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  1. Last 7 days
    1. ReconfigBehSci. (2020, November 25). @ToddHorowitz3 @sciam do you mean the specific article is bad, or the wider claim/argument? Because as someone who does research on collective intelligence, I’d say there is some reason to believe it is true that there can be “too much” communication in science. See e.g. The work of Kevin Zollman [Tweet]. @SciBeh. https://twitter.com/SciBeh/status/1331672900550725634

    1. Francis Bacon

      Francis Bacon was an English Renaissance statesman, philosopher, and author, most famous for inventing the scientific method. He was born on January 22, 1561, in London, England, in the family of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Seal for Elizabeth I. The younger of the two sons of the family, Francis Bacon started attending Trinity College, Cambridge, at age 12, completing his course of study 2 years later. He attended Gray’s Inn, the school his brother went to, after but did not like the program there and left school early to work under the British ambassador to France. Two and half years later, Bacon was forced to return to England because his father had died. The small estate he inherited from him left him broke, but, still a teen, he was not able to find a job until 1581 when he landed a position as a member for Cornwall in the House of Commons. Having found a way to earn money, Bacon managed to finish his education at Gray’s Inn and, in 1584, became a member of Parliament, a place he would hold for nearly four decades until 1617. He was knighted in 1603 upon James I's ascension to the British throne but still continued working his way up legal and political ranks. In 1617, he reached the same position his father had held, and, in 1618, he surpassed him by becoming Lord Chancellor, one of the highest political offices in England. In 1621, Bacon also became Viscount St. Albans, but then, the same year, he was accused of accepting bribes and lost his reputation and long-standing place in Parliament. Thus, Francis Bacon turned to the philosophy of science. Much of the science in his period was based on Aristotle’s idea that the scientific truth could be reached by way of authoritative argument. Bacon challenged this, striving to create a new method for the sciences, which is based more on empirical proof. The scientific method he invented involved gathering data, analyzing it, and performing experiments. Francis Bacon died on April 9, 1626, in London (118).

    2. Demosthenes

      Demosthenes was an Athenian statesman and one of the greatest orators of Ancient Greece. His written speeches provide great insight into the political, social, and economic life of 4th-century Athens, his most famous ones rousing Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon and, later, his son Alexander the Great. However, Demosthenes did not climb to a position of such high recognition easily. His father, a wealthy sword maker, died when Demosthenes was just seven years old. The large inheritance he left behind was given to Demonsthenes’ guardians, which took advantage of it, and by the time Demosthenes reached proper age, there was almost nothing left. Demosthenes wanted to sue his guardians, but in 4-century democratic Athens, every citizen who wished to prosecute a lawsuit had to do the speaking himself, so Demosthenes needed to first train himself as an orator. To improve his speech, he built an underground study where he could exercise his voice without disturbing anybody and shaved half of his head, so he would not be able to go out in public and would continue training. However, he also had a speech defect - he stammered and was unable to articulate words well. To overcome it, Demosthenes started speaking in front of a mirror and with pebbles in his mouth. He also trained his lungs by reciting verses when running or out of breath. After years of exercise, he managed to overcome his speech defect. His lawsuit against his guardians, though now very successful, didn’t earn him much money. However, he had learned much about speaking and strategies of argument preparing for it. With this knowledge, Demosthenes became a speech writer and orator, which for him proved to be a very stable, well-paid lifelong career (117).

    3. cuneiform tablet

      Cuneiform is the earliest known system of writing. It emerged around 3500-3000 BCE and is thought to have first been developed by the Sumerians of Mesopotamia because most of the early cuneiforms come from the Sumerian city of Uruk. Cuneiform texts were created by drawing with a pointed tool on a damp clay tablet. Their name comes from the Latin word cuneus, which means “wedge”, and it refers to the wedge-shaped marks made when the stylus is pressed into the tablet. At first, the writing was mostly pictorial, but as the subject matter became more intangible, the strokes began to convey word-concepts and word-signs, as well. By 2285-2250 BCE, when the priestess-poet Enheduanna wrote the famous hymns to Inanna in the Sumerian city of Ur, cuneiform could express emotional states and reasons behind those emotional states. The last known cuneiform tablet is an astronomical text from 75 CE. During its more than 3000 years of development, the cuneiform system was used to write in around 15 different languages, including Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Akkadian, Hittite, Elamite, Urartian, and Old Persian. Although cuneiforms were first used only to record the storage and movement of goods, some of the oldest known literary works were also written in cuneiform, including The Epic of Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, The Descent of Inanna, The Myth of Etana, The Enuma Elish. Cuneiform was first translated into modern language in 1872 CE when George Smith deciphered The Epic of Gilgamesh and translated it into English. Today, more than half a million cuneiform tablets are held in museums around the world, with the largest collections belonging to the British Museum, the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the Louvre, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, and the National Museum of Iraq (117).

    4. Boers

      (p.112) A Boer is a term that comes from Dutch and is translated as "husbandman" or "farmer".It refers to a South African with German, Huguenot, or Dutch descend, or more specifically, those who settled in the Transvaal province (a former province in Africa) and the Orange free state. This immigration began with the establishment of a shipping station on the Cape of Good Hope - a task accomplished by Jan van Riebeeck (a dutch colonial administrator) in the service of the Dutch East India Company. By 1707, the colony's former European population numbered more than 1779 people. As the state grew, so did the economic stagnation. Eventually, many of the originally settled people left their communities because they couldn't find a supporting job there (most of the manual work was done by slaves at the time). They became known as trekboeren ("wandering farmers"), and they lived a self-sustainable life. However, they were hostile towards ingenious African communities and frequently fought with them, as well as with the Cape's government. They compared themselves to Hebrew patriarchs and formed such communities. After Britain gained control over the state in 1806 (a result of the Napoleon wars), the Boers moved to southern Natal because they disagreed with the liberal policies introduced by the new government. In 1852, the British Empire agreed to recognize the settlers of Transvaal and the Vaal-Orange rivers and proclaimed them to be independent states. However, after the discovery of diamonds and gold in South Africa, a war broke out. Although brilliant at guerrilla fighting, the Boers surrendered in 1902, and the republics they had formed fell apart.

    5. kraals

      (p. 113) Kraal (or craal) is a word with mixed origins. Some believe it came from the Dutch and Afrikaans languages (the latter having only a spoken form), but it was used in South African English. It has two definitions. First, it refers to a South African enclosure for domestic animals. Second, it is used when talking about a native African village surrounded by an enclosure for domestic animals. Sometimes there is a central place for livestock inside. Its second meaning was widely popular during the English colonization of South Africa. Many ethnographers, however, believe that the word should only refer to the animal area of the settlement in question. Interesting to know is that the kraals of the Zulu people were used for ritual and defense purposes as well. They were built up in the form of a circle, surrounded by a large wooden fence (the fence could be made from branches and bushes, but mud as well). Women and men were separated on opposite sides of the village. The chief's hut stood farthest away from the entrance, while the huts nearest were left for guests. Some kraals would also include a few watchtowers.

    1. In academia it’s critical to have a system that allows us to read and mine important ideas from papers into your vault as efficiently as possible. My method has continued to evolve and I’m finding it more efficient now. In a nutshell, I’m now adding the one-sentence summaries to highlights as I’m reading (and the tags where possible). This means I don’t need to read the source more than once; instead I’m processing them as I’m reading because that’s when I discover them as important points in the first place. I then bring them into Obsidian in a single note per paper/source. I title each note Surname, date (e.g., Smith, 2018). It’ll make sense why in a moment. Each idea within the note is structured like this: One-sentence summary of idea | Original idea in the author’s words (Reference, date, page number). T: #tags #go #here C: Any connections to other notes or ideas - not necessary to include for every idea but it’s useful to think of connections where possible If you structure all the notes this way, it means you can then add the ideas straight into your index with transclusion without needing to create any additional notes (in the past I created a new evergreen note for each idea). An example of a transcluded idea to pop into your index would be like this: ![[Smith, 2018#One-sentence summary of idea]] This allows you to see the source and the summary of the note in edit mode and just that idea transcluded from your note page in the preview mode. I have another approach for actually turning those ideas into publications, but this is the main approach for processing notes into my index. There may be even more efficient ways to do this. The key I think is being able to process ideas into your vault as quickly as possible while still tagging and making connections to help with later retrieval of ideas. Since changing to this approach I’ve written a couple of book chapters with very little cognitive strain and I’m reading more than in the past (it’s addictive because every paper has the potential to be used to level up your knowledge base). Hope this is somewhat helpful to others. The evolution will undoubtedly continue. I know there are awesome examples of how to do all kinds of things in Obsidian but all I’m really aiming for is being more productive in my academic role. The rest is all interesting but additional to my main purpose for this wonderful app.

      Another great synopsis of useful tips in using Obsidian for research.

      The idea of using the general form ![[Smith, 2018#One-sentence summary of idea]] can be particularly powerful for aggregating smaller ideas up into a longer work.

    2. I’m an Australian academic in the field of education. I read the How to take smart notes book and a couple of Luhmann’s articles which were translated into English. I also would recommend looking at the writing of Andy Matuschak on how to label your notes, what to include in them, and so on. Here’s the process I’ve come up with (which continues to evolve): Initial highlighting: Read journal article via Zotero. Highlight the parts that are relevant to you using the default PDF viewer on your computer. Use Zotfile to extract the highlights (and any notes) in Zotero, then paste them into Obsidian in a new note. I have a template I copy and paste to start each new highlight note with relevant details like the author names, date of publication and so on before the highlights. Refine highlights: Look through your highlights from the article and use the Obsidian highlighting feature (==like this==) to pinpoint what’s valuable in each highlight. This makes it easier to complete the next step, particularly if it’s a long paper or you have to come back to it. Skip if necessary. Process highlights into literature notes: Summarise the highlights into your own words. Add any personal insights. Each literature note should relate to one idea. I do this directly above the highlight notes using bullet points and a L - for literature notes and a H - for highlight notes. Try to write the literature note as if it was part of a journal article. Add a label to each literature note: Above each literature note, I add a label, which should be the briefest possible summary of the literature note. Have this label inside double square brackets. Avoid labels like “Definition of X”. Instead, write “X is y and z”. Try to be specific. I mainly use the bracket links in this way. An example label might be [[E - X is y and z]]. I use E - because it will soon be an evergreen note. Add each label to an index: The index will be a long list of all your literature note labels. Categorise the labels in a logical manner. Create evergreen notes: Click the label (which is a link to a new note) and copy/paste the literature note text (which will be quite short) into this new evergreen note. Add connections to other notes categorised in the same place in your index plus any other relevant evergreen notes. Add relevant tags. The index may not be overly important in the long run, but it definitely helps at this point with connection making. I also add the reference details at the bottom of each evergreen note. Next it’s time to create your paper. 7a. (Top down approach) Create journal article outline: Create an outline for your article, chapter, application, or whatever you’re working on. You can make a quick template with the relevant stages of the genre (e.g. introduction, literature review, and so on). Then, drag relevant evergreen notes into the sections. You’ll need to massage the gaps between notes to make it cohesive. If you use a note, add a tag to say so. You’ll need to reword the note if you use it again in another paper to avoid self-plagiarism. 7b. (Bottom up approach) Add evergreen notes to papers: Instead of starting with a paper outline, you might look at your notes in the index and consider what kind of interesting questions they might help you answer, then build your paper from there. I hope someone out there finds all this useful. One of the best things I’ve done is create a note called master production line which includes these numbered steps as headings, and then I can add my highlight notes as they’re created and move them down the production line as they’re processed. I also organise them in certain steps (like 2 and 3) as high, medium and low priority. It means you never lose track of notes and there’s always something you could be working on. The bit I’m still figuring out is the last step: how to go from evergreen notes to paper drafts as efficiently as possible. I’m a little old fashioned, so I’ll probably so the final edit in Word once everything else is done in Obsidian. The multiple window support in Obsidian is great, but still a bit janky, and this method requires multiple windows to be open at a time. Hopefully a future update keeps the windows in the one spot.

      This is an excellent overview of how to take notes for academic research and creating writing output.

    3. Others on the page here (specifically Dpthomas87's A, B, C) have done a great job at outlining their methods which I'm generally following. So I'll focus a bit more on the mechanics.

      I rely pretty heavily on Hypothes.is for most of my note taking, highlights, and annotations. This works whether a paper is online or as a pdf I read online or store locally and annotate there.

      Then I use RSS to pipe my data from Hypothes.is into a text file in OneDrive for my Obsidian vault using IFTTT.com. I know that a few are writing code for the Hypothes.is API to port data directly into Roam Research presently; I hope others might do it for Obsidian as well.)

      Often at the end of the day or end of the week, I'll go through my drafts folder everything is in to review things, do some light formatting and add links, tags, or other meta data and links to related ideas.

      Using Hypothes.is helps me get material into the system pretty quickly without a lot of transcription (which doesn't help my memory or retention). And the end of the day or end of week review helps reinforce things as well as help to surface other connections.

      I'm hoping that as more people use Hypothesis for social annotation, the cross conversations will also be a source of more helpful cross-linking of ideas and thought.

      I prefer to keep my notes as atomic as I can.

      For some smaller self-contained things like lectures, I may keep a handful of notes together rather than splitting them apart, but they may be linked to larger structures like longer courses or topics of study.

      If an article only has one or two annotations I'll keep them together in the same note, but books more often have dozens or hundreds of notes which I keep in separate files.

      For those who don't have a clear idea of what or why they're doing this, I highly recommend reading [[Sönke Ahrens]]' book Smart Notes.

      I do have a handful of templates for books, articles, and zettels to help in prompting me to fill in appropriate meta data for various notes more quickly. For this I'm using the built-in Templates plug-in and then ctrl-shift-T to choose a specific template as necessary.

      Often I'll use Hypothes.is and tag things as #WantToRead to quickly bookmark things into my vault for later thought, reading, or processing.

      For online videos and lectures, I'll often dump YouTube URLs into https://docdrop.org/, which then gives a side by side transcript for more easily jumping around as well as annotating directly from the transcript if I choose.

      I prefer to use [[links]] over #tags for connecting information. Most of the tags I use tend to be for organizational or more personal purposes like #WantToRead which I later delete when done.

      When I run across interesting questions or topics that would make good papers or areas of future research I'll use a tag like #OpenQuestion, so when I'm bored I can look at a list of what I might like to work on next.

      Syndicated copies: https://forum.obsidian.md/t/research-phd-academics/1446/64?u=chrisaldrich

    1. (6) ReconfigBehSci on Twitter: “@MichaelPaulEdw1 @islaut1 @ToddHorowitz3 @richarddmorey @MaartenvSmeden and not just misguided (as too simplistic) but part of the problem....” / Twitter. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2021, from https://twitter.com/SciBeh/status/1356528429211021319

    1. a MD notebook like Athens Research (another open collab project that makes a bi-directional linking markdown notebook, they even call it a Memex but their focus is more on the notebook and research side than on the data collection and annotation end that WorldBrain is focused on See here for AthensResearch/Athens vision: https://github.com/athensresearch/athens/blob/master/VISION.md 6 roadmap/mindmap: https://whimsical.com/TCeXP1dpRkdT8rpMvYci2P 4 notion: https://www.notion.so/Athens-67e1c6068cb449ff935d10e882fd9b05 1 they use clojurescript and datascript (which I have worked with professionally in the past, it is ideal for the backlinking notes graph problem they solve and is the same tech behind Roam which is closed-source software they are aiming to provide and opensource alternative for)

      I've heard one or two mentions of Athens before, but don't think I've actively bookmarked it. Here are some of the primary references.

  2. Feb 2021
    1. Comments

      This word is exactly the point. What if this web page were a public thing within Roam? Then other people's notebooks could comment within their own, but using notifications (via Webmention) could be placed into a comments section at the bottom of one's page or even done inline on the portions they're commenting on using block references.

    2. For instance, Notion has a sort of straightforward design that’s meant to be easy for anyone to use and learn. They prioritize making it obvious for newcomers, whereas Roam is more focused on power users who are willing to put quite a bit of effort into learning a new paradigm.

      Notice the difference in user interface and onboarding between [[Notion]] and [[Roam Research]].

    3. In other words, Roam could be the thing the scientist uses for fun to organize their book notes, or they could also be the thing that same scientist uses at work to collaborate with colleagues on discovering new truths, paid for by their employer.

      But why can't it do both?

      Because it's on the same platform, they could allow people to make their notes public and shareable. They could add Webmention support so that one notebook could talk to another!

      C'mon people!!? Don't you remember the dream of the Memex?

    4. It’s been less than a year since Roam started to gain traction, Notion just added Roam’s signature bi-directional link functionality, and there are already open-source “Roam compatible” apps on the horizon, like Athens.

      This is the first reference I've heard about [[Athens]], but there are many others that aren't mentioned here including Obsidian, Foam, TiddlyWiki, etc. which have been adding the backlinking capabilities.

    5. Personal todo lists don’t depend on others using the same system (no network effects)

      They don't unless you're building a wiki or commonplace book that can interact with those of others. (Roam research isn't doing this---yet, but they should.) Ideally small building block pieces will allow it to dovetail with other systems that could potentially do the same thing.

    1. Wibmer, C. K., Ayres, F., Hermanus, T., Madzivhandila, M., Kgagudi, P., Lambson, B. E., Vermeulen, M., Berg, K. van den, Rossouw, T., Boswell, M., Ueckermann, V., Meiring, S., Gottberg, A. von, Cohen, C., Morris, L., Bhiman, J. N., & Moore, P. L. (2021). SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 escapes neutralization by South African COVID-19 donor plasma. BioRxiv, 2021.01.18.427166. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.18.427166

    1. Tang, J. W., Bahnfleth, W. P., Bluyssen, P. M., Buonanno, G., Jimenez, J. L., Kurnitski, J., Li, Y., Miller, S., Sekhar, C., Morawska, L., Marr, L. C., Melikov, A. K., Nazaroff, W. W., Nielsen, P. V., Tellier, R., Wargocki, P., & Dancer, S. J. (2021). Dismantling myths on the airborne transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Journal of Hospital Infection, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.12.022

    1. Buss, Lewis F., Carlos A. Prete, Claudia M. M. Abrahim, Alfredo Mendrone, Tassila Salomon, Cesar de Almeida-Neto, Rafael F. O. França, et al. ‘Three-Quarters Attack Rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Brazilian Amazon during a Largely Unmitigated Epidemic’. Science 371, no. 6526 (15 January 2021): 288–92. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abe9728.

  3. onedrive.live.com onedrive.live.com
    1. The African Image

      The African Image is a book by E. Mphahlele, a South African author and educationalist. He is one of the most famous modern African authors and has been dubbed the "Dean of African Letters". This book was published in 1962 and he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work in it just seven years later. He was also awarded the Order of the Southern Cross by PM Nelson Mandela as well as the Order of the Palm by the French government. Mphahlele is also widely considered to be the father of African humanism.

    2. Vivaldi's Four Seasons

      (86) The Four Seasons is a very famous musical composition composed by Vivaldi. Cellos and violins are hevaily present. An interesting fact is that one may note that the Winter part is much more cheery and happy than the Summer one. It turns out that this is not simply an issue of Vivaldi's personal opinions of the seasons but of his medical condition as well. Vivaldi suffered badly from asthma. This caused him to have problem with breathing in the Summer when the weather was warmer and more importantly drier in Italy. In the rainy months during the Winter (Italy being a country in the sub-tropical climate belt) he experienced not issues at all which made him his favorite month. This suprising quirk of his in comparison with most people may be a connection with the narator's own personal feeling of disconnection with bothe English and Zimbabwians alike.

    3. Cafenol

      (91) Cafenol is a drug used to cure fever that has similar effect to paracetamol (acetaminophen). In fact, the two main "ingredients" from which cafenol is made are exactly paracetamol and as the name suggests - caffeine. That being said. the great presence of caffeine also makes the medication quite cheap especially when compared to different minophens. This may be one of the reasons as to why the author mentions unnamed type of aspirins and cafenol to "abate" with his fever and not cafenol given the narrator's position. Another interesting fact is that cafenol has been known to cause side effects when consumed without paracetamol. Some of these include nausea, cloudiness, and diahrea.

    4. Christopher Okigbo'

      (p.74) Christopher Okigbo (1932-1967) was born in Ojoto, Nigeria. His father was a teacher, who lectured in Catholic missionary schools during the prime of colonial rule of Britain over Nigeria. Because of that, the family traveled a lot. When he grew up, he studied and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Western classics (Greek and Latin) at the University of Ibadan. Later, he became a teacher there, followed by a job as the librarian of the University of Nigeria, as well as a position as the private secretary of the federal minister of research and information of Nigeria. As an African poet, modernist, and postcolonial writer, Okigbo was influenced by various texts and mythologies: Modern English Literature, the classics, and Western and African mythology. Although he published only three volumes of poetry, his work wasn't left unrecognized, and, in 1966, he was awarded the Langston Hughes Award for African Poetry at the Festival of Black African Arts in Dakar. He declined it based on his belief that poetry shouldn't be judged on race. The themes in his works include loss, nature, and the passing of time. His poems are infused with heavy symbolism, and in them, he speaks a lot about the role of the poet. His works are characterized as being "obscure, allusive, or difficult" (Britannica). He died in the Nigeria-Biafra war and received the National Order of Merit of Biafra after his death. As can be noticed, Okigbo and Marechera share common themes in their works, as well as the tendency to write hard to comprehend texts.

    5. unilateral declaration of independence

      (p. 83) A unilateral declaration of independence is a formal process that leads to a state, earlier dictated upon by another (usually more powerful that gained control over the particular country during a colonization process), declaring its independence without getting a formal agreement from the previously ruling state. On November 11, 1965, after numerous attempts to persuade Britain into giving Rhodesia its independence, Ian Smith's (the prime minister of the state) government announced the UDI, thus separating from Britain. This was the first country after the USA, which had left the United Kingdom without its agreement. In response, the UN and the UK placed sanctions on the breakaway state, but, due to the help received by South Africa and Portugal, Rhodesia's economy continued to thrive. In 1969, the government accepted a constitution that guaranteed political power to the white minority of the country. This led to unrest among the black population, which culminated in the Bush War. After it ended in 1979, Rhodesia (at that time - Zimbabwe Rhodesia) revoked its unilateral declaration of independence. For a brief period, the state was under absolute British rule. In 1980, the country was granted official independence and international recognition, thus becoming what today is known as Zimbabwe.

    6. The nganga was called.

      Nganga (91) is a term originating from the Bantu family language Kikongo, spoken in West Africa. The term is also used in societies of African people in other countries, such as Cuba and Brazil. The -gang in Nganga is related to wisdom, knowledge, and skill. Throughout the Bantu-speaking world, there are variations of the term, while the modern languages have contributed entirely new meanings (such as a plant alternative for marijuana). In its earliest form, and throughout Africa, nganga means herbalist or spiritual healer. The nganga has the special skill to communicate with spirits in order to find the root of an illness, misfortune, or any social malady, and find a solution for the problem. The methods of healing include not only supernatural elements, but also natural medical ingredients. The nganga can also transfer spiritual forces to sacred objects. The nganga (or n’anga) of the Shona society of Zimbabwe is a practicing traditional healer, whose methods include herbalism, religious rituals, and spiritual healing. The n’anga have the ability to tell fortunes and hold great influence over people - they can bless them or even kill them. Because of those special skills, the n’anga were the main helpers of people, during challenging times, throughout the decades. It is even said that during the Rhodesian Bush War, the Guerilla leaders consulted with the n’anga. Today, in Zimbabwe, the n’anga are recognized practitioners and are registered in the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healer's Association.

    7. 'What is your totem?' 'Nguruwe.

      Totems as a whole are known to be an important and unique part of African culture. As such, they are one of the earliest traditions, which the Shona people followed. In Shona language, a totem is called mutupo or mitupo in plural form. A mutupo is usually an animal or body part, which identifies a certain clan or sub-clan. The Shona people are known to have more than 25 identifiable totems and 60 principal names. Through these emblems, clans become associated with certain positive characteristics of the symbol animal, such as bravery, wisdom, courage, speed, etc. In this way, a mutupo serves as a sort of praise for a person; however, it is also meant to help avoid incest. As totems are identifications, people of the same totem know they are related and do not marry one another because they are aware of the consequences that would have for their children. Apart from these two functions, mitupo are also a way of protecting and preserving the environment. Shona people who are associated with a certain animal do not hunt, kill, or eat that animal, not only because the symbol of their totem is believed to be sacred but also because some of their ancestors might have turned into that animal after death. By hunting the animal, they would be performing a forbidden act as well as possibly eating one of their relatives. The clan rather guards the totem animal as its own than harms it. Overall, mitupo played a huge role in the practices and religion of the Shona people pre-colonization and are still considered an important part of a Shona person's identity even today despite many turning to Christianity and starting to follow its beliefs. However, due to the rise of unwanted pregnancies and unwanted children after British colonization, not every Shona child has been given a totem since then (79).

      Edmund’s totem is Nguruwe, which translated from Shona language means “pig”. For this reason, the assistant boarding master Jet refers to Edmund showing the different “species of farting” to his roommates as “very appropriate” behavior after asking his totem on page 79, and Stephen uses the word “pig” as synonymous to Edmund on page 81: “‘You've all heard what the Pig has said.’”

    8. Milton's Paradise Lost

      Paradise Lost is one of the late works of English poet, pamphleteer, and historian John Milton, who is thought to be “the most significant English author after William Shakespeare” (Labriola). It is an epic poem, written in blank verse, which was first published in 10 books in 1667 and later in 12 with some revisions in 1674. The poem consists of almost 11,000 lines in total and is considered to be one of the greatest English literary works of all time (78).

      Paradise Lost generally tells the biblical story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace but also has a narrative arc about Satan’s rebellion and fall from Heaven. Milton’s powerful and sympathetic characterization of Satan has been noted by many readers, and Satan has been admired for his splendid recklessness in confronting God. The Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley considered him the real hero of Paradise Lost and praised his rebellion against the tyranny of Heaven. Satan also has similar traits with many heroes of Classical, medieval, and Renaissance epics. He is resourceful, willful, defiant, and filled with anger, which establishes him as a character who strives never to surrender. Edmund probably had the same opinion of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost as Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the work might have even served to shape his overall view of the Devil. Edmund thought of Satan as a hero, as a role model of sorts, and that’s why he had decorated his locker with depictions of him and enlarged texts of his speeches from the poem (78). Paradise Lost, as well as the other works Edmund read, which are mainly from Russian authors, as the narrator suggests at the end of page 81 (“‘For God's sake, this is not a Petersburg story. He's for real.’”), greatly influenced him and his actions. The views he formed while reading these literary pieces perhaps were also one of the reasons Edmund decided to become a guerilla later on.

    9. It reminded me of the time when I was writing an article about shantytown and while inspecting the pit-latrines there I fell into the filthy hole.

      A shantytown is a poor town or part of a town consisting of shanties, which are usually self-built shacks made from basic materials such as mud and wood. Shantytowns lack appropriate infrastructure and have few services - they do not have street drainage, electricity, public transportation, a safe water supply, and proper sanitation. Because of this, they face many problems such as overcrowding, diseases, fires, overpopulation, and competition for jobs. Shantytowns usually form in developing countries, some of the largest shanty towns being in South Africa, Mexico, Pakistan, and India. Shantytowns in Africa include Khayelitsta and Joe Slovo in Cape Town, South Africa, Kibera and Mathare in Nairobi, Kenya, and Misisi and Komboni in Lusaka, Zambia, but there are many others. In 2018, according to statistics from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 33.5 % of Zimbabwe’s urban population, which numbered 4.65 million people of the total 14.44 million Zimbabweans at the time, lived in shantytowns. Pit-latrines are common for shantytowns because most houses there lack toilets inside. A pit-latrine is a type of communal toilet consisting of a hole in the ground where feces are collected, a small opening to that hole, and a shelter. Without proper maintenance and ventilation, pit-latrines may begin harboring flies, which may cause the spread of intestinal worm infections and diseases such as infectious diarrhea (74).

    10. 'Kaffirs at the back. Kaffirs ..

      “Kaffir” is a racial term that has been used to refer to people of African, South Asian, and Arabic descent (72). Historically, the word comes from Arabic and its meaning is a “non-believer”, usually used by a Muslim to describe a non-Muslim. The term can also be translated to “rejector” or “infidel”. Arab traders on the Swahili coast (whose trade was based on slavery) used the word to refer to the African people who were non-Muslim. The Portuguese arrived on the coast in the second half of the 15th century and assimilated the word as a way to refer to people from South Africa in general. The Portuguese passed the term to their Asian colonies, where the word is not considered offensive. During the colonial periods of Britain and the periods of Dutch rule, the word was used with no derogatory meaning and was often utilized by historians and writers. During the Apartheid, the term became commonly used by the Europeans in South Africa and acquired its derogatory meaning. Throughout the 20th century and today, the term is used as a derogatory term for Black Africans, and since 1976 its usage is considered a crime in South Africa.

    11. sadza

      (p. 49) Sadza is part of the staple diet for the indigenous people of Rhodesia. It is a thickened porridge made out of pulverized grains. Usually, it is served with white maize (a type of corn) or with cooked meat (when served with the latter, it is called Sadza ne Nyama (Nyama - Shona for "meat"), which directly translates to Sadza and meat stew). Sometimes it includes vegetables, but that is not explicitly outlined (people say "sadza" without clarifying its ingredients). This food was originally imported, reaching Rhodesia in 1890 for the first time. Since then, it has been a vital source of starch and carbohydrates for the locals. It has also infiltrated their culture and language as the word may refer to a specific meal of the day (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) when in combination with the Shona words for that time.

    12. he was Elijah the Prophe

      (47) Elijah was a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in Israel according to the Books of Kings. It was believed that God performed miracles through Elijah, such as resurrection, "bringing fire down from the sky, and entering Heaven alive "by fire"' (Wikipedia). This once again shows how knowledgable the narrator is.

    13. Kwame Nkrumah

      pg. 46 Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) was a Ghanian politician and revolutionary. He was the first prime minister and the first president of Ghana and fought for national independence. Nkrumah studied literature regarding socialism and nationalism at the University of Pennsylvania, and those studies greatly influenced his worldview and politics. In 1957 he led and won Gold Coast (a British colony in Africa)'s fight for independence. Afterward, Nkrumah formed the Convention People's Party, became one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity, and won the Lenin Peace Prize. After the approval of a new constitution, he was elected president. During his presidency, Nkrumah and his party promoted Pan-African culture, developed a proper educational system, and funded many industrial projects. Because of them, Ghana was one of the more influential states in terms of African international relationships during the decolonization period. Some sources suggest that Kwame Nkrumah gave military support to groups fighting against Ian Smith's government (the white-minority government of Rhodesia that ruled from 1949 to 1974).

    14. Flies

      p.53 - Flies In Christianity, flies are representative of evil - Satan being known as "The Lord of the Flies". They are associated with dirt and impurity. In Egyptian mythology, God's fourth plaque was of swarms of flies, while the swarm of flies in the novella sings hallelujah. If I am not mistaken, flies are also present in the narrator's dreams, where they are believed to be a symbol of unrest, doubt, which is the mental state of protagonist in this section of the novella.

    15. At once massive rocks of rain hurled themselves down upon the sleeping earth. The noise was deafening to the ear, the sight awesome to the eye, and the great torrents almost startled me into premature senility. Such a madness of the elements did not seem possible. Rude buckets of water poured over the school. It rained as though it would flood us out of our minds. It drummed on the asbestos roofs. It drummed on the window-panes. It dinned into our minds. It drummed down upon us until we could not stand it. It poured darkly; plashed; guttered; broke down upon our heads like the smack of a fist. It roared, splashed, soaked, stuttered stertorously down from the black spaces of the huge mindless universe. It rose. It swelled. It cracked its sides like a whip. Silver fish seemed to leap in frenzy by the bucketful. The mud plash and sucking of it churned round and round in our minds. It chilled up to the shoulders of one's soul. The delirium of rain shook the school into a feverish excitement. The eruption was like a boil that bursts and splatters everything with its black acids. The angry skies drove boulders of rain against the school until we felt our very sanity was under a relentless siege.

      Allegedly, stoning was the standard method of punishment in ancient Israel. According to the Old Testament, stoning served as a punishment for sins such as blasphemy and idolatry. The method required the collective action of the entire community, which served as a lesson to individuals. The sense of common rage is expressed through the violence of the people. The community in the novella is torn apart by injustice and hatred, and while there is an enemy colonialist, which the entirety of the country is facing, the people are divided within their nation, society, and even families. Individuals like Harry have resorted to betraying their own in order to be in the favor of the oppressors, and are openly disregarding the truth, pretending to be above the rest. The contrast between the biblical understanding of the act of stoning and the reality of nature is clear. The theme of stains, present in nearly every single layer of human existence, according to the narrator, is seemingly being challenged by the rage of the universe. The violent rain is not able to remove the stains, but it is able to punish the people: “It cracked its sides like a whip...The singing fury of it stuck little needles into the matter of our brains...The rain, it broke down the workers' compound; it felled the huts with its brute knuckle- duster” (44, 45). To me, the rain could be seen as a sort of vengeance, but also as a part of nature, that is in tune with the people. Led to such extremes by the horrible conditions, the people’s fury and desperation are reflected in the setting that surrounds them. For now, I have a bunch of different interpretations, but hopefully as we progress throughout the novella I will be able to find the intended meaning of the storm. Does the storm have a strictly negative meaning, or can it symbolise something positive?

    16. Gadarene swine

      The miracle of the Gadarene swine is a narrative from the New Testament. It tells of Jesus who crosses over the Sea of Galilee, where he meets two men possessed by demons. Jesus exorcises the demons out of the two men and into a herd of swine. The herd then runs off a cliff, falling into the sea and drowning. The story is included in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke with slight variations. The version in the Gospel of Mark is the most detailed, while the ones in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are shorter. In the longest version, Jesus meets only one man possessed by a demon, and it is mentioned that the man has gone mad due to the possession and began cutting himself with stones. Jesus also asks the name of the demon before exorcising it into the herd of swine. The demon is called Legion, and for this reason, this narrative is also known as the Exorcism of Legion (48).

    17. Lobengula

      Lobengula was the second and last king of the Southern African Ndebele (Matabele) kingdom. He ruled between 1868 and 1894, a period during which British interest in Africa was increasing due to its abundance of resources. In 1870, Lobengula granted his first concession to the London and Limpopo Mining Company, allowing them to mine for gold in the Tati River area, situated in the southwest of Matabeleland, in return for gifts, annual grants, and weapons. The area was discovered to be expensive and hard to mine and consequently abandoned, leading to Lobengula revoking the concession in 1880 due to failure to pay the annual fee. In 1886, however, the gold discoveries in Witwatersrand, a mountain ridge situated in today’s South Africa, drew attention to the gold in the Ndebele kingdom and the neighboring Mashonaland once again. Hence, Lobengula proceeded to grant many mining agreements after the first one in 1870, the most significant one being signed in 1888 with Cecil Rhodes’s business associates, led by Charles Rudd. The agreement was a gold concession to the entire Ndebele land, but because Lobengula was illiterate, he was tricked into believing that it was a limited mineral concession. The British government, however, accepted the document as authentic in 1889, and it was used to charter the British South Africa Company (BSAC). Lobengula refused to let them onto his land, so in 1890, the BSAC conquered neighboring Mashonaland instead. After failing to find much gold there, in 1893, the BSAC led an invasion in the Ndebele kingdom, justifying it with claims that the Ndebele were planning to attack Mashonaland. Thus, the First Matabele War began. One of the most devastating conflicts during it was the Battle of Shangani, during which the Maxim machine guns were used, leading to the deaths of many Ndebele warriors. Faced with the attacks of the BSAC’s military forces and the British imperial forces, and the large number of casualties, Lobengula burned Bulawayo, the capital of Ndebele kingdom, and fled in the direction of the Zambezi river. In late 1893, he was reported to be very sick. Although he is thought to have died in early 1894, his death and its cause remain inconclusive (56,57).

    18. (Harry looked as though he had just been swallowed alive by Jonah's whale.)

      (Harry looked as though he had just been swallowed alive by Jonah's whale.) (50)

      According to the Scripture, Book of Jonah, God reached out to Jonah and ordered him to go to preach to Nineveh, as the people there committed a lot of sins. Jonah was enraged because Nineveh was one of the greatest enemies of Israel, and thought of the people as wicked. He did not want to go and preach to them. Because of that, Jonah tried to escape from God’s order. He started moving in the opposite direction of Nineveh by boat, and headed to Tarshish. God was enraged and sent a storm after the ship. The men on the boat realised that Jonah is to blame for the storm, so they threw him in the sea. When he was sent overboard, the storm stopped. God then sent a big fish, a whale, in order to save Jonah from drowning. The whale swallowed Jonah whole. In the stomach of the fish, the man prayed for help and praised God. Jonah spent three days in the whale, and then God ordered it to travel to the shores of Nineveh and to leave the man there. The whale spat Jonah out and the man entered Nineveh. There he spread the message of God and warned the people that if they do not repent the city would be destroyed in 40 days. The Ninevites listened to the preacher and turned away from their sins, so God was merciful to them. Jonah saw that and was enraged because Nineveh was an enemy of Israel, and God did nothing to punish the people. Jonah sat on the ground in his anger, so God gave him a vine which was to provide shade for the man. The next day, however, God sent a worm, which ate through the vine. Jonah had to sit under the hot sun and began complaining, he pitied himself and claimed that he wanted to die. God then reached out to him and reproached him - Jonah was so troubled by a single vine, while God had to take care of the thousands of people living in the city of Nineveh.

    19. When Nestar (what kind of a father would give his child a 65 name like that?)

      Nestar is a gender-neutral name of African descent, meaning greatness, power, and wisdom. In the tradition of Southern African naming practises, the parents chose a hopeful name with the intention of creating a bright future for their children. Nestar’s backstory shows that she has gone through many challenges as a young woman. She has been cast out by her community because of her unwanted pregnancy, and has been left homeless and struggling at the age of twelve. Under these horrible conditions, she has managed not only to survive this harsh reality, but also to come out on top. She has done everything she can in order to secure a good future for herself, and her labour has paid off. She lives a comfortable life, she is rich, and according to her “Money... was power. There is nothing worthwhile that has no gold in it...”. Her story has earned the respect of the narrator, who wants to tell it to other people. The name given to her by her parents has seemingly fulfilled its purpose. Additionally, in my opinion, the quote on page 71 “Ah, heroes, black heroes …” can also be interpreted as a statement about Nestar. After all, her life is proof that people who are victims of the worst conditions have the ability to grow inner strength and rise even from the darkest of lows. Does the narrator consider Nestar a symbol of Rhodesia?

    20. Lager trucks

      Lager is a type of beer which is usually served at low temperatures. It was quite common in the British African collonies because it was quite easy to produce, unlike the normally warm bevarage consumed by the British. Lager trucks, ergo are vehicles used for the transportation, and possibly the storage, of such drinks. It is interesting to note, that despite the poor living conditions, residents had access to alcoloh including common people like the author or the township black clerk.

    21. Ajax,' I said. 'Who?' 'In Homer,' I said. 'The Iliad.'

      Homer's The Iliad is considered to be the first literary work of Ancient Greece and one of the first such in the whole world. It tells the story of the Trojan War sparked by the escape of Helen to Troy A story equally devoted to gods as to men, it comprises of several epic songs. Some notable heroes include Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus. Ajax is a Greek hero, son of king Talemon, who fights along the Spartans. He is a person of great courage, yet as Odysseus turns out victorious in the Little Iliad, Ajax is consumed by madness and starts to slaughter all Greek cattle.

    22. Tiger tiger burning bright. In the forest of the night. The falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart. When the stars threw down their spears what rough beas

      This is an excerpt from the poem The Tyger by William Blake (an English poet and painter) that was published in Songs of Experience in 1794. It contains six stanzas, each of four lines that rhyme with one another. It describes a scene in which the speaker asks a mighty tiger a series of questions that are connected by the search for the all-powerful being that created such a beautiful yet horrific creature. The Tyger shows the dualistic nature of the world - both its innocence and its ferocity, its beauty, and destructiveness. The themes presented in the poems are present in House of Hunger as the character constantly juxtaposes the alluring aspects of his life (Immaculate, the sunset ) and the chaos that surrounds him (the squalor, the death, the beatings, drugs, alcohol, etc.).

    23. Gandanga

      Gandanga is a term in Shona (the native language of Rhodesia), which refers to the rebels of the Patriotic Front that serve with the Zimbabwe African Nation Liberation Army (ZANLA-PF) or with the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) - both organizations which fought during the Rhodesian Bush War (1964-1979). The word is directly translated as "rebel" or "insurgent" and is associated with the guerrillas that fought with the Rhodesian Security Forces during the 1970s. Through the years, Gandanga evolved to be used for a type of pop culture that developed in Zimbabwe. This culture is best known through its music called "Gandanga music" - translated as "Rebel music"- that is based on tunes the guerrillas would sing when going on the battlefield.

    24. Special Branch

      "Special Branch" are British police forces responsible for intelligence and national security. It was a special unit of the BSAP during the political unrest in Rhodesia.

    25. funeral games

      Funeral games were a regular feature of Mycenaean Greek society. This could be a reference to Homer's Iliad, where Achilles holds funeral games in honor of Patroclus. A similar competition was also used by the Roman poet Virgil in the Latin poem The Aeneid, where the Trojan Aeneas holds games on the anniversary of his father's death. What kind of image does the use of this phrase provide for life in the House of Hunger?

    26. And again that oblique look: 'You did nothing of the sort. You've just been sitting there like something in a trance.

      The narration of the novella (from what I have seen for now) is composed of events that are happening as the narrator progresses through the story, mixed with past events, memories, and occasionally memories mistaken for reality (30), alongside the clear additions by the narrator, which show his point of view. Due to this mosaic fragmented nature of the narration, in which different timelines overlap, and the narrator goes through periods of questionable state of mind, the clear path of the novella is hard to follow. The narrator is also found under the influence of alcohol and cannabis. According to Marechera's brother, a family curse has been passed down to Marechera by his mother, which resulted in him refusing to meet his family after his return to Zimbabwe. This experience of the author can (allegedly - it is an assumption) be considered an influence on the narrator's condition - he sees people around him, who are not a part of reality. Their laughter affects him negatively and only the storm is able to chase them away. For these reasons, I am led to believe that the narrator sometimes shows signs of being an unreliable one. It is a bit too early to be certain about it, but that is my current conclusion.

    27. Gandanga

      Gandanga is a word in the Shona language, which usually describes males. According to the different definitions given by dictionaries, it can mean "terrorist", "murderer", or "a wild savage person". During the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, gandanga was used to refer to a nationalist guerrilla soldier who fought against the Rhodesian Security Forces. However, the term is considered offensive, so the Shona people themselves never called their freedom fighters gandanga or its plural form magandanga. The word was mostly used by Rhodesians. The guerrillas also used it but only when they wanted to refer to themselves sarcastically (20).

    28. sixth form

      As Rhodesia became a British colony at the end of the 19th century and remained one until the latter half of the 20th century, its educational system was modeled on the British pattern. Prior to the 1990-1991 change, secondary education in Britain was divided into six forms based on an earlier system in which the long backless benches in a classroom where the pupils sat were known as forms. Students aged 11 started the first year of secondary education on the first form and moved up a form each year. The fifth form where pupils aged 15 would normally sit was the last compulsory year of secondary education. Students who wanted to go to university would stay for the last two years of secondary education — years numbered 12 and 13 — also known as the sixth form. Pupils in the sixth form included children aged 16 to 19 (12).

    29. Immaculate

      Another naming tradition in Zimbabwe is directly related to the fact that in the past the country had one of the most stable and democratic educational systems and highest literacy rates. A majority of the population from that generation, no matter their position in society, spoke English. Because of that, many people were given names that have hopeful and direct meanings, such as Freeman, Shopman, Godknows, Pinkrose, Last, and Cabinet.

    30. Peter

      Zimbabwe is a country strongly influenced by colonialist naming traditions, and because of past British rule (1888-1964), the majority of people have more than their name, given at birth, but also an English name (or multiple). Parents believe that English names will help their children prosper in life. Some of the most famous English names in Zimbabwe are indeed Peter, Philip, Anne, and Harry. Dambudzo Marechera himself was born with the name Charles William Marechera.

    1. There is Microsoft Academic which after its relaunch in 2015 seems to be the closest competitor. The newt kid on the block is Semantic Scholar developed by the non-profit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

      Alternatives to GScholar - Semantic Scholar might be interesting for snowballing.

    2. Google Scholar does not return all resources that you may get in search at you local library catalog. For example, a library database could return podcasts, videos, articles, statistics, or special collections.

      See other sources for videos, podcast, grey lit

    3. Within your Google Scholar library, you can also edit the metadata associated with titles. This will often be necessary as Google Scholar citation data is often faulty.

      use GScholar library to edit then download citation data

    4. All the search results include a “save” button at the end of the bottom row of links, clicking this will add it to your "My Library".To help you provide some structure, you can create and apply labels to the items in your library. Appended labels will appear at the end of the article titles.

      Save interesting papers to check out later using Google Scholar (signed in my library) - click the star to save a listing, add tags to help with sorting / retrieving later.

    5. The Scholar Button is a Chrome extension which add a dropdown search box to your toolbar - allowing you to search Google Scholar from any website. Moreover, if you have any text selected on the page and then click the button it will display results from a search on those words when clicked.
    6. Adjusting the Google Scholar settings is not necessary for getting good results but offers some additional customization, including the ability to enable the above-mentioned library integrations. The settings menu is found in the hamburger menu located in the top left of the Google Scholar page.

      save time by setting up GScholar as needed in Settings

    7. The trick is to build a list of keywords and perform searches for them like self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles, or driverless cars. Google Scholar will assist you on that: if you start typing in the search field you will see related queries suggested by Scholar!

      GScholar search will help build search terms lists