827 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. silence has consequences, too. One of the most unsettling is the displacement of history by mythmaking. Maybe the directors of The Woman King can be forgiven for their inaccuracies—it is a movie, after all, and films have always been governed by the John Ford rule “print the legend.” But the mythmaking is spreading from “just the movies” to more formal and institutional forms of public memory. If old heroes “must fall,” their disappearance opens voids for new heroes to be inserted in their place

      Maybe the point is, we need to get over this Marvel Comics worldview, filled with heroes and villains.

    2. Younger scholars feel oppressed and exploited by universities pressing them to do more labor for worse pay with less security than their elders; older scholars feel that overeager juniors are poised to pounce on the least infraction as an occasion to end an elder’s career and seize a job opening for themselves. Add racial difference as an accelerant

      Frum isn't wrong, but this is a much bigger issue. Is this the only way the sweet story is relevant?

    3. stepping aside might preclude stepping into a controversy about African subjects in the way James Sweet did with his AHA essay.

      There may be a point here about taking the oxygen in the room. Do we really want to lean into the zero-sum world view that embraces, though? Is there no place for allies?

    4. Scholarly study of Africa in the United States began a century ago with work by Black writers and scholars such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Carter G. Woodson. These writers and scholars were denied research and travel funds, and sometimes even refused access to academic libraries. When private foundations began to fund African research, in the 1920s and ’30s, they instead directed their resources to rising white scholars at elite universities. These credentialed scholars became the leaders of the field in the 1950s and ’60s, when the Cold War made Africa an urgent interest. Those established patterns have come under fiercer and fiercer fire.


    5. The iconoclasm was not confined to the United States, but occurred across the developed world.

      Now we're off the rails. This is no longer an essay about the responsible uses of history.

    6. “It is the continuing struggle for justice that matters”

      Some historians were spokesmen for the dominant narrative. Some more recently have become critics of it. This is studied in historiography. Satia is right that justice matters. But it may not be the only thing that matters.

    7. Subjugating history to politics has inherent risks, he told me, noting that “the approaches of the hard right are not dissimilar to the way the profession is lurching or creeping today.” The people who hold power inside the academy may feel insulated from the rest of society, but they are subject to the much greater power that can be wielded outside the academy.

      But he hasn't made clear how they are or are not the same. The point may be that the academy is ultimately answerable to the outside world. This may be the best argument for academic freedom that attempts to allow scholars to swim against those currents.

    8. When has history-writing been nonpolitical?

      Bam! Right on.

    9. There is a move among some of my colleagues to expand the definition of scholarship, to change the way we assess scholarship,” he told me. “I worry there will be a move to de-emphasize the single-author manuscript: the book. Instead, anything that uses the historian’s craft or skills could count as scholarship. The most radical version might even include tweets, or at least blogs or essays online. How do you determine, then, what is political and what is scholarly?

      There's a lot to unpack here. The interface between professional and popular history is one issue. The assessment of value, which could also be called gatekeeping, is another. The validity and usefulness of different media for communicating different types of ideas is another big issue. THIS is what Sweet's article should probably have been about.

    10. I received almost 250 emails which were almost the inverse image of what was going on on Twitter,” he said. “Those were long, considered, thoughtful emails, not just 280-character responses.

      Also a good point. Twitter sucks. It's like pop history. Maybe it's not where we should be focusing our attention? Maybe the people who want to react there are chasing emotion rather than thoughtful engagement?

    11. he was on the receiving end of what felt like a determined and willful misunderstanding

      This seems legit. It was still a ham-handed essay.

    12. I think people looked at and imposed the politics they wanted on the piece. I talked about poor uses of history on the right and the left. But my colleagues saw only the critique of the left. And they’re not used to seeing those.

      Good on Frum for actually going to see Sweet.

    13. assumes the continent and its peoples can and should be studied for the benefit of the western student and scholar, that knowledge is a commodity to be extracted from the continent to benefit the western student and scholar.

      This seems a very zero-sum approach, where the "extraction" of knowledge diminishes the continent. Or diminishes black scholars, who he believes should have first dibs?

    14. Sweet’s insistence on detailing Dahomey’s true record was where the debate got hot. Disputes over how history should be written cease to be abstract and remote when they touch the powerfully emotive issues of empire, race, and slavery.

      Sweet seems unaware (and Frum compounds this) that there's a difference between the careful historical research he did and The Woman King. I get the frustration, but really?

    15. Sweet’s essay opened by remarking on the relative decline of doctoral dissertations on pre-1800 topics.

      This was his mistake. Because none of the problems he raised had anything to do with professional historians.

    16. Should we study the more distant past to explore its strangeness—and thereby jolt ourselves out of easy assumptions that the world we know is the only possible one? Or should we study the more recent past to understand how our world came into being—and thereby learn some lessons for shaping the future?

      Actually, the article really wasn't about and didn't SAY much about professional history. It was about the misuse of historical ideas in out public discourse by interested parties. Sweet should have said so explicitly.

    1. History is not a heuristic tool for the articulation of an ideal imagined future. Rather, it is a way to study the messy, uneven process of change over time.

      This seems a reasonable conclusion.

    2. This is not history; it is dilettantism.

      Agreed. The US Supreme Court are among the worst political hacks. It is our belief that they are enlightened jurists that is the real problem here.

    3. If history is only those stories from the past that confirm current political positions, all manner of political hacks can claim historical expertise.

      It really seems like it would have been helpful to use these observations to open a much more explicit discussion about the popular uses of the past.

    4. bad history yields bad politics.

      I'm reminded of Carl Becker's thoughts in "Everyman his own historian", also an AHA presidential writing.

    5. Historically accurate rendering of Asante or Dahomean greed and enslavement apparently contradict modern-day political imperatives.

      This is a problem, I agree. But this is a movie, not a History.

    6. African American shrine

      Is Auschwitz a "Jewish Shrine"?

    7. Sitting on the table in front of one of the elders was a dog-eared copy of The 1619 Project.

      This part of the story does seem to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the interest of these African Americans in their past.

    8. At each of these junctures, history was a zero-sum game of heroes and villains viewed through the prism of contemporary racial identity.

      You seem to be blaming the critics of traditional American History for the conservative backlash.

    9. a synthesis of a tradition of Black nationalist historiography dating to the 19th century with Ta-Nehisi Coates’s recent call for reparations. The project spoke to the political moment, but I never thought of it primarily as a work of history. Ironically, it was professional historians’ engagement with the work that seemed to lend it historical legitimacy.

      So you were in denial that the historical arguments in the project were reactions to mainstream American History's choice to deal with slavery in a way some people argued was dismissive? It was illegitimate for people to engage in historiographical disagreement on the issue?

    10. read the past through the prism of contemporary social justice issues—race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, capitalism

      If we DO read the past only through these concerns, we may learn something about ourselves, but we probably won't learn as much about the past. So are we concerned ONLY with ourselves right now?

    11. historical analyses are contained within an increasingly constrained temporality.

      Two different things: studying the recent past and constraining analyses to concerns and issues of the present.

  2. Aug 2022
    1. The sheet box

      This article is interesting as a potential motivator for Luhmann, as Scott suggests it was. I'm not particularly impressed with the suggestions, which although probably innovative at their time, don't seem to get past the collector's fallacy and toward the focus on producing output -- which seems much more well-developed in Luhmann's system.

    2. he can also store all Lessing-relatednewspaper essay

      OR, he could avoid the collector's fallacy, paraphrase the relevant ideas from the essays, number them and index them based on these ideas, and discard the newspapers.

    3. 547.724.1.004.1

      Really?? This seems to have gone off the rails, into a discussion of the classification of knowledge, NOT the organization of a slip-box in a way that relates the notes to each other.

    4. 700 (which usually is just written as 7 to preventmisunderstanding

      Personally, I have little respect for external organization systems (Dewey, Library of Congress, Scott's disciplines). I WOULD however, use periods between sub-classifications and not run together three levels of "depth" into a single three-digit number. Not only does this seem to arbitrary and precious, it also prevents you from exceeding nine types in each sub-classification.

    5. one location where the sheet belongs

      OR - don't do this and use indexes

    6. well-thought out unity of thoughts

      Not an issue. We are deconstructing the author's work and taking what is useful to us. Not faithfully representing their train of thought.

    7. mix-ups within the sheet sequence of a particular keyword

      This is what I would worry about. If we're connecting new notes we add to a pre-existing note in the box, then WHICH of these duplicate notes we connect to is important. Each of them could end up having different up- and down-stream connections, which I don't think is helpful.

    8. This seems to be the biggestcomplaint about the entire system of the sheet box and its merit.

      The keyword not chosen...

      Entries on multiple index cards, referring to same note. In a digital system, active links.

    9. buying those writing pads

      This seems to be the equivalent of a commercial for those "moleskin" notebooks you can carry around to capture brainstorms and then transfer them to your note system. Not a bad idea.

    10. lose


    11. for long notes, but for the far more frequent short notes

      This is what I would focus on: preventing myself from writing essays, as I seem prone to doing, and insuring that I stick to one idea per note.

    12. most suitable forma

      This seems to be putting form ahead of function. I prefer 3x5 cards because they're available, cheap, and encourage me to be succinct, but 4x6 wouldn't bother me.

    13. Verzettelung

      Sheetifying! LOL

    14. note book process has been replacedwith a file card system because competition forces them to save time and energy.

      In America, what often happened was that, as merchant operations grew, the customer service, credit/payment, and inventory control functions separated, so a single account book was no longer optimal.

    15. as the researcher's mind also matures

      This "conversation with my earlier self" is one of the big attractions of an additive system, vs. one that overwrites when notes are "improved".

    16. merchants created indexe

      I like the connection with mercantile account books. The issues are similar: dealing with chronologically new info that relates to a particular account. I've seen many old books that have pages for regular customers that track their purchases over long periods.


    1. the enemy of their enemy is their friend

      He's describing this in a very negative light. Another view of it might be that people can ally with others they may not totally agree with (or even like) to work toward a particular goal or project. I think he's setting an unrealistic expectation. Is this a symptom of the misunderstanding of democracy and consensus?

    2. provide the followers with bread and circuses. There is a mundane version of this axiom that fits with sociological findings: make everyday life possible.

      But maybe not too easy? So people stay focused on trying to survive day to day, and that prevents them from devoting energy to dissent?

    3. too much power

      How do we measure "too much"? Is it like painkillers, which become addictive when people don't have "enough" pain for them to fight?

    4. some individuals, but not groups, have unusual gifts for activities like art, athletics, music, or scientific research. Beyond the distinction between collective and distributive power, Russell's definition of power has another advantage. It does not try to reduce the various types of power to any basic type that is said to have "ultimate primacy.

      Just as some people may have special talents that do not make them "superior" to others, there is not a single spectrum on which we measure power.

    5. A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do

      Does this conflate power with the ability to convince someone to do something by reason or persuasion?

    6. power is the ability to produce intended effects

      So there's a sense of agency and consciousness/deliberateness in this definition.

    7. Power" is about being able to realize wishes, to produce the effects you want to produce.

      Note that he doesn't explicitly say "against the will of others".

  3. Local file Local file
    1. some want to attributepower to the structures within which agents act.

      Are structures more powerful than individuals?

    2. the modern individual is the "effect" of power;

      Is this influence or determinism?

    3. power, as it shapes desires and beliefs ill the absence ofobservable conflict, may be at its most effective when leastobservable, thereby posing a considerable challenge toempirical social scienc

      Hidden power is the most "powerful"

    4. In Scott's account,the victims of domination are in a state of constant rebellionand dissemble in order to survive. His book gives a compellingaccount of the tactics and strategies of ingenious, ever-watch-ful slaves, peasants, and untouchables

      Weapons of the Weak and The Art of Not Being Governed

    5. power can also con-sist in the securing of consent to dominant power relationsthrough the shaping of desires and beliefs

      This includes the whole advertising and manufacturing consent model, too.

    6. non-decision-making remained deliberate and had to consist insuppressing observable, albeit covert, grievance

      Keeping questions off the table seems like an exercise of power.

    7. This conception of power was,plainly, the narrow individualist, intentional, and active view.Dahl and his colleagues concluded that U.S. cities and,indeed, U.S. politics nationally were "pluralistic" because dif-ferent actors prevailed over different key issues,and thus thatthe elite model was thereby refuted

      This is the "America is a democracy" line.

    8. liberalaversion to dependency relations

      Is there a "liberal aversion to dependency relations"? Again, he seems to be ignoring cooperation as something outside power.

    9. asymmetrical relations inwhich power is power over another or others

      He says asymmetrical power is a restrictive sense of the term; is this accurate? Is there symmetrical power? Isn't that cooperation?

    10. power can be empow-ering, even transformative, increasing others' resources,capa-bilities, and effectiveness. Examples are nurturing relation-ships such as apprenticeship, teaching, parenting, and thera-py.

      Are these actually power relationships?

    11. can my power consist in nothaving to act because others favor or advance my interests


    12. structure/agency" prob-lem

      The structure/agency problem seems like a fate/free will sort of question.

    13. vehicle fallacy," which occurswhen we equate power with the means or resources ofpower.

      Vehicle Fallacy: I don't think this is as clearcut: it's like a measure of potential energy.

    14. exercise fallacy": this occurs when we equatepower with its exercise,as when we define power as winning,

      Exercise Fallacy: Power seems to be more powerful when we see it being used. This is not always the case.


  4. Jul 2022
    1. Does this version contain within it the idea of growth or evolution over time? Evergreen note in Matuschak's version does

      I don't think the way I imagine these notes is the same as Andy. If a Point Note in my box evolved, I think that would be by having additional notes appended to it. The original point note is a record of my thinking at a particular moment. That's why I like the metaphor of a conversation in the slipbox. The new statements in a conversation don't overwrite the previous, they modify them.

    1. Dan Allosso

      I'll be adding this to the Open Textbook Library when it's officially published in early August, 2022. In the couple of weeks prior to its launch, I've made it available for my friends in the note-making community and in my Obsidian Book Club to read and comment. Thanks!

    1. Tree Classification Systems

      Scott P. Scheper


  5. May 2022
    1. s. Many dissenting 'philosophes'felt themselves to be in the grip of a tyranny from which America provided the onlyescape. In all their correspondence there is a dominant theme-emigration. Thenames of the land lots on the Priestley lands on the Susquehanna give an idea of thevaried localities from which the English emugres came-Bristol, Birmingham, Man-chester, Norwich, et

      How many hundreds went to America?

    2. English 'philosophes' began to see that the Revolution had succumbed to mobviolence, though it is doubtful whether they suspected that the mob was beingsteered. Young Watt still makes a defence for the revolutionaries, but it is clear thathis stomach is beginning to turn:I am filled with involuntary horror at the scenes which pass before me and wish theycould have been avoided, but at the same time I allow the absolute necessity of them.16 Insome instances the vengeance of the people has been savage & inhuman. They havedragged the dead naked body of the Princess de Lamballe through the streets &treated it with all sorts of indignities. Her head stuck upon a Pike was carried throughParis and shown to the King & Queen, who are in hourly expectation of the samefate

      Reign of Terror

    3. Burke attacked them fiercely in the Commons, his rhetoric beingemployed to great effect but with no true moderation. 'There were in this country',he said, 'men who scrupled not to enter into an alliance with a set in France of theworst traitors and regicides that had ever been heard of-the club of Jacobins'. 1 Heattacked by name Thomas Cooper, James Watt and Thomas Walker. ImmediatelyJames Watt senior wrote to ask his son to be more moderate lest the antipathy hearoused might allow Boulton and Watt's enemies, the Hornblowers, to get a billthrough Parliament weakening Watt's patent for the steam engine.

      Watt senior was more worried about losing his patent?

    4. Oppression, for these young men, attaining their majorities just as the Revolutionbegan, was a series of incidents which they had observed with their own eyes-not adistant and distanced scene. In their criticism of the French aristocracy androyalty they had been nodded encouragement by their fathers and their fathers'friends who greeted the Revolution with rapture, and held banquets to commemoratethe fall of the Bastille. As the young men came mainly from Dissenting homes so theyresented religious domination, as they were middle class they abhorred the idlenessof the aristocrac

      Young idealists, but they're not wrong...

    5. Birmingham, MatthewBoulton armed his employees against the Priestley rioter

      Arming against Church and King rioters led to the Two Acts?


    1. on a fine summer's evening towards theend ofJuly I 789, Harry Priestley burst into her parents' house at Barr shouting'Hurrah! Liberty, Reason, brotherly love for ever! ... France is free, the Bastilleis taken. '74 Two years later that young man's father, Dr Joseph Priestley, wasstill insisting that the combined effects of the American and the FrenchRevolutions had shifted the world 'from darkness to light, from superstition tosound knowledge, and from a most debasing servitude to a state of the mostexalted freedom

      Priestley seems not to have lost faith in 1791. How did 1794 effect his beliefs?

    2. The cultural climate that had allowedinformal and socially dilute bodies like the Lunar Society to flourish haddisintegrated and would not be reconstituted for a generation and more. Theemigration to America of Dr Priestley, together with many hundreds of less-well-known 'friends of liberty' acknowledged as much.A period of twenty-two years of nearly continuous continental and maritimewarfare after I792 would also gravely weaken the free trade in knowledgewhich the philosophes had taken for grante

      International collaboration among philsophes was over.

    3. James appears toconcede as much on I December in a reference to the fate of the Brissotins: 'myfriends in France, the friends of rational liberty have most of them passed thefatal guillotine and the reigning party were always objects of my hatred aswell as Mr Cooper's

      English alarm at French excesses?

    4. contradictions and dilemmas of the late Enlightenment. Isknowledge value-free? How should it be transmitted? Ought it be madeavailable to all, irrespective of social station?

      Wasn't this question largely answered when Watt accepted a 25-year patent?

    5. . These cursed French have murdered Philosophy & continue totorment all of Europe.

      Watt laments that the Revolution obstructed scientific progress.

    6. s theformation of a discrete 'family' of philosophes in the West Mclose links with their counterp

      To what extent did philosophes avoid nationalism in mid-1790s?


  6. Apr 2022
    1. raft of a branching diagram concerning politics, found in the Zwinger manuscripts alongside a set of “annotationsin the first books of Aristotle’s Politics

      This is pretty cool!

    2. steady sellers despite their considerable size andexpense and despite being accessible only to the Latin-literate.

      Found their market

    3. Bacon called for general-izations from particulars to manage the excess data accumulated through ex-perience

      Does this become a problem when the generalizations become detached from the data that supports them?

    4. Ephraim Chambers’

      Apparently NOT related to William and Robert Chambers of Edinburgh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephraim_Chambers

    5. t was not the newly recovered ancient texts (Lucretius or Sextus Empiricus) that accounted for the ever- increasing size of collections of quo-tations in florilegia, but rather increased attention to long- familiar ancient au-thors central to humanist education (like Ovid, Horace, and Cicero) and a large number of recent works generated by reflection on the classics (e.g., Petrarch or the emblems of Alciati and Camerarius). A new attitude toward seeking out and stockpiling information was the crucial cause of the information explosion, more significant than any particular new discovery.

      And maybe a hope/belief that all these pieces of info would add up to a new synthesis?

    6. ffered ready- made in print the kinds of notes readers wished to have available even if they had not taken them themselves

      This may be the key to the development of that middle category of "information" I questioned earlier.

    7. to produce knowledge principally from the study of an-cient texts

      Is there a relationship that could be explored, between these "humanists" and the new "empirics" who were depending more on observation and later, experiment?

    8. interdependence of ideas with the social and material contexts of their formation

      And probably also the media in which they are recorded and disrtributed.

    9. four crucial operations: storing, sorting, selecting, and summarizing,


    10. Compilers were therefore conveyors of information rather than of their own opinions or positions

      Do we play this role for ourselves sometimes in note-making, or should we try to move right to the next phase?

    11. distinct from data (which requires further processing before it can be meaningful) and from knowledge (which implies an individual knower).

      Given the limits implied by this definition, how wide and how interesting is this "information" relative to what's on either side of it?

    1. both Edward Royle and SusanBudd have found that members of the British secularist movement camemainly from the urban working and lower middle classes

      Social Class

    2. prison for blasphemy,1111luding Richard Carlile, Charles Southwell, George Holyoake, and G.W.I rnitc


    3. atheists' racial views wereshaped in large part by their status as a marginalized group in Britain andthe United States.


    4. Another variety of unbelief came in the form of ethical societies.I h1• London South Place Chapel had roots as a Unitarian church in late, 11-1litccnth-centuryAmerica. It crossed the Atlantic to London in 1822.l •11dcrMoncure Conway, a Virginian who had relocated to London in 1863

      [[Moncure Conway]]

    5. Americanfreethinkers took up the former Unitarian pastor Francis EllingwoodAbbot's "Nine Demands of Liberalism,

      Connection between American freethinkers and Unitarianism

    6. Utilitarianismwould be further developed by the British liberal philosopher John StuartMill in the nineteenth century. For much of his life, Mill was a colonialadministrator with the East India Company, and he was elected as a LiberalMP from 1865 to 1868. Mill's philosophy emphasized individual rights anddemocratic freedoms, including advocacy of women's suffrage.

      [[John Stuart Mill]]

    7. tilitarianism, anon-Christian system of morals. This philosophy, devised in the late eight-eenth century by Jeremy Bentham


    8. Like Southwell and so many other atheists, Holyoakealso spent time behind bars for his views. He would later establish his ownnewspapers, the longest-running of which was the Reasoner, published from1846 to 1861.Through this paper, Holyoake became one of the most promi-nent irreligious leaders in the country as he built bridges.with middle-classintellectuals and liberal theists. He coined the term "secularism" in the 1850sas a replacement for "atheism." In Holyoake's view, a secularist outlook dif-fered from an atheist one in the sense that it was not wholly destructive butsought to establish a framework for ethics that was independent of religion.In other words, Holyoake saw atheism as a purely negative creed, whereassecularism was a positive one.

      Did Holyoake object to atheism, or to the atheists he knew?

    9. Charles Southwell createdI hl• newspaper the Oracle of Reason along with William Chilton


    10. Owen's skepticism of11•ligionwent hand-in-hand with his reformist politics.

      Owen returned to England in 1829

    11. Robert Owen, who, like Paine, was influential onhotb sides of the Atlantic.54 Owen gained national prominence in the firstlt,llf of the nineteenth century for his utopian experiments in Britain andmerica based on his radical view of human nature as being determined,tlmost entirely by circumstances

      Change the circumstances, especially for children, and you change the outcome.

    12. Paine argued that all revelationsclaiming to be from the deity were invalid and that one could discern God'sworks through a study of nature.

      [[Paine]] was a deist

    13. link between secularization and eugenics was not straightforward


    14. Adrian Desmond and JamesMoore, two of the most important Darwin scholars, who argue convinc-ingly in a recent book that Darwin's evolutionary research was animatedby a hatred of polygenesis and the ways in which it could be used to justifyslavery or imperial conquest

      Darwin as an anti-imperialist?

    15. in Britain at least, "religious monogenism and anti-slavery agitationwent hand-in-hand."

      At a particular time and place. Not by definition.

    16. Nineteenth-century atheists and freethinkers were profoundly rooted inthe thought of the Enlightenment and therefore also inherited many ofthese contradictions.

      Fair enough

    17. opened theway to a secular or scientific racism by considering human beings part of theanimal kingdom rather than viewing them in biblical terms as children of Godendowed with spiritual capacities denied to other creatures.

      These are the only two choices?

    18. racism had to bel'mancipated from Christian universalism

      Only if you believe that the Christian universalists were serious...

    19. "hereditary heathenism," in Rebecca Goetz's terminology, whichsaw Africans as essentially and permanently godless heathens who couldnever truly become Christian

      Is this something we should take seriously, if (as I believe) it was just something hypocrites said to justify their actions?

    20. some historians haveseen in medieval anti-Semitism the genesis of modern racism

      anti-Semitism dug a channel for racism?

    21. On the one hand, they imag-ined themselves at the pinnacle of the racial and civilization hierarchy. Buton the other, the vast majority of their countrymen were Christians whoseemed to reject the West's greatest gifts, namely reason and science,

      He seems to be suggesting that the ONLY thing that bothered western secularists was the fact that their neighbors were religious.

    22. Might these cultures actually offer their own virtues that were superiorin some ways to Christianity?

      And not only superior to Christianity, but to social hierarchy, free markets, etc.?

    23. ineteenth-century freethinkers, onthe other hand, banded together in various organizations ana. sought toconvey their irreligious message to all segments of society, particularly thelower classes

      To what extent is this connected with the desire to mobilize people for social reform and a feeling that the church, generally, is on the side of the status quo?

    24. Racialscience, with its emphasis on racial classifications based on physical andmental features - such as measurements of the skull

      Eugenics, Social Darwinism, Scientific Racism leads to ideas of the "White Man's Burden" and colonialism.

    25. Christianityheld that all humans were created in the image of God and descended fromAdam and Eve

      This is so obviously an idea celebrated in its breach by Christians throughout their history!

    26. itremains disputed whether secularization helped open the way for racism orwhether it provided new ways to challenge racism.

      Does [[Secularism]] promote or retard racism?


    1. humanity’s early days on the Africansavanna

      I've been listening recently to a recent book by David Reich called Who We Are and How We Got Here. In it Reich challenges the idea that Africa was the only place that the ancestors of modern humans developed and suggests we put a little too much emphasis on that "African Savanna" evolutionary determinist narrative.


    1. ,650 years ago in east-central China's Yellow River Valley, a community known as the Yangshao bur-ied a child wrapped in a silk shroud

      OTOH, how hardscrabble is your existence if you have silk?

    2. he insect cannot feed itself

      This is not entirely unheard-of in moths and other metamorphic insects.

  7. Feb 2022
    1. d,tlirultir, ,w, r l{'h1d1

      "Sabbath Cause" was another item I made note of in MN3.

    2. <\I H l lTl.1:.

      "Our Title" was a bit I wrote about. This is a test annotation to see if Hypo will work with this file.


    1. It is impossible to think without writing; at least it is impossible in any sophisticated or networked (anschlußfähig) fashion

      "networked" or "connectable"

      This is the main idea. While I agree with Chris, I don't really think mnemonics is a good solution today for me or my students. So maybe I'll begin with a qualification about the past, but then say "Today, for us, thinking = writing".

    1. make it possible to retrieve more ina later query via the pivotal keyword index than what was intended when the notes were initially taken

      So keywords (tags) are key.

    2. relations between the nodes (i.e. notes)

      But a key would seem to be limiting the number of links to "meaningful" ones, so that by the time you get to three or four degrees of separation, your graph hasn't become so big as to be meaningless. The question I keep coming back to, it seems, is defining "meaning".

    3. a keyword index

      It probably makes sense for part of the "review practice" to be a regular consideration of the tags and keywords I'm employing. These will also help identify clusters in the vault.

    4. Often Luhmann noted the references directly as he created the card but also regularly updated alreadyexisting cards by adding references whenever the integration of new cards in other parts of the collectionmade it necessary

      Could it be argued that it was his PRACTICE rather than the structure of the system that really produced the results? (like Chris's Itzhak Perlman anecdote)

    5. relevant to the special argument

      Argument again. Would a vault organizing and linking DATA be linked differently? Based on tags describing more generally what the specific datum said? Is this useful, relative to the capability to do rapid full-text search?

    6. outline of an article or the table of contents of a book

      Ahrens seems to suggest this is what we might do with "Project Notes".

    7. nearly every second note (second collection) on average.

      Much fewer than I would have guessed.

    8. a nearly infinite number of cards between what hadinitially been two consecutive cards created at the same time on a related subjec

      I totally get how this could be super fascinating for a historian interested in the evolution of Luhmann's thinking. Not sure if I'm particularly interested in that for my own purposes -- although I suppose the default date-tagging of notes in Obsidian will take care of that automatically and it'll be available if that interests me later.

    9. 1/1 Card with notes referring to a certain topic1/1a Card containing notes referring to a particular idea from card 1/11/1b Continuation of notes

      So there's "continuation" and also elaboration at a more detailed level. This tends to get flattened in my vault, I think, where there's less indication that a particular note is drilling down into more minute elements of a topic from a previous note. The only indication is that "PN Link". Maybe that's enough.

    10. embedding a topic in various contexts gives rise todifferent lines of information by means of opening up different realms of comparison

      This is like the Ted Nelson-esque idea of documents existing as single instances with super-robust linking and transclusion.

    11. difficultyof assigning an issue to one and only one single (top-level) subject, which is a matter of ambiguity or soto say conceptual indecisiveness. Luhmann solved this problem by seizing it as an opportunity: instead ofsubscribing to the idea of a systematic classification system, he opted for organizing entries based on theprinciple that they must have only some relation to the previous entry

      This seems to be a current issue, which could influence the amount of tagging and linking we do (possibly in a downward direction).

    12. he second collection, by design, is quite moreproblem-oriented, reflecting the emerging sociological interests of Luhmann: It consists of only eleventop-level subject area

      Are these analogous to MOCs? Is this a relevant question?

    13. in the evening he transferred the often only rudimentaryrecords he made during the day into new notes according to his special filing technique

      I like the idea of this as a daily practice.

    14. 75,000 cards) consist of notes documenting the results ofLuhmann’s readings, but also his own thoughts and theoretical arguments and concepts. The notes re-sulting from his readings are not simply excerpts; what mattered to him was “what could be utilized inwhich way for the cards that had already been written. Hence, when reading, I always have the questionin mind of how the books can be integrated into the filing system

      I continue to wonder whether this type of organization is more easy (or better, or more useful) in some disciplines than in others? A highly theoretical rather than an evidence-based field, for example. Or maybe I just have to continue to refine my ideas of what I put in my notes...

  8. Sep 2021
    1. a growing distrust ofexpertise, including medical science,

      A justifiable distrust, since the "experts" such as Fauci have been serial liars, even in front of Congress.

    2. especially among Republicans

      Both sides have used the issue for political gain. Kamala Harris said she wouldn't get vaccinated if Trump said it was a good idea.

    3. Guided by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Jacobson, all50 states put laws on the books mandating vaccinations for school children.

      The Jacobson ruling resulted in school vaccination and forced sterilization. This seems a bit problematic.

    4. the Court upheldVirginia’s policy of sterilizing women deemed unfit to bear children, also using Jacobsonas precedent. “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination,” wrote Justice OliverWendell Holmes, Jr., “is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”

      This tells you all you need to know about Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

    5. a public health emergency,

      This seems an appropriately high bar.

    6. social compact...that all shall be governed by certain laws for the protection, safety,prosperity and happiness of the people,

      "...and not for the profit, honor, or private interests of any one man, family or class of people." This is a problem today, as many believe the vaccines are not really effective, and are being mandated primarily to ensure profits for Pfizer.

    7. 1905, the issue of vaccine mandates reached the Supreme Court

      This was a fine, people were not forced to get the shot.

    8. process known as variolation

      Variolation actually infected the patient with smallpox, which he could then pass on to others. The OTHERS who were not vaccinated had the 30% fatality odds, not the improved 2% to 3% odds. It was suspected on several occasions that variolated soldiers had been sent out into "enemy" populations to spread the illness.

    9. your refusal has cost allof us

      Is there a way to assess this cost? Do we too frequently try to legislate behavior, when we could instead be holding people responsible (liable for damages) for the results of their decisions?

    10. claims of individual rights clash head-on with public healthmeasures designed to urgently save lives

      urgency is often cited as a factor


    1. dwindling under its impact to 150 effective men and eventually withdrawing from Virginia entirely. "Had it not been for this horrid disorder," wrote Dunmore, "I should have had two thousand blacks; with whom I should have had no doubt of penetrating into the heart of this Colony.

      One of those "what-if" moments.

    2. Carleton's humane treat- ment of American smallpox victims taken prisoner when the siege ended would seem to undermine the argument that he deliberately infected the America

      Washington and Jefferson were not the brightest bulbs.

    3. "The small pox rages all over the Town," wrote George Wash- ington from his headquarters in nearby Cambridge on December 14. "Such of the [British] Military as had it not before, are now under innoculation-this I appre- hend is a weapon of Defence, they Are useing against us."3

      This would be a logical military choice, if 2% of the inoculated died but 20-30% of those they infected.

    4. e Earl of Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment on the Ches- apeak

      Dunmore apparently abandoned the sick when he retreated.

    5. William W Warren, History of the Ojibway Nation (1884

      https://archive.org/details/historyofojibway0000warr Warren was the son of an Ojibwe woman and a fur trader

    6. since they had caught the disease while fighting for the French, the French were therefore responsible for the devastation it caused.

      The French were "to blame" even though they had not deliberately infected the Indians. Didn't help that they also lost the war.

    7. . In 1755-1756 and again in 1757-1758, the disease wreaked havoc among the Indians allied with the French. After the Lake George campaign of 1757, the French-allied Potawatomis suffered greatly in a smallpox ou

      Indian effectiveness in the French and Indian War depended on smallpox.

    8. e propagation of smallpox had the advantage of deniabili

      Unless you left a paper-trail.

    9. rate of 0.5 to 2.0 percent from inoculated smallpox seemed enviable by compar- ison to the case fatality rate of 20 to 30 percent from the natural form of the illness

      Although inoculation involved infecting patients with the actual variola disease (unlike vaccination), for unknown reasons the disease was much milder and the fatality rate MUCH lower (although still not zero). An interesting choice.

    10. Cotton Mather.

      Mather was told of inoculation by his slave [[Onesimus]].

    11. " inoculation had seen use for hundreds of years elsewhere in the world before Europeans learned of the procedure. Then, at virtually the same moment, in the four-year period from 1713 to 1717, Europeans around the globe latched onto the practice and sent word of it ho


    12. e records for June 1763 include this invoice submitted by Levy, Trent and Company: To Sundries got to Replace in kind those which were taken from people in the Hospital to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians Vizt: 2 Blankets ............@20/ Ul2" 0 0 1 Silk Handkerchef ..... 10/ & 1 linnendo: ......... 3/6 0" 13" 6 Captain Ecuyer certified that the items "were had for the uses above mentioned," and Gen. Thomas Gage ultimately approved the invoice for payment, endorsing it with a comment and

      All the way up the chain of command.

    13. t. "Out of our regard to them," wrote Wil- liam Trent, "we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect."

      Trent apparently wrote this in his journal, so it's likely true.

    14. at accusations of what we now call biological warfare-the military use of smallpox in particular-arose fre- quently in eighteenth-century Am

      [[Biological Warfare]]


    1. In the cyber world, connections are with people one has never met in real life; infiltration by government agents has proven to be extremely easy1818 This is one of the weaknesses of complete decentralization.View all notes . By comparison, the mafia required a Sicilian lineage for ‘friends of ours’ for security clearance. One never knows the degree of governmental surveillance and its real capabilities.

      There does seem to be a lot of hubris in the hacker's belief that he is a step ahead of the government spy.

    2. the most effective inflation hedge can be a combination of bets which includes short positions in government bonds.

      How do non-quants play this game?

    3. Thus we can look at an inflation hedge as the analog of a minimum variance numeraire.

      Bang. There it is.

    4. This does not mean that a cryptocurrency cannot displace fiat –it is indeed desirable to have at least one real currency without a government. But the new currency just needs to be more appealing as a store of value by tracking a weighted basket of goods and services with minimum error.

      Yes. If, as mentioned above, currencies tend to stabilize with each other based on the "basket" of goods and services they measure, then maybe the solution is to base the crypto explicitly on an index of commodities.

    5. volatility of a currency pair is inversely proportional to the trade between the two currency zones

      Lots of trade is the next best thing to a single currency. The goods and services are the value, the currencies are just markers and measures.

    6. In 2021, the governments (central and local) share of GDP in Western economies is around 30–60%, one order of magnitude higher than it was in the 1900s. Government employees and contractors get paid in fiat currency; taxes are collected similarly

      Fiat currencies will always win when the government is the biggest employer or buyer in a market.

    7. For the price to not be arbitrageable requires the good to be unique and unavailable elsewhere at a price fixed in another currency –in this case it becomes, simply, a proxy for bitcoin.

      This is why [[NFT]]s are the most exciting thing you can currently buy with [[Bitcoin]]].

    8. To be able to regularly buy goods denominated in bitcoin (whose prices fixed in bitcoin but floating in U.S.$ or some other fiat currency), one must have an income that is fixed in bitcoin.

      And this will never happen until the value of [[Bitcoin]] stabilizes. No one wants to pay or be paid in a currency that is either inflating or deflating in value.

    9. There is a mistaken conflation between success for a ‘digital currency’, which requires some stability and usability, and speculative price appreciation.

      So [[Bitcoin]]'s current price inflation is due to speculative price appreciation, which might be considered OPPOSITE of the characteristics that would make it a good medium of exchange. Is this the elephant in the room? Everybody is so excited about their assets appreciating that they're ignoring the fact that this makes Bitcoin sort-of unusable as a currency. Take the issues Tesla faced recently as an illustration. Who would buy a car with Bitcoin if they expect its value to continue increasing?

    10. As discussed in Taleb ( 2012Taleb, N.N., Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder, 2012 (Random House and Penguin: New York). [Google Scholar]), technologies tend to be supplanted by other technologies (>99% of the new is replaced by something newer), whereas items such as gold and silver have proved resistant to extinction.

      So [[Bitcoin]] is in danger of having people lose interest in it if either the idea of cryptocurrency loses interest OR if people find a crypto they like better.

    11. bitcoin depends on the existence of such miners for perpetuity.

      [[Bitcoin]] depends on both the continued interest in mining (which may diminish when the coins are depleted?) and on expensive power expenditures

    12. The bitcoin transactional currency (BTC) system establishes an adversarial collaboration between the so-called ‘miners’ who validate transactions by getting them on a public ledger; as a reward they get coins plus a fee from the underlying transactions, transfers of coins between parties.

      How [[Bitcoin]] works, why miners bother.

    13. in spite of the hype, bitcoin failed to satisfy the notion of ‘currency without government’ (it proved to not even be a currency at all), can be neither a short nor long term store of value (its expected value is no higher than 0), cannot operate as a reliable inflation hedge, and, worst of all, does not constitute, not even remotely, a safe haven for one's investments, a shield against government tyranny, or a tail protection vehicle for catastrophic episodes.

      [[Taleb]] says [[Bitcoin]] fails to live up to any of its claims or the claims about it.

  9. Jun 2021
    1. Multiple assessment attempts on the same course material

      This is similar to my idea of multiple opportunities to interact with course content.

  10. Apr 2021
    1. no-stakes

      Maybe not entirely no stakes -- maybe participation credit rather than quiz scores though.

    2. Telling students that frequent quizzing helps learning


    3. Pretesting

      Pretest, survey, framing question that they need to consider and discuss before content lecture?

    4. summary points

      Do this once or twice to model, then ask them to pick it up. Maybe first in large group, then in small, then in pairs, then individually?

    5. memory has two components: storage strength and retrieval strength. Retrieval events improve storage strength, enhancing overall memory, and the effects are most pronounced at the point of forgetting—that is, retrieval at the point of forgetting has a greater impact on memory

      So the spacing of repetition is key. But is the loss in effectiveness from retrieving "too soon" significant?

    6. retrieval effort hypothesis suggests that the effort involved in retrieval provides testing benefits (Gardiner, Craik, and Bleasdale, 1973). This hypothesis predicts that tests that require production of an answer, rather than recognition of an answer, would provide greater benefit

      Again, why not begin "production" with note-taking?

    7. students were instructed to spend the final 5 to 10 minutes of each class period answering two to four questions that required them to retrieve information about the day’s lecture from memory. The students in this section of the course performed about 8% higher on exams

      Might try this, too. Instead of daily discussion (which too many students tune out).

    8. students who completed an exam every day rather than exams that covered large blocks of material scored significantly higher on a retention test administered at the end of the semester.

      More frequent testing leads to more retention.

    9. no significant difference in the benefits conferred by the different types of retrieval practice; multiple-choice, short-answer

      So it wouldn't be the end of the world for me to give some multiple-choice quizzes.

    10. asking them to read passages about 250 words long

      This is all well and good. I'd be curious, though, how results would have differed if students had been asked to read and make a note paraphrasing the passage in their own words. Seems like this crosses the boundary earlier between "absorbing" and "working with" info.

    11. calls up notions of high-stakes summative assessments

      Instead, low-stakes "reminders"

    12. remembering concepts or facts—retrieving them from memory—increases long-term retention of those concepts or facts. This idea, also known as the testing effect

      Does it also matter how the "facts" get into memory? By reading them vs. paraphrasing them in one's own words?

  11. watermark.silverchair.com watermark.silverchair.com
    1. Thoreau's TheMaine Woods, published in 186

      Add this to the list. Thoreau was apparently aware of Springer's book, and cites him in several sections.

    2. Charles T. Jackson's Second AnnualReport on the Geology of the Public Lands Belonging to the T

      And this too.

  12. Mar 2021
    1. to isolate these two aspects from each other is neither possible nor methodologically meaningful

      To isolate origin and value. Or order and disorder. Seems like he's saying we should be open to whatever we find.

    2. producing accidents with sufficiently enhanced probabilities for selection


    3. slip box provides combinatorial possibilities which were never planned

      Never preconceived: not top-down but bottom-up.

    4. activate the internal network of links at the occasion of writing notes or making queries. Memory does not function as the sum of point by point accesses, but rather utilizes internal relationships

      So more info is returned on a query than one had in mind. This is the value of the record and the persistent links. You're not only referring to your library, but you're following all those little pieces of yarn the conspiracy theorist pins between elements on his board. The beauty is that these are available long after you've finished messing with that particular question.

    5. look for formulations of problems that relate heterogeneous things with each other

      Is he saying that the slipbox excels in linking these heterogeneous things?

    6. there will be incidental ideas which started as links from secondary passages and which are continuously enriched and expand so that they will tend increasingly to dominate system

      This process of discovering what you're interested in by observing what you return to repeatedly, and what you link new info to, is entirely believable and very attractive!

    7. preferred centers, formation of lumps

      Clusters of attention.

    8. it gets its own life, independent of its author.

      I'm not sure I believe this, but it's very attractive.

    9. Central concepts can have many links which show on which other contexts we can find materials relevant

      The ability to link to something "distant" and not lose the relative places of the notes might suggest unexpected connections between seemingly disparate ideas.

    10. internal growth

      This idea of internal branching growth and formation of clusters is very interesting.

    11. complexes of ideas

      The network emerges from the pattern and frequency of USE of nodes.

    12. context in which we are working

      Context is key.

    13. arbitrary internal branching

      Anything can be connected to anything. This is easy to do today with bi-directional links (Roam, Obsidian).