- Nov 2022
The Zettelkasten Method is based on this experience: One cannot think without writing - at least not in demanding contexts that anticipate selective access to memory. This also means: without notching differences one cannot think.
Sönke Ahrens roughly quoted this passage or one like it (check the reference), but I criticized it for not being inclusive of indigenous people or oral methods. Luhmann, however, went further and was at least passively more inclusive by saying that one needs to be able to "notch differences" to be able to think, and this is a much better framing.
- Aug 2022
Australia’s Indigenous knowledge systems do not separate the secular and the sacred; both are embedded in the idea of Country as an all encompassing term of the materiality of life, landscape and seascape, as well as the spiritual world of the creation ancestors, and the concept of the Jukurrpa, the eternal law/lore of how to live sustainably in accordance with how the world works, which in turn has shaped human social organisation and kinship systems.
The strongest clash in values between Indigenous knowledge systems and Western knowledge systems lies in who ‘owns’ the knowledge, who has the right to ‘transmit’ it and who has the right to ‘receive’ it.
- Jun 2022
For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”
One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.
Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?
Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.
Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?
Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"
aside on serendipity
As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,
Groups in arts education rail against the loss of music, dance, and art in schools and indicate that it's important to a balanced education.
Why has no one embedded these learning tools, for yes they can be just that, into other spaces within classrooms? Indigenous educators over the millennia have done just this in passing on their societal and cultural knowledge. Why have we lost these teaching methods? Why don't we reintroduce them? How can classrooms and the tools within them become mnemonic media to assist both teachers and learners?
Perhaps we need to bring back examples of how to do these things at the higher levels? I've seen excercises in my daughter's grade school classrooms that bring art and manipulatives into the classroom as a base level, but are they being done specifically for these mnemonic reasons?
Michael Nielsen and Andy Matuschak have been working at creating a mnemonic medium for areas like quantum mechanics relying in part on spaced repetition. Why don't they go further and add in dance, movement, art, and music to aid in the process. This can be particularly useful for creating better neurodiverse outcomes as well. Education should be more multi-modal, more oral, and cease it's unending reliance on only literacy as it's sole tool.
How and where can we create a set of example exercises at various grade levels (similar to rites of knowledge initiation in Indigenous cultures, for lack of specific Western language) that embed all of these methods
Link to: - Ideas in The Extended Brain about movement, space, etc. - Nielsen/Matuschak mnemonic media work
- Andy Matuschak
- Jerome Bruner
- combinatorial creativity
- toaster notifications
- Donald J. Trump
- Tyson Yunkaporta
- third archive
- mnemonic media
- indigenous knowledge
- orality vs. literacy
- Michael Nielsen
- literacy isn't everything
- Indigenous pedagogy
- method of loci
- educational substrates
- idea links
- information as currency
- modality shifts
- arts in education
- educational tools
- Indigenous knowledge as educational technology
Should outsiders attempting to preserve Indigenous knowledge, histories, or language be allowed to make money off of their work?
But the copyright on the materials still gives the organization control over how the information is used, which is what some tribal leaders find objectionable.
Oral cultures treat information dramatically different than literate cultures, and particularly Western literate cultures within capitalism-based economies.
“No matter how it was collected, where it was collected, when it was collected, our language belongs to us. Our stories belong to us. Our songs belong to us,” Taken Alive, who teaches Lakota to elementary school students, told the tribal council in April.
- Western culture
- open questions
- marginalized peoples
- Ray Taken Alive
- knowledge ownership
- Third Archive
- indigenous knowledge
- orality vs. literacy
- Indigenous languages
Before Maslow’s Hierarchy: The Whitewashing of Indigenous Knowledge
Heritage & Culture What is not said is the deep, hidden part of the iceberg. it is revealing when it is revealed!
- May 2022
- Apr 2022
A great resource for better referencing indigenous knowledge in non-Indigenous works.
Last night while watching a video related to The First Astronomers, I came across a clip in which Australian elder Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson indicates that indigenous dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the Indigenous peoples who always relate (associate) their stories from the markings back up to the sky (stars, constellations).
These markings remind me of some of those found on carved stone balls in neolithic European contexts described by Dr. @LynneKelly in The Memory Code and Memory Craft and carvings on coolamon in Knowledge and Power.
Using the broad idea of the lukasa and abstract designs, I recently bought a small scale version of the Aberlemno Pictish Cross as a small manual/portable memory palace, which is also an artwork that I can hang on the wall, to use to associate memories to the designs and animals which are delineated in 18 broad areas on the sculpture. (Part of me wonders if the communities around these crosses used them for mnemonic purposes as well?)
Is anyone else using abstract designs or artwork like this for their memory practice?
Anyone know of other clever decorative artworks one could use and display in their homes/offices for these purposes?
For those interested in the archeological research on dendroglyphs in Australia: - The Western Yalanji dendroglyph: The life and death of an Aboriginal carved tree - Review: The Dendroglyphs or ‘Carved Trees’ of New South Wales by Robert Etheridge (Content warning: historical erasure of Indigenous culture)
- The First Astronomers
- abstract carvings
- mnemonic devices
- Aberlemno Pictish Cross
- indigenous knowledge
- Indigenous science
that's just the story of how we transfer knowledge and how we preserve that knowledge and move it around and even when it's taken from us and we can find it 00:53:56 we go and we sing that song and we sing that spirit out of there and so this is what's important about transmission of knowledge for for us and so that knowledge they don't belong 00:54:09 to us
Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson told a story of how his mob went into a museum and transferred the knowledge from sacred objects in the museum and then took the spirts out of there and moved them back in country. The curators didn't understand the process at all or how they had corrupted the sacred objects.
that knowledge belongs to future generations that's who that knowledge belongs to we don't know yeah and and so 00:54:20 when you think of knowledge belonging to future generations then you then you of course understand the importance of being very precise 00:54:32 and being a carer and being a guardian of all that you learn because you're only here for a short time
We don't own knowledge, it belongs to future generations. It's important to be very precise in your work as a carrier and a guardian of knowledge because you'll only have it for a very short time before passing it along.
via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson
same with our with the with the dendrites we will always tell you the story tell the story to the juvenile who's coming through the novices who's coming through the ceremony will tell them so as they 00:47:47 get to a certain age or a certain time or a certain experience in the ceremony we will then pass that knowledge onto him and we'll take it to him so these hieroglyphs and 00:47:58 petroglyphs and the etchings on the rocks and the paintings on there on the cave walls that's our library that is our library
The dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or the petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the indigenous peoples who always relate their stories from the markings back up to the sky.
via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson
Can this be linked to the practices of the Druids who may have had similar methods? How about linking the petroglyphs in the Celtic (English) countryside?
- The First Astronomers
- guardians of knowledge
- knowledge carriers
- sacred objects
- origin stories
- Indigenous astronomy
- orality and memory
- Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson
- N'arweet Dr. Carolyn Briggs
- Duane Hamacher
- indigenous knowledge
- Indigenous science
- material culture
- knowledge transfer
- Mar 2022
For Aboriginal Australians,its importance is recognised by its position at the centre of thenational Aboriginal flag, developed in 1971 by Luritja artist HaroldThomas.
The Aboriginal flag was developed in 1971 by Luritja artist Harold Thomas. Centering its importance to Aboriginal Australians, the sun appears in the middle of the flag.
It's subtle here, as in other instances, but notice that Hamacher gives the citation to the Indigenous artist that developed the flag and simultaneously underlines the source of visual information that is associated with the flag and the sun. It's not just the knowledge of the two things which are associated to each other, but they're also both associated with a person who is that source of knowledge.
Is this three-way association common in all Indigenous cultures? While names may be tricky for some, the visual image of a particular person's face, body, and presence is usually very memorable and thereby easy to attach to various forms of knowledge.
Does the person/source of knowledge form or act like an 'oral folder' for Indigenous knowledge?
Everything is related. Everything is connected.
Everything is connected. And isn't this just as it should be with respect to knowledge?
Indigenous astronomy focuses on the empirical, scientificlayers of this knowledge, and Traditions refer to the social practices,cultural activities, and methods of transmitting and applying thisknowledge.
Star knowledge is the body of knowledge aboutthe celestial realm and how it relates to a people, their land and theirculture.
UNESCO broadly defines Indigenous Knowledge as ‘theunderstandings, skills and philosophies developed by [Indigenous]cultures and societies with long histories of interaction with theirnatural surroundings’.
Who were the world’s first astronomers? The answer typicallyincludes scientists such as Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus, or ancientcivilisations that gave birth to what we consider Western science,such as Sumer in Mesopotamia.
Given the predominantly non-literate civilizations that comprised the ancient Near East, I've been wondering about how they may have actually been closer to Indigenous cultures than they are to more modern, literate Western culture.
Perhaps he shouldn't dismiss them so readily here, but rather tie them more directly into his broader thesis.
Peter Eseli of Mabuiag Island (known locally as Mabuyag)in the western Torres Strait began writing down traditional knowledgein the Kala Lagau Ya language in the early twentieth century. By1939, Eseli had amassed a 77-page manuscript, complete withdrawings, songs and genealogies as well as a wealth of starknowledge, some of which is included in this book. He continuedadding to it until his death in 1958. His manuscript was latertranslated into English.
Professor Mātāmua’s 2017 book, Matariki: The star of the year.
In 1898, Māori man Te Kōkau and his son, Rāwairi Te Kōkau,began recording traditional star knowledge in the Māori language.After 35 years, they had amassed a 400-page manuscript that
contained over a thousand star names. Rāwairi passed the manuscript to his grandson, Timi Rāwairi. In 1995, Timi’s own grandson asked him about Matariki, a celebration that kicks off the Māori new year, heralded by the dawn rising of the Pleiades star cluster. Timi went to a cupboard, pulled out the manuscript and handed it to his grandson, Rangi Mātāmua.
Was it partially coincidence that this knowledge was written down and passed on within the family or because of the primacy of the knowledge within the culture that helped to save in spanning from orality into literacy?
What other examples might exist along these lines to provide evidence for the passing of knowledge at the border of orality and literacy?
Link this to ideas about the border of orality and literacy in Welsh and Irish.
Given the importance of star knowledge to the survivalof people and the thriving of culture, the role of an astronomer isgenerally considered one of the most prestigious and sacred roles inIndigenous societies.
Star knowledge can be some of the most important social knowledge with respect to Indigenous peoples and as a result astronomers are some of the most prestigious and sacred roles in these societies.
This hierarchical system ensures accuracy, rigour and competencyof information.
Hierarchical systems of knowledge in Indigenous cultures helps to ensure rigor, competency, and most importantly accuracy of knowledge passed down from generation to generation.
In FirstNations, astronomers are the keepers of knowledge that informsnearly every facet of life and culture.
Indigenous science has long been rejected without consideration,overlooked, or exploited without recognition by powerful Westerninterests. Bio-piracy sees Indigenous Knowledge of plants stolen andpatented for use in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industrieswith little or no recognition or recompense. Indigenous starknowledge has been ignored, even when that knowledge clearlyexisted long before the ‘discoveries’ of Western science.
Indigenous knowledge has been broadly ignored, rejected, and even exploited without any recognition by Western colonizers. Examples of appropriation include knowledge of plants patented for use in food, medicine, and cosmetics.
Science is something anyone can do, and everyone has done. Theprocess on paper is simple: closely observe the world, test what you learn,and transmit it to future generations. Just because Indigenous cultureshave done this without test tubes doesn’t make them unscientific—justdifferent.
Perhaps there's a clever dig here that she uses the phrase "on paper" here because most indigenous cultures have done these things orally!
quote from Dr. Annette S. Lee
As Professor Rangi Mātāmua, a Māoriastronomy scholar, explains:Look at what our ancestors did to navigate here—you don’t do that onmyths and legends, you do that on science. I think there is empiricalscience embedded within traditional Māori knowledge ... but what they didto make it meaningful and have purpose is they encompassed it withincultural narratives and spirituality and belief systems, so it wasn’t just seenas this clinical part of society that was devoid of any other connection toour world, it was included into everything. To me, that cultural elementgives our science a completely new and deep and rich layer of meaning
This would enable theElders to share their knowledge on their terms, and do so ascollaborators, not ‘research subjects’.
All the knowledge provided by Elders in this book has beenapproved for public eyes. Higher, secret levels of knowledge exist,but they are not presented here.
Mostof the knowledge shared in this book is what might be consideredthe ‘lower levels’, meaning it is equivalent to primary school intraditional cultures. Star knowledge is far more complex and in-depththan we discuss in this book, but even this is a lot to absorb.
This is a strong example of the sort of erasure that happens with colonial cultures invading indigenous spaces. The invading colonizers don't realize how in-depth the indigenous knowledge is, how it's structured, or how to earn it through initiation processes, so they discard it and dismiss it.
When profound ideas are introduced to theworld for the first time, our world is fundamentally changed and theprevious understandings consigned to history. There are those whocontinue to deny the intelligence and scientific traditions ofIndigenous people. The idea that the only true science is that ofWestern thinking must be consigned to history. Those who read thisbook will understand why.
This is a great pull quote for the book, particularly for Westerners.
However, these ideas are not being introduced to the "world" for the first time, they've long lived in indigenous cultures. We should be more pointed in underlining that they're being introduced to the "Western World" for the first time. These ideas should take up their own space in the pantheon of intellectual history.
- Western culture
- Aboriginal flag
- intellectual history
- oral folders
- belief systems
- bi-directional links
- star knowledge
- cultural narratives
- approval of Elders
- Indigenous art
- ancient Near East
- pharmaceutical industry
- personal knowledge management
- indigenous cultures
- information theory
- orality on the border of literacy
- want to read
- indigenous knowledge
- orality vs. literacy
- Indigenous science
- Indigenous citations
- indigenous peoples
- Indigenous astronomy
- history of information
- levels of indigenous knowledge
- Harold Thomas
nura Gila indigenous Center at UNSW is working closely with Microsoft Research to incorporate indigenous 00:12:36 content into the world by telescope so we're creating interactive tours and all kinds of different materials to put in
Microsoft Research has create the World Wide Telescope (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/worldwide-telescope/), an interactive free astronomy software, which has a rich body of knowledge. The Nura Gili: Centre for Indigenous Programs at UNSW (https://www.indigenous.unsw.edu.au/) is working in concert with them to include Indigenous knowledge in the project.
An early example of a timber circle witnessed by Europeans was recorded by watercolor artist John White in July 1585 when he visited the Algonquian village of Secotan in North Carolina. White was the artist-illustrator and mapmaker for the Roanoke Colony expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to begin the first attempts at British colonization of the Americas. White's works represent the sole-surviving visual record of the native inhabitants of the Americas as encountered by England's first colonizers on the Atlantic seaboard. White's watercolor and the writings of the chronicler who accompanied him, Thomas Harriot, describes a great religious festival, possibly the Green Corn ceremony, with participants holding a ceremonial dance at a timber circle. The posts of the circle were carved with faces. Harriot noted that many of the participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee." and that "Three of the fayrest Virgins" danced around a central post at the center of the timber circle.
Artist, illustrator and mapmaker John White painted a watercolor in July 1585 of a group of Native Americans in the Secotan village in North America. Both he and chronicler Thomas Harriot described a gathering of Indigenous peoples gathered in the Algonquian village as part of Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Colony expedition. They describe a festival with participants holding a dance at a timber circle, the posts of which were carved with with faces.
Harriot wrote that participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee."
This evidence would generally support some of Lynne Kelly's thesis in Knowledge and Power. A group of neighboring peoples gathering, possibly for the Green Corn Ceremony, ostensibly to strengthen social ties and potentially to strengthen and trade knowledge.
Would we also see others of her list of markers in the area?
Read references: - Daniels, Dennis F. "John White". NCpedia. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - Tucker, Abigal (December 2008). "Sketching the Earliest Views of the New World". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - "A Selection of John White's Watercolors : A festive dance". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
Cities in Israel named after Semitic gods of the ancient Near East.
Jerusalem was likely originally Ir Shalem ('The City of Shalem') because the central shrine was dedicated to the Canaanite god Shalem, aka Salem, the personification of the Evening Star.
Shahar, the twin brother of Shalem, was the personification of the Morning Star and was presumably the tutelary god of Zareth-Shahar. This town is in modern day central Jordan and was mentioned in Joshua 13:19.
While the original Zareth-Shahar didn't survive into modernity, another town dedicated to the same god may have existed on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee at a site known by the Arabic name for the morning star. A kibbutz named Ayelet HaShachar was built there after 1915. Ayelet HaShachar is a poetic biblical term for the Morning Star (Psalms 22:1).
Jericho may have taken it's name from the tutelary god Yareakh, the moon god.
Similarly the site Beit Yarekh may attest to that moon god being worshiped there as well.
The sun god Shemesh may have created the eponymous names for cities Beth-Shemesh ('House of Shemesh', Joshua 15:10), En-Shemesh ('Spring of Shemesh", Joshua 15:7), and Ir-Shemesh ('City of Shemesh", Joshua 19:41). The modern day city Beit Shemesh was established in 1950 at a site with the Arabic place name 'Ain Shems which was believed to be the site of the ancient city Beth-Shemesh.
The storm god Baal is the root of cities including Kiryat Baal (Joshua 18:14), Baal Perazim (II Samuel 5:17), Gur Baal (II Chronicles 26:7), Baal-Gad (Joshua 11:17), Baal-Hermon (Judges 3:3), and Baal-Hazor (II Samuel 13:23). There are also cities Baal-Peor (Numbers 23:28) and Ball Shalishah (II Kings 4:42).
Canaanite god El was the tutelary god of the town Bethel mentioned frequently in the Old Testament including in Genesis 12:8. The Palestinian town Beitin is thought to be the site of the ancient Bethel. Beit El, an Israeli settlement, was created near it in 1977.
Dagon was the namesake of Beth Dagon (Joshua 15:41). It continued until 1948 when the Palestinian town Bayt Dajan was depopulated leading up to the Israeli War of Independence. The site is now an Israeli town called Beit Dagan.
Reshef, an ancient Semitic god from Elba and later identified with Apollo lent his name to the todays Arsuf, which is also known as Apollonia. During the Persian period, the Phoenicians had named a town there for Reshef.
Horon, possibly a desert god with power over animals and snakes, is the inspiration of Beth Horon (I Chronicles 7:24). A modern settlement Beit Horon was founded in 1977.
The constellations’ positions in the night sky on significant dates, such as solstices and equinoxes, are mirrored in the alignments of the main structures at the compound, he found. Steles were “carefully placed within the temenos to mark the rising, zenith, or setting of the stars over the horizon,” he writes.
Phoenicians use of steles and local environment in conjunction with their astronomy fits the pattern of other uses of Indigenous orality and memory.
Link this example to other examples delineated by Lynne Kelly and others I've found in the ancient Near East.
How does this example potentially fit into the broader framework provided by Lynne Kelly? Are there differences?
Her thesis fits into a few particular cultural time periods, but what sorts of evidence should we expect to see culturally, socially, and economically when the initial conditions she set forth evolve beyond their original context? What should we expect to see in these cases and how to they relate to examples I've been finding in the ancient Near East?
- Jan 2022
Or, in Lallemant’s words: ‘I can say in truth that, asregards intelligence, they are in no wise inferior to Europeans and tothose who dwell in France. I would never have believed that, withoutinstruction, nature could have supplied a most ready and vigorouseloquence, which I have admired in many Hurons; or more clear-sightedness in public affairs, or a more discreet management inthings to which they are accustomed.’25
How do we go from such varied statements from Jesuits which entered the popular discourse to the complete erasure of this knowledge in subsequent generations. Was the greed for land and power so great?
- May 2021
A fourth theme to emerge from the analysis of the data, is the highly relevant ‘cultural’ aspect to this memorization technique which students greatly appreciated. As one student notes: “I like the idea of connecting Indigenous culture with science learning…”. The theme of culture overlays learning and demonstrates the importance of conceptualising Australian Aboriginal ways of knowing or learning with or from rather than about Australian Aboriginal people and their knowledge systems. As Yunkaporta [2, p. 15] states, it is important not to examine Australian Aboriginal knowledge systems, but to explore the external systems “from an Indigenous knowledge perspective”.
This is so heartwarming to me.
- Mar 2020
- Oct 2019
- Mar 2017
Conversely, western pedagogy continues to deal with content predominantly in the abstract form, in spite of attempts to contextualise subject matter.
This jumps out at me as a major difference between the two systems of learning. Indigenous: highly contextualised with a strong sense of place versus Western: pedagogy deals with content in the abstract in spite of attempts to contextualise. What do you think?