28 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. 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
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    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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    5. 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...

  8. 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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