- Sep 2021
Book review (and cultural commentary) on Alex Beam's A Great Idea at the Time, (Public Affairs, 2008).
the compilation of the Syntopicon alone took eight years
“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."
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.
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...
- Mortimer J. Adler
- Robert Maynard Hutchins
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- Western culture
- intellectual furniture
- Donald J. Trump
- Great Books of the Western World
- educational reform
- American experiment
- Jul 2021
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.
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.
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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