21 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2020
    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. May 2020
    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. 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...

    3. 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.

    4. “Extraordinary Commonplaces,” Robert Darnton
    5. 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.
    1. 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.

    2. 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

    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.

  3. Apr 2020
    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?

  4. Dec 2019
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Apr 2019
  9. Feb 2019
    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. 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.

  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".