in the quiet.

      from Patricia Highsmith's diaries

      this seems similar to Ralph Waldo Emmerson's journals/commonplaces where he collected interesting phrases for use in his writing. Here she's explicitly stating her desire to do this for her writing work.

      The "Alone, in the quite." quote seems to mirror her appreciation and stated desire to be alone at home in the 1978 Good Afternoon interview.

    3. Even three or four words are often worth jotting down if they will evoke a thought, an idea or a mood. In the barren periods, one should browse through the notebooks. Some ideas may suddenly start to move. Two ideas may combine, perhaps because they were meant to combine in the first place. —Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction
    4. I highly recommend notebooks for writers, a small one if one has to be out on a job all day, a larger one if one has the luxury of staying at home.

      from Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

    1. The bee plunders the flowers here and there, but afterwards they make of them honey, which is all theirs; it is no longer thyme or marjoram. Even so with the pieces borrowed from others; he will transform and blend them to make a work that is all his own, to wit, his judgment — The Complete Essays of Michel de Montaigne

      Cross reference with Seneca's note taking metaphors with apes.

    1. Tinderbox Meetup - Sunday, May 7, 2023 Video: Connect with Sönke Ahrens live, the author of How to Take Smart Notes

      reply for Fidel at https://forum.eastgate.com/t/tinderbox-meetup-sunday-may-7-2023-video-connect-with-sonke-ahrens-live-the-author-of-how-to-take-smart-notes/6659

      @fidel (I'm presuming you're the same one from the meetup on Sunday, if not perhaps someone might tag the appropriate person?), I was thinking a bit more on your question of using physical index cards for writing fiction. You might find the examples of both Vladimir Nabokov and Dustin Lance Black, a screenwriter, useful as they both use index card-based workflows.

      Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977 leaving an unfinished manuscript in note card form for the novel The Original of Laura . Penguin later published the incomplete novel with in 2012 with the subtitle A Novel in Fragments . Unlike most manuscripts written or typewritten on larger paper, this one came in the form of 138 index cards. Penguin's published version recreated these cards in full-color reproductions including the smudges, scribbles, scrawlings, strikeouts, and annotations in English, French, and Russian. Perforated, one could tear the cards out of the book and reorganize in any way they saw fit or even potentially add their own cards to finish the novel that Nabokov couldn't. Taking a look at this might give you some ideas of how Nabokov worked and how you might adapt the style for yourself. Another interesting resource is this article with some photos/links about his method with respect to writing Lolita: https://www.openculture.com/2014/02/the-notecards-on-which-vladimir-nabokov-wrote-lolita.html

      You might also find some useful tidbits on his writing process (Bristol cards/Exacompta anyone?) in: Gold, Herbert. “Vladimir Nabokov, The Art of Fiction No. 40.” The Paris Review, 1967. https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4310/the-art-of-fiction-no-40-vladimir-nabokov.

      Carl Mydans photographed Nabokov while writing in September 1958 and some of those may be interesting to you as well.

      Dustin Lance Black outlines his index card process in this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrvawtrRxsw

      If you dig around you'll also find Michael Ende and a variety of other German fiction writers who used index cards on the Zettelkasten page on Wikipedia, but I suspect most of the material on their processes are written in German.

      Index cards for fiction writing may allow some writers some useful affordances/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.

      However, if you can, try to use a card catalog drawer with a rod so that you don't spill all of your well-ordered cards the way the character in Robert M. Pirsig's novel Lila (1991) did.

    1. Within the pantheon of types of notes there are: - paraphrasing notes, which one can use to summarize ideas for later recall and review as well as to check one's own knowledge and understanding of what an author has said. - commentary notes, which take the text and create a commentary on them, often as part of having a conversation with the text. These can be seen historically in the Midrashim tradition of commenting on Torah.

      [23:12 - 24:47]

      separately also: - productivity notes - to do lists, reminders of work to be done, often within or as part of a larger complex project

  3. Apr 2023
    1. I’d rather challenge people to figure out a way to get their work to connect with what really means something to them, however they’re going to do it. It doesn’t always mean writing about what you know, but it means writing about something in a way that’s going to get you to use your best and most troubling material.

      Tom Perrotta

    2. I was told to write poems that cost me something to write them. They cost me a lot. Too much? I’m still carrying ones and zeros on the budget. I go to poems looking for heart. You can tell when a poet has put a lot of heart into the poem and you can tell when they left it out. Some of them favor brain. But for me, all brain is no ache but headache.”

      Jillian Weise

    3. “You throw it all away and invent from what you know. I should have said that sooner. That’s all there is to writing.”

      Ernest Hemingway

    4. Write as if you were a movie camera. Get exactly what is there. All human beings see with astonishing accuracy, not that they can necessarily write it down.”

      John Gardener

    5. “You absolutely should write about what you know. There are all sorts of small things that you should store up and use, nothing is lost to a writer. You have to learn to stand outside of yourself. All experience, whether it is painful or whether it is happy is somehow stored up and sooner or later it’s used.”

      P.D. James

    6. “I just try to work on ideas that interest and perplex and absorb me. People say, “Write what you know,” but for me it’s more like, “Write what obsesses you.”

      Meg Wolitzer

    7. For me, it’s the difference between fiction that matters only to those who know the author and fiction that, well, matters.

      “Don’t Write What You Know,” by Bret Anthony Johnston

    8. I think what’s behind “write what you know” is emotion. Like, have you known happiness? Have you ever been truly sad? Have you ever longed for something? And that’s the point, if you’ve longed for an Atari 2600, as I did when I was twelve, all I wanted was that game console, if you have felt that deep longing, that can also be a deep longing for a lost love or for liberation of your country, or to reach Mars. That’s the idea: if you’ve known longing, then you can write longing. And that’s the knowing behind “write what you know.””

      Nathan Englander

    1. Sometimes you must surrender the idea of steering the story toward a predetermined structure and destination. We all know how to do the latter, so it feels secure.
    2. Writing about science means humbling yourself about how little you know, and then writing the story in the authoritative voice of a tentative expert.
    3. Roy Peter Clark, writing scholar and coach at The Poynter Institute, says, “Reports give readers information. Stories give readers experience.” I would add: An article is generic; a story is unique.

      There's something interesting lurking here on note taking practice as well.

      Generic notes for learning may rephrase or summarize an idea int one's own words and are equivalent to basic information or articles as framed by Clark/Keiger. But in building towards something, that goes beyond the basic, one should strive in their notes to elicit experience and generate insight; take the facts and analyze them, create something new, interesting, and unique.

    4. Roy Peter Clark, writing scholar and coach at The Poynter Institute, says, “Reports give readers information. Stories give readers experience.” I would add: An article is generic; a story is unique.
    5. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Great genial power, one would almost say, consists in not being original at all; in being altogether receptive; in letting the world do all, and suffering the spirit of the hour to pass unobstructed through the mind.”

      original source?

    6. My teachers were practice, experience, trial and error, good editors and exemplars like John McPhee, Tracy Kidder, Edward Hoagland, Paul Theroux and Annie Dillard.

      Examples of good writers from Dale Keiger.

    1. Paulson, Michael. “Aaron Sorkin Revamps ‘Camelot,’ With Challenges Classic and New.” The New York Times, March 22, 2023, sec. Theater. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/22/theater/aaron-sorkin-camelot-broadway.html.

    2. “I wrote 86 episodes of ‘The West Wing,’ and every single time I finished one, I’d be happy for five minutes before it just meant that I haven’t started the next one yet, and I never thought I would be able to write the next one. Ever.”

      I'm reminded a bit of Dale Keiger's mention of Mark Strand having this same feeling after writing a poem.


    3. Sorkin had been a heavy smoker since high school — two packs a day of Merits — and the habit had long been inextricable from his writing process. “It was just part of it, the way a pen was part of it,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about it too much, because I’ll start to salivate.”

      For Aaron Sorkin smoking was a tool that was part of his writing process.

    1. In 1971, his reputation was beginning its ascent when he was interviewed by The Ohio Review. He described what he felt after completing a poem:Well, after the brief, and I think normal, period of exhilaration, there is a let-down. What I’ve done is written another poem. And what I have to do is write another one.
    1. especially frightening was how hishair lay flat on his pale forehead

      Parallel to beginning where Pyoter is looking at his dead body in the coffin; he says the same thing

    2. Ivan Ilyich sensed it, drovethe thought of it away, but it would go on, and it would come and standdirectly in front of him and look at him, and he would be durilbstruck,the light would go ?ut in his eyes, and he would again begin asking himself: - "Can it alone be true?"


    3. As his wife became more irritable and demanding

      This story paints her in a very negative light. I still think this is an instance of unreliable narration; perhaps if told from her perspective, she would not think so kindly of her husband trying to simply "protect his peace," instead of valuing their family or helping care for children.

    4. His eyeswere tearful and such as are found in impure boys of thirteen or fourteen

      Wording; Impure. They do not yet know how to perform.

    5. noticing that the table was threatened with �sh

      I like the wording a lot

    6. (generally the whole drawing room was filled withknickknacks and furniture)

      This parenthetical seems oddly out of place?

    7. snap.

      The whole timing of this prior section is genius! Very funnily timed!

    1. does my zettelkasten make writing... harder?

      Worried about self-plagiarizing in the future? Others like Hans Blumenberg have struck through used cards with red pencil. This could also be done with metadata or other searchable means in the digital realm as well. (See: https://hypothes.is/a/mT8Twk2cEe2bvj8lq2Lgpw)

      General problems she faces: 1. Notetaking vs. writing voice (shifting between one and another and not just copy/pasting) 2. discovery during writing (put new ideas into ZK as you go or just keep writing on the page when the muse strikes) 3. Linearity of output: books are linear and ZK is not

      Using transclusion may help in the initial draft/zero draft?<br /> ie: ![[example]] (This was mentioned in the comments as well.)

      directional vs. indirectional notes - see Sascha Fast's article

      Borrowing from the telecom/cable industry, one might call this the zettelkasten "last mile problem". I've also referred to it in the past as the zettelkasten output problem. (See also the description and comments at https://boffosocko.com/2022/07/12/call-for-model-examples-of-zettelkasten-output-processes/ as well as some of the examples linked at https://boffosocko.com/research/zettelkasten-commonplace-books-and-note-taking-collection/)

      Many journal articles that review books (written in English) in the last half of the 20th century which include the word zettelkasten have a negative connotation with respect to ZK and frequently mention the problem that researchers/book writers have of "tipping out their ZKs" without the outlining and argument building/editing work to make their texts more comprehensible or understandable.

      Ward Cunningham has spoken in the past about the idea of a Markov Monkey who can traverse one's atomic notes in a variety of paths (like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but the monkey knows all the potential paths). The thesis in some sense is the author choosing a potential "best" path (a form of "travelling salesperson problem), for a specific audience, who presumably may have some context of the general area.

      Many mention Sonke Ahrens' book, but fail to notice Umberto Eco's How to Write a Thesis (MIT, 2015) and Gerald Weinberg's "The Fieldstone Method (Dorset House, 2005) which touch a bit on these composition problems.

      I'm not exactly sure of the particulars and perhaps there isn't enough historical data to prove one direction or another, but Wittgenstein left behind a zettelkasten which his intellectual heirs published as a book. In it they posit (in the introduction) that rather than it being a notetaking store which he used to compose longer works, that the seeming similarities between the ideas in his zettelkasten and some of his typescripts were the result of him taking his typescripts and cutting them up to put into his zettelkasten. It may be difficult to know which direction was which, but my working hypothesis is that the only way it could have been ideas from typescripts into his zettelkasten would have been if he was a "pantser", to use your terminology, and he was chopping up ideas from his discovery writing to place into contexts within his zettelkasten for later use. Perhaps access to the original physical materials may be helpful in determining which way he was moving. Cross reference: https://hypothes.is/a/BptoKsRPEe2zuW8MRUY1hw

      Some helpful examples: - academia : Victor Margolin - fiction/screenwriting: - Dustin Lance Black - Vladimir Nabokov - others...

    1. 在图书馆里翻来翻去写出来的东西,没什么意义,尤其在 ChatGPT 时代。以后一个初中生写的东西说不定比大牌作家写得还好,他收集资料的能力更强。所以,我的书要提供原创的实地的东西,ChatGPT 代替不了的东西。现在这本书可以说达到这个标准,我相信 ChatGPT 肯定写不出来。
    1. How best to incorporate a book of terms? .t3_12e2r50._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionHi, so my Zettelkasten is mainly based around learning literary/storytelling techniques. There's a book called the Elements of Eloquence (which I can't recommend enough to those interested in language) which lays down a large number of formulas from rhetoric for creating memorable lines. It varies in complexity from alliteration to hendiadys, and contains 39 of these memorable-line-recipes in total.I want to enter them into my vault, but worry that creating 39 new notes for the individual formula might be overkill. I thought I'd ask here as I am worried about irreducibility - do I create a single note that contains brief descriptions of all the recipes, or fill my zettelkasten with them, creating what feels a little bit like spam?I've had the zettelkasten for a while but have been too busy to properly use it until recently, so I thought I'd be better off asking the people with actual experience!

      reply to u/apricotsareweird at r/Zettelkasten - How best to incorporate a book of terms?

      This sounds a bit like it might fit into the mold of an example like Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's "Oblique Strategies" which are bits of creative advice that one draws out at random to help improve their work. You could have a custom deck for potential writing work and attempt the recipes at random to see where it takes you. At worst a collection of them could be used for spaced repetition to memorize or familiarize yourself with them. At a later date you could give them numbers and install them into a larger collection, but keeping them as a stand alone collection certainly couldn't hurt at least to start.

  4. Mar 2023
    1. Since Luhmann’s system of the slip box is well-known, Ahrens’ valuable contribution lies less in providing an innovative technique of note-taking and the organization of academic writing, but more in reflecting critically on the very nature of writing as a medium of knowledge generation.

      I think that by saying "Luhmann's system of the slip box is well-known", Stephanie Schiller is not talking about his specific box or his specific method, but the broader rhetorical method of the ars excerpendi and note taking in general. There isn't a whole lot of evidence to indicate that, except for a small segment of sociologists who may have know his work, that Luhmann's slip box was specifically well known at all up to the point of Ahrens' book.

    1. Writing is rewarding. Writing is empowering. Writing is even fun. As human, we are wired to communicate. We are also wired for “play.” Under the right circumstances, writing allows us to do both of these things at the same time.
    2. In a piece like this, writing is the expression and exploration of an idea (or collection of ideas). It is only through the writing that I can fully understand what I think.
    3. one of the things I value about writing, is the act of writing itself. It is an embodied process that connects me to my own humanity, by putting me in touch with my mind, the same way a vigorous hike through the woods can put me in touch with my body.
    4. Value the process, rather than the product.

      Good writing is often about practices and process to arrive at an end product and not just the end product itself.

      Writing is a means to an end, but most don't have the means to begin with.

      Writing with a card index, zettelkasten, commonplace book or other related tools can dramatically help almost any writer because it provides them with a means from the start rather than facing a blank page and having to produce whole cloth in bulk.

    1. I found the format of these Hypothes.is notes to be much more readable than the notes on the same topic in Evernote.


      There is definitely something here from a usability (and reusability) perspective when notes are broken down into smaller pieces the way that is encouraged by Hypothes.is or by writing on index cards.

      Compare: - ://www.evernote.com/shard/s170/sh/d69cf793-1f14-48f4-bd48-43f41bd88678/DapavVTQh954eMRGKOVeEPHm7FxEqxBKvaKLfKWaSV1yuOmjREsMkSHvmQ - https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.otherlife.co/pkm/

      The first may be most useful for a note taker who is personally trying to make sense of material, but it becomes a massive wall of text that one is unlikely to re-read or attempt to reuse at a later date. If they do attempt to reuse it at a later date, it's not clear which parts are excerpts of the original and which are the author's own words. (This page also looks like it's the sort of notes, highlighting, and underlining recommended by Tiago Forte's Building a Second Brain text using progressive summarization.)

      The second set, are more concrete, more atomic, more understandable, and also as a result much more usable.

    1. The earliest time of composition of any of these fragmentswas, so far as we can judge, 1929. The date at which the latestdatable fragment was written was August 1948. By far thegreatest number came from typescripts which were dictated from1945- 1948

      Based on the dating provided by Anscombe and von Wright, Wittgenstein's zettelkasten slips dated from 1929 to 1948.

      for reference LW's dates were 1889-1951

      Supposing that the notes preceded the typescripts and not the other way around as Anscombe and von Wright indicate, the majority of the notes were turned into written work (typescripts) which were dictated from 1945-1948.

      What was LW's process? Note taking, arranging/outlining, and then dictation followed by editing? Dictating would have been easier/faster certainly if he'd already written down his cards and could simply read from them to a secretary.

    1. More specificity is always preferable. It demonstrates to the college that you have given the programme careful consideration and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.
  5. Feb 2023
    1. What screenwriting books recommend note cards for drafting/outlining? Do any go beyond the general outlining advice?

      What is the overlap of this sort of writing practice with comedians who had a practice of writing jokes on index cards? (Ronald Reagan, Phyllis Diller, etc.?

    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwKjuBvNi40

      Ben Rowland uses index cards to outline the plot of his screenplays. This is a common practice among screenwriters. Interestingly he only uses it for plot outlining and not for actual writing the way other writers like Vladimir Nabokov may have. Both Benjamin Rowland and Duston Lance Black use cards for outlining but not at the actual writing stage.

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Billy Oppenheimer</span> in The Notecard System: Capture, Organize, and Use Everything You Read, Watch, and Listen To (<time class='dt-published'>11/03/2022 16:53:44</time>)</cite></small>

      Nothing stupendous here. Mostly notes on cards and then laid out to outline. Most of the writing sounds like it happens at the transfer stage rather than the card and outline stage.

      This process seems more akin to that of Victor Margolin than Vladimir Nabokov.


      Dustin Lance Black's "vomit draft" is similar to Mozart's peeing his music out like a cow. His method is also similar to Victor Margolin who's gone over the material several times by the time he's finally writing out his draft.

    1. 1478-1518, Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci (''The Codex Arundel''). A collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes. The core of the notebook is a collection of materials that Leonardo describes as ''a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place according to the subjects of which they treat'' (f. 1r), a collection he began in the house of Piero di Braccio Martelli in Florence, in 1508. To this notebook has subsequently been added a number of other loose papers containing writing and diagrams produced by Leonardo throughout his career. Decoration: Numerous diagrams.

    1. The Codex Arundel, named after a British collector, the Earl of Arundel, who acquired it early in the 17th century. Da Vinci composed the collection of hundreds of papers between 1478 and 1518 — that is, between the ages of 26 and 66 — the year before his death. The papers now reside in the British Library. The collection features his famous mirror-writing as well as diagrams, drawings and texts covering a range of topics in art and science.

      Da Vinci composed a collection of hundreds of papers from 1478 and 1518 which are now bound in the Codex Arundel, named for the Earl of Arundel who acquired it in the 17th century.

    1. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised test that can assist international students analyse their strengths, improve their chances of admission, and add credibility to their applications for advanced degrees like a Master’s, a PhD, or an MBA.
    1. A sequence of Folgezetteln notes in the filenames of the Zettelns can from this perspective be considered a hardcoded outline and should be avoided, however convenient it seems.

      And here he says it out loud... see https://hypothes.is/a/Gl5ferPsEe2Yf5P83a3wUg

    1. Writing has taken priority. My course assignment is to write a creative non-fiction essay modeled after the works we discussed in class. My Zk has been a joyous and surprising resource for ideas. I'm using my ZK by creating search queries and using the highlighting feature to find where I've already written answers to the query in my own voice. They become snippets directly into my essay. In a sense, I've already written my essay. I just have to find all the pieces and put them together. In truth, this is only a first draft and still needs work. What I've found to be key steps to creating a rough draft. 1. Write and outline 2. Craft queries following the outline 3. Spend time looking closely are all the returned results 4. Look for quotes and epigraphs relevant to the paper 5. Look through the draft for ideas that want expansion repeating steps 2-5
    1. Of course the metaphor of the bees and their honey is the biggest which we've all failed to mention! It's my favorite because of its age, its location within the tradition of rhetoric and sententiae/ars excerpendi, its prolific use through history, and the way it frames collecting and arranging for the use of creativity and writing.

      In the his classic on rhetoric, Seneca gave an account of his ideas about note-taking in the 84th letter to Luculius ("On Gathering Ideas"). It begins from ut aiunt: "men say", that we should imitate the bees in our reading practice. For as they produce honey from the flowers they visit and then "assort in their cells all that they have brought in", so we should, "sift (separate) whatever we have gathered from a varied course of reading" because things keep better in isolation from one another, an idea which dovetails with ars memoria, the 4th canon of rhetoric.

      "We should follow, men say, the example of the bees, who flit about and cull the flowers that are suitable for producing honey, and then arrange and assort in their cells all that they have brought in; these bees, as our Vergil says: 'pack close the flowering honey And swell their cells with nectar sweet.' "

      Generations later in ~430 CE, Macrobius in his Saturnalia repeated the same idea (he assuredly read Seneca, though he obviously didn't acknowledge him):

      "You should not count it a fault if I shall set out the borrowings from a miscellaneous reading in the authors' own words... sometimes set out plainly in my own words and sometimes faithfully recorded in the actual words of the old writers... We ought in some sort to imitate bees; and just as they, in their wandering to and fro, sip the flowers, then arrange their spoil and distribute it among the honeycombs, and transform the various juices to a single flavor by some mixing with them a property of their own being, so I too shall put into writing all that I have acquired in the varied course of my reading... For not only does arrangement help the memory, but the actual process of arrangement, accompanied by a kind of mental fermentation which serves to season the whole, blends the diverse extracts to make a single flavor; with the result that, even if the sources are evident, what we get in the end is still something clearly different from those known sources."

      Often in manuscripts writers in the middle ages to the Renaissance would draw bees or write 'apes' (Latin for bees) in the margins of their books almost as bookmarks for things they wished to remember or excerpt for their own notes.

      Of course, neither of these classical writers mentions the added benefit that the bees were simultaneously helping to pollenate the flowers, which also enhances the ecosystem.

      • Seneca (2006) Epistles 66-92. With an English translation by Richard G. Gummere. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (Loeb Classical Library), 277-285.
      • Havens, Earle. Commonplace Books: A History of Manuscripts and Printed Books from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century. New Haven, CT: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 2001.
    1. Lustig, Jason. “‘Mere Chips from His Workshop’: Gotthard Deutsch’s Monumental Card Index of Jewish History.” History of the Human Sciences, vol. 32, no. 3, July 2019, pp. 49–75. SAGE Journals, https://doi.org/10.1177/0952695119830900

      Cross reference preliminary notes from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0952695119830900

      Finished reading 2023-02-21 13:04:00


    1. I’ve also begun adopting a style loosely based on the approach to introductory signals used in legal writing, where things like See: [[something]] and See also: [[something]] and But see: [[something]] each have slightly different meanings. This gives me a set of supporting, comparison, and contradictory signals I can use when placing links as well.

      Shorthand notations or symbols in one's notes can be used to provide help in structuring arguments. Small indicators like "see: x", "see also: y", or "but see: z" can be used for adding supporting, comparison, or contradictory material respectively.

    1. To cover my knowledge management process would distract you from what works for you. Your question needs more context to be actionable.TL;DR; Whichever knowledge management system gets you paid.I've got 13 notes with the term "knowledge management," 15 with "information gathering," and 7 with "strategic intelligence." Without finishing a MOC, here's off the top of my head:Have a purpose or reason for learning.Ask helpful questions that solve problems.Answer questions as stand-alone notes.Learn from primary sources. Even boring ones.Take notes for your intended audience.Serve a specific audience (get paid.)Write about what people care about.Become a subject matter expert in target areas.Deliver what you know as a service first.Build on your strengths. Knowledge is cheap.It's not a process. More like tips. If demand exists, I'll write a book on the topic in a few years. Might be a good podcast topic.“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” -- Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel JohnsonRemember, there is no shortage of knowledge. Managing information is like masturbation; it feels good but doesn't do much. Focus on making information drive goal achievement.

      Some useful and solid advice here.

    2. https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/zb4okr/map_of_18237_files_more_than_22_years_of_writing/

      u/jwhco has ~5,000 index cards and 18,237 files (presumably mostly note-based text files, though some mentioned are papers, articles, etc.) over the span of 22 years.

    1. we have preserved Eco’s handwritten index cardresearch system in all its detail, precisely because it is the soulof How to Write a Thesis.
    2. he research skills that Eco teaches areperhaps even more relevant today. Eco’s system demandscritical thinking, resourcefulness, creativity, attention todetail, and academic pride and humility; these are preciselythe skills that aid students overwhelmed by the ever-grow-ing demands made on their time and resources, and confusedby the seemingly endless torrents of information availableto them.

      In addition to "critical thinking, resourcefulness, creativity, attention to detail, and academic pride and humility", the ability to use a note card-based research system like Umberto Eco's is the key to overcoming information overload.

    3. He understood that the writing of a thesis forcedmany students outside of their cultural comfort zone, andthat if the shock was too sudden or strong, they would giveup.

      The writing of a thesis is a shock to many specifically because information overload has not only gotten worse, but because the underlying historical method of doing so has either been removed from the educational equation or so heavily watered down that students don't think to use it.

      When I think and write about "note taking" I'm doing it in a subtly different way and method than how it seems to be used in common parlance. Most seem to use it solely for information extraction and as a memory crutch which they may or may not revisit to memorize or use and then throw away. I do it for some of these reasons, but my practice goes far beyond this for generating new ideas, mixing up ideas creatively, and for writing. Note reuse seems to be the thing missing from the equation. It also coincidentally was the reason I quit taking notes in college.

    1. Sloan, Robin. “Author’s Note.” Experimental fiction. Wordcraft Writers Workshop, November 2022. https://wordcraft-writers-workshop.appspot.com/stories/robin-sloan.


    2. "I have affirmed the premise that the enemy can be so simple as a bundle of hate," said he. "What else? I have extinguished the light of a story utterly.

      How fitting that the amanuensis in a short story written with the help of artificial intelligence has done the opposite of what the author intended!

    1. Wordcraft Writers Workshop by Andy Coenen - PAIR, Daphne Ippolito - Brain Research Ann Yuan - PAIR, Sehmon Burnam - Magenta

      cross reference: ChatGPT

    2. Can a language model be transgressive without intentionality?
    3. More provocatively, great writing is transgressive — it subverts expectations and challenges the reader.
    4. LaMDA's safety features could also be limiting: Michelle Taransky found that "the software seemed very reluctant to generate people doing mean things". Models that generate toxic content are highly undesirable, but a literary world where no character is ever mean is unlikely to be interesting.
    5. A recurring theme in the authors’ feedback was that Wordcraft could not stick to a single narrative arc or writing direction.

      When does using an artificial intelligence-based writing tool make the writer an editor of the computer's output rather than the writer themself?

    6. If I were going to use an AI, I'd want to plugin and give massive priority to my commonplace book and personal notes followed by the materials I've read, watched, and listened to secondarily.

    7. Several participants noted the occasionally surreal quality of Wordcraft's suggestions.

      Wordcraft's hallucinations can create interesting and creatively surreal suggestions.

      How might one dial up or down the ability to hallucinate or create surrealism within an artificial intelligence used for thinking, writing, etc.?

    8. Writers struggled with the fickle nature of the system. They often spent a great deal of time wading through Wordcraft's suggestions before finding anything interesting enough to be useful. Even when writers struck gold, it proved challenging to consistently reproduce the behavior. Not surprisingly, writers who had spent time studying the technical underpinnings of large language models or who had worked with them before were better able to get the tool to do what they wanted.

      Because one may need to spend an inordinate amount of time filtering through potentially bad suggestions of artificial intelligence, the time and energy spent keeping a commonplace book or zettelkasten may pay off magnificently in the long run.

    9. Many authors noted that generations tended to fall into clichés, especially when the system was confronted with scenarios less likely to be found in the model's training data. For example, Nelly Garcia noted the difficulty in writing about a lesbian romance — the model kept suggesting that she insert a male character or that she have the female protagonists talk about friendship. Yudhanjaya Wijeratne attempted to deviate from standard fantasy tropes (e.g. heroes as cartographers and builders, not warriors), but Wordcraft insisted on pushing the story toward the well-worn trope of a warrior hero fighting back enemy invaders.

      Examples of artificial intelligence pushing toward pre-existing biases based on training data sets.

    10. novel is not the same as interesting
    11. Wordcraft tended to produce only average writing.

      How to improve on this state of the art?

    12. “[It's] an amazing tool for brainstorming or rubber-ducking. Its conversational quality is perfect to talk about plot, characters and worldbuilding.”- Nelly Garcia

      Presumably the use of rubber-ducking here is an indicator of Nelly Garcia's background with programming and prior AI tool use?

      The rubber duck as a writing partner?

    13. “...it can be very useful for coming up with ideas out of thin air, essentially. All you need is a little bit of seed text, maybe some notes on a story you've been thinking about or random bits of inspiration and you can hit a button that gives you nearly infinite story ideas.”- Eugenia Triantafyllou

      Eugenia Triantafyllou is talking about crutches for creativity and inspiration, but seems to miss the value of collecting interesting tidbits along the road of life that one can use later. Instead, the emphasis here becomes one of relying on an artificial intelligence doing it for you at the "hit of a button". If this is the case, then why not just let the artificial intelligence do all the work for you?

      This is the area where the cultural loss of mnemonics used in orality or even the simple commonplace book will make us easier prey for (over-)reliance on technology.

      Is serendipity really serendipity if it's programmed for you?

    14. Wordcraft shined the most as a brainstorming partner and source of inspiration. Writers found it particularly useful for coming up with novel ideas and elaborating on them. AI-powered creative tools seem particularly well suited to sparking creativity and addressing the dreaded writer's block.

      Just as using a text for writing generative annotations (having a conversation with a text) is a useful exercise for writers and thinkers, creative writers can stand to have similar textual creativity prompts.

      Compare Wordcraft affordances with tools like Nabokov's card index (zettelkasten) method, Twyla Tharp's boxes, MadLibs, cadavre exquis, et al.

      The key is to have some sort of creativity catalyst so that one isn't working in a vacuum or facing the dreaded blank page.

    15. In addition to specific operations such as rewriting, there are also controls for elaboration and continutation. The user can even ask Wordcraft to perform arbitrary tasks, such as "describe the gold earring" or "tell me why the dog was trying to climb the tree", a control we call freeform prompting. And, because sometimes knowing what to ask is the hardest part, the user can ask Wordcraft to generate these freeform prompts and then use them to generate text. We've also integrated a chatbot feature into the app to enable unstructured conversation about the story being written. This way, Wordcraft becomes both an editor and creative partner for the writer, opening up new and exciting creative workflows.

      The sense of writing partner here is similar to that mentioned by Niklas Luhmann in Communicating with Slip Boxes: An Empirical Account (1981), though in his case his writing partner was a carefully constructed database archive of his past notes.

      see: Luhmann, Niklas. “Kommunikation mit Zettelkästen: Ein Erfahrungsbericht.” In Öffentliche Meinung und sozialer Wandel / Public Opinion and Social Change, edited by Horst Baier, Hans Mathias Kepplinger, and Kurt Reumann, 222–28. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 1981. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-322-87749-9_19.<br /> translation at https://web.archive.org/web/20150825031821/http://scriptogr.am/kuehnm.

    16. Our team at Google Research built Wordcraft, an AI-powered text editor centered on story writing, to see how far we could push the limits of this technology.
    1. Author's note by Robin Sloan<br /> November 2022

    2. I have to report that the AI did not make a useful or pleasant writing partner. Even a state-of-the-art language model cannot presently “understand” what a fiction writer is trying to accomplish in an evolving draft. That’s not unreasonable; often, the writer doesn’t know exactly what they’re trying to accom­plish! Often, they are writing to find out.
    3. First, I’m impressed as hell by the Wordcraft team. Daphne Ippolito, Ann Yuan, Andy Coenen, Sehmon Burnam, and their colleagues engi­neered an impres­sive, provoca­tive writing tool, but/and, more importantly, they inves­ti­gated its use with sensi­tivity and courage.
    1. The biggest issue for me is that medium makes me feel like a cash cow. The way it wants me to pay every step of the way, the way it hijacks copy/paste to insert its own marketing. The account it wants me to create. The trackers it inserts everywhere. You missed the step of making something great that people actually feel good about paying for. The grassroots "for users by users" community feel that other platforms still manage to tap into. A site you'd be proud to be part of and happy to pay for. The problem with an X-views paywall is: you annoy me so much that even if there's good content behind it I'm long gone before I ever find out because you've already pushed me away. It just has this "all about the money" feel that I deeply hate.Also, not every author is out to make money. My personal blog is not monetized at all. It's more my way of outreach for my day job in tech. And I'd never want to put my readers through this experience. Free content should be exempt.The other points like the quality of content dropping because you recommend the wrong stuff, yeah they dropped the value proposition even more. But they weren't the real problem.

      The real problems with Medium

    1. https://www.edwinwenink.xyz/posts/59-writing_not_collecting/

    2. recording something does not prevent you from losing it. You lose it when you don’t actively use it.
    3. This points to perhaps the most dangerous pitfall of note-taking. It’s very tempting to convince yourself you are learning just because you are writing down - in the sense of passively recording - what someone else says or writes.
    1. What are the differences and affordances in moving from cadavre exquis to Eno/Schmidt's Oblique Strategies to ChatGPT?

    2. ChatGPT could be used as a writing prompt for writers to leverage for their work in much the same way that [[Benjamin Franklin]] rewrote existing works or the major plot point in the movie [[Finding Forrester]] in which Jamal used William's work as a springboard for his own.

      Link to: https://hypothes.is/a/HPQLinKXEemyqafW9xlIFQ.

    1. About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator.[18] It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. With this view I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try'd to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it. Therefore I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method of the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious. My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship which my father used to exact of me when I was under his care, and which indeed I still thought a duty, thought I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.

      Even the greats copied or loosely plagiarized the "masters" to learn how to write.The key is to continually work at it until you get to the point where it's yours and it is no longer plagiarism.

      This was also the general premise behind the plotline of the movie Finding Forrester.

    1. Rhetoric of encomium

      How do institutions form around notions of merit?

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

      diachronic: how blurbs evolve over time

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

      Emergence or decrease of signals with respect to time

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

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

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

      How does praise work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



    1. Some dance to rememberSome dance to forget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      "death march of proposition, lemma, proof"

      This is a bit harsh n'cest pas?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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