346 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. From 1676 onward, he follows an excerpting practice that directly refers to Jungius (via one of his students). Regarding Leibniz ’ s Excerpt Cabinet He wrote on slips of paper whatever occurred to him — in part when perusing books, in part during meditation or travel or out on walks — yet he did not let the paper slips (particularly the excerpts) cover each other in a mess; it was his habit to sort through them every now and then.

      According to one of his students, Leibniz used his note cabinet both for excerpts that he took from his reading as well as notes an ideas he came up separately from his reading.

      Most of the commonplace book tradition consisted of excerpting, but when did note taking practice begin to aggregate de novo notes with commonplaces?

  2. aworkinglibrary.com aworkinglibrary.com
    1. I began this site in 2008 in an effort to bring some structure to a long held habit: taking notes about the books I read in a seemingly endless number of notebooks, which then piled up, never to be opened again. I thought a website would make that habit more fruitful and fun, serving as a reference, something the notebooks never did. It did that handily, and more, including making space for me to write and think about adjacent things. More than a dozen years later and this site has become the place where I think, often but not exclusively about books—but then books are a means of listening to the thoughts of others so that you can hear your own thoughts more clearly. Contributions have waxed and waned over the years as life got busy, but I never stopped reading, and I always come back.

      Several things to notice here:

      • learning in public
      • posting knowledge on a personal website as a means of sharing that knowledge with a broader public
      • specifically not hiding the work of reading in notebooks which are unlikely to be read by others.
  3. Nov 2021
    1. I find something very appealing about this user interface as a way to create a website: https://paperwebsite.com/.

      A micropub client that could do this would be fascinating...

    1. quem ad modum

      = in quem modum

    2. Corinthium aut Deliacum

      Corinthian or Delian pottery (i.e. from the Greek city of Corinth or the Greek island of Delos)

    1. Though firmly rooted in Renaissance culture, Knight's carefully calibrated arguments also push forward to the digital present—engaging with the modern library archives where these works were rebound and remade, and showing how the custodianship of literary artifacts shapes our canons, chronologies, and contemporary interpretative practices.

      This passage reminds me of a conversation on 2021-11-16 at Liquid Margins with Will T. Monroe (@willtmonroe) about using Sönke Ahrens' book Smart Notes and Hypothes.is as a structure for getting groups of people (compared to Ahrens' focus on a single person) to do collection, curation, and creation of open education resources (OER).

      Here Jeffrey Todd Knight sounds like he's looking at it from the perspective of one (or maybe two) creators in conjunction (curator and binder/publisher) while I'm thinking about expanding behond

      This sort of pattern can also be seen in Mortimer J. Adler's group zettelkasten used to create The Great Books of the Western World series as well in larger wiki-based efforts like Wikipedia, so it's not new, but the question is how a teacher (or other leader) can help to better organize a community of creators around making larger works from smaller pieces. Robin DeRosa's example of using OER in the classroom is another example, but there, the process sounded much more difficult and manual.

      This is the sort of piece that Vannevar Bush completely missed as a mode of creation and research in his conceptualization of the Memex. Perhaps we need the "Inventiex" as a mode of larger group means of "inventio" using these methods in a digital setting?

    2. By examining works by Shakespeare, Spenser, Montaigne, and others, he dispels the notion of literary texts as static or closed, and instead demonstrates how the unsettled conventions of early print culture fostered an idea of books as interactive and malleable.

      Jeffrey Todd Knight in Bound to read: Compilations, Collections, and the Making of Renaissance Literature examines the works of various writers to dispel the notion of literary texts as static. He shows how the evolution of early print culture helped to foster the idea as interactive and malleable. This at a time when note takers and writers would have been using commonplacing techniques at even smaller scales for creating their own writing thus creating a similar pattern from the smaller scale to the larger scale.

      This pattern of small notes building into larger items with rearrangement which is seen in Carl Linnaeus' index card-based notes as well as his longer articles/writings and publication record over time as well.

    3. In Bound to Read, Jeffrey Todd Knight excavates this culture of compilation—of binding and mixing texts, authors, and genres into single volumes—and sheds light on a practice that not only was pervasive but also defined the period's very ways of writing and thinking.
    4. In this early period of print, before the introduction of commercial binding, most published literary texts did not stand on shelves in discrete, standardized units. They were issued in loose sheets or temporarily stitched—leaving it to the purchaser or retailer to collect, configure, and bind them.

      In the early history of printing, books weren't as we see them now, instead they were issued in loose sheets or with temporary stitching allowing the purchaser or retailer to collect, organize, and bind them. This pattern occurs at a time when one would have been thinking about collecting, writing, and organizing one's notes in a commonplace book or other forms. It is likely a pattern that would have influenced this era of note taking practices, especially among the most literate who were purchasing and using books.

    1. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1459547762517688327.html

      Anthony Baker experimenting with ideas from Necromant and Eleanor Konik to cross link digital notes with physical paper notes.

      I've thought about doing something similar to this with my physical notebooks in the past, though hadn't done block level linking as a means of potentially pulling in and linking pieces in the future.

      Often for more important linked things, I'll simply import the physical version into my digital copy at the time of first use/reference, but this could be interesting for large bodies of notes which aren't digital.

    1. Reporter John Dickerson talking about his notebook.

      While he doesn't mention it, he's capturing the spirit of the commonplace book and the zettelkasten.

      [...] I see my job as basically helping people see and to grab ahold of what's going on.

      You can decide to do that the minute you sit down to start writing or you can just do it all the time. And by the time you get to writing you have a notebook full of stuff that can be used.

      And it's not just about the thing you're writing about at that moment or the question you're going to ask that has to do with that week's event on Face the Nation on Sunday.

      If you've been collecting all week long and wondering why a thing happens or making an observation about something and using that as a piece of color to explain the political process to somebody, then you've been doing your work before you ever sat down to do your work.

      <div style="padding:56.25% 0 0 0;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/169725470?h=778a09c06f&title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div><script src="https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js"></script>

      Field Notes: Reporter's Notebook from Coudal Partners on Vimeo.

    1. I watched Christian from Zettelkasten.de taking notes from a book. He’s a professional note-taker, and it still took him two hours to take four notes in the first video - it does take forever to make good permanent notes.

      An example of someone taking notes in public to model the process. Also an example of the time it takes to make notes.

      Has Dan Allosso (@danallosso) done something along these lines as an example on his YouTube channel?

    2. But was it worth three hours of my time?

      Here's a good example of someone asking if the time it takes to make good reading notes is worth it.

    1. Excerpting requires effort and thus combats natural laziness; inhis regimen there is no reading without taking notes, which would be idleand vain, and no time wasted because every free moment can be put to usereading over one’s notes (seeA,p. 84).

      Even early in the history of note taking treatises Jeremias Drexel acknowledges the idea that good note taking, and particularly excerpting, takes work.

      Modern students seem to have now lost both the ars memoria as well as the note taking arts which helped supplant it. We really need to be able to regain both of these traditions, but it will obviously take commitment to do the work.

    2. Drexel emphasizesthe difficulty of image-based arts of memory and how short-lived are theirresults: “Great labor places so many images of things in this treasury ofmemory; but no amount of labor has managed to preserve them there forlong without excerpts” (A, p. 3). Instead, for Drexel excerpting is the onlysure way to retain material for the long term. Drexel insists too that, farfrom detracting from memory, note taking is the best aid to memory.

      Jeremias Drexel is certainly a writer who complains about the work of the ars memoria, particularly for long term memory and supplants it with writing/note taking.

    3. pedagogues in the humanist tradition, from Erasmus to Drexel,were routinely hostile to the arts of memory.

      On Erasmus’s preference for “study, order and care” over places and images, see Erasmus,De ratione studii(1512), quoted in Yates,The Art of Memory,p. 127

      What other pedagogues were hostile to memory?

      This is another point in the decline of memory traditions from the 1500s onward.

      What effect did cheaper books and paper have on this decline?

      Keep in mind that Erasmus had written a treatise on commonplacing which was also a point in the history of note taking though Blair doesn't acknowledge his contributions in her list here. Also Agricola and Melanchthon

    4. I will use Drexel’s treatise asrepresentative of the basic principles of note taking that were widely sharedin sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe across national and religiousdivides.

      Religious and national divides were likely very important here as authority from above would have been even more important than in modern time. Related to this is the change in mnemonic traditions due to religious and political mores around the time of Peter Ramus.

    5. Otherworks in the genre include Johann Petrus Titius,Manuductio ad excerpendum(Danzig, 1676); Just.Christoph. Udenius [Michael Kirsten],Excerpendi ratio nova(Nordhausen, 1684); VincentPlaccius,De arte excerpendi vom gelehrten Buchhalten liber singularis: Quo genera et praeceptaexcerpendi(Stockholm, 1689); Fridericus Sidelius,De studio excerpendi(Jena, 1713); and DanielGeorg Morhof,Polyhistor, literarius, philosophicus, et practicus: Cum accessionibus virorumclarissimorum loannis Frickii et Iohannis Molleri(Lu ̈beck, 1732), bk.1, tome 3, chap. 1.
    6. Spin-offs from Drexel include Kergerus,Methodus drexeliana succinctior(1658) and P. Philomusus[Johannis Jacobus Labhart],Industria excerpendi brevis, facilis, amoena(Konstanz, 1684).
    7. A,as discussed in Helmut Zedelmaier, “Johann JakobMoser et l’organisation e ́rudite du savoir a` l’e ́poque moderne,” inLire, copier, e ́crire: LesBibliothe`ques manuscrites et leurs usages au XVIIIe sie`cle,ed. Elisabeth De ́cultot (Paris, 2003), p. 54.

      references

    8. Sacchini,Moyens de lire avec fruit,trans. Durey de Morsan (The Hague, 1786) andU ̈berdie Lektu ̈re, ihren Nutzen und die Vortheile sie geho ̈rig anzuwenden, nach dem Lateinischen des P.Sachini teutsch bearbeitet und mit einem Anhange begleitet von Herrmann Walchner(Karlsruhe,1832

      references to look up

    9. the most influential may be Jeremias Drexel’sAurifodina,orThe Mine of All Arts and Sciences, or the Habit of Excerpting(1638), in fourteen editions to 1695, followed by abridgments, imitations,and responses.
    10. The longest running of theseis Francesco Sacchini,De ratione libros cum profectu legendi libellus(On Howto Read Books with Profit) first published in Latin in 1614 and as late as 1786in French and 1832 in German

      Mortimer J. Adler, eat your heart out.

    11. The early modern period offers yet another type of source for the firsttime: manuals of advice about how to take notes. More detailed than theprecepts of fifteenth-century humanist pedagogues like Guarino da Veronaare entire treatises on the subject produced in the Jesuit and the Germanacademic contexts of the seventeenth century.

      The first manuals of advice about how to take notes began in the early modern period during the fifteenth century.

    12. Fromthe sixteenth century we have printed school texts abundantly annotated inthe margins and on interleaved pages with commentary that was likely dic-tated in the classroom and copied over neatly after the fact in the printedbook (fig. 3).
    13. Mary Poovey,A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences ofWealth and Society(Chicago, 1998).

      Most recently, the emergence of the fact has been attributed to methods of commercial recordkeeping (and double-entry bookkeeping in particular).

      Reference to read/look into with respect to accounting and note taking.

    14. Ciceroalready contrasted the short-lived memoranda of the merchant with the more carefully kept accountbook designed as a permanent record; see Cicero, “Pro Quinto Roscio comoedo oratio,”TheSpeeches,trans. John Henry Freese (Cambridge, Mass., 1930), 2.7, pp. 278–81.
    15. Francesco Sacchini recommends two notebooks inDeratione libros cum profectu legendi libellus(Wu ̈rzburg, 1614), chap. 13, p. 91: “Not unlike attentivemerchants . . . [who] keep two books, one small, the other large: the first you would calladversariaor a daybook(ephemerides),the second an account book(calendarium)and ledger(codex).”
    16. Y trancis pacon compared one of hisnotebooks to a merchant’s wastebooki see prian ̈ickersW introduction to trancis paconW yrancisuaconX edY ̈ickers SfixfordW ]ggdTW pY xli

      Francis Bacon compared one of his notebooks to a merchant's wastebook.

    17. was common among early modern authorsW and the notion of the merXchant as a model to imitate persisted through changes to new techniquesY

      References to the merchant’s two notebooks as a model for student note taking was common among early modern authors, and the notion of the merchant as a model to imitate persisted through changes to new techniques.

    18. ffost guides to research devote a few pages to methods of note takingW but they lag behind thenew technologiesi seeW for exampleW xacques parzun and venry tY uraffW The ́odern ResearcherS]gcei postonW ]gg‘TY

      Might be interesting to look at this reference to see what she's referring to specifically.

      It would be interesting to see how note taking is changing with even newer digital tools like Hypothes.is, Diigo, Twitter, Readwise, etc.

      Perhaps the growth of digital gardens in public may be a place for study as well? Though one would need to be wary of the idea of performative note taking as these are often done specifically in public as opposed to private as is more common in the past.

    19. fiet even today note taking generally remains an areaof tacit knowledgeW acquired by imitation rather than formal instructionWand about which there is little explicit discussionY

      This is still too often the case in the general public as evinced by watching the Obsidian and Roam Research spaces.

    20. ́his historical interest is fueled not onlyby the rapid growth of the history of readingW of which the study of notetaking is an offshootW

      Where exactly do we situate note taking? Certainly within the space of rhetoric, but also as Ann M. Blair suggests within the history of reading.

      What else? manuscript studies, psychology, others?

    21. i g u r e ]Y ́his manuscript by obraham firtelius S]c‘e–gfTW author of many geographical atlasesand dictionariesW is not a draft of any of his published works but a collection of notes underalphabetized geographical headingsY fin the right side of each page notes are entered on slips ofpaper glued into the notebook in alphabetical orderW following a common early modern methodof alphabetizationi the left side of the page is left blank for additional notes to add to thealphabetical entriesY ́he notebook already resembles the kind of work for which it gathersmaterial—the encyclopedic dictionaryY ”eproduction of an opening of firteliusW “ ́hesaurusgeographicusW” fllantinXfforetus ffuseum SontwerpT ff` ‘fcW from uilbert ́ournoyW “obrahamfirtelius et la poe ́sie politique de xacques van paerleW” in ”obert ̧Y yarrow et alYW tbrahamOrtelius Tdhej–dhlkUX cartographe et humaniste S ́urnhoutW ]ggfTW ppY ]da–dbi reproduction byvarvard ˆniversity ffedia `ervicesY

      What is the date of this manuscript by Abraham Ortelius (1527-98)? It shows the pattern of gluing slips of paper into books.

    22. wndeedW ffichel toucault reportedly expressed a desireto study copybooks of quotations because they seemed to him to be“work[s] on the self Y Y Y not imposed on the individual”i they promised togive quasiXpsychoanalytic insight into the thinking of the individual readerfree to choose what was worthy of attentionY5

      One's personal notes can be considered a mental fingerprint of one's thoughts and desires.

    23. acon favored the latter as “of far more profitW and use” Squotedin “tpW” pY ae‘TY

      Francis Bacon preferred commonplaces (quotes under topical headings) to adversaria (summaries) as they were "of far more profit, and use".

      Note that other references equate these two types of notes: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/adversaria

    24. trancis pacon outlined the two principal methods ofnote taking in a letter of advice to tulke urevilleW who was seeking to hireone or more research assistants in qambridge around ]cggh “ve that shallout of his own ”eading gather [notes] for the use of anotherW must Sas wthinkT do it by spitomeW or obridgmentW or under veads and qommonfllacesY spitomes may also be of ‘ sortsh of any one ortW or part of ynowledgeout of many pooksi or of one pook by itselfY”

      Quoted in Vernon F Snow “Ftrancis Bacon's Advice to Fulke Greville on Research Techniques," Huntington Library Quarterly 23, no.4 (1960): 370.

    25. ot its deepestlevelW whatever the mediumW note taking involves variations on and comXbinations of a few basic maneuversW which w propose to identify as the fourSsh storingW sortingW summarizingW and selectin

      Ann M. Blair categorizes four variations of note taking which she calls the four Ss:

      • storing
      • sorting
      • summarizing
      • selecting

      (In a modern context, one might also expand this to a fifth and include sharing.)

    26. ut personal notes can also be shared with othersWon a limited scale with family and friends and on a wider scale throughpublicationW notably in genres that compile useful reading notes for othersY

      Written in 2004, this is on the cusp of the growth of blogging and obviously predates the general time frame of social media and the rise of social annotation. Personal notes can now be shared more widely and have much larger publics.

    27. Blair, Ann. 2004. Note taking as an art of transmission. Critical Inquiry 31, no 1: 85-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427303

      Citable link: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3226475

    1. Antonin Sertillanges' book The Intellectual Life is published in 1918 in which he outlines in chapter 7 the broad strokes a version of the zettelkasten method, though writing in French he doesn't use the German name or give the method a specific name.[11] The book was published in French, Italian, and English in more than 50 editions over the span of 40 years. In it, Sertillanges recommends taking notes on slips of "strong paper of a uniform size" either self made with a paper cutter or by "special firms that will spare you the trouble, providing slips of every size and color as well as the necessary boxes and accessories." He also recommends a "certain number of tagged slips, guide-cards, so as to number each category visibly after having numbered each slip, in the corner or in the middle." He goes on to suggest creating a catalog or index of subjects with division and subdivisions and recommends the "very ingenious system", the decimal system, for organizing one's research. For the details of this refers the reader to Organization of intellectual work: practical recipes for use by students of all faculties and workers by Paul Chavigny [fr][12]. Sertillanges recommends against the previous patterns seen with commonplace books where one does note taking in books or on slips of paper which might be pasted into books as they don't "easily allow classification" or "readily lend themselves to use at the moment of writing."

      [[Antonin Sertillanges]]' book ''The Intellectual Life'' is published in 1918 in which he outlines in chapter 7 the broad strokes a version of the zettelkasten method, though writing in French he doesn't use the German name or give the method a specific name.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Antonin |first1=Sertillanges |author-link1= Antonin_Sertillanges |title=The Intellectual Life: Its Sprit, Conditions, Methods |date=1960 |publisher=The Newman Press |location=Westminster, Maryland |translator-last1= Ryan |translator-first1= Mary |translator-link1= |pages=186-198 |edition=fifth printing |language=English}}</ref> The book was published in French, Italian, and English in more than 50 editions over the span of 40 years. In it, Sertillanges recommends taking notes on slips of "strong paper of a uniform size" either self made with a paper cutter or by "special firms that will spare you the trouble, providing slips of every size and color as well as the necessary boxes and accessories." He also recommends a "certain number of tagged slips, guide-cards, so as to number each category visibly after having numbered each slip, in the corner or in the middle." He goes on to suggest creating a catalog or index of subjects with division and subdivisions and recommends the "very ingenious system", the decimal system, for organizing one's research. For the details of this refers the reader to ''Organization of intellectual work: practical recipes for use by students of all faculties and workers'' by {{interlanguage link|Paul Chavigny|fr}}<ref>{{cite book |last1=Chavigny |first1=Paul |title=Organisation du travail intellectuel: recettes pratiques à l'usage des étudiants de toutes les facultés et de tous les travailleurs |date=1918 |publisher=Delagrave |language=French}}</ref>. Sertillanges recommends against the previous patterns seen with commonplace books where one does note taking in books or on slips of paper which might be pasted into books as they don't "easily allow classification" or "readily lend themselves to use at the moment of writing."

    1. According to your catalog, if you have made one, in which every division or subdivision bears a serial letter or number, you can put your slips in order. When they are once arranged, you will find them again without any trouble at the moment of work.

      So here we have in print (we may need to double check the original French from 1921) an indicator of a note taker recommending using serial numbers on slips before Niklas Luhmann's birth.

    2. There is a very ingenious system, called the decimal system, applicable to every kind of research: I refer for its elucidation to a booklet that is interesting and very clear.t

      Antonin Sertillanges recommends his reader to use a decimal system for organizing their slip box system based on that in L'Organisation du Travail intellectuel, by Dr. Paul Chavigny, Fellow of the Val de Grace, Delagrave, 1918.

  4. Oct 2021
    1. How are notes to be classified? Famous men have adopted different systems. The best, in the long run, is the system that one has tried, tested by one’s own needs and intellectual habits, and established by long practice.

      This is still solid advice today; advice I have dispensed to others without having seen it written before by others.

    2. best that deep study invites you to gather in like a harvest, and to store up as the wealth of life.

      Like centuries of rhetors before him, he's using ideas and metaphors of harvest, treasure, and wealth to describe note taking.

      Why have these passed out of popular Western thought since the 1920-1960s when this book was popular?

    3. sometimes you de- yelop a whole passage, not with the intention of completing it, but because it comes of itself and because inspiration is like grace, which passes by and does not come back.

      So very few modern sources describe annotation or note taking in these terms.

      I find often in my annotations, the most recent one just above is such a one, where I start with a tiny kernel of an idea and then my brain begins warming up and I put down some additional thoughts. These can sometimes build and turn into multiple sentences or paragraphs, other times they sit and need further work. But either way, with some work they may turn into something altogether different than what the original author intended or discussed.

      These are the things I want to keep, expand upon, and integrate into larger works or juxtapose with other broader ideas and themes in the things I am writing about.

      Sadly, we're just not teaching students or writers these tidbits or habits anymore.

      Sönke Ahrens mentions this idea in his book about Smart Notes. When one is asked to write an essay or a paper it is immensely difficult to have a perch on which to begin. But if one has been taking notes about their reading which is of direct interest to them and which can be highly personal, then it is incredibly easy to have a starting block against which to push to begin what can be either a short sprint or a terrific marathon.

      This pattern can be seen by many bloggers who surf a bit of the web, read what others have written, and use those ideas and spaces as a place to write or create their own comments.

      Certainly this can involve some work, but it's always nicer when the muses visit and the words begin to flow.

      I've now written so much here in this annotation that this note here, is another example of this phenomenon.

      With some hope, by moving this annotation into my commonplace book (or if you prefer the words notebook, blog, zettelkasten, digital garden, wiki, etc.) I will have it to reflect and expand upon later, but it'll also be a significant piece of text which I might move into a longer essay and edit a bit to make a piece of my own.

      With luck, I may be able to remedy some of the modern note taking treatises and restore some of what we've lost from older traditions to reframe them in an more logical light for modern students.

      I recall being lucky enough to work around teachers insisting I use note cards and references in my sixth grade classes, but it was never explained to me exactly what this exercise was meant to engender. It was as if they were providing the ingredients for a recipe, but had somehow managed to leave off the narrative about what to do with those ingredients, how things were supposed to be washed, handled, prepared, mixed, chopped, etc. I always felt that I was baking blind with no directions as to temperature or time. Fortunately my memory for reading on shorter time scales was better than my peers and it was only that which saved my dishes from ruin.

      I've come to see note taking as beginning expanded conversations with the text on the page and the other texts in my notebooks. Annotations in the the margins slowly build to become something else of my own making.

      We might compare this with the more recent movement of social annotation in the digital pedagogy space. This serves a related master, but seems a bit more tangent to it. The goal of social annotation seems to be to help engage students in their texts as a group. Reading for many of these students may be more foreign than it is to me and many other academics who make trade with it. Thus social annotation helps turn that reading into a conversation between peers and their text. By engaging with the text and each other, they get something more out of it than they might have if left to their own devices. The piece I feel is missing here is the modeling of the next several steps to the broader commonplacing tradition. Once a student has begun the path of allowing their ideas to have sex with the ideas they find on the page or with their colleagues, what do they do next? Are they being taught to revisit their notes and ideas? Sift them? Expand upon them. Place them in a storehouse of their best materials where they can later be used to write those longer essays, chapters, or books which may benefit them later?

      How might we build these next pieces into these curricula of social annotation to continue building on these ideas and principles?

    4. have only your own ob- jective before your eyes, without regard to that of the author which may be quite different.

      When reading and taking notes, one should have a reason or purpose in mind and endeavor to stick to it. While you're absorbing what the writer has written, allow the unnecessary portions with respect to your goal flow through the sieve of your mind and only catch and annotate the portions which supplement your end goal. Keep and elaborate on these.

      A few days after your reading and annotating, go back through your notes with a keen eye toward expanding on those important things to your goal or interests and set aside (or even discard) all the other less interesting pieces.

      Naturally there are other pieces which may be important for remembering the shape of the things you read or facts which you've highlighted and want to remember or memorize. Save these things also in a separate space from the bigger ideas you're working on creating. They're useful, but of an entirely different nature than the ideas.


      Two broad different types of notes:

      • facts to remember
      • ideas which can have sex with other ideas
    5. Avoid caprice in everything. Just as reading is food, and memory a rich possession that becomes part of the personality, notes also are storehouses of nourishment and of personality. Reading, memory, notes should all complete us, should there- fore be like us, have something of our self, our r6le, our yocation; they should correspond to what we are aiming at and to the form of external activity by which we can and will realize it.

      Solid advice for note taking.

      This reasoning seems to be missing from writers like Ryan Holiday who just give the advice without the underlying reason why.

    6. Some people have so many and such full notebooks that they are prevented by a sort of anticipatory discouragement from ever opening them. Their imaginary treasures have cost much time and trouble, and they yield no return; they are choked up by a vast number of worthless things; the useful ones might often with advantage have stayed in the tomes from which they were ex- tracted, a reference with a rapid summary taking the place of wearisome pages.

      This seems to be a common complaint I see of people in the Zettelkasten space. They're constantly asking themselves "Why am I doing this? What good is it?"

    7. Notes, which are a sort of external memory, a “paper memory” Montaigne called them, must bear a very small proportion to reading; but they can cover more ground than memory, they can supply for it, and so take the strain off it and help our work in a measure that is hard to assign.

      Notes allow us to forget, but they're also a foothold for future memorization.

      What is the source of Montaigne calling notes "paper memory"?

    8. PREPARATION FOR WORK

      This whole section looks the most interesting and promising to me: reading, memory, and notes!

      I'll likely read these first and at best skim the rest depending on content.

    1. The point of the system is this: Ideas do not do their best work independently of each other. They work best in tandem. So each index card (or Zettel or slipnote) should link to something else.

      Ideas work best when linked to related ideas.

    2. Weirdly, in the master of fine arts classes I’ve taught so far, there’s never been a single class on how to store and access your research.

      The fact that there generally aren't courses in high school or college about how to better store and access one's research is a travesty. I feel like there are study skills classes, but they seem to be geared toward strategies and not implemented solutions.

  5. Sep 2021
    1. I think it’s valuable to add some initial thinking and reflection when I bookmark an article or finish reading a book, but haven’t yet figured out a process for revisiting recent notes to find connections and turn that into longer or more complex thought.

      This is definitely the harder part of the practice, but daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews can definitely help.

      To start I primarily focused on 3-5 broader sub-topics of things I felt were most important to me and always did those first. This helps to begin aggregating things and making a bigger difference. The rest of my smaller "fleeting" notes I didn't worry so much about and left to either come back to later or just allow them to sit there.

      I think Sonke Ahrens' book How to Take Smart Notes was fairly helpful in laying this out.

      Incidentally the spaced repetition of review is also good for your memory of the things you find important.

    1. it came out, mechanically, just by doing the calculations. (By calculations, I mean: The steps of the notebook system- applying the introspection.)

      Fundamental value(s) of considered note-making = introspection, intellectual synthesis, connection...

    1. I love this outline/syllabus for creating a commonplace book (as a potential replacement for a term paper).

      I'd be curious to see those who are using Hypothes.is as a communal reading tool in coursework utilize this outline (or similar ones) in combination with their annotation practices.

      Curating one's annotations and placing them into a commonplace book or zettelkasten would be a fantastic rhetorical exercise to extend the value of one's notes and ideas.

    1. Then, later, when I had finished reading the book, I went back and wrote notes on each of the Post-Its. (Since I put notes on nearly every page of the book, I needed some easy way to find the information I might want in the future.) Doing so required me to reread the passage I put the note on, and then to figure out what about it had caught my eye, then to come up with a few words to put on the note. This is generally how I annotate books I read, but in this case I was also, inadvertently, demonstrating a couple of the book’s principle ideas: most people learn and remember best when they can turn their knowledge into artifacts, give it some physical presence, and make their attention (and memory) loop through information recursively rather than trying to learn in a linear way.

      Matthew Cheney has a slightly different method of annotating books. He marks the pages/sections, but then revisits them afterwards to add notes.

      However one does this, a lot of the power is in actually revisiting one's notes and thoughts and doing two things, reviewing them, extending them, and saving them for later use and review.

    1. In this episode I discuss my experience with the niche and extremely powerful note-taking system known as the Zettelkasten.

      The word "niche" here provides a window into how much of our cultural history we've really lost.

    1. https://fs.blog/2013/11/taking-notes-while-reading/

      Interesting but not useful to me as it's too basic within my current system. I like that he encourages people to go back over their notes and cross link them.

    1. https://fs.blog/2021/07/mathematicians-lament/

      What if we taught art and music the way we do mathematics? All theory and drudgery without any excitement or exploration?

      What textbooks out there take math from the perspective of exploration?

      • Inventional geometry does

      Certainly Gauss, Euler, and other "greats" explored mathematics this way? Why shouldn't we?

      This same problem of teaching math is also one we ignore when it comes to things like note taking, commonplacing, and even memory, but even there we don't even delve into the theory at all.

      How can we better reframe mathematics education?

      I can see creating an analogy that equates math with art and music. Perhaps something like Arthur Eddington's quote:

      Suppose that we were asked to arrange the following in two categories–

      distance, mass, electric force, entropy, beauty, melody.

      I think there are the strongest grounds for placing entropy alongside beauty and melody and not with the first three. —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, OM, FRS (1882-1944), a British astronomer, physicist, and mathematician in The Nature of the Physical World, 1927

    1. https://fs.blog/2021/08/remember-books/

      A solid overview of how to read. Not as long or as in-depth as Mortimer J. Adler, but hits all of the high points in an absorbable manner.

      Definitely worth re-reading...

    2. Schedule time to read and review these notes.

      This is an incredibly important part of the process for absorbing, creating links, and remembering one's notes. A sad pity that it's a single sentence in its own paragraph.

      This should have been underlined.

    3. There are endless ways of organizing your notes—by book, by author, by topic, by the time of reading. It doesn’t matter which system you use as long as you will be able to find the notes in the future.

      Or by all of the above... Library card catalogues did all three, but most digital systems will effectuate all of them as well.

    4. Another effective technique is to start your notetaking by writing a short summary of each chapter and transcribing any meaningful passages or phrases. If you are unsure how to simplify your thoughts, imagine that someone has tapped you on the shoulder and asked you to explain the chapter you just finished reading. They have never read this book and lack any idea of the subject matter. How would you explain it to them?

      The so-called Richard Feynman technique, n'cest pas?

      From whom did he crib it? Did he credit them, or was it just distilled into part of the culture?

      This is also similar to the rubber duck method of debugging a program in some sense.

    5. Most of us were taught as children to treat books as something sacred—no folding the page corners, and no writing in the margins, ever.

      Most Medieval manuscripts specifically left wide columns of space to encourage readers to mark up their texts.

      cross reference: Medieval notepads - Khan Academy

      <small>Detail, London, British Library, Harley MS 3487 (13th century)—[source](http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=16790)</small>

    6. Adapt your notetaking system to suit your goals.

      More solid advice. Seems basic because it is.

    7. The best technique for notetaking is whichever one works for you and is easy to stick to. While there are hundreds of systems on the internet, you need to take one of them and adapt it until you have your own system.

      Solid advice. Advice I've given before.

      Pick a system, use it, refine it. Don't over-engineer it. You'll find that many parts of it you'll never reuse.

    8. How does the book relate to topics you’re already familiar with?

      Spark:

      Some people think and endeavor to read a book once and take such great notes that they'll never have to read it again. They're fooling themselves if they think they can do this. The context of what's in the book compared to the context of what they already know is ever-changing. The new you that re-reads a book years or months later will notice new and different things. Make new and interesting connections. Much like Heraclitus's river, we ourselves are ever-changing, and our changing contexts will allow us to get different things from what we're reading on subsequent visits.

    9. can help you retain more and make deeper connections.

      Often forgotten in the reading and learning processes is creating connections between our new content and what we already know. This is some of the power behind the basic idea in zettelkasten of creating links between knowledge.

    10. Before beginning this piece I'm reminded to note some advice given to me by Rick Kurtzman at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) on reading scripts: If you're not going to act on having read (a script), then why bother having read it in the first place?

      He meant to make notes, write coverage, create writer lists for rewriting, producer lists for selling, director list for directing, casting lists. One should tell people about the (good) things one read. Make your reading produce something.

  6. Aug 2021
    1. in De discipline scholarum, a guidebook made in the 1230s for students and teachers at the University of Paris, it is explained how a student should bring such slips of parchment to class for taking notes. Interestingly, some of these slips have survived because they were pasted in a student’s textbook, like the one seen in the image above. These are truly the medieval equivalent of our “yellow sticky notes.” The practice of bringing scrap material into the classroom was a much broader medieval phenomenon, as is shown by the famous birch bark notes that survive from 13th-century Russia.

      Students used offcuts (or scraps) of parchment for writing notes on in class.

    2. The most common and sensible location for putting down thoughts, critique or notes was the margin of the medieval book. Consider this: you wouldn’t think so looking at a medieval page, but on average only half of it was filled with the actual text. A shocking fifty to sixty percent was designed to be margin. As inefficient as this may seem, the space came in handy for the reader. As the Middle Ages progressed it became more and more common to resort to the margin for note-taking.
    3. Connecting a marginal remark to the relevant passage in the text was usually done with a duplicated symbol, called a signe de renvoi: one was placed in front of the marginal note, the other near the word or passage that the remark commented upon.

      Evolution of footnotes

    4. there are very few medieval scenes in which someone is reading but not writing—where books are present but pens are not. In part, this has to do with medieval study practices. Readers would usually have a pen nearby even when they were just reading. After all, remarks and critiques needed to be added to the margin at the spur of the moment. “Penless” images, while rare, often show a crowded desktop.

      Images of Medieval reading practices generally pictured pens along with books. In the rare cases where pens were not included, the desks pictured were messy and thus covered up the pens involved.

    1. The De disciplina scholarum, a student guidebook from Paris, stipulated that wax tablets or tiny slips of parchment be taken into the classroom for note-taking. These notes were later added to the margins of students’ textbooks.
    1. Media and the Mind: Art, Science and Notebooks as Paper Machines, 1700-1830 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022), 550 pp + 60 figures.

      I can't wait to read Media and the Mind: Art, Science and Notebooks as Paper Machines, 1700-1830 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022)!

      I see some bits on annotation hiding in here that may be of interest to @RemiKalir and @anterobot.

      If you need some additional eyeballs on it prior to publication, I'm happy to mark it up in exchange for the early look.

    1. https://collect.readwriterespond.com/how-to-remember-more-of-what-you-read/

      Some useful looking links here. Thanks Aaron.

      I've been digging deeper and deeper into some of the topics and sub-topics.

      The biggest problem I've seen thus far is a lot of wanna-be experts and influencers (especially within the Roam Research space) touching on the very surface of problem. I've seen more interesting and serious people within the Obsidian community sharing their personal practices and finding pieces of that useful.

      The second issue may be that different things work somewhat differently for different people, none of whom are using the same tools or even general systems. Not all of them have the same end goals either. Part of the key is finding something useful that works for you or modifying something slowly over time to get it to work for you.

      At the end of the day your website holds the true answer: read, write, respond (along with the implied "repeat" at the end).

      One of the best and most thorough prescriptions I've seen is Sönke Ahrens' book which he's written after several years of using and researching a few particular systems.

      I've been finding some useful tidbits from my own experience and research into the history of note taking and commonplace book traditions. The memory portion intrigues me a lot as well as I've done quite a lot of research into historical methods of mnemonics and memory traditions. Naturally the ancient Greeks had most of this all down within the topic of rhetoric, but culturally we seem to have unbundled and lost a lot of our own traditions with changes in our educational system over time.

    1. https://kimberlyhirsh.com/2018/06/29/a-starttofinish-literature.html

      Great overview of a literature review with some useful looking links to more specifics on note taking methods.

      Most of the newer note taking tools like Roam Research, Obsidian, etc. were not available or out when she wrote this. I'm curious how these may have changed or modified her perspective versus some of the other catch-as-catch-can methods with pen/paper/index cards/digital apps?

    1. https://kimberlyhirsh.com/2019/04/01/dissertating-in-the.html

      A description of some of Kimiberly Hirsh's workflow in keeping a public research notebook (or commonplace book).

      I'd be curious to know what type of readership and response she's gotten from this work in the past. For some it'll bet it's possibly too niche for a lot of direct feedback, but some pieces may be more interesting than others.

      Did it help her organize her thoughts and reuse the material later on?

    1. How To Do Sketchnoting (Even If You "Can't Draw"!)

      a lesson with Emily Mills of the Sketchnote Academy

      video

      Types of Sketchnotes

      • Lecture based
      • Experience based

      Skills for sketchnotes

      • Listening
        • looking for ideas, high level
      • Writing
      • Drawing

      Pairing images and words together to be dynamic and memorable.

      One doesn't need to be the greatest artist to do sketchnotes.

      memorable >> masterpiece recognizable >> realistic big ideas >> nitty gritty

      Basic drawing

      Seven building blocks for drawing

      • dot
      • straight line
      • crooked line
      • curvy line
      • circle
      • triangle
      • square

      Rules

      • The fewer elements, the easier
      • Rearrange rotate, reorient shapes

      People

      • standard stick person
      • A person
      • oval person
      • star person

      Containers and connectors

      Boxes are boring, so add frames or more interesting Use containers to separate information that is different from the rest or to highlight.

      • boxes
      • frames
      • nails/thumbtacks
      • star "pow" outline
      • box with a shadow

      Tell people where to read next

      • Create a really clear header
      • help people with connectors (dotted lines, arrows, numbering)

      Start out small first as it's more intimidating to use bigger formats

      Tools

      • Sketchone marker (thin point ink, pigment or permanent and not water-based, otherwise bleedover in coloring)
      • Tombow dual brush markers for color
        • two grey tones, one lighter and one darker
        • small handful of colors (red, blue, yellow, green)

      How to Sketchnote

      • Step 1: Header
      • Step 2: Layout (top to bottom/left to right is usually more intuitive) Pre-plan this. Think about connectors.
      • Step 3: Consistency
        • headers, characters, size of writing,
      • Step 4: Refine
        • check spelling
        • whiteout for mess ups (gellyroll white gel pen)
        • ensure connectors are obvious
      • Step 5: Guiding shapes (to help flow of information on page)
        • stippling
        • cloud outlines
        • lines in the negative space (also creates contrast)
      • Step 6: Coloring in
        • greys first, dark then light
        • highlighting connectors
        • shadows on boxes, ribbons, connectors
        • color should be more of a highlight than a background filler (it's not a coloring book)

      Higher contrast notes are better

      Resources

    2. Anecdotal mention here of someone using sketchnotes or doodling as a mnemonic device.

      Sketchnotes could be a means of implementing visual method of loci in one's note taking. Like creating a faux memory palace. Also somewhat similar, expecially in the case of the leaf doodle mentioned above, to the idea of drolleries, but in this case, they're not taking advantage of the memory's greater capacity of imagination to make things even more memorable for long term retention.

    1. Sketchnotes by Chad Moore and Chris Wilson

      https://vi.to/hubs/microcamp/pages/chad-moore-and-chris-wilson?v=chad-moore-and-chris-wilson&discussion=hidden&sidebar=hidden

      Sketchnotes are ideas not art.

      Squiggle birds - take squiggles and give them beaks, eyes, and bird feet. (Idea apparently from Austin Kleon.)

      How you might take notes if you'd never been told how to.

      • There is no particular app or platform that is the "right" one.

      Common elements:

      • Headlines and sub headlines are common
        • Elegant text / fancy text
      • Icons
      • containers - ways of holding information together
        • this can be explicit or via white space
      • flow of information (arrows)
      • arrangements or layouts of how information is displayed
        • top to bottom, circles, columns, stream of flow of ideas
      • people
        • emotions, perhaps using emoji-like faces
      • shadows, highlights

      Icons

      Simple can be better. Complexity may make understanding more difficult.

      Examples

      A few they pulled off of the web

      Sketchnote Selfie

      Goal: Create an info rich portrait with character. Portrait, name, info, location, passions, hobbies, interests, social usernames, now section, etc.

    1. https://mentalpivot.com/solutions-for-taking-notes-when-listening-to-podcasts/

      I definitely need a better way of doing this myself. Not a fan of paying $5/month for NoteCast. Airr is iOS only.

      Sharing the link from the app with timecode seems the best, but it would be nice to have the transcription piece as well.

    1. http://www.connectedtext.com/manfred.php

      A nice essay about note taking in general, the author's long history using many methods including index cards and a variety of digital versions. Ultimately he settled on a private desktop wiki called ConnectedText.

      He talks about Luhmann's zettelkasten and some of the pros/cons as well as things that can be left out when implemented in a digital version like ConnectedText.

      He's reasonably connected to the tradition of note taking, though doesn't seem to be as steeped in the Renaissance traditions of commonplace books specifically.

    2. Beatrice Webb, the famous sociologist and political activist, reported in 1926: "'Every one agrees nowadays', observe the most noted French writers on the study of history, 'that it is advisable to collect materials on separate cards or slips of paper. . . . The advantages of this artifice are obvious; the detachability of the slips enables us to group them at will in a host of different combinations; if necessary, to change their places; it is easy to bring texts of the same kind together, and to incorporate additions, as they are acquired, in the interior of the groups to which they belong.'" [6]

      footnote:

      Webb 1926, p. 363. The number of scholars who have used the index card method is legion, especially in sociology and anthropology, but also in many other subjects. Claude Lévy-Strauss learned their use from Marcel Mauss and others, Roland Barthes used them, Charles Sanders Peirce relied on them, and William Van Orman Quine wrote his lectures on them, etc.

    3. A wiki allows one to build increasingly more complex relationships between what might appear to be at first unrelated bits and pieces of information. The motto that characterizes this approch is: "It's not the data, it's the relationship" and it certainly rings true for me in the context of note-taking.
    1. The first step in translating experience, either of other men's writing, or of your own life, into the intellectual sphere, is to give it form. Merely to name an item of experience often invites you to explain it; the mere taking of a note from a book is often a prod to reflection. At the same time, of course, the taking of a note is a great aid in comprehending what you are reading.

      on the purpose of taking notes, annotating one's reading, or commonplacing

      highlight is a quote from

      C. Wright Mills' profound "Appendix: On Intellectual Craftsmanship," as found in his book on The Sociological Imagination.[16]

    2. I should perhaps also note that I try, whenever possible, not to collect raw quotes or information simply copied from the Internet or from books, but to write excerpts or summaries in my own words on the basis of my reading. Luhmann called this "reformulating writing" and argued that such an approach is most important for one's own intellectual life. But this idea is not a new discovery Luhmann made. In fact, the idea that excerpts should be used to keep on's research goes back to at least the Renaissance when people first began to make extensive excerpts on paper.

      This is also related to the ideas of invention as well as the analogy of the bee in relation to commonplaces. Link this to the bee analogy of Seneca the Younger and Macrobius in Saturnalia.

    1. Some thoughts about leaving space in new notebooks, especially for one's future self:

      • contact information in front in case of loss
      • space for a future table of contents to come
      • space for page numbers and dates
      • space in the back for house keeping, indices, etc.

      http://www.notesaboutnotes.com/Notes/FrontMatter.html

    1. Müller-Wille and Scharf ‘Indexing Nature’, also points out that Linnaeus interleaved blanksheets into his texts so that he could take notes. Cooper points out that this had been a common practice in natural historysince at least the late seventeenth century (Cooper, Inventing the Indigenous, 74–5).

      Apparently interleaving blank sheets into texts was a more common practice than I had known! I've seen it in the context of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) using the practice to take notes in his Bible, but not in others.

    2. For example, his erasable writing tablet is referenced inW. Blunt, Linnaeus: The Compleat Naturalist(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 70.

      What form did Carl Linnaeus' erasable writing tablet take?

    3. First, what were the economies of attention thatguided his commonplacing techniques? Second, what type of impact did his note-taking skillshave upon the way that he arranged information in texts?

      The two questions addressed in this article.

    1. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-05-08-reagan-notes-book-brinkley_n.htm

      An article indicating that President Ronald Reagan kept a commonplace book throughout his life. He maintained it on index cards, often with as many as 10 entries per card. The article doesn't seem to indicate that there was any particular organization, index, or taxonomy involved.

      It's now housed at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

    1. " Havens' inclusive approach and argument for a broad definition of the commonplace book responds to previous scholarship whose scope has been restricted to documents that fit classical theories of the commonplace. In Havens' view, this exclusivity obscures much of the actual history and personal practices of compilers of commonplaces, particularly because it focuses on Renaissance humanist compilations that were made for print.

      I take this more inclusive approach to note taking as well.

    1. One might weU see a further example of this process in the incorporation into Alsted's Consiliarius académicas et schohsticus (1610) of a category of random, day-to-day observations and reading notes ("ephemerides" or "diaria").

      Is this similar to the mixing of a daily journal page with note taking seen in systems like Roam Research and the way some use Obsidian?

  7. Jul 2021
    1. To be informed is to know simply that something is the case. To be enlightened is to know, in addition, what it is all about: why it is the case, what its connections are with other facts, in what respects it is the same, in what respects it is different, and so forth.

      The distinctions between being informed and enlightened.

      Learning might be defined as the pathway from being informed as a preliminary base on the way to full enlightenment. Pedagogy is the teacher's plan for how to take this path.

      How would these definitions and distinctions fit into Bloom's taxonomy?

      Note that properly annotating and taking notes into a commonplace book can be a serious (necessary?) step one might take on the way towards enlightenment.

    2. the more active the reading the better.

      How much more active can it be than also actively annotating and note taking?

    1. Highfive Notebook indexing method

      A clever method for creating an index or tracking system in a bound notebook by creating an index and then marking the edge of the page for related pages.

      Could also be used for tracking one's mood or other similar taxonomic items.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>u/mor-leidr </span> in Has anyone used this indexing system? Curious what you think : commonplacebook (<time class='dt-published'>07/30/2021 12:29:53</time>)</cite></small>

    1. This is all too correct. Sadly the older methods for writing, note taking, thinking, and memory have fallen by the wayside, so most literate moderns don't have the tradition most of (elite educated) Western culture has had for the past 2000+ years. The long tradition of commonplace books and their related versions including waste books, florilegium, sudelbücher, scholia, glossae, notebooks, anthologies, sylvae, table books, vade mecum, memoranda books, diaries, miscellanies, pocket books, thesauruses, etc. underlines your thesis well. The Zettelkasten, exactly like almost all of these others, is simply an iteration of the commonplace book instantiated into index card form. One of the reasons that Umberto Eco's advice on writing seems so similar to the zettelkasten method is that he was a medievalist scholar who was aware of these long traditions of writing, note taking, and memory and leveraged these for himself, though likely in a slightly different manner. Would anyone suggest that he didn't have a voluminous output or an outsized impact on society and culture? If one really wants to go crazy on the idea of backlinks and the ideas of creativity and invention, perhaps they ought to brush up on their Catalan and read some Ramon Llull? He was an 11th century philosopher and polymath who spent a lot of time not only memorizing much of his personal knowledge, but who invented combinatorial creative methods for juxtaposing his volumes of information to actively create new ideas. I guarantee no backlinking system held a match to his associative methods. Now if someone wanted to mix some mysticism into the fray, then perhaps there might be a competition... Many who are now writing so positively about Zettelkasten or backlinks are doing so in much the same way that humanist scholars like Desiderius Erasmus, Rodolphus Agricola, and Philip Melanchthon did when writing about and re-popularizing commonplace books in the 1500s. The primary difference being that the chance that they leave as lasting a legacy is much smaller. Worse many of them are crediting Luhmann for the actual invention of the Zettelkasten when his is but one instantiation on a long evolution of many note taking devices over literal millennia. I'm still waiting for folks to spend more time talking about Carl Linnaeus' revolutionary invention and use of the index card. Or John Locke's system for creating a new indexing system for commonplace books. Generally we don't talk about these innovations because their users spent more of their time using their systems to get other more important things done for their legacies. In the end, the message seems clear, anyone can be incredibly productive; most of it boils down to having some sort of system of reading, thinking, note taking, and new production and sticking with it for a while. Have a system; use your system; evolve it slowly to work well for you and the way you think and work.

    1. https://forum.obsidian.md/t/epub-support/1403

      Some interesting resources here, though none currently suit workflows I'm keen to support yet. There is a reference to FuturePress' epub.js which could be intriguing, though even here, I'm more likely to stick with Hypothes.is for annotating and note taking to keep context.

    1. In the Western tradition, these memory traditions date back to ancient Greece and Rome and were broadly used until the late 1500s. Frances A. Yates outlines much of their use in The Art of Memory (Routledge, 1966). She also indicates that some of their decline in use stems from Protestant educational reformers like Peter Ramus who preferred outline and structural related methods. Some religious reformers didn't appreciate the visual mnemonic methods as they often encouraged gross, bloody, non-religious, and sexualized imagery.

      Those interested in some of the more modern accounts of memory practice (as well as methods used by indigenous and oral cultures around the world) may profit from Lynne Kelly's recent text Memory Craft (Allen & Unwin, 2019).

      Lots of note taking in the West was (and still is) done via commonplace book, an art that is reasonably well covered in Earle Havens' Commonplace Books: A History of Manuscripts and Printed Books from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century (Yale, 2001).

    1. https://bzawilski.medium.com/using-zettelkasten-and-obsidian-to-learn-more-effectively-333ac90d001a

      Facile overview article that touches on the basics but looses sight of the longer flow of history.

      Don't recommend.

    2. the idea is to render very clear the connections between ideas with as little friction as possible.

      The goal of note taking and tools for it is to make capturing ideas and creating connections between them as easy and friction free as possible. This allows note taking come closer to actual thinking with better long term retention.

    1. https://dev.to/tmhall99/beyond-taking-notes-or-how-i-joined-the-roamcult-22k3

      Lots of resources on the topic to start down a rabbit hole, but no clear outline or thesis of what is going on or why it's useful. At best a list of potentially useful links for getting started.

    1. This is pretty slick and looks pretty in its published form. Great to see others are using clever set ups like this as posting interfaces.

      I have a feeling that other TiddlyWiki users would love this sort of thing. While TW may not seem as au courant, it's still got some awesome equivalent functionality and great UI which is what most of the users in the note taking space really care about.

      I do still wish that there was a micropub set up for Hypothes.is to make this sort of thing easier for the non-technical users.

    1. A note is only as useful as the context you place it in. A note’s true value unfolds in its network of connections and relationships to others.You don’t have to use your brain anymore to find separate ideas from different books related to each other. In a Zettelkasten, you don’t file notes in the context you found them but in the context in which you want to discover them.

      Notes often require some context to give them value and more meaning, but when collecting them, placing them in contexts where they might be discovered in the future and connected to other ideas can give them additional value.

    1. Feature Idea: Chaos Monkey for PKM

      This idea is a bit on the extreme side, but it does suggest that having a multi-card comparison view in a PKM system would be useful.

      Drawing on Raymond Llull's combitorial memory system from the 12th century and a bit of Herman Ebbinghaus' spaced repetition (though this is also seen in earlier non-literate cultures), one could present two (or more) random atomic notes together as a way of juxtaposing disparate ideas from one's notes.

      The spaced repetition of the cards would be helpful for one's long term memory of the ideas, but it could also have the secondary effect of nudging one to potentially find links or connections between the two ideas and help to spur creativity for the generation of new hybrid ideas or connection to other current ideas based on a person's changed context.

      I've thought about this in the past (most likely while reading Frances Yates' Art of Memory), but don't think I've bothered to write it down (or it's hiding in untranscribed marginalia).

    1. Best Bible Note-Taking System: Jonathan Edwards's Miscellanies

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqq-4-LiFVs

      Overview of Jonathan Edwards Miscellanies system along with a a few wide-margin bibles. Everhard apparently hasn't heard of the commonplace concept, though I do notice that someone mentions the zettelkasten system in the comments.

    1. While the programming part creates a lot of flexibility, the creation of this system seems awfully heavy and kludgy.

      I wonder about the long term stability and data ownership, but it seems so heavy I'm already turned off.

    1. Most of this is material I've seen or heard in other forms in the past. It's relatively well reviewed and summarized here though, but it's incredibly dense to try to pull out, unpack and actually use if one were coming to it as a something new.

      3 Productivity hacks

      • Zen Meditation (Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryū Suzuki
      • Research Process -- Annotations and notes, notecards
      • Rigorous exercise routine -- plateau effect

      The Zen meditation hack sounds much in the line of advice to often get away from what you're studing/researching and to let the ideas stew for a bit before coming back to them. It's the same principle as going for walks frequently heard from folks or being a flâneur. (cross reference Nassim Nicholas Taleb et al.) The other version of this that's similar are the diffuse modes of learning (compared with focused modes) described in learning theory. (Examples in work of Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski in https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn)

      I've generally come to the idea that genius doesn't exist myself. Most of it distills down to use of tools like commonplace books.

      Perhaps worth looking into some of the following to see what, if anything, is different than prior version of the commonplace book tradition:

      The Ryan Holiday Notecard System @Intermittent Diversion - https://youtu.be/QoFZQOJ8aA0

      Article On Notecard System [1] https://medium.com/thrive-global/the-notecard-system-the-key-for-remembering-organizing-and-using-everything-you-read-4f48a82371b1 [2] https://www.writingroutines.com/notecard-system-ryan-holiday/ [3] https://www.gallaudet.edu/tutorial-and-instructional-programs/english-center/the-process-and-type-of-writing/pre-writing-writing-and-revising/the-note-card-system/