30 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2020
    1. The students in Raphael Folsom’s Spanish Borderlands course read primary sources on a weekly basis. Rather than taking notes on 3×5 index cards as we did when I was a kid, the students take the same type of note in the Drupal system. They fill out some basic bibliographic information about the source, write a short summary of the source, and then take a note about an interesting facet of the text.

      I've been trying this sort of thing out with a TiddlyWiki for a while and have got a reasonable sort of workflow for doing it. The key is to reduce the overhead so that one can quickly take notes in a manner that interlinks them and makes it seem worthwhile to come back to them to review and potentially reorganize them. Doing this practice in public has a lot of value as well. I'll have to come back and look at some of how this was built at a later time.

    1. Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

      Alright, I think I may now have things set to use an IFTTT applet to take my Hypothes.is feed and dump it into a file on OneDrive.

      The tiny amount of clean up to the resultant file isn't bad. In fact, a bit of it is actually good as it can count as a version of spaced repetition towards better recall of my notes.

      The one thing I'll potentially miss is the tags, which Hypothes.is doesn't include in their feeds (tucked into the body would be fine), but I suppose I could add them as internal wiki links directly if I wanted.

      I suspect that other storage services that work with IFTTT should work as well.

      Details in a blogpost soon...

      Testing cross-linking:

      See Also:

      • [[Obsidian]]
      • [[Hypothes.is]]
      • [[note taking]]
      • [[zettlekasten]]
      • [[commonplace books]]
      • [[productivity]]

      hat tip to Hypothesis, for such a generally wonderful user interface for making annotating, highlighting, bookmarking, and replying to web pages so easy!

    1. This is a reasonable synopsis for why to keep a zettlekasten or commonplace book and how to use it to create new material. It fits roughly in line with my overall experience in doing these things.

    2. This principle requires us to expand our definition of “publication” beyond the usual narrow sense. Few people will ever publish their work in an academic journal or even on a blog. But everything that we write down and share with someone else counts: notes we share with a friend, homework we submit to a professor, emails we write to our colleagues, and presentations we deliver to clients all count as knowledge made public.

      This idea underlies the reason why one might want to have a public online commonplace book or digital garden.

    1. The second article is from Tom Critchlow titled Building a Digital Garden. What I really like about Tom's piece is his discussion of the idea of "non-performative blogging" in your personal space on the web.I love this idea. Instead of "content marketing" we can use our websites to get back to what made the web awesome while also creating better resources for ourselves and our users.

      There's a nice kernel of an idea here that one's website should be built and made (useful) for ones self first and only secondarily for others. This is what makes it a "personal" website.

    1. I want to extract a reusable piece out of it in a way that it can be connected to many different things eventually. I want to make a home page for this idea or fact. My hub for thinking about this.

      And isn't this just the point of tools like commonplace books and zettelkasten?

    1. Catch up by reading my last post of digital streams, campfires and gardens.

      I immediately thought of a post from Mike Caulfield (Hapgood). Interesting to see that Tom has already read and referenced it in his prior post.

    1. How do you manage information flows? If anyone is using a personal wiki-style long term information tool I’d love to hear from you!

      I've got a handful of interesting things bookmarked here: https://boffosocko.com/tag/wikis/ which includes a rabbit hole of a request similar to your own.

    1. The complementary principle to dividing isgathering and collecting. Eachnew composition can also be conceived as a place into which culled and rec-ollected matters are gathered. The very concept of reading in Latin is basedonthenotionof‘‘gathering,’’Latinlegere, ‘‘to read’’ having as its root mean-ing ‘‘to collect up, to gather by picking, plucking, and the like.’’ The Greekverblegōhad a similar range of meaning, from ‘‘to lay’’ something down or‘‘to lay asleep’’ to ‘‘to lay [things] in order,’’ hence ‘‘to gather, pick up,’’ ‘‘torelate,’’ ‘‘to speak purposefully.’’ The name of one venerable and essential typeof ancient and medieval encyclopedia puns on these closely allied verbs: theflorilegium, ‘‘flower-culling’’ (with a pun on ‘‘flower-reading’’), a collection ofsayings, maxims, and stories collected from past works, sometimes quotedexactly (though in mnemonically brief segments), but often just summarized.The best known of these through much of the Middle Ages was ValeriusMaximus’sDicta et facta memorabilia(early first century..), but there aremany other examples. Indeed, the premodern encyclopedia itself is a sort ofmemory-book, the flowers of (one’s extensive) reading gathered up in someorderly arrangement for the purpose of quick, secure recollection in connec-tion with making a new composition. After all, this is one essential purposeof encyclopedias even today.

      This seems awfully close to the sort of "digital gardens" I've been reading about recently. They obviously are not a new idea.

      For example see: https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners

    2. Gardens were also popular, the medieval sort of garden,with orderly beds of medicinal plants and fruit trees separated by grass andsurrounded by a wall. Undoubtedly, gardens became popular with monasticand later writers because of the Song of Songs, a preeminent text for mysticalmeditation. Various other Biblical structures were often used too: the Taber-nacle described in Exodus; the Temple described in  Kings; the Jerusalemcitadel envisioned by Ezekiel and often conflated with the Heavenly City ofthe Apocalypse. We now would never think to organize an encyclopedia ofknowledge on the plan of Noah’s Ark, but for a clerical audience to whomthis text was as familiar as the order of the alphabet is to us—why not? It is asimple (if large), clearly arranged (if imaginary) composition site, containingmany useful compartments with a straightforward route among them, a sortof foundational map to use in arranging your materials (orresin Latin) as yougather them into the location of your new composition from the networksof your experiences, including of course all your experiences of books, music,and other arts. Thus, in the course of an ideal medieval education, in addi-tion to acquiring a great many segments of scriptural and classical texts, onealso would acquire an extensive repertoire of image-schemes in which to putthem, both ‘‘to lay them away’’ and ‘‘to collect them’’ in new arrangementson later occasions.

      Again, another reference to gardens with respect to memorizing information. There's a direct correlation to some of the sorts of thinking tools many are using to create digital gardens or personal wikis. These ideas aren't new! Our predecessors were simply using different structures to store and remember them. Their tools were different, but their goals and general methods were ultimately the same.

    3. Re-collection is not passive, but rather an activity involvinghuman will and thought; it is often defined as a form of reasoning. One mayconveniently think of this activity in spatial terms, as if memories have beenstored in a variety of places and must be called together in a common placewhere we can become aware of them, where we can ‘‘see’’ them again andknow them in the present.

      I don't use it frequently (enough perhaps), but TiddlyWiki has the ability to open multiple cards (tiddlers) in one view (using a permalink) as a means of giving disparate small pieces of thought a commonplace. Very few other note taking systems do this without relying on a taxonomy mechanism.

    1. “In his influential De Copia (1512),” writes Professor Richard Yeo, “Erasmus advised that an abundant stock of quotations and maxims from classical texts be entered under various loci (places) to assist free-flowing oratory.” Arranged under ‘Heads’ and recorded as ‘common-places’ (loci communes), these commonplace books could be consulted for speeches and written compositions designed for various situations — in the law court, at ceremonial occasions, or in the dedication of a book to a patron. Typical headings included the classical topics of honour, virtue, beauty, friendship, and Christian ones such as God, Creation, faith, hope, or the names of the virtues and vices.
    2. Neither ought anything to be collected whilst you are busied in reading; if by taking the pen in hand the thread of your reading be broken off, for that will make the reading both tedious and unpleasant.

      This is incredibly important for me, though in a more technology friendly age, I've got tools like Hypothes.is for quickly highlighting and annotating pages and can then later collect them into my commonplace book as notes to work with and manage after-the-fact.

    1. Interestingly, I’ve found that Kindle is useful in this respect. I buy Kindle versions of books that I need for work, and highlight passages and bookmark pages as I go. And when I’ve finished the software obligingly has a collection of all the passages I’ve highlighted.

      John, you should spend a minute or two to learn about Hypothes.is (https://web.hypothes.is/) as an online tool for doing this. It's a free account or you can self-host the software yourself if you like. There are also functionalities to have public, private, or group annotations. I often pull my own annotations to my personal website similar to your own Memex and publish them there (example: https://boffosocko.com/kind/annotation/)

      Syndicated copy: https://boffosocko.com/2020/05/21/55771248/)

  2. Sep 2020
    1. Now, if I notice a moment in a past Are.na conversation that highlights the topic, I add it to the topic's channel. Now the text block sits in the middle of a Venn diagram — both part of a chat log and part of a curated selection from conversations I have.

      This sounds a lot like a zettelkasten and the way it branches, it's just being done between multiple people and the zettelkasten instead of just one person.

  3. Aug 2020
    1. “The idea of a ‘blog’ needs to get over itself,” wrote Joel Hooks in a post titled Stop Giving af and Start Writing More. “Everybody is treating writing as a ‘content marketing strategy’ and using it to ‘build a personal brand’ which leads to the fundamental flawed idea that everything you post has to be polished to perfection and ready to be consumed.” It is almost as if he had reached down into my soul and figured out why I no longer had the vigor I once had for sharing on my personal blog. For far too long, I was trying to brand myself. Posts became few and far between. I still shared a short note, aside, once in a while, but much of what I shared was for others rather than myself.

      For many, social media took over their "streams" of thoughts and ideas to the point that they forgot to sit, reflect, and write something longer (polished or not).

      Personal websites used for yourself first is a powerful idea for collecting, thinking, and creating.

      Getting away from "branding" is a great idea. Too many personal sites are used for this dreadful thing. I'd much rather see the edge ideas and what they flower into.

    2. Despite having something that worked sort of like a blog, I maintained various resources and links of other neat ideas I found around the web. It was a digital garden that I tended, occasionally plucking weeds and planting new ideas that may someday blossom into something more.

      The idea of a thought space hiding in here....

    3. My blog posts were merely random thoughts — bits and pieces of my life.
  4. May 2020
    1. The aim of these books wasn’t regurgitation but rather combinatorial creativity. People were encouraged to improvise on themes and topics. Gathering raw material alone — in this case, information — is not enough. We must transform it into something new. It is in this light that Seneca advised copying the bee and Einstein advised combinatorial play.

      I was really hoping for so much more in this essay on the combinatorial creativity, espcially since the author threw the idea into the title. The real meat must be in the two linked articles about Seneca and Einstein.

      There is a slight mention of combinatorics in the justaposition of pieces within one's commonplace book, and a mention that these books may date back to the 12th century where they were probably more influenced by the combinatoric creativity of Raymond Lull. It's still an open question for me just how far back the idea of commonplaces goes as well as how far back Lull's combinatoric pieces go...

    2. “Extraordinary Commonplaces,” Robert Darnton
    3. Early compilations involved various combinations of four crucial operations: storing, sorting, selecting, and summarizing, which I think of as the four S’s of text management. We too store, sort, select, and summarize information, but now we rely not only on human memory, manuscript, and print, as in earlier centuries, but also on computer chips, search functions, data mining, and Wikipedia, along with other electronic techniques.
  5. Dec 2019
  6. www.edwinwenink.xyz www.edwinwenink.xyz
    1. This weblog is a mnemonic device.

      Blogs as digital commonplace books

    1. Green has built up a stable, useful relationship with the software, mostly opening it to scribble down interesting lines that occur to him, or that are spoken to him, to use later on in his writing.
  7. Nov 2019
    1. A personal blog is an online journal, your day to day thoughts published on the web rather than in (or in addition to) a physical notebook. It is an unfinished story, a scratch pad, an outboard brain; and while there are highlights it is more the journey that's the important aspect.

      Colin nibbles around the edges of defining a digital public commonplace book and even the idea of "though spaces" though without tacitly using either phrase.

  8. Aug 2019
    1. Following his abdication in 2004, Norodom Sihanouk, the former King of Cambodia, began to share his remarks in a rather creative way. Sihanouk established a website which, despite his passing in 2012, remains updated and well-organized to this day.7http://norodomsihanouk.info The archive includes selections of Sihanouk’s personal correspondences, handwritten recipes, musical compositions, and film commentary. It also includes many annotated newspaper and magazine articles.

      This sounds to me like a version of a commonplace book, but given the date, likely one of the first explicitly done online.

  9. Apr 2019
  10. Jan 2019
    1. Isaacson pointed out that more than 7,000 pages from Da Vinci’s notebooks survived to today–a stretch of 500 years. He asked how many of our tweets and Facebook posts will survive even 50 years. Paper, it turns out, is a durable medium of information storage.
  11. Dec 2018
    1. "The blog serves as a kind of steam valve for me," he says. "I put stuff out there that I'm forming an opinion about, and another blogger starts arguing with me and giving me feedback, and I haven't even finished what I was posting!"

      An early written incarnation of the idea of blogs as "thought spaces".