68 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. The bad reader is lost amonggood books. He lacks the highest pleasure available to man,according to Mrs. Woolf. If she is right, none but a fool would refuseto learn to read as well as he can.
    2. Reading is not a passive activity
  2. Nov 2023
    1. How to Read a Book. Los Angeles: KCET Los Angeles, 1975. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_rizr8bb0c.

      13 part series including:<br /> - 01:33:02 Part 8: How to read Stories - 01:46:13 Part 9: What Makes a Story Good - 01:59:24 Part 10 How to Read a Poem - Shakespeare sonnet 116, "admit" definition - Wordsworth poem about London and nature - 02:12:49 Part 11: Activating Poetry and Plays - 02:26:09 Part 12: How to Read Two Books at the Same Time - 02:39:29 Part 13: The Pyramid of Books

      2023-11-29: Since the original video was removed, one can also view the series at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPajsb520dyzNw9mHsZnrzi5w9N_amS7E

    1. Richard Carter says: November 16, 2023 at 5:38 am   (Edit) Mortimer Adler read books more than once? I guess that made sense from someone whose name was an anagram of ‘Mr Read-More-Lit’!

      Mortimer Adler's name is an anagram of "Mr. Read More Lit".

      via Richard Carter at https://boffosocko.com/2023/11/14/55819838/#comment-422743

    1. How to Read (and Understand) Hard Books<br /> Jared Henderson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laXcJyx9xCc

      A short overview of Adler and Van Doren's How to Read a Book

      Not bad, though Henderson accidentally reads "syntopical" as "synoptical".

    1. http://richardcarter.com/sidelines/a-good-reason-not-to-write-in-books/

      That book annotating monster Adler indicated that if he read books second and subsequent times that he would generally purchase a new copy and mark it up afresh. Doublemonster!

      See: How to Read a Book. Los Angeles: KCET Los Angeles, 1975. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_rizr8bb0c. It was one of the later episodes as I recall.

    1. Eco was aware of this predicament. As a university profes-sor, he knew that the majority of students in Italian univer-sities seldom attended classes, that very few of them wouldcontinue to write and do research, and that the degree theyeventually earned would not necessarily improve their socialconditions. It would have been easy to call for the system tobe reformed so as not to require a thesis from students ill-equipped to write one, and for whom the benefit of spendingseveral months working on a thesis might be difficult to jus-tify in cold economic terms.

      Some of the missing piece here is knowing a method for extracting and subsequently building. Without the recipe in hand, it's difficult to bake a complex cake.

      Not mentioned here as something which may be missing, but which Adler & Van Doren identify as strength and ability to read at multiple levels including inspectionally, analytically, and ultimately syntopically.

      To some extent, the knowledge of the method for excerpting and arranging will ultimately allow the interested lifelong learner the ability to read syntopically even if it isn't the sort of targeted exercise it might be within creating a thesis.

  3. Oct 2023
    1. I'm not so much saying Adler and Van Doren were trying to prevent readers from coming to grips with the unresolved issues of American history illustrated in this example. But I am suggesting that the idea that there's a "message" in these foundational texts and they know what it is and our job is to find out, is flawed. Too deterministic, too hierarchical, too supportive of a master narrative that needs to be challenged so truth can be appreciated in its complexity.

      Amen!

    1. this little discussion we're having reminds me of a lecture I once gave many years ago shortly after how to read a book was first published which which I said that I thought that solitary 02:17:34 reading was almost as much advice as solitary drinking

      Solitary reading [is] was almost as much a vice as solitary drinking. —Mortimer J. Adler, in Part 11: Activating Poetry and Plays

  4. Sep 2023
    1. I used to give oral examinations at St John's in Chicago and one of the one of the reasons why an oral examination is so much better than the written examination is the professor can never in a written examination say to the student what did you mean by these words 00:47:05 but in oral examination a student often repeats words he's read in the book and you're saying now Mr Jones what you just said is exactly what Hobbs said or what Darwin or 00:47:18 lock said now tell me in your own words what Locke or Hobbes or Darwin meant and then the student has remembered the words perfectly can't tell you in his own words no and you know he has he has noticed of the sentence right he's just 00:47:30 memorized or sometimes he actually can do it and then you say that's very good Mr Jones but now give me a concrete example of it yeah and he failed to do that guy those are the two tests I've always used to be sure the student really grasps the meaning of the key 00:47:42 sentence

      Mortimer Adler gave oral examinations at St. Johns in which he would often ask a student to restate the ideas of writers in their own words and then ask for a concrete example of that idea. Being able to do these two things is a solid way of indicating that one fully understands an idea.

      Adler and Van Doren querying each other demonstrate this once or twice in the video.

      related: - https://hypothes.is/a/rh1M5vdEEeut4pOOF7OYNA - https://hypothes.is/a/iV5MwjivEe23zyebtBagfw

      Where does this method sit with respect to the Feynman Technique? Does this appear in the 1940 edition of Adler's book and thus predate it all?

    1. "verbalism" is the besetting sin of those who fail to read analytically.
    2. Wonder is the beginning of wisdom in learning from books as well as from nature.
    3. Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book. Revised and Updated edition. 1940. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972.

      Progress

      • Started reading on 2021-07-28 at 1:26 PM
      • Read through chapter 6 on 2022-11-06 at 1:40 PM

      Annotation URL: urn:x-pdf:47749dd5c860ea4a9b8749ab77a009da<br /> Annotation search

    1. Underlines and margin notes in an unknown hand are interspersed throughout the texts. Volume I includes a daily devotional page that has been used as a bookmark. The back endpapers of Volume IV has been copiously annotated.

      Jack Kerouac followed the general advice of Mortimer J. Adler to write notes into the endpapers of his books as evidenced by the endpapers of Volume IV of the 7th Year Course of The Great Books Foundation series with which Adler was closely associated.

    1. Wills, Garry. “After 54 Great Books, 102 Great Ideas, Now—Count Them !—Three Revolutions.” The New York Times, June 13, 1971, sec. BR. https://www.nytimes.com/1971/06/13/archives/the-common-sense-of-politics-by-mortimer-j-adler-265-pp-new-york.html

      It's not super obvious from the digitized context (text), but this review is in relation to The Common Sense of Politics (1971) by Mortimer J. Adler.

      Wills criticizes Adler and his take in the book as well as the general enterprise of the Great Books of the Western World.

      There seem to be interesting sparks here in the turn of the Republican party in the early 70s moving into the coming Reagan era.

    2. This done, Adler can say that young crit ics of “the System” are not true revolutionaries. Real revolutionaries work within the System — since the System is the Revolution.

      How does the general idea of zeitgeist of the early 70's relate to the idea of "revolution"?

      See also: Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (1970)

  5. Aug 2023
    1. Imagine the younger generation studying great books andlearning the liberal arts. Imagine an adult population con-tinuing to turn to the same sources of strength, inspiration,and communication. We could talk to one another then. Weshould be even better specialists than we are today because wecould understand the history of our specialty and its relationto all the others. We would be better citizens and better men.We might turn out to be the nucleus of the world community.

      Is the cohesive nature of Hutchins and Adler's enterprise for the humanities and the Great Conversation, part of the kernel of the rise of interdisciplinarity seen in the early 2000s onward in academia (and possibly industry).

      Certainly large portions are the result of uber-specialization, particularly in spaces which have concatenated and have allowed people to specialize in multiple areas to create new combinatorial creative possibilities.

    1. Barzun, Jacques. “The Great Books.” The Atlantic, December 1952. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1952/12/the-great-books/642341/.

      Barzun heaps praise on Great Books of the Western World with some criticism of what it is also missing. He finds more than a few superlative words for the majesty of the Syntopicon.

  6. Jul 2023
    1. I have been using the Outline of Knowledge (OoK) which Adler developed for the Propædia volume of the 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (orig. publ. 1974) as my way of indexing knowledge (there is a blog series describing this). I am now working on Part 7 of the series, which is concerned with porting from a card-based analogue system to a digital computer-based form, using the insights gained from having done so via the analogue approach initially.It appears as though the final version of the OoK which ever appeared was in 2010, and is archived at The Internet Archive.I am interested in whether anyone has continued using the OoK or has expanded upon it in any formalised or systematic way. I have made my own mods to it, of course, as it is several decades old and could bear with some revision. But I am not aware of any organisation or group that may already be doing this, including the Britannica itself (which seems a shame, if it is the case).Does anyone know of any such efforts?

      reply to u/TheVoroscope at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/va2s09/comment/jtwqhd7/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      u/TheVoroscope, the only things I've seen on it are the original and what you've written. I suspect anything current will be quite niche and would require searching in the areas of academic journal articles or at the level of graduate studies within the library sciences where you might find something. Simon Winchester had a section on the rise and downfall of the Encyclopedia Britannica in his most recent book Knowing What We Know (2023) which has a brief mention of the Propædia, but it was broadly described as a $32 million dollar bomb that ended the Encyclopedia. I would suspect that the last printings in 2010 and 2012 were probably the last more as a result of the rise of internet usage than they were the form and function of the Propædia itself though.

    1. Robert Hutchins, former dean of Yale Law School (1927–1929), president (1929–1945) and chancellor (1945–1951) of the University of Chicago, closes his preface to his grand project with Mortimer J. Adler by giving pride of place to Adler's Syntopicon. It touches on the unreasonable value of building and maintaining a zettelkasten:

      But I would do less than justice to Mr. Adler's achievement if I left the matter there. The Syntopicon is, in addition to all this, and in addition to being a monument to the industry, devotion, and intelligence of Mr. Adler and his staff, a step forward in the thought of the West. It indicates where we are: where the agreements and disagreements lie; where the problems are; where the work has to be done. It thus helps to keep us from wasting our time through misunderstanding and points to the issues that must be attacked. When the history of the intellectual life of this century is written, the Syntopicon will be regarded as one of the landmarks in it. —Robert M. Hutchins, p xxvi The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education. 1952.

      Adler's Syntopicon has been briefly discussed in the forum.zettelkasten.de space before. However it isn't just an index compiled into two books which were volumes 2 and 3 of The Great Books of the Western World, it's physically a topically indexed card index or a grand zettelkasten surveying Western culture. Its value to readers and users is immeasurable and it stands as a fascinating example of what a well-constructed card index might allow one to do even when they don't have their own yet. For those who have only seen the Syntopicon in book form, you might better appreciate pictures of it in slipbox form prior to being published as two books covering 2,428 pages:

      Two page spread of Life Magazine article with the title "The 102 Great Ideas" featuring a photo of 26 people behind 102 card index boxes with categorized topical labels from "Angel" to "Will".

      Mortimer J. Adler holding a pipe in his left hand and mouth posing in front of dozens of boxes of index cards with topic headwords including "law", "love", "life", "sin", "art", "democracy", "citizen", "fate", etc.

      Adler spoke of practicing syntopical reading, but anyone who compiles their own card index (in either analog or digital form) will realize the ultimate value in creating their own syntopical writing or what Robert Hutchins calls participating in "The Great Conversation" across twenty-five centuries of documented human communication. Adler's version may not have had the internal structure of Luhmann's zettelkasten, but it definitely served similar sorts of purposes for those who worked on it and published from it.

      References

      syndication link: https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/2623/mortimer-j-adlers-syntopicon-a-topically-arranged-collaborative-slipbox/

    1. But I would do less than justice to Mr. Adler's achieve-ment if I left the matter there. The Syntopicon is, in additionto all this, and in addition to being a monument to the indus-try, devotion, and intelligence of Mr. Adler and his staff, astep forward in the thought of the West. It indicates wherewe are: where the agreements and disagreements lie; wherethe problems are; where the work has to be done. It thushelps to keep us from wasting our time through misunder-standing and points to the issues that must be attacked.When the history of the intellectual life of this century iswritten, the Syntopicon will be regarded as one of the land-marks in it.

      p xxvi

      Hutchins closes his preface to his grand project with Mortimer J. Adler by giving pride of place to Adler's Syntopicon.

      Adler's Syntopicon isn't just an index compiled into two books which were volumes 2 and 3 of The Great Books of the Western World, it's physically a topically indexed card index of data (a grand zettelkasten surveying Western culture if you will). It's value to readers and users is immeasurable and it stands as a fascinating example of what a well-constructed card index might allow one to do even when they don't have their own yet.

      Adler spoke of practicing syntopical reading, but anyone who compiles their own card index (in either analog or digital form) will realize the ultimate value in creating their own syntopical writing or what Robert Hutchins calls participating in "The Great Conversation" across twenty-five centuries of documented human communication.

      See also: https://hypothes.is/a/WF4THtUNEe2dZTdlQCbmXw


      The way Hutchins presents the idea of "Adler's achievement" here seems to indicate that Hutchins didn't have a direct hand in compiling or working on it directly.

  7. Jun 2023
    1. The men who crafted Great Books programs, most prominently John Erskine, Mortimer Adler, and Scott Buchanan, promoted the idea that the reading of classics was a task meant for all students, at all levels, even if the works were translated from their original language. At several colleges, the curricula of undergraduate programs came to be based upon the reading of these Great Books.
    1. Second, the social life of annotation is of greater importance than individual reader response. Annotation must be studied and promoted as a social endeavor that is co-authored by groups of annotators, with interactive media, spanning on-the-ground and online settings, and in response to shared commitments.

      When will we get the civil disobedience version of Mortimer J. Adler's How to Mark a Book?

  8. Mar 2023
    1. In a postwar world in which educational self-improvement seemed within everyone’s reach, the Great Books could be presented as an item of intellectual furniture, rather like their prototype, the Encyclopedia Britannica (which also backed the project).

      the phrase "intellectual furniture" is sort of painful here...

  9. Nov 2022
  10. learn-ap-southeast-2-prod-fleet01-xythos.content.blackboardcdn.com learn-ap-southeast-2-prod-fleet01-xythos.content.blackboardcdn.com
    1. We find favorwith Mortimer J. Adler’s stance, from 1940,that “marking up a book is not an act ofmutilation but of love.”18

      also:

      Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it—which comes to the same thing—is by writing in it. —Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book. Revised and Updated edition. 1940. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972.

      They also suggest that due to the relative low cost of books, it's easier to justify writing in them, though they carve out an exception for the barbarism of scribbling in library books.

    1. Reading a book should be a conversation between you andthe author.
    2. writing your reactions downhelps you to remember the thoughts of the author.
    3. . Full ownership of a bookonly comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and thebest way to make yourself a part of it-which comes to thesame thing-is by writing in it.
    4. To use a good book as a sedative is conspicuous waste.
    5. This is a rhetorical flourish, and it deserves what mererhetoric always deserves
    6. Weare on record as holding that unlimited educational opportunity-or, speaking practically, educational opportunity thatis limited only by individual desire, ability, and need-is themost valuable service that society can provide for its members.

      This broadly applies to both oral and literate societies.

      Desire, ability, and need are all tough measures however... each one losing a portion of the population along the way.

      How can we maintain high proportions across all these variables?

  11. Oct 2022
    1. Christopher Hill, used to pencil on the back endpaper of his books a list of the pages and topics which had caught his attention. He rubbed out his notes if he sold the book, but not always very thoroughly, so one can usually recognise a volume which belonged to him.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hill_(historian)

      Christopher Hill's practice of creating indices of topics of interest to him in the end papers of his books is similar to that of Mortimer J. Adler who attested this practice as well.

    1. For her online book clubs, Maggie Delano defines four broad types of notes as a template for users to have a common language: - terms - propositions (arguments, claims) - questions - sources (references which support the above three types)

      I'm fairly sure in a separate context, I've heard that these were broadly lifted from her reading of Mortimer J. Adler's How to Read a book. (reference? an early session of Dan Allosso's Obsidian Book club?)

      These become the backbone of breaking down a book and using them to have a conversation with the author.

    1. http://www.greyroom.org/issues/60/20/the-dialectic-of-the-university-his-masters-voice/

      “The Indexers pose with the file of Great Ideas. At sides stand editors [Mortimer] Adler (left) and [William] Gorman (right). Each file drawer contains index references to a Great Idea. In center are the works of the 71 authors which constitute the Great Books.” From “The 102 Great Ideas: Scholars Complete a Monumental Catalog,” Life 24, no. 4 (26 January 1948). Photo: George Skadding.

    1. Index cards for commonplacing?

      I know that Robert Greene and Ryan Holiday have talked about their commonplace methods using index cards before, and Mortimer J. Adler et al. used index cards with commonplacing methods in their Great Books/Syntopicon project, but is anyone else using this method? Where or from whom did you learn/hear about using index cards? What benefits do you feel you're getting over a journal or notebook-based method? Mortimer J. Adler smoking a pipe amidst a sea of index cards in boxes with 102 topic labels (examples: Law, World, Love, Life, Being, Sin, Art, Citizen, Change, etc.)

    1. e called on his fellow rabbis to submitnotecards with details from their readings. He proposed that a central office gathermaterial into a ‘system’ of information about Jewish history, and he suggested theypublish the notes in the CCAR’s Yearbook.

      This sounds similar to the variety of calls to do collaborative card indexes for scientific efforts, particularly those found in the fall of 1899 in the journal Science.

      This is also very similar to Mortimer J. Adler et al's group collaboration to produce The Syntopicon as well as his work on Propædia and Encyclopædia Britannica.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/nvWZnuApEeuKR--5AeBv8w

    2. Deutsch created his index in the context of a range of encyclopedic activities. In 1897,the Central Conference of American Rabbis asked Deutsch to create a two-volume ency-clopedia, and he soon joined a similar effort by Funk and Wagnalls under the direction ofIsidore Singer. As the main editor for historical topics, Deutsch helped publish 12 volumesof the Jewish Encyclopedia from 1901 to 1906. In these same years, Deutsch produced acalendar of Jewish anniversaries in the monthly Die Deborah (1901), reprinted in 1904 inthe Hebrew Union College Annual (as the ‘Encyclopedic Department’) and as a standalonevolume (Deutsch, 1904a, 1904b).

      Deutsch's encyclopedia work here sounds similar to that of Mortimer J. Adler who used a card index in much the same way.

  12. Sep 2022
  13. Aug 2022
    1. https://occidental.substack.com/p/the-adlernet-guide-part-ii?sd=pf

      Description of a note taking method for reading the Great Books: part commonplace, part zettelkasten.

      I'm curious where she's ultimately placing the cards to know if the color coding means anything in the end other than simply differentiating the card "types" up front? (i.e. does it help to distinguish cards once potentially mixed up?)

    1. The narrator considers this as vandalism and finds it hard to believe how anyone "educated enough to have access to a university library should do this to a book." To him "the treatment of books is a test of civilized behaviour."

      Highlighted portion is a quote from Kuehn sub-quoting David Lodge, Deaf Sentence (New York: Viking 2008)

      Ownership is certainly a factor here, but given how inexpensive many books are now, if you own it, why not mark it up? See also: Mortimer J. Adler's position on this.


      Marking up library books is a barbarism; not marking up your own books is a worse sin.

    1. https://github.com/sajjad2881/NewSyntopicon

      Someone's creating a new digitally linked version of the Syntopicon as text files for Obsidian (and potentially other platforms). Looks like it's partial at best and will need a lot of editing work to become whole.

      found by way of

      Has anyone made a hypermedia rendition of the Syntopicon, i.e. with transcluded windows or "parallel pages" into the indexed texts?<br><br>Many of Adler's Great Books are public domain, so it wouldn't require *so* titanic a copyright issue… pic.twitter.com/UmWiyn5aBC

      — Andy Matuschak (@andy_matuschak) August 17, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. Mortimer Adler (another independent scholar). “My train of thought greiout of my life just the way a leaf or a branch grows our of a tree.” His thinking and writing occurred as a regular part of his life. In one of his book;Thinking and Working on the Waterfront, he wrote:My writing is'done in railroad yards while waiting for a freight, in the fieldswhile waiting for a truck, and at noon after lunch. Now and then I take aday off to “put myself in order." I go through the notes, pick and discard.The residue is usually a few paragraphs. My mind must always have somethingto chew on. I think on man, America, and the world. It is not as pretentiousas it sounds.
  14. Jun 2022
    1. certain sub-currents in their thought. One being the proposition that the original (or translated) texts of the most influential Western books are vastly superior material to study for serious minds than are textbooks that merely give pre-digested (often mis-digested) assessments of the ideas contained therein.

      Are some of the classic texts better than more advanced digested texts because they form the building blocks of our thought and society?

      Are we training thinkers or doers?

    1. Mortimer J. Adler's slip box collection (Photo of him holding a pipe in his left hand and mouth posing in front of dozens of boxes of index cards with topic headwords including "law", "love", "life", "sin", "art", "democracy", "citizen", "fate", etc.)

      Though if we roughly estimate this collection at 1000 cards per box with roughly 76 boxes potentially present, the 76,000 cards are still shy of Luhmann's collection. It'll take some hunting thigs down, but as Adler suggests that people write their notes in their books, which he would have likely done, then this collection isn't necessarily his own. I suspect, but don't yet have definitive proof, that it was created as a group effort for the 54-volume Great Books of the Western World and its two-volume index of great ideas, the Syntopicon.

  15. Jan 2022
    1. That is why Francis Bacon was rather skeptical about the possibility that excerpts might be shared among scholars. His opinion was that ‘in general, one man’s Notes will little profit another, because one man’s Conceit doth so much differ from another’s; and because the bare Note itself is nothing so much worth, as the suggestion it gives the Reader’.47

      See Bacon’s letter to Greville examined by Vernon Snow, ‘Francis Bacon’s Advice to Fulke Greville on Research Techniques’, Huntington Library Quarterly 23 (1960), 369–78, at 374

      This is similar in tone but for slightly differing reasons to Mortimer J. Adler recommending against loaning one's annotated books to other users. (see: https://hypothes.is/a/6x75DnXBEeyUyEOjgj_zKg)

    1. How to Mark a Book by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. from The Saturday Review of Literature, July 6, 1941

      https://stevenson.ucsc.edu/academics/stevenson-college-core-courses/how-to-mark-a-book-1.pdf

    2. ow about using a scratch pad slightly smaller than the page-size of the book -- so that the edges of the sheets won't protrude?

      Interesting to note here that he suggests a scratch pad rather than index cards here given his own personal use of index cards.

    3. There are all kinds of devices for marking a book intelligently and fruitfully. Here's the way I do it: • Underlining (or highlighting): of major points, of important or forceful statements. • Vertical lines at the margin: to emphasize a statement already underlined. • Star, asterisk, or other doo-dad at the margin: to be used sparingly, to emphasize the ten or twenty most important statements in the book. (You may want to fold the bottom comer of each page on which you use such marks. It won't hurt the sturdy paper on which most modern books are printed, and you will be able take the book off the shelf at any time and, by opening it at the folded-corner page, refresh your recollection of the book.) • Numbers in the margin: to indicate the sequence of points the author makes in developing a single argument. • Numbers of other pages in the margin: to indicate where else in the book the author made points relevant to the point marked; to tie up the ideas in a book, which, though they may be separated by many pages, belong together. • Circling or highlighting of key words or phrases. • Writing in the margin, or at the top or bottom of the page, for the sake of: recording questions (and perhaps answers) which a passage raised in your mind; reducing a complicated discussion to a simple statement; recording the sequence of major points right through the books. I use the end-papers at the back of the book to make a personal index of the author's points in the order of their appearance.

      Mortimer J. Adler's method of annotating a text.

      He's primarily giving the author and their ideas all the power and importance here.

      There is nothing, so far, about immediate progressive summarization. There's also little about the reuse of one's notes for analysis and future synthesis, which I find surprising.

      Earlier in the essay he mentions picking the book up later to refresh one's memory, but there's nothing about linking the ideas from one book to another.

    4. You shouldn't mark up a book which isn't yours.

      Killjoy!

    5. You know you have to read "between the lines" to get the most out of anything. I want to persuade you to do something equally important in the course of your reading. I want to persuade you to write between the lines. Unless you do, you are not likely to do the most efficient kind of reading.

      -Mortimer J. Adler

  16. Dec 2021
    1. https://luhmann.surge.sh/learning-how-to-read

      Learning How to Read by Niklas Luhmann

      Not as dense as Mortimer J. Adler's advice, but differentiates reading technical material versus poetry and novels. Moves to the topic of some of the value of note taking as a means of progressive summarization which may have implications for better remembering material.

  17. Nov 2021
    1. Though firmly rooted in Renaissance culture, Knight's carefully calibrated arguments also push forward to the digital present—engaging with the modern library archives where these works were rebound and remade, and showing how the custodianship of literary artifacts shapes our canons, chronologies, and contemporary interpretative practices.

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

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

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

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

    1. The longest running of theseis Francesco Sacchini,De ratione libros cum profectu legendi libellus(On Howto Read Books with Profit) first published in Latin in 1614 and as late as 1786in French and 1832 in German

      Mortimer J. Adler, eat your heart out.

  18. Sep 2021
    1. Book review (and cultural commentary) on Alex Beam's A Great Idea at the Time, (Public Affairs, 2008).

    2. the compilation of the Syntopicon alone took eight years
    3. “From the culture’s point of view, Adler was a dead white male who had the bad luck to still be alive.”

      This is a painful burn by the writer Alex Beam.

      Perhaps worth modifying for Donald J. Trump?

      From the perspective of the American experiment and the evolution of democracy, Donald J. Trump was a dead white male who had the bad luck to still be alive."

    4. In “A Great Idea at the Time,” Alex Beam presents Hutchins and Adler as a double act

      Just the title "A Great Idea at the Time" makes me wonder if this project didn't help speed along the creation of the dullness of the humanities and thereby attempt to kill it?

      What might they have done differently to better highlight the joy and fun of these works to have better encouraged it.

      Too often reformers reform all the joy out of things.

  19. Jul 2021
    1. Mortimer]. Adler

      Adler apparently kept a commonplace book in the form of a massive zettelkasten (and may have kept a more traditional commonplace book as well). I wonder if they detail any note taking details or advice here.

    1. Reminded by Connor of Mortimer Adler's Syntopicon. I'm pretty sure I've got it in my list of encyclopedias growing out of the commonplace book tradition, but... just in case.

      If I recall it was compiled using index cards, thus also placing it in the zettelkasten tradition.

      (via Almay)

      If you’re generalizing Zettelkasten to “All Non-Linear Knowledge Management Strategies” You should include Mortimer Adler and the Syntopicon, and John Locke’s guide to how to set up a commonplace book<br><br>This isn’t a game of calling “dibs”<br><br>it’s about 🧠👶shttps://t.co/sH3JO6d9Jq

      — Conor White-Sullivan 𐃏🇸🇻 (@Conaw) July 8, 2021
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