- Jan 2023
All that remained was the small matter of actually writing the chapter. I don’t do this in Obsidian: I think it would be asking for trouble to mix notes and their end-products in the same place.
I've not seen this explicitly laid out as advice before though in most contexts people's note taking spaces have historically been divorced from their writing spaces for publication because slips and notes are usually kept physically separate from the working spaces or finished parts, but Richard Carter specifically separates the digital spaces in which he takes his notes and then uses them for creating end products. While he could both take notes in Obsidian, his tool of choice for notes, as well as write his finished pieces there, he actively changes contexts to use a different digital app to compose his notes into final pieces.
What affordances does this context shift provide? <br /> - blank slate may encourage reworking and expansion of original notes - is there a blank slate effect and what would it entail? - potentially moves the piece into a longer format space or tool which provides additional writing, formatting or other affordances (which? there don't seem to be any in this case aside from a potential "distraction free mode" which may tend to force one to focus only on the piece at hand rather than the thousands of other pieces (notes) hiding within the app)
What affordances does this remove?<br /> - He's forced to repeat himself (cut & paste / DRY violation)
Is it easier or harder (from a time/effort perspective) to provide citations with such a workflow? Carter does indicate that for him:
Having links to original sources in my outline makes the compilation of references for the chapter far easier than it used to be.
- writing process
- writing output affordances
- context shifting
- cut and paste
- note taking affordances
- zettelkasten output
- don't repeat yourself
- text editing
- open questions
- Jul 2022
The effortinvolved in writing a note in their own words, whichinstructional designers like to call a “desirable difficulty”helps shift the idea from short-term to long-termmemory (this is the same reason many note-makers areshifting back to hand-writing on cards rather thandepending on automated apps)
The work of writing things down or transforming them into pictures, diagrams, song, art, other creates a context shift in the material which requires greater engagement within the brain and may help to improve understanding.
Compare/contrast the ideas of context shifting with desirable difficulty.
Note that this use of "context shifting" (within the pedagogy space) is dramatically different to that used by people like Cal Newport and others (within the productivity space).
- Jun 2022
The first is: always take notes inyour own words-I mean, of course, facts an1 ideas garneredfrom elsewhere, not statements to be quoted verbatim. The titleof a book, an important phrase or remark, you will copy as theystand. But everything else you reword, for two reasons: in thateffort the fact or idea passes through your mind, instead of goingfrom the page to your eye and thence to your note while you remainin a trance. Again, by rewording you mix something of yourthought with the acquired datum, and the admixture is the be-ginning of your own thought-and-writing about the whole topic.Naturally you take care not to distort. But you will find that notestaken under this safeguard are much closer to you than meretranscripts from other books; they are warm and speak to youlike old friends, becau se by your act of thought they have be-come pieces of your mind.
Barzun analogies notes as "old friends". He, like many others, encourages note takers to put ideas into their own words.
- Apr 2022
three steps required to solve the all-importantcorrespondence problem. Step one, according to Shenkar: specify one’s ownproblem and identify an analogous problem that has been solved successfully.Step two: rigorously analyze why the solution is successful. Jobs and hisengineers at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, immediately got towork deconstructing the marvels they’d seen at the Xerox facility. Soon theywere on to the third and most challenging step: identify how one’s owncircumstances differ, then figure out how to adapt the original solution to thenew setting.
Oded Shenkar's three step process for effective problem solving using imitation: - Step 1. Specify your problem and identify an analogous problem that has been successfully solved. - Step 2. Analyze why the solution was successful. - Step 3. Identify how your problem and circumstances differ from the example problem and figure out how to best and most appropriately adapt the original solution to the new context.
The last step may be the most difficult.
The IndieWeb broadly uses the idea of imitation to work on and solve a variety of different web design problems. By focusing on imitation they dramatically decrease the work and effort involved in building a website. The work involved in creating new innovative solutions even in their space has been much harder, but there, they imitate others in breaking the problems down into the smallest constituent parts and getting things working there.
Link this to the idea of "leading by example".
Link to "reinventing the wheel" -- the difficulty of innovation can be more clearly seen in the process of people reinventing the wheel for themselves when they might have simply imitated a more refined idea. Searching the state space of potential solutions can be an arduous task.
Link to "paving cow paths", which is a part of formalizing or crystalizing pre-tested solutions.
Researchers have demonstrated, for instance, that intentionallyimitating someone’s accent allows us to comprehend more easily the words theperson is speaking (a finding that might readily be applied to second-languagelearning).
And indeed, a study conducted by Roze and his colleagues found that two anda half years after their neurological rotation, medical students who hadparticipated in the miming program recalled neurological signs and symptomsmuch better than students who had received only conventional instructioncentered on lectures and textbooks. Medical students who had simulated theirpatients’ symptoms also reported that the experience deepened theirunderstanding of neurological illness and increased their motivation to learnabout it.
Imitating such forms with one’sown face and body is an even more effective means of learning, maintainsEmmanuel Roze, who introduced his “mime-based role-play training program”to the students at Pitié-Salpêtrière in 2015. Roze, a consulting neurologist at thehospital and a professor of neurology at Sorbonne University, had becomeconcerned that traditional modes of instruction were not supporting students’acquisition of knowledge, and were not dispelling students’ apprehension in theface of neurological illness. He reasoned that actively imitating the distinctivesymptoms of such maladies—the tremors of Parkinson’s, the jerky movementsof chorea, the slurred speech of cerebellar syndrome—could help students learnwhile defusing their discomfort.
Training students to be able to imitate the symptoms of disease so that they may demonstrate them to others is an effective form of context shifting. It allows the students to shift from a written or spoken description of the disease to a physical interpretation of it for themselves which also entails more cognitive work than even seeing a particular patient with the problem and identifying it correctly. The need to mentally internalize the issue and then physically recreate it helps in the acquisition of the knowledge.
Role playing or putting oneself into the shoes of another is another good example of creating a mental shift in context.
Getting medical students to play out the symptoms of patients can help to diffuse their social discomfort in dealing with these patients.
If this practice were used on broader scales might it also help to normalize issues that patients face and dispel social stigma toward them?
One of the most effective ways of enhancing memories is to provide them with a link to your personal life.
Personalizing ideas using existing memories is a method of brining new knowledge into one's own personal context and making them easier to remember.
link this to: - the pedagogical idea of context shifting as a means of learning - cards about reframing ideas into one's own words when taking notes
There is a solid group of cards around these areas of learning.
Random thought: Personal learning networks put one into a regular milieu of people who are talking and thinking about topics of interest to the learner. Regular discussions with these people helps one's associative memory by tying the ideas into this context of people with relation to the same topic. Humans are exceedingly good at knowing and responding to social relationships and within a personal learning network, these ties help to create context on an interpersonal level, but also provide scaffolding for the ideas and learning that one hopes to do. These features will tend to reinforce each other over time.
On the flip side of the coin there is anecdotal evidence of friends taking courses together because of their personal relationships rather than their interest in the particular topics.
- Mar 2022
Take Smart Notes
It's important to be able to understand an idea within it's given text fully, but good readers are able to take the idea and place it into other contexts, to extend it, connect it to ideas beyond the text, and ask additional questions that the original author may not have considered or even thought possible.
- Feb 2022
Every intellectual endeavour starts from an already existingpreconception, which then can be transformed during further inquiresand can serve as a starting point for following endeavours. Basically,that is what Hans-Georg Gadamer called the hermeneutic circle
All intellectual endeavors start from a preexisting set of ideas. These can then be built upon to create new concepts which then influence the original starting point and may continue ever expanding with further thought.
Ahrens argues that most writing advice goes against the idea of the hermeneutic circle and pretends as if the writer is starting with a blank page. This can prefigure some of the stress and difficulty Ernest Hemingway spoke of when he compared writing to "facing the white bull which is paper with no words on it."
While it can be convenient to think of the idea of tabula rasa, in practice it really doesn't exist. As a result the zettelkasten more readily shows its value in the writing process.