- Jul 2022
The numbers themselves have also been a source ofdebate. Some digital users identify a new notechronologically. One I made right now, for example,might be numbered “202207201003”, which would beunique in my system, provided I don’t make another thisminute. The advantage of this system is that I could keeptrack of when I had particular ideas, which might comein handy sometime in the future. The disadvantage is thatthe number doesn’t convey any additional information,and it doesn’t allow me to choose where to insert a newnote “behind” the existing note it is most closely relatedto.
Allosso points out some useful critiques of numbering systems, but doesn't seem to get to the two core ideas that underpin them (and let's be honest, most other sources don't either). As a result most of the controversies are based on a variety of opinions from users, many of whom don't have long enough term practices to see the potential value.
The important things about numbers (or even titles) within zettelkasten or even commonplace book systems is that they be unique to immediately and irrevocably identify ideas within a system.
The other important piece is that ideas be linked to at least one other idea, so they're less likely to get lost.
Once these are dealt with there's little other controversy to be had.
The issue with date/time-stamped numbering systems in digital contexts is that users make notes using them, but wholly fail to link them to anything much less one other idea within their system, thus creating orphaned ideas. (This is fine in the early days, but ultimately one should strive to have nothing orphaned).
The benefit of Luhmann's analog method was that by putting one idea behind its most closely related idea was that it immediately created that minimum of one link (to the thing it sits behind). It's only at this point once it's situated that it can be given it's unique number (and not before).
Luhmann's numbering system, similar to those seen in Viennese contexts for conscription numbers/house numbers and early library call numbers, allows one to infinitely add new ideas to a pre-existing set no matter how packed the collection may become. This idea is very similar to the idea of dense sets in mathematics settings in which one can get arbitrarily close to any member of a set.
- Feb 2022
Gabriel Naud é . 31 In contrast to the philosophical encyclopedic systems ruling at that time, he recommends shelving books according to systematic concepts, ordered by academic fi elds and arranged according to current interests.
Gabriel Naudé recommended shelving books ordered by academic fields and arranging them according to then current interests.
In the Viennese university library, reopened in 1777, instructions for arranging the “ trea-sury of knowledge ” (Leibniz) advise installing books according to a “ sys-tematic plan of the sciences, and consequently according to the future library sections, ” so that every book can be found by means of the code Roman numeral / Roman letter / Arabic numeral (for example XIV.B.12). 2
- Rautenstrauch 1778, p. 172. The evident software command follows a deductive logic: the Latin numeral denotes a box, the Latin letter the drawer in the box, and the Arabic numeral the place of the book in the drawer.
The numbering system for books in the Viennese university library reopened in 1777 had a code system using a Roman numeral / Roman letter / Arabic numeral.
“ Over time, people gradu-ally ceased using a fi xed system that places every single book on a specifi c shelf whose name it bears for good, and moved to a mobil e system. ”
Library books used to be shelved permanently in the same shelf location, but the systems changed to allow their shelf locations to be mobile.
It seems to be the fate of libraries that a particular order always coincides with a director ’ s term of service. As soon as a new director, prefect, or manager takes over, one of the fi rst acts tends to be rejection of the present order in favor of establishing a new, often completely different one, mostly legiti-mized by the allegedly encountered chaos that almost forces reorganiza-tion.
This reorganization of library books and location systems with the change of library directors in the late 1700s sounds similar to the sorts of standards problems today.