9 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. Each slip ought to be furnished with precise refer-ences to the source from which its contents havebeen derived ; consequently, if a document has beenanalysed upon fifty different slips, the same refer-ences must be repeated fifty times. Hence a slightincrease in the amount of writing to be done. Itis certainly on account of this trivial complicationthat some obstinately cling to the inferior notebooksystem.

      A zettelkasten may require more duplication of effort than a notebook based system in terms of copying.


      It's likely that the attempt to be lazy about copying was what encouraged Luhmann to use his particular system the way he did.

    2. Every one admits nowadays that it is advisable tocollect materials on separate cards or slips of paper.

      A zettelkasten or slip box approach was commonplace, at least by historians, (excuse the pun) by 1898.

      Given the context as mentioned in the opening that this books is for a broader public audience, the idea that this sort of method extends beyond just historians and even the humanities is very likely.

  2. Jun 2022
    1. Looking for advice on how to adapt antinet ideas for my own system .t3_vkllv0._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; }

      Holiday's system is roughly similar to the idea of a commonplace book, just kept and maintained on index cards instead of a notebook. He also seems to advocate for keeping separate boxes for each project which I find to be odd advice, though it's also roughly the same advice suggested by Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit and Tiago Forte's recent book Building a Second Brain which provides a framing that seems geared more toward broader productivity rather than either the commonplacing or zettelkasten traditions.

      I suspect that if you're not linking discrete ideas, you'll get far more value out of your system by practicing profligate indexing terms on your discrete ideas. Two topical/subject headings on an individual idea seems horrifically limiting much less on an entire article and even worse on a whole book. Fewer index topics is easier to get away with in a digital system which allows search across your corpus, but can be painfully limiting in a pen/paper system.

      Most paperbound commonplaces index topics against page numbers, but it's not clear to me how you're numbering (or not) your system to be able to more easily cross reference your notes with an index. Looking at Luhmann's index as an example (https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_SW1_001_V) might be illustrative so you can follow along, but if you're not using his numbering system or linking your cards/ideas, then you could simply use consecutive numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, ..., 92000, 92001, ... on your cards to index against to easily find the cards you're after. It almost sounds to me that with your current filing system, you'd have to duplicate your cards to be able to file them under more than one topic. This obviously isn't ideal.

    1. • Write down ideas for next steps: At the end of a worksession, write down what you think the next steps could be forthe next one.• Write down the current status: This could include your currentbiggest challenge, most important open question, or futureroadblocks you expect.• Write down any details you have in mind that are likely tobe forgotten once you step away: Such as details about thecharacters in your story, the pitfalls of the event you’re planning,or the subtle considerations of the product you’re designing.• Write out your intention for the next work session: Set anintention for what you plan on tackling next, the problem youintend to solve, or a certain milestone you want to reach.

      A lot of this is geared toward the work of re-contextualizing one's work and projects.

      Why do all this extra work instead of frontloading it? Here again is an example of more work in comparison to zettelkasten...

    2. The Archipelago of Ideas

      This idea doesn't appear in Steven Johnson's book itself, but only in this quirky little BoingBoing piece, so I'll give Forte credit for using his reading and notes from this piece to create a larger thesis here.

      I'm not really a fan of this broader archipelago of ideas as it puts the work much later in the process. For those not doing it upfront by linking ideas as they go, it's the only reasonable strategy left for leveraging one's notes.

    3. If we overlay the four steps of CODE onto the model ofdivergence and convergence, we arrive at a powerful template forthe creative process in our time.

      The way that Tiago Forte overlaps the idea of C.O.D.E. (capture/collect, organize, distill, express) with the divergence/convergence model points out some primary differences of his system and that of some of the more refined methods of maintaining a zettelkasten.

      A flattened diamond shape which grows from a point on the left so as to indicate divergence from a point to the diamond's wide middle which then decreases to the right to indicate convergence  to the opposite point. Overlapping this on the right of the diamond are the words "capture" and "organize" while the converging right side is overlaid with "distill" and "express". <small>Overlapping ideas of C.O.D.E. and divergence/convergence from Tiago Forte's book Building a Second Brain (Atria Books, 2022) </small>

      Forte's focus on organizing is dedicated solely on to putting things into folders, which is a light touch way of indexing them. However it only indexes them on one axis—that of the folder into which they're being placed. This precludes them from being indexed on a variety of other axes from the start to other places where they might also be used in the future. His method requires more additional work and effort to revisit and re-arrange (move them into other folders) or index them later.

      Most historical commonplacing and zettelkasten techniques place a heavier emphasis on indexing pieces as they're collected.

      Commonplacing creates more work on the user between organizing and distilling because they're more dependent on their memory of the user or depending on the regular re-reading and revisiting of pieces one may have a memory of existence. Most commonplacing methods (particularly the older historic forms of collecting and excerpting sententiae) also doesn't focus or rely on one writing out their own ideas in larger form as one goes along, so generally here there is a larger amount of work at the expression stage.

      Zettelkasten techniques as imagined by Luhmann and Ahrens smooth the process between organization and distillation by creating tacit links between ideas. This additional piece of the process makes distillation far easier because the linking work has been done along the way, so one only need edit out ideas that don't add to the overall argument or piece. All that remains is light editing.

      Ahrens' instantiation of the method also focuses on writing out and summarizing other's ideas in one's own words for later convenient reuse. This idea is also seen in Bruce Ballenger's The Curious Researcher as a means of both sensemaking and reuse, though none of the organizational indexing or idea linking seem to be found there.


      This also fits into the diamond shape that Forte provides as the height along the vertical can stand in as a proxy for the equivalent amount of work that is required during the overall process.

      This shape could be reframed for a refined zettelkasten method as an indication of work


      Forte's diamond shape provided gives a visual representation of the overall process of the divergence and convergence.

      But what if we change that shape to indicate the amount of work that is required along the steps of the process?!

      Here, we might expect the diamond to relatively accurately reflect the amounts of work along the path.

      If this is the case, then what might the relative workload look like for a refined zettelkasten? First we'll need to move the express portion between capture and organize where it more naturally sits, at least in Ahren's instantiation of the method. While this does take a discrete small amount of work and time for the note taker, it pays off in the long run as one intends from the start to reuse this work. It also pays further dividends as it dramatically increases one's understanding of the material that is being collected, particularly when conjoined to the organization portion which actively links this knowledge into one's broader world view based on their notes. For the moment, we'll neglect the benefits of comparison of conjoined ideas which may reveal flaws in our thinking and reasoning or the benefits of new questions and ideas which may arise from this juxtaposition.

      Graphs of commonplace book method (collect, organize, distill, express) versus zettelkasten method (collect, express, organize (index/link), and distill (edit)) with work on the vertical axis and time/methods on the horizontal axis. While there is similar work in collection the graph for the zettelkasten is overall lower and flatter and eventually tails off, the commonplace slowly increases over time.

      This sketch could be refined a bit, but overall it shows that frontloading the work has the effect of dramatically increasing the efficiency and productivity for a particular piece of work.

      Note that when compounded over a lifetime's work, this diagram also neglects the productivity increase over being able to revisit old work and re-using it for multiple different types of work or projects where there is potential overlap, not to mention the combinatorial possibilities.

      --

      It could be useful to better and more carefully plot out the amounts of time, work/effort for these methods (based on practical experience) and then regraph the resulting power inputs against each other to come up with a better picture of the efficiency gains.

      Is some of the reason that people are against zettelkasten methods that they don't see the immediate gains in return for the upfront work, and thus abandon the process? Is this a form of misinterpreted-effort hypothesis at work? It can also be compounded at not being able to see the compounding effects of the upfront work.

      What does research indicate about how people are able to predict compounding effects over time in areas like money/finance? What might this indicate here? Humans definitely have issues seeing and reacting to probabilities in this same manner, so one might expect the same intellectual blindness based on system 1 vs. system 2.


      Given that indexing things, especially digitally, requires so little work and effort upfront, it should be done at the time of collection.


      I'll admit that it only took a moment to read this highlighted sentence and look at the related diagram, but the amount of material I was able to draw out of it by reframing it, thinking about it, having my own thoughts and ideas against it, and then innovating based upon it was incredibly fruitful in terms of better differentiating amongst a variety of note taking and sense making frameworks.

      For me, this is a great example of what reading with a pen in hand, rephrasing, extending, and linking to other ideas can accomplish.

    4. Over time, your ability to quickly tap these creative assets andcombine them into something new will make all the difference in yourcareer trajectory, business growth, and even quality of life

      I'm curious how he's going to outline this practice as there's been no discussion of linking or cross-linking ideas prior to this point as is done in some instantiations of the zettelkasten methods. (Of course this interlinking is more valuable when it comes specifically to writing output; once can rely on subject headings and search otherwise.)

    5. UsingPARA is not just about creating a bunch of folders to put things in. Itis about identifying the structure of your work and life—what you arecommitted to, what you want to change, and where you want to go.

      Using the P.A.R.A. method puts incredible focus on immediate projects and productivity toward them. This is a dramatically different focus from the zettelkasten method.

      The why's of the systems are dramatically different as well.

    6. We are organizing for actionability

      Organize for actionability.

      (Applicable only for P.A.R.A.?)

      This is interesting for general project management, but potentially not for zettelkasten-type notes. That method has more flexibility that doesn't require this sort of organizational method and actually excels as a result of it.

      There is a tension here.


      Notes primarily for project-based productivity are different from notes for writing-based output.