32 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. The second is the ignorance of those who have misread many books. They are, as Alexander Pope rightly calls them, bookful blockheads, ignorantly read. There have always been literate ignoramuses who have read too widely and not well. The Greeks had a name for such a mixture of learning and folly which might be applied to the bookish but poorly read of all ages. They are all sophomores.

      Interesting to see so many different words to describe not just those who are poorly read, but those who have misunderstood or misapplied their reading.

      Historically, I wonder how much of this may have been applied to those who misused quotations out of context?

    2. Thus we can roughly define what we mean by the art of reading as follows: the process whereby a mind, with nothing to operate on but the symbols of the readable matter, and with no help from outside, 0 elevates itself by the power of its own operations. The mind passes from understanding less to under­standing more. The skilled operations that cause this to hap­pen are the various acts that constitute the art of reading.

      I'm not sure I agree with this perspective of not necessarily asking for outside help.

      What if the author is at fault for not communicating properly or leaving things too obscure? Is this the exception of which he speaks?

      What if the author isn't properly contextualizing all the necessary information to the reader? This can be a particular problem when writing history across large spans of both time and culture or even language.

    1. It is certainly important that we possess one text from Anaximander’s book. On the other hand, we must recognize that we know hardly anything of its original context, as the rest of the book has been lost. We do not know from which part of his book it is, nor whether it is a text the author himself thought crucial or just a line that caught one reader’s attention as an example of Anaximander’s poetic writing style.

      This is one of the first (existing) annotations in Western culture. One must be careful however as the context of the rest is missing.

      What techniques might we use to help rebuild the context? What would Bart Ehrman's text suggest?

  2. Jul 2021
    1. https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2008/2008.12.41/

      A searing review of David R. Slavitt's translation of Lucretius.

      The "close enough" nature of the translation seems like the intellectual slide shown by too many moderns which decontextualizes our historical precedents. Perhaps fine for a quick view, but could be a slippery slope for taking as part of the basis for Western intellectual tradition.

    1. On the difference for writing for one's self and for others. Of course there's also the need to be able to re-decifer one's notes again in the future. It may be best to keep more detailed for your future self as if you're writing for the public.

      I like the idea of distance in "communication space" which comes up in the comments. This is related to context collapse and shared contexts which are often too-important in our communication with regard to being understood in the far future.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Matthias Melcher</span> in Commonplace Book | x28's new Blog (<time class='dt-published'>07/06/2021 11:13:34</time>)</cite></small>

    1. In other cases, it’s impossible for an outsider to guess what inspired the note or where it led.

      Reminder that there's value in capturing the context of one's ideas. Who knows what might be missing or what others may wish to know in the future?

  3. May 2021
    1. One goal of these hyper-personalised gardens is deep contextualisation. The overwhelming lesson of the Web 2.0 social media age is that dumping millions of people together into decontextualised social spaces is a shit show.
  4. Mar 2021
    1. *For the uninitiated, I spent years working in product and design in news media companies before becoming a journalist.

      It would be wonderful if people had spaces on their websites for adding in this sort of personal context with respect to what they were writing about.

    1. from SenorG’s comment that began with the caveat “Allow me to push back a bit here,” and which inspired four replies from three other annotators, to actualham’s observation

      There's something discordant here in a scholarly article about having academic participants with names like SenorG and actualham. It's almost like a 70's farce starring truckers with bizarre CB handles. It's even more bizarre since I know some of the researchers behind these screennames.

      Is the pseudonymous nature of some of these handles useful in hiding the identity of the participants and thereby forcing one to grapple only with their ideas and not the personas, histories and contexts behind them?

  5. Feb 2021
    1. famous movie review which describes the Wizard of Oz as: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

      This is a great example of context collapse. It's factually true, but almost no one who's seen it would describe it this way.

      It's reminiscent of how advertising and politics can twist meaning. Another great example is the horror cut of Disney's Frozen trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIMk1_wwxz8

    1. We’ve always used the term ‘social networking’ to refer to the process of finding and connecting with those people. And that process has always depended on a fabric of trust woven most easily in the context of local communities and face-to-face interaction.

      Too much of modern social networking suffers from this fabric of trust and rampant context collapse. How can we improve on these looking forward?

  6. Oct 2020
    1. The architecture of the platform where I published allowed authorial control of content but could not control context collapse or social interactions.

      These are pieces which the IndieWeb should endeavor to experiment in and attempt to fix. Though I will admit that pieces of the IndieWeb layers on top of platforms like WordPress can help to mitigate some context collapse and aggregate social interactions better. (eg: reply context and POSSE)

    1. The author and literary critic Sam Anderson has written: “Twitter is basically electronic marginalia on everything in the world: jokes, sports, revolutions.”

      I like their idea about Twitter being an annotation tool and to some extent it is, and a good one at that. However, we still need to address the distribution mechanism and the fact that Tweets like this are often bereft of context and cause context collapse.

      Quote tweets and dunking mechanisms would be interesting to study in this context, particularly in a world where people often delete tweets (dunked or not) which means the original context is gone or missing and we're only left with an orphaned annotation.

      Other cultural examples of missing context include commentary for live sporting or cultural events like the Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup Soccer, or the Academy Awards. Watchers will comment on something in real time (often even without an identifying or contextualizing hashtag, eg: #Oscars19), supposing an implied context from their audience, but later generations will be at odds to find or re-complete the original context.

    2. Social media has come to define an era in which we annotate texts every day, we easily share this commentary across contexts, and in doing so we iteratively define who we are.

      But are we also sometimes falsely defining ourselves because of context collapse within these structures?

      Isn't context collapse a root cause of a lot of the toxicity of our communications within platforms like Twitter and Facebook?

    1. Incidentally, teens and twenty-somethings, more so than the middle-aged and elderly, tend to juggle more identities. In middle and high school, kids have to maintain an identity among classmates at school, then another identity at home with family. Twenty-somethings craft one identity among coworkers during the day, then another among their friends outside of work. Often those spheres have differing status games, and there is some penalty to merging those identities. Anyone who has ever sent a text meant for their schoolmates to their parents, or emailed a boss or coworker something meant for their happy hour crew knows the treacherous nature of context collapse.
    1. If you look long enough you can find my early terrible writing. You can find blog posts in which I am an idiot. I’ve had a lot of uninformed and passionate opinions on geopolitical issues from Ireland to Israel. You can find tweets I thought were witty, but think are stupid now. You can find opinions I still hold that you disagree with. I’m going to leave most of that stuff up. In doing so, I’m telling you that you have to look for context if you are seeking to understand me. You don’t have to try, I’m not particularly important, but I am complicated. When I die, I’m going to instruct my executors to burn nothing. Leave the crap there, because it’s part of my journey, and that journey has a value. People who came from where I did, and who were given the thoughts I was given, should know that the future can be different from the past.
  7. Aug 2020
    1. Second, in the absence of any such attenuation, I think a practical and healthy thing that any user of social media can do when confronted with a free-floating cube of news is ask: how big is this, really? Does it matter to me and my community? Does it, in fact, matter anywhere except the particular place it happened? Sometimes, the answer is absolutely yes, but not always—and these platform don’t make it easy to judge.

      These are good prescriptive questions that social media users should frequently use. (Sadly most will not unless they're forced to by design.)

  8. Feb 2020
    1. The biggest drawback of algorithmic feeds is that you might be looking at irrelevant content. When you see something on your timeline and want to comment, you will have to check the timestamp to see if your comment is still relevant or not.
  9. Jan 2020
    1. If you have never seen an ice-hockey stick (or experienced ice hockey) this shape is why we call these figures ‘hockey-stick curves’.

      I'm glad they've included an image of a hockey stick to provide the context here, but I've always thought of it rotated so that the blade was on the ground and the sharp angle of the handle itself indicated the exponential growth curve!

  10. Dec 2019
    1. Most of the convo, if any, seems to happen on the socials vs comments left on the blog these days.

      The sad part of this is how painfully limiting the conversation can be on social with the character limitations and too many issues with branching conversations and following all the context.

      I find that using Webmentions on my site adds a lot of value because it brings all the conversation back to my site, where it really should be for more context.

    1. The people who I envisioned myself writing for—they got what I was saying and where I was focused.  The very early responses to the post were about what I expected.  But then it took off, and a lot of people came into it without the context I assumed the audience would have.
  11. Jul 2019
    1. Further, Humphreys [23] observes that the stabilization that occursduring a technology’s maturation is temporary, and so possibilities for intepretive flexibility canresurface when the context surrounding a technology changes

      Thus the broader "context collapse" for users of Facebook as the platform matured and their surveillance capitalism came to the fore over their "connecting" priorities from earlier days.

  12. Sep 2018
    1. In many ways the Stream is best seen through the lens of Bakhtin’s idea of the utterance. Bakhtin saw the utterance, the conversational turn of speech, as inextricably tied to context. To understand a statement you must go back to things before, you must find out what it was replying to, you must know the person who wrote it and their speech context. To understand your statement I must reconstruct your entire stream.

      If the semantics are correct here, then Bakhtin may be the originator of the idea of context collapse.

  13. Aug 2018
    1. But honestly, this is mostly just a post giving myself permission not to own my replies.

      I love this! Great rimshot at the end. Sometimes giving yourself the permission is important.

      I know there are others who don't own every reply they make because they also feel like replies are more contingent on context which primarily lives in the other place. It's fine for some of those conversations to be ephemeral and not "owned". In other case, if it's a reply to something you really care about and want to own, then by all means, own that one thing, but leave all the others out.

    1. I had been a victim of something the sociologists Alice Marwick and danah boyd call context collapse, where people create online culture meant for one in-group, but exposed to any number of out-groups without its original context by social-media platforms, where it can be recontextualized easily and accidentally.
    2. Context collapse is our constant companion online.
    3. It helped me learn a lesson: Be damn sure when you make angry statements.
    4. I had even written about context collapse myself, but that hadn’t saved me from falling into it, and then hurting other people I didn’t mean to hurt.
    5. I am not immune from these mistakes, for mistaking a limited snapshot of something for what it is in its entirety. I have been on the other side.