183 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Creativity depends on acreative process.
    2. put them where they fit and construct the bridge out of more linesthat come up within the last couple of years . . . ‘Blank Space’ wasthe culmination of all my best ones one after the other.”

      In an interview about how she wrote the smash hit “Blank Space,”3 Swift says, “I’ll be going about my daily life and I’ll think, ‘Wow, so we only have two real options in relationships—it’s going to be forever or it’s going to go down in flames,’ so I’ll jot that down in my notes . . . I’ll come up with a line that I think is clever like ‘Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream’ and I just pick them and

      NME, “Taylor Swift—How I Wrote My Massive Hit ‘Blank Space,’ ”NME.com, October 9, 2015, YouTube video, 3:58, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bYUDY4lmls

      link to Eminem and "stacking ammo"

    3. If you’ve ever played the word-tile game Scrabble, you know thebest way to come up with new words is to mix up the letters indifferent combinations until a word jumps out at you

      Strategies for playing Scrabble are similar to those of Raymond Llull's combinatorial arts.

      I've done this with other games as well...

    1. People in the Renaissance broke texts into fragments and used these to assemble and connect. It was, perhaps, the original remix culture and ultimate foundation of creativity.

      I'm wondering if I'm going to see signs of Raymond Lull's ideas here?

    1. the Llullian combinatory was not really different: by rotating and re-rotating wheels, the user always got the same combinations. One who had mastered this complicated mechanism would have nothing new to learn, despite the astonishing number of possible combinations. This machine was designed to

      repeat the known rather than to explore the unknown; therefore, it functioned as an engine of redundancy rather than as an engine of variety. 53

      1. This distinction is drawn from Blair, Too Much to Know, 236, who uses it with respect to early modern reference books.

      I'm not sure that I agree with this as the number of combinations can quickly become incredibly large.

    2. In §§ 4–5, I examine the socio-evolutionary circumstances under which a closed combinatory, such as the one triggered by the Llullian art, was replaced by an open-ended combinatory, such as the one triggered by a card index based on removable entries. In early modernity, improvement in abstraction compelled scholars to abandon the idea that the order of knowledge should mirror the order of nature. This development also implied giving up the use of space as a type of externalization and as the main rule for checking consis-tency.

      F*ck! I've been scooped!

      Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed this, though I notice that he doesn't cite Frances A. Yates, which would have certainly been the place for having come up with this historical background (at least that's where I found it.)

      The Llullian arts can be more easily practiced with ideas placed on moveable index cards than they might be with ideas stored in one's own memory. Thus the index card as a tool significantly decreases the overhead and provides an easier user interface for permuting one's ideas and combining them. This decrease in mental work appearing at a time of information overload also puts specific pressure on the older use of the art of memory to put it out of fashion.

    1. I suspect that rather than being totally dreary, this transcribing step can also be a creative step, and I will see patterns of thought, generate new ideas…

      On the value of revising and revisiting notes. Similar to Raymond Llull's combinatorial creativity, but in a different form which doesn't require memory the same way.

    1. The aim of these books wasn’t regurgitation but rather combinatorial creativity. People were encouraged to improvise on themes and topics. Gathering raw material alone — in this case, information — is not enough. We must transform it into something new. It is in this light that Seneca advised copying the bee and Einstein advised combinatorial play.

      I was really hoping for so much more in this essay on the combinatorial creativity, espcially since the author threw the idea into the title. The real meat must be in the two linked articles about Seneca and Einstein.

      There is a slight mention of combinatorics in the justaposition of pieces within one's commonplace book, and a mention that these books may date back to the 12th century where they were probably more influenced by the combinatoric creativity of Raymond Lull. It's still an open question for me just how far back the idea of commonplaces goes as well as how far back Lull's combinatoric pieces go...

    1. suggested by Gessner for bibliographical units on slips of paper in subject or alphabetical order, for the generation of new texts through recombination.

      This sort of recombination is also seen in the work of Raymond Llull, though there he did it in a specific combinatorial way and implemented it in his memory rather than on paper.

    1. In the case ofLévi-Strauss, meanwhile, the card index continued to serve inimportant ways as a ‘memory crutch’, albeit with a key differencefrom previous uses of the index as an aide-memoire. In Lévi-Strauss’case, what the fallibility of memory takes away, the card index givesback via the workings of chance. As he explains in an interview withDidier Erebon:I get by when I work by accumulating notes – a bitabout everything, ideas captured on the fly,summaries of what I have read, references,quotations... And when I want to start a project, Ipull a packet of notes out of their pigeonhole anddeal them out like a deck of cards. This kind ofoperation, where chance plays a role, helps merevive my failing memory. (Cited in Krapp, 2006:361)For Krapp, the crucial point here is that, through his use of indexcards, Lévi-Strauss ‘seems to allow that the notes may either restorememory – or else restore the possibilities of contingency which givesthinking a chance under the conditions of modernity’ (2006: 361).

      Claude Lévi-Strauss had a note taking practice in which he accumulated notes of ideas on the fly, summaries of what he read, references, and quotations. He kept them on cards which he would keep in a pigeonhole. When planning a project, he would pull them out and use them to "revive [his] failing memory."

      Questions: - Did his system have any internal linkages? - How big was his system? (Manageable, unmanageable?) - Was it only used for memory, or was it also used for creativity? - Did the combinatorial reshufflings of his cards provide inspiration a la the Llullan arts?

      Link this to the ideas of Raymond Llull's combinatorial arts.

    1. For the combinatorial logics used to make book catalogues at this time, see Garberson, ‘Libraries, Memory and theSpace of Knowledge’. See also Chapter 8, ‘The Library Catalogue’, in W. Clark, Academic Charisma and the Origins ofthe Research University (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

      What influence, if any, would the ideas of Raymond Llull have had here?



    1. In explaining his approach, Luhmann emphasized, with the first stepsof computer technology in mind, the benefits of the principle of “multiple storage”: in the card index itserves to provide different avenues of accessing a topic or concept since the respective notes may be filedin different places and different contexts. Conversely, embedding a topic in various contexts gives rise todifferent lines of information by means of opening up different realms of comparison in each case due tothe fact that a note is an information only in a web of other notes. Furthermore it was Luhmann’s intentionto “avoid premature systematization and closure and maintain openness toward the future.”11 His way oforganizing the collection allows for it to continuously adapt to the evolution of his thinking and his overalltheory which as well is not conceptualized in a hierarchical manner but rather in a cybernetical way inwhich every term or theoretical concept is dependent on the other.

      While he's couching it in the computer science milieu of his day, this is not dissimilar to the Llullan combinatorial arts.

  2. May 2022
    1. Remembering, Connecting, Creating: The Three Stages ofPersonal Knowledge Management
    2. There are four essential capabilities that we can rely on a SecondBrain to perform for us:1. Making our ideas concrete.2. Revealing new associations between ideas.3. Incubating our ideas over time.4. Sharpening our unique perspectives.

      Does the system really do each of these? Writing things down for our future selves is the thing that makes ideas concrete, not the system itself. Most notebooks don't reveal new associations, we actively have to do that ourselves via memory or through active search and linking within the system itself. The system may help, but it doesn't automatically create associations nor reveal them. By keeping our ideas in one place they do incubate to some extent, but isn't the real incubation taking place in a diffuse way in our minds to come out later?

    3. Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done

      David Allen has apparently not acquainted himself with any of the arts of memory.

    4. I’ve spent years studying how prolific writers, artists, and thinkersof the past managed their creative process. I’ve spent countlesshours researching how human beings can use technology to extendand enhance our natural cognitive abilities. I’ve personally

      experimented with every tool, trick, and technique available today for making sense of information. This book distills the very best insights I’ve discovered from teaching thousands of people around the world how to realize the potential of their ideas.

      All this work just for this? When some basic reading of historical note taking, information management, and intellectual history would have saved him the time and effort? Looking through the references I'm not seeing much before even 2010, so it seems as if he's spent most of his time reinventing the wheel.

    1. To produce meaningful work, and then forget about it, so you can move on to another and hopefully greater act of linear will.

      This completely loses the fact that two different areas of work can be used fruitfully in combinatorically creative ways to expand insight and knowledge. While you can loosely forget what is in your notes, the fact that they exist and are interlinked helps you resurface and reuse them. If you're not reusing and constantly linking them, then you're failing.

  3. Apr 2022
    1. one of those powerful things that any musician can do like take this song [Music] and you could basically cut out little loops from that

      An easy way of creating new music is to take a short length of music and break it down into smaller constitutive parts and then loop them and potentially then build them back up into longer pieces.

    2. it starts with 00:32:31 this one kind of thing called single finger and these are all just variations or practice styles [Music] 00:32:45 and then octave double stop skills [Music] and you know just down the list but you know these things are all developed 00:32:59 through the practice the daily practice but then once once they've been developed then i can just plug them into songs and and create so that's just i'm really excited about this form like the fiddle wrong is because

      Jason Kleinberg takes basic tunes and then has a list of variations of practice styles which he runs through with each one (eg. single-finger, octave double stops scale, old-time, polkafy, blues, etc.) and he plays those tunes in these modified styles not only to practice, but to take these "musical conversations" and translate them into his own words. This is a clever way of generating new music and potentially even new styles by mixing those which have come before. To a great sense, he's having a musical conversation with prior composers and musicians in the same way that an annotator will have a conversation in the margins with an author. It's also an example of the sort of combinatorial creativity suggested by Raymond Llull's work.

  4. www.goodreads.com www.goodreads.com
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Winnie Lim</span> in peeking into people’s routines (<time class='dt-published'>04/24/2022 02:40:01</time>)</cite></small>

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Winnie Lim</span> in peeking into people’s routines (<time class='dt-published'>04/24/2022 02:40:01</time>)</cite></small>

    1. A filing system is indefinitely expandable, rhizomatic (at any point of timeor space, one can always insert a new card); in contradistinction with the sequen-tial irreversibility of the pages of the notebook and of the book, its interiormobility allows for permanent reordering (for, even if there is no narrative conclu-sion of a diary, there is a last page of the notebook on which it is written: its pagesare numbered, like days on a calendar).

      Most writing systems and forms force a beginning and an end, they force a particular structure that is both finite and limiting. The card index (zettelkasten) may have a beginning—there's always a first note or card, but it never has to have an end unless one's ownership is so absolute it ends with the life of its author. There are an ever-increasing number of ways to order a card index, though some try to get around this to create some artificial stability by numbering or specifically ordering their cards. New ideas can be accepted into the index at a multitude of places and are always internally mobile and re-orderable.

      link to Luhmann's works on describing this sort of rhizomatic behavior of his zettelkasten

      Within a network model framing for a zettelkasten, one might define thinking as traversing a graph of idea nodes in a particular order. Alternately it might also include randomly juxtaposing cards and creating links between ones which have similarities. Which of these modes of thinking has a higher order? Which creates more value? Which requires more work?

    2. Not unlike Duchamp’s door that is both open and closed at thesame time, the card file resists the syntagmatic closure of the sentence by sustain-ing the openness of the paradigm.

      Resisting syntagmatic closure

      Ideas placed into a card file or zettelkasten resist syntagmatic closure. Even well-formed structures in a card file can accept, expand, and integrate new ideas.

      Is a zettelkasten ever done?

    3. In his practice, Leiris wrote,Duchamp demonstratesall the honesty of a gambler who knows that the game only has meaningto the extent that one scrupulously observes the rules from the very out-set. What makes the game so compelling is not its final result or how wellone performs, but rather the game in and of itself, the constant shiftingaround of pawns, the circulation of cards, everything that contributes tothe fact that the game—as opposed to a work of art—never stands still.


      but rather the game in and of itself, the constant shifting around of pawns, the circulation of cards, everything that contributes to the fact that the game--as opposed to a work of art--never stands still.

      This reminds me of some of the mnemonic devices (cowrie shells) that Lynne Kelly describes in combinatorial mnemonic practice. These are like games or stories that change through time. And these are fairly similar to the statistical thermodynamics of life and our multitude of paths through it. Or stories which change over time.

      Is life just a game?

      there's a kernel of something interesting here, we'll just need to tie it all together.

      Think also of combining various notes together in a zettelkasten.

      Were these indigenous tribes doing combinatorial work in a more rigorous mathematical fashion?

    1. Wilken, Rowan. “The Card Index as Creativity Machine.” Culture Machine 11 (2010): 7–30.

      file: https://culturemachine.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/373-604-1-PB.pdf

    2. Furthermore,combinatorial logic dictates that the card index is also the wellspringof creativity insofar as it permits expansive possibilities for futureintellectual endeavours (see Hollier, 2005: 40; cf. Krapp, 2006:367).
    3. the card indexis the quintessential structuralist tool in that it simultaneouslycombines the paradigmatic (selection) with the syntagmatic(combination) in one mechanism.
    4. As Calvetexplains, in thinking through the organisation of Michelet, Barthes‘tried out different combinations of cards, as in playing a game ofpatience, in order to work out a way of organising them and to findcorrespondences between them’ (113).

      Louis-Jean Calvet explains that in writing Michelet, Barthes used his notes on index cards to try out various combinations of cards to both organize them as well as "to find correspondences between them."

    5. The filing cards or slipsthat Barthes inserted into his index-card system adhered to a ‘strictformat’: they had to be precisely one quarter the size of his usualsheet of writing paper. Barthes (1991: 180) records that this systemchanged when standards were readjusted as part of moves towardsEuropean unification. Within the collection there was considerable‘interior mobility’ (Hollier, 2005: 40), with cards constantlyreordered. There were also multiple layerings of text on each card,with original text frequently annotated and altered.

      Barthes kept his system to a 'strict format' of cards which were one quarter the size of his usual sheet of writing paper, though he did adjust the size over time as paper sizes standardized within Europe. Hollier indicates that the collection had considerable 'interior mobility' and the cards were constantly reordered with use. Barthes also apparently frequently annotated and altered his notes on cards, so they were also changing with use over time.

      Did he make his own cards or purchase them? The sizing of his paper with respect to his cards might indicate that he made his own as it would have been relatively easy to fold his own paper in half twice and cut it up.

      Were his cards numbered or marked so as to be able to put them into some sort of standard order? There's a mention of 'interior mobility' and if this was the case were they just floating around internally or were they somehow indexed and tethered (linked) together?

      The fact that they were regularly used, revise, and easily reordered means that they could definitely have been used to elicit creativity in the same manner as Raymond Llull's combinatorial art, though done externally rather than within one's own mind.

    1. It’s paradoxical but true: imitating well demands a considerable degree ofcreativity.



    1. Reviewing The Original of Laura, Alexander Theroux describes the cards as a “portable strategy that allowed [Nabokov] to compose in the car while his wife drove the devoted lepidopterist on butterfly expeditions.”

      While note cards have a certain portability about them for writing almost anywhere, aren't notebooks just as easily portable? In fact, with a notebook, one doesn't need to worry about spilling and unordering the entire enterprise.

      There are, however, other benefits. By using small atomic pieces on note cards, one can be far more focused on the idea and words immediately at hand. It's also far easier in a creative and editorial process to move pieces around experimentally.

      Similarly, when facing Hemmingway's White Bull, the size and space of an index card is fall smaller. This may have the effect that Twitter's short status updates have for writers who aren't faced with the seemingly insurmountable burden of writing a long blog post or essay in other software. They can write 280 characters and stop. Of if they feel motivated, they can continue on by adding to the prior parts of a growing thread. Sadly, Twitter doesn't allow either editing or rearrangements, so the endeavor and analogy are lost beyond here.

  5. Mar 2022
    1. A major advance in user interfaces that supports creative exploration would the capacity to go back in time, to review and manipulate the history of actions taken during an entire session. Users will be able to see all the steps in designing an engine and change an early design decision. They will be able to extract sections of the history to replay them or to convert into permanent macros that can be applied in similar situations. Extracting and replaying sections of history is a form of direct man ipulation programming. It enables users to explore every alternative in a decision-making situation, and then chose the one with the most favorable outcomes.

      While being able to view the history of a problem space from the perspective of a creation process is interesting, in reverse, it is also an interesting way to view a potential learning experience.

      I can't help but think about the branching tree networks of knowledge in some math texts providing potential alternate paths through the text to allow learners to go from novice to expert in areas in which they're interested. We need more user interfaces like this.

    2. Immersion in previous work may bia s creativity and limit imagination if users cannot break free from tradition.

      Being bound in the shackles of prior traditions and even one's own work can be stifling for future creativity and the expansion of our imaginations.

      Link to the scientific revolution thesis of Thomas Kuhn.

    3. Powerful tools can support creativity: Innovation can be facilitated by powerful tools that supply templates and support exploratory processes such as brainstorming (offering links to related concepts), state-space expl oration (trying out all permutations), idea combining (systematic pairings), rapid prototyping, and simulation modeling.

      State-space exploration and idea combining (systematic pairings) are just modern reimaginings of ideas going back to Raymond Llull and possibly earlier.

    4. Creativity occurs when a person, using the symbols of a given domain ... has a new idea or sees a new pattern, and when this novelty is selected by the appropriate field for inclusion in the relevant domain. The next generation will encounter that novelty as part of the domain they are exposed to, and if they are creative, they in turn will change it further.

      —Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

  6. Feb 2022
    1. Some content from this blog has been copied over to TiddlySpace so I can farm it for ideas and such.

      Example of a blog being used as a source of material for creating new ideas.

    1. Purple Numbers are a clever hack because you can work them into many existing kinds of systems. You don’t have to reinvent the document format, or cut it up into many pieces. You just stick a few ID tags in useful places. It’s like dog-earing the page of a book to find your way back.

      As permanently identified paragraph level locations, purple numbers might allow one to combinatorically rearrange sets of notes or facts in a variety of different ways.

      This pattern might be seen in earlier instantiations of note taking tools like the German zettelkasten.

      Documents might be generated by creating playlists of purple numbers in particular (useful) orders.

    1. his suggests that successful problem solvingmay be a function of flexible strategy application in relation to taskdemands.” (Vartanian 2009, 57)

      Successful problem solving requires having the ability to adaptively and flexibly focus one's attention with respect to the demands of the work. Having a toolbelt of potential methods and combinatorially working through them can be incredibly helpful and we too often forget to explicitly think about doing or how to do that.

      This is particularly important in mathematics where students forget to look over at their toolbox of methods. What are the different means of proof? Some mathematicians will use direct proof during the day and indirect forms of proof at night. Look for examples and counter-examples. Why not look at a problem from disparate areas of mathematical thought? If topology isn't revealing any results, why not look at an algebraic or combinatoric approach?

      How can you put a problem into a different context and leverage that to your benefit?

    2. As proper note-taking is rarely taught or discussed, it is no wonderthat almost every guide on writing recommends to start withbrainstorming. If you haven’t written along the way, the brain isindeed the only place to turn to. On its own, it is not such a greatchoice: it is neither objective nor reliable – two quite importantaspects in academic or nonfiction writing.

      Brainstorming can be a miserable way to start a creative process. Without a pre-existing source of ideas (one's own notes) it can be the only place to start, but it suffers from being unreliable and having no objectivity. It is tremendously difficult to plumb the depths of one's memory for great ideas, questions, or interesting places to start an endeavor, but if you've been collecting these for ages, it becomes much easier to span a space and see tangential spaces.

    3. Theseemingly pragmatic and down-to-earth-sounding advice – to decidewhat to write about before you start writing – is therefore eithermisleading or banal.

      Properly framed note taking methods are themselves a hermeneutic circle for thinking and creating.

    4. a system is neededto keep track of the ever-increasing pool of information, which allowsone to combine different ideas in an intelligent way with the aim ofgenerating new ideas.

      The point of good tools of thought is to allow one to keep track of the ever increasing flood of information that also allows them to juxtapose or combine ideas in novel and interesting ways. Further, this should provide them with a means of generating and then improving upon their new ideas.

    1. https://every.to/superorganizers/tasting-notes-with-robin-sloan-25629085

      A discussion with Robin Sloan about the creativity portion of his writing practice which is heavily driven by his store of creative notes which he takes in a Field Notes waste book and keeps in nvAlt.

    2. Based on that lived, visceral experience, I’ve tried to pay more attention to the feeling of momentum when I get it, and really lean into it.

      Not everyone has a job where they can drop what they're doing and go work on something more interesting. But being able to switch gears to lean into creative momentum can help to increase and encourage productivity with respect to creative work and endeavors. This switching can be dramatically facilitated by having a wealth of alternate interesting options to delve into.

    3. The third way I interact with my notes is a mechanism I’ve engineered whereby they are slowly presented to me randomly, and on a steady drip, every day.I’ve created a system so random notes appear every time I open a browser tabI like the idea of being presented and re-presented with my notations of things that were interesting to me at some point, but that in many cases I had forgotten about. The effect of surprise creates interesting and productive new connections in my brain.

      Robin Sloan has built a system that will present him with random notes from his archive every time he opens a browser tab.

    4. I learned from using those Macs early on that form is always malleable. This became even more apparent when the web came into the picture. Think about it: there’s no way to make a web page or a blog that is not an act of playing with its form at the same time as you're creating its content. So it just seemed natural: the world was always telling me that you worked on those two things – the container and its contents – together.

      There is a generation of people who grew up at the edge of the creation of computers and the web where they were simultaneously designing both the container and its contents at the same time. People before and after this typically worked on one or the other and most often on the contents themselves without access to the containers.

    1. As much as I automate things, though,none of my thinking is done by a tool.Even with plugins like Graph Analysis, I never feel like I'm being presented with emergent connections — tho this is what the plugin is intended for, and I believe it works for other people.

      At what point could digital tools be said to be thinking? Do they need to be generative? It certainly needs to be on the other side of serendipitously juxtaposing two interesting ideas. One can juxtapose millions of ideas, it's the selection of a tiny subset of these as "better" or more interesting than the others and then building off of that that constitutes this sort of generative thought.

  7. Jan 2022
    1. They will demonstrate the art of the catch. Their art of the catch.

      Similar problems in language and writing instruction. Ss want to show off their skills and to experiment and do things their own way. That is fine - accomplished writers do this all the time Shakespeare made up hundreds of words. We are not all Shakespeare though - we can make up words in specific contexts, but in writing instruction, the goal is to master common forms and structures before moving on to display personal creativity, yet, even within common forms, there is room for personal creativity. When assessing in this way, it is important to focus on the standards and what those mean in terms of performance - otherwise, be become bogged down and unable to provide clear, consistent, and actional feedback that can lead to improvement in performance.

    1. Serious reading will require just as much effort as it has always required.

      Reading is hard to disrupt.

      Speeding up and dramatically improving the reading process is incredibly difficult. No one has yet made really huge strides in this space. Google has made it imminently more accessible to the masses, but it still requires a lot of physical work and processing on our part.

  8. Dec 2021
    1. The fixed filing place needs no system. It is sufficient that we give every slip a number which is easily seen (in or case on the left of the first line) and that we never change this number and thus the fixed place of the slip. This decision about structure is that reduction of the complexity of possible arrangements, which makes possible the creation of high complexity in the card file and thus makes possible its ability to communicate in the first place.

      There's an interesting analogy between Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten numbering system and the early street address system in Vienna. Just as people (often) have a fixed address, they're able to leave it temporarily and mix with other people before going back home every night. The same is true with his index cards. Without the ability to remove cards and remix them in various orders, the system has far less complexity and simultaneously far less value.

      Link to reference of street addressing systems of Vienna quoted by Markus Krajewski in (chapter 3 of) Paper Machines.

      Both the stability and the occasional complexity of the system give it tremendous value.

      How is this linked to the idea that some of the most interesting things within systems happen at the edges of the system which have the most complexity? Cards that sit idly have less value for their stability while cards at the edges that move around the most and interact with other cards and ideas provide the most value.

      Graph this out on a multi-axis drawing. Is the relationship linear, non-linear, exponential? What is the relationship of this movement to the links between cards? Is it essentially the same (particularly in digital settings) as movement?

      Are links (and the active creation thereof) between cards the equivalent of communication?

    1. When we simply guess as to whathumans in other times and places might be up to, we almostinvariably make guesses that are far less interesting, far less quirky– in a word, far less human than what was likely going on.

      Definitely worth keeping in mind, even for my own work. Providing an evidential structure for claims will be paramount.

      Is there a well-named cognitive bias for the human tendency to see everything as nails when one has a hammer in their hand?

    1. In fact, the methodical use of notebooks changed the relationship between natural memory and artificial memory, although contemporaries did not immediately realize it. Historical research supports the idea that what was once perceived as a memory aid was now used as secondary memory.18

      During the 16th century there was a transition in educational centers from using the natural and artificial memories to the methodical use of notebooks and commonplace books as a secondary memory saved by means of writing.

      This allows people in some sense to "forget" what they've read and learned and be surprised by it again later. They allow themselves to create liminal memories which may be refreshed and brought to the center later. Perhaps there is also some benefit in this liminal memory for allowing ideas to steep on the periphery before using them. Perhaps combinatorial creativity happens unconsciously?

      Cross reference: learning research by Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski.

    1. Recently, Strong, concerned about press reports suggesting that he was “difficult,” sent me a text message saying, “I don’t particularly think ease or even accord are virtues in creative work, and sometimes there must even be room for necessary roughness, within the boundaries dictated by the work.”

      An interesting take on creative work by Jeremy Strong

  9. Nov 2021
    1. Set your focus: define the problem or area you will be looking at. It can be as narrow as a specific annoyance you face in your life, and as broad as a whole industry, but you can’t just have a vague brainstorm with no predefined focus.Gather new material: give yourself—and the team if it’s a group brainstorm—time to familiarise yourself with the area of focus. This means reading articles, watching videos, etc. If it’s a group brainstorm, this step should ideally happen before the session to give time to your brain to incubate these ideas, but if not you can block a bit of time at the beginning of the session.Generate ideas: remember, quantity over quality. Use the three creative modes presented earlier. Combinational to mix old ideas together, exploratory to investigate new potential ideas within the rules of a given space, transformational to break the rules and come up with radical ideas.Test your ideas: this is where most brainstorming sessions fail to take the one extra but necessary step. Instead of selecting your ideas on the spot, you need to test them in the real world. Select the few most promising candidates, and see how your audience reacts. For a book, write a blog post. For an app, build a landing page or a quick MVP.Select and refine your ideas: use the feedback your receive to adapt or drop your ideas. If a particular problem or area keeps on coming back in the feedback… Go back to step 1.

      In che modo si può strutturare una sessione di #brainstorm davvero efficace?

      1. Stabilire il focus: bisogna decidere il problema o l'area su sui ci si concentrerà nel generare nuove idee, la sola regola è che non sia qualcosa di vago;
      2. Dai il tempo per raccogliere e processare del materiale di referenza: senza questo tempo e questo materiale uno dei tipi di creatività (quello combinativo) non si potrà attivare;
      3. Generare idee: seguendo i tre principi ed i tre tipi di creatività si passa a generare le idee;
      4. Testa le tue idee: questa è una delle fasi che più vengono tralasciate, ma è anche tra le più importanti perché mette in pratica il [[first principle thinking]] e lo si fa tramite il test diretto con la realtà delle nostre idee, è quindi necessario prevedere un processo di scelta delle idee atto a metterle in pratica direttamente;
      5. Utilizza il feedback sull'idea per avviare nuove sessioni di #brainstorm
    2. Remember the principles laid out earlier: quantity versus quality, building a creative routine, and using all three creative modes to ensure you don’t leave any ideas off the table.

      Quali sono i principi fondamentali per fare un #brainstorm efficace?

      • La quantità è meglio della qualità;
      • Rendi l'esercizio creativo parte della tua routine;
      • Utilizza le tre tipologie di creatività per aumentare il numero di idee generate;
    3. Transformational creativity: this method takes things even further. Instead of exploring a space and questioning its rules, transformational creativity is about ignoring fundamental rules to come up with potentially impossible but highly creative ideas.

      Quale tipo di creatività è il più innovativo?

      È la creatività di trasformazione, si tratta di quella creatività che, invece di esplorare all'interno dei confini e delle regole di un'area, ignora i confini di un'area e porta ad idee probabilmente impossibili ma molto creative.

    4. Exploratory creativity: in academia, exploratory creativity is defined as “the process of searching an area of conceptual space governed by certain rules.” This means that you try to generate new ideas within a given space, taking into account its specific rules

      Quale è un altro tipo di creatività che possiamo sfruttare ed in che modo si collega al [[first principle thinking]] ?

      Si tratta di una creatività esplorativa, è quella creatività che emerge quando esploriamo i concetti all'interno di un'area definita da specifiche regole.

      Quando andiamo a contestare queste regole, a validarle allora mettiamo i confini dell'area in movimento e questo porta i concetti a mischiarsi, spostarsi.

    5. Combinational creativity: we are often seeking original ideas, when in reality most creative concepts are a combination of old ideas. First, collect as many old ideas as possible. This can be done by reading science fiction or just taking notes every time you hear a commonplace idea in a conversation. Then, let these old ideas incubate for a while. Yes, there’s no second step. Let your brain do the work.

      Quale è il primo tipo di creatività che possiamo sfruttare per generare nuove idee?

      Questa è quella creatività che deriva dal collatio, dall'unione di idee già presenti nel mondo. Si basa sul concetto che non si può pensare a qualcosa che non sia stato già pensato. Un'idea davvero nuova allora si potrà generare solo combinando idee vecchie già presenti.

      Per mettere in pratica questo tipo di creatività è essenziale collezionare ed annotare tutte le idee che incontriamo nel mondo reale (generalmente leggendo), bisogna lasciare poi queste idee, lasciarle nel nostro cervello a crescere.

      Quando sarà il momento giusto, il nostro cervello le riporterà a galla dopo averle messe in collegamento con altre idee che abbiamo collezionato in passato: di solito questa cosa accade quando siamo rilassati (tipo sotto la doccia).

    6. Whether your goal is to write a book, become a better illustrator, or build an app, don’t leave creativity to random bursts of inspiration. Block some time every day or every week to generate new ideas and new work. I personally use mindframing to ensure my daily creative output aligns with my bigger goals, but as long as you flex your creative muscle consistently, you will be on your way to do your best creative work.

      Perché è essenziale rendere l'esercizio creativo una parte integrante della nostra routine quotidiana?

      Perché rende lo sforzo creativo un abitudine, mette in esercizio il nostro muscolo creativo e ci induce ad aumentare in maniera esorbitante il fattore di quantità, rendendoci capaci di arrivare all'elemento di qualità.

    7. It may sound counterintuitive, but science shows that quantity yields quality when it comes to creativity. In simpler terms, this means that the more ideas and work you produce, the more creative they will be.

      Cosa dice la scienza riguardo l'assunto che la quantità sia nemica della qualità?

      La scienza dice che in realtà non è così, quando si parla di lavoro creativo, la quantità è presupposto fondamentale per ottenere risultati di qualità prima o poi.

      Le probabilità di ottenere un risultati di qualità aumentano mano a mano che la quantità aumenta.

      Fonte: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479710/

    1. “Boredom serves a function,” she says now. “It’s boring, obviously, and we don’t like that, but, when you have no input coming in, you generate output. That’s how you become resourceful. But now you constantly have access to information, entertainment, distraction – all of this stuff coming in, coming in and coming in. And it doesn’t allow you the empty space to create something, or to just process something.

      During periods of boredom wit no inputs, one will eventually fix the boredom by creating outputs. Being bored can nudge us to become creative and resourceful.

  10. Oct 2021
    1. 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?

  11. Sep 2021
    1. 71,660,160

      The topic of education is something that I have been exploring, going so far as to suggest that we can address the challenge of education through technology. This is something that Bobbi Kyle was exploring in her studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) and at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

      Stop Reset Go team member, Ferial Puren, mentioned that we have some ideas worth spreading, suggesting that we should develop a presentation for a TED talk.

    1. All four of these extraneural resources — technology, the body, physical space, social interaction — can be understood as mental extensions that allow the brain to accomplish far more than it could on its own.

      Technology, the body, physical space, and social interaction can be extensions of the mind.

      What others might exist? Examples?

    2. A series of studies conducted by Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, a professor of psychology at Kingston University in Britain; Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, a professor of behavioral science at Kingston; and their colleagues, has explored the benefits of such interactivity. In these studies, experimenters pose a problem; one group of problem solvers is permitted to interact physically with the properties of the problem, while a second group must only think through the problem. Interactivity “inevitably benefits performance,” they report.

      Physical interactivity with a problem may help improve results.

    1. First, if you can’t build and distribute the new thing to lots of people, the circle of innovation can’t complete.

      Zunächst bedeutet das wohl, dass man per Definition dann nicht von Innovationen sprechen sollte sondern von Erfindungen. Wenn man innovativ sein möchte muss man die Ergebnisse in die Welt bringen können. Aber was bedeutet das genau? Marketing? Netzwerk? Einfachheit? Strahlkraft? Alles davon? Hmm ...

    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

  12. Aug 2021
    1. Making the best decisions often requires looking at them through different lenses so that you don't overlook an important aspect.

      Listening to you intuition is not always the best choice to making decisions. Intuition is clouded by fear and we often overlook important aspects OF decsions

    1. Great writers become great by closely studying and copying other great writers. This is how cultural knowledge works. We learn the foundational skills from each other first, and then get all weird and experimental later on once the normal rules become boring.
  13. Jul 2021
    1. The point of Zettelkasten is to digest each thing you read well so you don’t need to go back to look at it again.

      I don't agree with this viewpoint. Just like Heraclitus' river, the information in an article or book may not change, but there is a contextual change in the reader, in their thinking, their circumstances, and their time that may give them a different reading or perspective of the same material at later dates.

      Of course not all material is actually worth reading more than once either. But for some material a second or third reading may help them create new ideas and new links to prior ideas.

    1. The baroque goofiness of Blackbird Spyplane’s house style can be something of a test for readers of the newsletter (the “sletter,” in Blackbird Spyplane parlance). “X out of ten people are going to show up and read that and just be like, This is impenetrable, I’m out,” Weiner told one interviewer. “But for the people who stick around, I think that it adds to a sense of, Oh, this is like an in-joke that I’m in on.” And better (at least to this reader) that clubbiness take a niche form — it is less claustrophobia-inducing than the many newsletters that seem to insist we are all wearily following the same disputes on Twitter, all inevitably watching the same shows on Netflix. Such newsletters wind up feeling like crowded rooms with too few windows on the world beyond.

      This is a great description which is roughly how I feel about the awesome uniqueness that is https://www.kickscondor.com/.

    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. As I studied Edwards’ writings and insights, I realized that I might be sitting at the feet of not only Edwards’ intellectual genius but his organizational genius, too. 

      For what I expect to be a coming description of Jonathan Edwards' commonplace book, I'm surprised that the page doesn't use the word or even florilegium.

      Everhard here makes in one breath a common error I'm coming to notice. While it might be true that Edwards had some organizational genius, I think it's disingenuous to attribute his output to his intellectual genius. More and more I'm seeing that throughout history those who were thought of as intellectual geniuses really relied on the organization structures of their commonplace books (or similar devices). By writing, thinking, and producing in a commonplace tradition they were able to do far more, think more clearly, and accomplish more.

      This can be linked with the idea also espoused in Robert Greene's Mastery which seems to have some of the similar flavor.

    1. And essentially the idea there is that one is making a kind of music in the way that one might make a garden.  One is carefully constructing seeds, or finding seeds, carefully planting them and then letting them have their life.  And that life isn't necessarily exactly what you'd envisaged for them.  It's characteristic of the kind of work that I do that I'm really not aware of how the final result is going to look or sound.  So in fact, I'm deliberately constructing systems that will put me in the same position as any other member of the audience.  I want to be surprised by it as well.  And indeed, I often am. What this means, really, is a rethinking of one's own position as a creator.  You stop thinking of yourself as me, the controller, you the audience, and you start thinking of all of us as the audience, all of us as people enjoying the garden together.  Gardener included.  So there's something in the notes to this thing that says something about the difference between order and disorder.  It's in the preface to the little catalog we have.  Which I take issue with, actually, because I think it isn't the difference between order and disorder, it's the difference between one understanding of order and how it comes into being, and a newer understanding of how order comes into being.
  14. Jun 2021
    1. Though it is often assumedthat mnemonics were used to memorize speeches, the importance of memory to theinventionofspeech was readily apparent to ancient orators—thus the famous praise of memory as athesauruminventorum(Herennium3.16.28). As Cicero writes inDe Oratore, the orator must commit tomemory“the whole past with its storehouse of examples and precedents,”as well as a knowledgeof all laws general and civil, for without such memories, the orator is left speechless (1.17–18).Expanding on Cicero’s point, Quintilian claims that“it is the power of memory alone that bringsbefore us all the store of precedents, laws, rulings, sayings, and facts which the orator must possessin abundance . . . and hold ready for immediate use”(Institutio11.2.1). The art of memory was thusto be used to recollect not only pre-written orations but also knowledge from a variety of sources tobe called upon when constructing new texts, speakingex tempore, or responding to an interlocutor’sarguments.

      Too often, this seems to me to be a missing piece that few talk about now. Those posting to the Art of Memory forum are usually talking about the need to memorize for memorization's sake. Rarely are they talking about or noticing the second or third level order changes as the result of an improved memory.

  15. May 2021
    1. That’s how blogging is complimentary to other forms of more serious work: when you’ve done enough of it, you can get entire essays, speeches, stories, novels, spontaneously appearing in a state of near-completeness, ready to be written.

      This sounds a lot like the Zettelkasten method. If writing is your default mode, writing complex pieces is just making concrete an organization of things that were already formalized in your mind

    2. That’s how blogging is complimentary to other forms of more serious work: when you’ve done enough of it, you can get entire essays, speeches, stories, novels, spontaneously appearing in a state of near-completeness, ready to be written.

      I remember hearing a story that Mozart wrote music "like a cow pees" (in one giant and immediate flood and then done) and this thought of large works of writing, etc. springing, as if fully formed from the head of Zeus, makes me wonder if there was a similar process Mozart used for music. How did he see it internally/mentally? Or had he simply played it so much or played with it to do this?

      I've heard other writers mention similar things.

    1. But I'm not at all confident I would have made the initial connection without the help of the software. The idea was a true collaboration, two very different kinds of intelligence playing off each other, one carbon-based, the other silicon.

      Stephen Johnson uses the word collaboration to describe his interaction with his own notes in DevonThink, much the way Niklas Luhmann describes with working with his Zettlekasten.

      I'll also note that here in 2005, Johnson doesn't mention the idea of a commonplace book the way he does just a few years later.

    1. Why did a figure such as Leibniz fail to use his own tools? Perhaps messiness was the source of his creativity. This is a fact of intellectual originality with which Google must still grapple—libraries, after all, allow for the type of manageable disorder which is often the spark of creativity.

      Manageable disorder, messiness, and even chaos can be the source of boundless creativity.

      There's an idea in complexity theory that the most interesting things happen at the edge of chaos.

    1. Markus Krajewski reminds us that Luhmann’s choice of interlocutor has a precedent in an 1805 piece by the novelist Heinrich von Kleist (see the chapter “Paper as Passion” in this collection).

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Daniela K. Helbig </span> in  Ruminant machines: a twentieth-century episode in the material history of ideas - JHI Blog (<time class='dt-published'>05/12/2021 21:27:02</time>)</cite></small>

    1. Lichtenberg’s quips: “Oh how many ideas aren’t hovering dispersed in my head! Quite a few pairs among those could provoke the greatest discovery if only they came together. But isolated from one another they lie, just like the sulphur from the city of Goslar lies isolated from East Indian nitre and from Oaksfield coal dust when jointly they could produce gunpowder!”

      Lichtenberg teasing around the idea of combinatorial creativity.

  16. Apr 2021
    1. The four C’s of 21st Century skills are: Critical thinking Creativity Collaboration Communication

      Convenient to have these four share an initial. (My perception is that a tendency to emphasize this type of parallelism has been strengthening over the years. At least, I don't recall this practice being common in French when I grew up.)

  17. Mar 2021
  18. Feb 2021
    1. as the generation of numerous original ideas, we recognize that creative thought involves the selection of appropriate ideas to move forward

      DOI: Creativity defined in two ways; 1st as generation of numerous original ideas, and 2nd as the selection from those ideas of appopriate ideas to move forward.

      Really shows true creativity is found in the 2nd definition and is not just about idea generation but the ability to select the best idea of the list to move forward with, this is creativity.

  19. Jan 2021
    1. Human brains seem to be best for generating new ideas. I want to learn more, think faster, distract less, interact and visualize, effortlessly remember everything; not memorize and do routine information processing, which computers seem better at.
  20. Dec 2020
    1. Usually while writing a Notion, I show the graph of how it connects to other Notions/Notes alongside it. I set the graph to show not only the 1st level links, as that only shows the links already apparent from the text I have in front of me. I set it to show 3 steps out at the start, and reduce to two steps when there are more links.

      This is a great idea that hasn't occurred to me before. When looking for non-obvious relationships between concepts (something that I think forms part of creativity), it makes sense to have the graph view open alongside the note you're working on.

  21. Oct 2020
    1. Received this from a friend, and has been dwelling on every sentence of this, among many other things.

      This is a fascinating take apparently from Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics and Creative Work by Michael P. Farrell

    1. No one ever really starts from scratch. Anything they come up with has to come from prior experience, research, or other understanding. But because they haven’t acted on this fact, they can’t track ideas back to their origins. They have neither supporting material nor accurate sources. Since they haven’t been taking notes from the start, they either have to start with something completely new (which is risky) or retrace their steps (which is boring). It’s no wonder that nearly every guide to writing begins with “brainstorming.” If you don’t have notes, you have no other option. But this is a bit like a financial advisor telling a 65-year-old to start saving for retirement – too little, too late.
    1. Om Malik writes about a renewed focus on his own blog: My first decree was to eschew any and all analytics. I don’t want to be driven by “views,” or what Google deems worthy of rank. I write what pleases me, not some algorithm. Walking away from quantification of my creativity was an act of taking back control.

      I love this quote.

    1. The complementary principle to dividing isgathering and collecting. Eachnew composition can also be conceived as a place into which culled and rec-ollected matters are gathered. The very concept of reading in Latin is basedonthenotionof‘‘gathering,’’Latinlegere, ‘‘to read’’ having as its root mean-ing ‘‘to collect up, to gather by picking, plucking, and the like.’’ The Greekverblegōhad a similar range of meaning, from ‘‘to lay’’ something down or‘‘to lay asleep’’ to ‘‘to lay [things] in order,’’ hence ‘‘to gather, pick up,’’ ‘‘torelate,’’ ‘‘to speak purposefully.’’ The name of one venerable and essential typeof ancient and medieval encyclopedia puns on these closely allied verbs: theflorilegium, ‘‘flower-culling’’ (with a pun on ‘‘flower-reading’’), a collection ofsayings, maxims, and stories collected from past works, sometimes quotedexactly (though in mnemonically brief segments), but often just summarized.The best known of these through much of the Middle Ages was ValeriusMaximus’sDicta et facta memorabilia(early first century..), but there aremany other examples. Indeed, the premodern encyclopedia itself is a sort ofmemory-book, the flowers of (one’s extensive) reading gathered up in someorderly arrangement for the purpose of quick, secure recollection in connec-tion with making a new composition. After all, this is one essential purposeof encyclopedias even today.

      This seems awfully close to the sort of "digital gardens" I've been reading about recently. They obviously are not a new idea.

      For example see: https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners

    2. Gardens were also popular, the medieval sort of garden,with orderly beds of medicinal plants and fruit trees separated by grass andsurrounded by a wall. Undoubtedly, gardens became popular with monasticand later writers because of the Song of Songs, a preeminent text for mysticalmeditation. Various other Biblical structures were often used too: the Taber-nacle described in Exodus; the Temple described in  Kings; the Jerusalemcitadel envisioned by Ezekiel and often conflated with the Heavenly City ofthe Apocalypse. We now would never think to organize an encyclopedia ofknowledge on the plan of Noah’s Ark, but for a clerical audience to whomthis text was as familiar as the order of the alphabet is to us—why not? It is asimple (if large), clearly arranged (if imaginary) composition site, containingmany useful compartments with a straightforward route among them, a sortof foundational map to use in arranging your materials (orresin Latin) as yougather them into the location of your new composition from the networksof your experiences, including of course all your experiences of books, music,and other arts. Thus, in the course of an ideal medieval education, in addi-tion to acquiring a great many segments of scriptural and classical texts, onealso would acquire an extensive repertoire of image-schemes in which to putthem, both ‘‘to lay them away’’ and ‘‘to collect them’’ in new arrangementson later occasions.

      Again, another reference to gardens with respect to memorizing information. There's a direct correlation to some of the sorts of thinking tools many are using to create digital gardens or personal wikis. These ideas aren't new! Our predecessors were simply using different structures to store and remember them. Their tools were different, but their goals and general methods were ultimately the same.

    3. Thus, as an art, memory was most importantly associated in the MiddleAges with composition, not simply with retention.
    1. What if the best tools for thought have already been discovered? In other words, perhaps the 1960s and 1970s were an unrepeatable golden age, and all we can expect in the future is gradual incremental improvement, and perhaps the occasional major breakthrough, at a decreasing frequency?

      Many have been, but they've been forgotten and need to be rediscovered and repopularized as well as refined.

      Once this has happened, perhaps others may follow. Ideas like PAO are incredibly valuable ones that hadn't previously existed, but were specially built for remembering specific types of information. How can we combinatorially use some of these other methods to create new and interesting ones for other types of tools?

    2. Is it possible to create a medium which blends the best qualities of both video and text?



    3. I want creativity!

      For this one need look no further than Ramond Lull...

    1. When I received Chris’s comment, my first response was that I should delete my post or at least the incorrect part of it. It’s embarrassing to have your incorrect understandings available for public view. But I decided to leave the post as is but put in a disclaimer so that others would not be misled by my misunderstandings. This experience reminded me that learning makes us vulnerable. Admitting that you don’t know something is hard and being corrected is even harder. Chris was incredibly gentle in his correction. It makes me think about how I respond to my students’ work. Am I as gentle with their work as Chris was to mine? Could I be more gentle? How often have I graded my students’ work and only focused on what they did wrong? Or forgotten that feeling of vulnerability when you don’t know something, when you put your work out for others to judge? This experience has also reminded me that it’s important that we as teachers regularly put ourselves into situations in which we authentically grapple with not knowing something. We should regularly share our less than fully formed understandings with others for feedback. It helps us remember that even confident learners can struggle with being vulnerable. And we need to keep in mind that many of our students are not confident learners.

      I'm reminded here of the broad idea that many bloggers write about sooner or later of their website being a "thought space" or place to contemplate out in the open. More often than not, even if they don't have an audience to interact with, their writings become a way of thinking out loud, clarifying things for themselves, self-evolving, or putting themselves out there for potential public reactions (good, bad, or indifferent).

      While writing things out loud to no audience can be helpful and useful on an individual level, it's often even more helpful to have some sort of productive and constructive feedback. While a handful of likes or positive seeming responses can be useful, I always prefer the ones that make me think more broadly, deeply, or force me to consider other pieces I hadn't envisioned before. To me this is the real value of these open and often very public thought spaces.

      For those interested in the general idea, I've been bookmarking/tagging things around the idea of thought spaces I've read on my own website. Hopefully this collection helps others better understand the spectrum of these ideas for themselves.

      With respect to the vulnerability piece, I'm reminded of an episode of <cite>The Human Current</cite> I listened to a few weeks back. There was an excellent section that touched on building up trust with students or even a class when it comes to providing feedback and criticism. Having a bank of trust makes it easier to give feedback as well as to receive it. Here's a link to the audio portion and a copy of the relevant text.

  22. Sep 2020
    1. Poems are the perfect way to tell someone you love them.

      Poems can also be used to express yourself or to motivate others into a great path not only just to express love.

  23. Aug 2020
    1. *Game star mechanic

      • Creativity is expressed via making video games online
      • problem solving skills increase
      • comments-feedback
      • constructive criticism needed
      • teachers need to be constructive in terms of feedback How does this change as school has become more online?
      • Founders took copyright inspiration from statute of Anne
      • Copyright laws have been extended
      • With this, how can new ideas and existing material be made
      • Does copyright stall creativity?
    1. Lessig (2005) claims that at a very general level all of culture can be understood in terms of remix, where someone creates a cultural product by mixing meaningful elements together (e.g., ideas from different people with ideas of one’s own), and then someone else comes along and remixes this cultural artefact with others to create yet another artefact

      Throughout history, ideas found within cultures were influenced from other cultures. eg. Greece-Rome, Tesla-Edison

    2. associated with activism contesting copyright and intellectual property legislation

      What does this say about copyright and patent laws?

  24. Jun 2020
    1. This argument is reinforced by the fact that, at the individual level, we meet many brilliant people who are fascinated by (and often working on) tools for thought, but who nonetheless seem to be making slow progress.

      Ideas have sex: the trouble in a dramatically increasing landscape of information that we've experienced over the last century alone is that the combinatoric interactions of all the ideas is also much slower, so the progress on this front may seem to slow while the body of knowledge and interactions is continually growing. This might make for an interesting graph.

    2. Note that we are not making the common argument that making new tools can lead to new subject matter insights for the toolmaker, and vice versa. This is correct, but is much weaker than what we are saying. Rather: making new tools can lead to new subject matter insights for humanity as a whole (i.e., significant original research insights), and vice versa, and this would ideally be a rapidly-turning loop to develop the most transformative tools.
  25. May 2020
  26. Mar 2020
    1. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. —Steve Jobs (via lifehacker and Zettel no. 201308301352)

      in other words, it's just statistical thermodynamics. Eventually small pieces will float by each other and stick together in new and hopefully interesting ways. The more particles you've got and the more you can potentially connect or link things, the better off you'll be.