56 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Historical Hypermedia: An Alternative History of the Semantic Web and Web 2.0 and Implications for e-Research. .mp3. Berkeley School of Information Regents’ Lecture. UC Berkeley School of Information, 2010. https://archive.org/details/podcast_uc-berkeley-school-informat_historical-hypermedia-an-alte_1000088371512. archive.org.

      https://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/events/2010/historical-hypermedia-alternative-history-semantic-web-and-web-20-and-implications-e.

      https://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/audio/2010-10-20-vandenheuvel_0.mp3

      headshot of Charles van den Heuvel

      Interface as Thing - book on Paul Otlet (not released, though he said he was working on it)

      • W. Boyd Rayward 1994 expert on Otlet
      • Otlet on annotation, visualization, of text
      • TBL married internet and hypertext (ideas have sex)
      • V. Bush As We May Think - crosslinks between microfilms, not in a computer context
      • Ted Nelson 1965, hypermedia

      t=540

      • Michael Buckland book about machine developed by Emanuel Goldberg antecedent to memex
      • Emanuel Goldberg and His Knowledge Machine: Information, Invention, and Political Forces (New Directions in Information Management) by Michael Buckland (Libraries Unlimited, (March 31, 2006)
      • Otlet and Goldsmith were precursors as well

      four figures in his research: - Patrick Gattis - biologist, architect, diagrams of knowledge, metaphorical use of architecture; classification - Paul Otlet, Brussels born - Wilhelm Ostwalt - nobel prize in chemistry - Otto Neurath, philosophher, designer of isotype

      Paul Otlet

      Otlet was interested in both the physical as well as the intangible aspects of the Mundaneum including as an idea, an institution, method, body of work, building, and as a network.<br /> (#t=1020)

      Early iPhone diagram?!?

      (roughly) armchair to do the things in the web of life (Nelson quote) (get full quote and source for use) (circa 19:30)

      compares Otlet to TBL


      Michael Buckland 1991 <s>internet of things</s> coinage - did I hear this correctly? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things lists different coinages

      Turns out it was "information as thing"<br /> See: https://hypothes.is/a/kXIjaBaOEe2MEi8Fav6QsA


      sugane brierre and otlet<br /> "everything can be in a document"<br /> importance of evidence


      The idea of evidence implies a passiveness. For evidence to be useful then, one has to actively do something with it, use it for comparison or analysis with other facts, knowledge, or evidence for it to become useful.


      transformation of sound into writing<br /> movement of pieces at will to create a new combination of facts - combinatorial creativity idea here. (circa 27:30 and again at 29:00)<br /> not just efficiency but improvement and purification of humanity

      put things on system cards and put them into new orders<br /> breaking things down into smaller pieces, whether books or index cards....

      Otlet doesn't use the word interfaces, but makes these with language and annotations that existed at the time. (32:00)

      Otlet created diagrams and images to expand his ideas

      Otlet used octagonal index cards to create extra edges to connect them together by topic. This created more complex trees of knowledge beyond the four sides of standard index cards. (diagram referenced, but not contained in the lecture)

      Otlet is interested in the "materialization of knowledge": how to transfer idea into an object. (How does this related to mnemonic devices for daily use? How does it relate to broader material culture?)

      Otlet inspired by work of Herbert Spencer

      space an time are forms of thought, I hold myself that they are forms of things. (get full quote and source) from spencer influence of Plato's forms here?

      Otlet visualization of information (38:20)

      S. R. Ranganathan may have had these ideas about visualization too

      atomization of knowledge; atomist approach 19th century examples:S. R. Ranganathan, Wilson, Otlet, Richardson, (atomic notes are NOT new either...) (39:40)

      Otlet creates interfaces to the world - time with cyclic representation - space - moving cube along time and space axes as well as levels of detail - comparison to Ted Nelson and zoomable screens even though Ted Nelson didn't have screens, but simulated them in paper - globes

      Katie Berner - semantic web; claims that reporting a scholarly result won't be a paper, but a nugget of information that links to other portions of the network of knowledge.<br /> (so not just one's own system, but the global commons system)

      Mention of Open Annotation (Consortium) Collaboration:<br /> - Jane Hunter, University of Australia Brisbane & Queensland<br /> - Tim Cole, University of Urbana Champaign<br /> - Herbert Van de Sompel, Los Alamos National Laboratory annotations of various media<br /> see:<br /> - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311366469_The_Open_Annotation_Collaboration_A_Data_Model_to_Support_Sharing_and_Interoperability_of_Scholarly_Annotations - http://www.openannotation.org/spec/core/20130205/index.html - http://www.openannotation.org/PhaseIII_Team.html

      trust must be put into the system for it to work

      coloration of the provenance of links goes back to Otlet (~52:00)

      Creativity is the friction of the attention space at the moments when the structural blocks are grinding against one another the hardest. —Randall Collins (1998) The sociology of philosophers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (p.76)

  2. Jul 2022
    1. that you know was not connected to any kind of military application there were other examples of this and this is something that you could actually put you know 00:07:36 these cards in a smaller deck that you could review i drove to my conference so it would have been a lot harder to review these when i'm driving however if you're flying or taking a train or you 00:07:49 know something where a passenger seat you could potentially just take these cars make a small deck and carry them with you wouldn't need a computer or anything now that was the priming piece 00:08:03 how did it help next step is i actually went to the agenda into the schedule and looked at it typically when you do that there are some some talks that you're going to want to 00:08:16 go to right and some work groups or tracks that are that have a large application to what you're doing your day job is the other piece is if you're presenting

      This is an example about preparation for going into a conference (or battle, which is suggested by this particular conference's topic). The work provides a primer for what is about to happen and can be analogized to ancients taking the ark of the covenant into battle before them. It serves as a cultural talisman representing what they're fighting for, but it also likely served as a mnemonic device for their actual battle strategies and plans from the time. They take it with them as a physical review reminder and device.

    1. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1547390915689566211.html via https://twitter.com/nicolas_gatien/status/1547390946156969984

      Nicolas, I broadly agree with you that many of these factors of reading and writing for understanding and retention are at play and the research in memory and spaced repetition underlines a lot of this. However in practice, one needs to be revisiting and actively using their notes for some particular project to remember them better. The card search may help to create both visual and physical paths that assist in memory too.

      Reliance solely on a physical zettelkasten however may not be enough without active use over time, particularly for the majority of users. It's unlikely that all or even many may undertake this long term practice. Saying that this is either the "best", "optimum", or "only" way would be disingenuous to the diversity of learners and thinkers.

      Those who want to add additional strength to these effects might also use mnemonic methods from indigenous cultures that rely on primary orality. These could include color, images, doodles (drolleries anyone?), or other associative methods, many of which could be easily built into an (antinet) zettelkasten. Lynne Kelly's work in this area can be highly illuminating. For pure practical application and diversity of potential methods, I recommend her book Memory Craft https://amzn.to/3zdqqGp, but she's got much more academic and in depth work that is highly illustrative.

      With this background on orality and memory in mind we might all broadly view wood and stone circles (Stonehenge), menhir, standing stones, songlines, and other mnemonic devices in the archaeological and sociological records as zettelkasten which one keeps entirely in their memory rather than writing them down. We might also consider, based on this and the historical record concerning Druids and their association with trees that the trees served a zettelkasten-like function for those ancient societies. This continues to extend to lots of other cultural and societal practices throughout history. Knowledge from Duane Hamacher et al's book The First Astronomers and Karlie Noone and Krystal De Napoli's Astronomy: Sky Country will underline these theories and practices in modern indigenous settings.

    1. Or if I’m jogging, I associate each thing I want to remember with one of my limbs, then I go through them one at a time “left arm, left leg…” when I’m done running and I write them down.

      Example of someone in the wild using their body as a locus for attaching memories temporarily so that they can recall ideas for making note of later.

  3. Local file Local file
    1. 'I don't think it's anything—I mean, I don't think it was ever put to anyuse. That's what I like about it. It's a little chunk of history that they'veforgotten to alter. It's a message from a hundred years ago, if one knew howto read it.'

      Walter and Julia are examining a glass paperweight in George Orwell's 1984 without having context of what it is or for what it was used.

      This is the same sort of context collapse caused by distance in time and memory that archaeologists face when examining found objects.

      How does one pull out the meaning from such distant objects in an exegetical way? How can we more reliably rebuild or recreate lost contexts?

      Link to: - Stonehenge is a mnemonic device - mnemonic devices in archaeological contexts (Neolithic carved stone balls


      Some forms of orality-based methods and practices can be viewed as a method of "reading" physical objects.


      Ideograms are an evolution on the spectrum from orality to literacy.


      It seems odd to be pulling these sorts of insight out my prior experiences and reading while reading something so wholly "other". But isn't this just what "myths" in oral cultures actually accomplish? We link particular ideas to pieces of story, song, art, and dance so that they may be remembered. In this case Orwell's glass paperweight has now become a sort of "talking rock" for me. Certainly it isn't done in any sort of sense that Orwell would have expected, presumed, or even intended.

  4. May 2022
    1. Active reading to the extreme!

      What a clever innovation building on the ideas of the art of memory and Raymond Llull's combinatoric arts!

      Does this hit all of the areas of Bloom's Taxonomy? I suspect that it does.

      How could it be tied more directly into an active reading, annotating, and note taking practice?

  5. Apr 2022
    1. the index card. This is despite the fact that itfunctions as such in a variety of different ways in relation to textualorganisation, composition and authorship. In the space that remains,I wish to tease out this idea of the index card as a creative agent inknowledge production by returning to reconsider the issue of theindex card as an archival or ‘mnemotechnical’ device.

      The simple card index can serve a number of functions including as an archive, a mnemonic device, a teacher, an organizational tool, a composition device, a creativity engine, and an authorship tool.

    2. QuotingFriedrich Kittler, Thorn explains that the aim of such an all-encompassing approach to media is to focus on the ‘networks oftechnologies and institutions that allow a given culture to select,store, and process relevant data’ (cited in Thorn, 2008: 7).

      Has media studies looked at primary orality and the ideas of space repetition, art, dance, and mnemonics as base layers of media by which cultures created networks of knowledge and culture that they might use to select, store, process, copy, and pass along their knowledge?

    1. An initial stage of annotation might be provided bya professional reader hired to add aids to reading for the owner, including espe-cially mnemonic or meditative aids, or enhancements to the layout, but alsooccasionally self-reflexive or potentially dissenting observations.24 A successionof owner-readers could then add further corrections and comments.

      Stages of annotation in the medieval period


      When is Hypothes.is going to branch out into the business of professional readers to add aids to texts?! :)

      Link this to the professional summary industry that reads books and summarizes them for busy executives

      Link this to the annotations studied by Owen Gingerich in The Book Nobody Read.

    1. 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?)

      scale model of the Aberlemno Pictish Cross with Celtic designs in the foreground with the life size cross in the background

      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)

  6. Mar 2022
    1. "Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones" (2 Kings 23:14, New International Version)

      2 Kings 23:14 indicates that King Josiah cut down the Asherah poles as a monotheistic reform in the second half of the 7th century BCE.


      Could these have have been in circles? Could they have been used as mnemonic devices?

      link this to the idea of the standing stone found at Khirbet Qeiyafa.

      Link this to my Ark of Covenant example.

      Link to Stonehenge and other henge examples as well as other timber circles.

    1. The Inca left behind a three-dimensional system, a 3D “script.”

      Silvia Ferrara analogizes the quipu to a three-dimensional "script".

    1. ehcolstonMay '21Such as these seals: File:Memory-seals.jpg - Wikimedia Commons 37 I can’t find out which book these seals appear in, or what they’re for.

      The best reference for this and a broad perspective of Bruno with respect to memory is Frances A. Yates' The Art of Memory (University of Chicago, 1966). She covers Bruno and the seals fairly extensively in Chapter XI.

    1. Designed gestures offer another benefit as well: they are especially effectiveat reinforcing our memory.

      Intentional gestures can be used as mnemonic devices as the movement can be associated with things we wish to remember.

    2. S CLEAR THAT spontaneous gestures can support intelligent thinking. There’salso a place for what we might call designed gestures: that is, motions that arecarefully formulated in advance to convey a particular notion. Geologist MicheleCooke’s gestures, inspired by sign language, fall into this category; she verydeliberately uses hand movements to help students understand spatial conceptsthat are difficult to communicate in words.

      There are two potential axes for gestures: spontaneous and intentional. Intentional gestures include examples like sign language, memetic pantomimes, and dance or related animal mimicry gestures used by indigenous cultures for communicating the movement and behavior of animals.

      Intentional gestures can also be specifically designed for pedagogical purposes as well as for mnemonic purposes.

      cross reference to Lynne Kelly example about movement/gesture in indigenous cultures.

    3. Research shows that moving our hands advances our understanding ofabstract or complex concepts, reduces our cognitive load, and improves ourmemory.

      movement and gesture as a mnemonic device

  7. Jan 2022
    1. Since spirited leaps of imagination are required for these interactive projects conducing to the gathering of information that can help students make connections they might not otherwise consider, they have been dubbed “capers.”

      Engel calls his system the Caper Star because the "spirited leaps of imagination" are required to help the student on their quest.

    1. For centuries the standard work on Latin grammar was the 12th- century Doctrinale, by Alexander of Villedieu, in 2,000 lines of doggerel. Versified rules were easier to remember, though their crudity appalled Aldus Manutius when he reprinted this work in 1501.

      Alexander de Villedieu's Latin grammer Doctrinale from the 12th century was the standard work on the subject. Its 2,000 lines of doggerel were used as a mnemonic device because they were easier to remember. Famed publisher Aldus Manutius was appalled at their crude nature when he reprinted the book in 1501.

    1. As memory models, rhetorical storehouses and archives are functional equivalents. Both are used as devices for storing and retriev-ing knowledge.

      Mnemonic (mental) storehouses (thesaurus) and written archives are functionally equivalent and serve to store and retrieve information. Their primary difference is in the effort put into how one applies their attention to them. The former requires more mental effort into storing information into the location and then recalling it.

      In the case of archives with subject indices, they require less mental effort and visually serve a potential store of variety and ease of creating additional links between bits of knowledge.

    1. Wendat society was not ‘economically egalitarian’ in that sense.However, there was a difference between what we’d considereconomic resources – like land, which was owned by families,worked by women, and whose products were largely disposed of bywomen’s collectives – and the kind of ‘wealth’ being referred to here,such as wampum (a word applied to strings and belts of beads,manufactured from the shells of Long Island’s quahog clam) or othertreasures, which largely existed for political purposes.

      Example in literature of wampum being described as wealth existing for political purposes.

    1. J.R.R. Tolkien indicated that Welsh fairy tales "had bright color but no sense". Perhaps this is because they served a cultural and mnemonic purpose and not necessarily a storytelling one.

      1:00 minute mark

  8. Dec 2021
    1. I've been having a really good time this week writing prompts as inline annotations on web books.

      I'm seeing a larger growing pattern of people who are using Hypothes.is as a means of pulling their notes into their digital notebooks. Here Andy Matuschak is doing it to create spaced repetition cards for mnemonic purposes, a use case I haven't seen much of in the Hypothes.is space.

      The fact that many are using Readwise (a paid monthly subscription) to do so is unfortunate. We definitely need more open source/free methods for doing this.

      The Hypothesidian plugin for Obsidian is one of the few direct products I've seen in the space so far.

      Most of this knowledge pattern I've seen has been in the tools for thought space and not within educational spaces, thought there is some overlap which will create the necessary bleed-through.

      Services like IFTTT might also be a potential solution, but outputs from RSS and ATOM strip out data like tags which are highly useful. Perhaps a custom IFTTT integration? Though this opens up the issue of yet another middleman service for collecting rents.


      Source: https://twitter.com/withorbit/status/1474575944429957125

      I've been having a really good time this week writing prompts as inline annotations on web books. pic.twitter.com/gCvpTAsjt1

      — Orbit (@withorbit) December 25, 2021
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    1. When we simply guess as to whathumans in other times and places might be up to, we almostinvariably make guesses that are far less interesting, far less quirky– in a word, far less human than what was likely going on.

      Definitely worth keeping in mind, even for my own work. Providing an evidential structure for claims will be paramount.

      Is there a well-named cognitive bias for the human tendency to see everything as nails when one has a hammer in their hand?

    2. Women’s gambling: women in many indigenous NorthAmerican societies were inveterate gamblers; the women ofadjacent villages would often meet to play dice or a gameplayed with a bowl and plum stone, and would typically bet theirshell beads or other objects of personal adornment as thestakes. One archaeologist versed in the ethnographic literature,Warren DeBoer, estimates that many of the shells and otherexotica discovered in sites halfway across the continent had gotthere by being endlessly wagered, and lost, in inter-villagegames of this sort, over very long periods of time.36
      1. DeBoer 2001

      Warren R DeBoer. 2001. ‘Of dice and women: gambling and exchange in Native North America.’ Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 8 (3): 215–68.

      Might it be possible that these women were actually gambling information relating to their "gathering" or other cultural practices? By playing games with each other and with nearby groups of people, they would have been regularly practicing their knowledge through repetition.

      How might we provide evidence for this? Read the DeBoer reference for potential clues.

    3. Dreams or vision quests: among Iroquoian-speaking peoplesin the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was consideredextremely important literally to realize one’s dreams. ManyEuropean observers marvelled at how Indians would be willingto travel for days to bring back some object, trophy, crystal oreven an animal like a dog that they had dreamed of acquiring.Anyone who dreamed about a neighbour or relative’spossession (a kettle, ornament, mask and so on) couldnormally demand it; as a result, such objects would oftengradually travel some way from town to town. On the GreatPlains, decisions to travel long distances in search of rare orexotic items could form part of vision quests.34
      1. On ‘dream economies’ among the Iroquois see Graeber 2001: 145–9. David Graeber. 2001. Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams. New York: Palgrave.

      These dreams and vision quests sound suspiciously familiar to Australian indigenous peoples' "dreaming" and could be incredibly similar to much larger and longer songlines in North American cultures.

    4. Most contemporaryarchaeologists are well aware of this literature, but tend to getcaught up in debates over the difference between ‘trade’ and‘gift exchange’, while assuming that the ultimate point of both isto enhance somebody’s status, either by profit, or by prestige,or both. Most will also acknowledge that there is somethinginherently valuable, even cosmologically significant, in thephenomenon of travel, the experience of remote places or theacquisition of exotic materials; but in the last resort, much ofthis too seems to come down to questions of status or prestige,as if no other possible motivation might exist for peopleinteracting over long distances; for some further discussion ofthe issues see Wengrow 2010b.

      David Wengrow 2010b. ‘The voyages of Europa: ritual and trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, c.2300–1850 .’ In William A. Parkinson and Michael L. Galaty (eds), Archaic State Interaction: The Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, pp. 141–60.

      Read this for potential evidence for the mnemonic devices for information trade theory.

    5. But we often find such regional networks developinglargely for the sake of creating friendly mutual relations, or having anexcuse to visit one another from time to time;33 and there are plentyof other possibilities that in no way resemble ‘trade’.

      There is certainly social lubrication of visiting people from time to time which can help and advance societies, but this regular visiting can also be seen as a means of reinforcing one's oral cultural history through spaced repetition.

      It can be seen as "trade" but in a way that anthropologists have generally ignored for lack of imagination for what may have been actually happening.

    6. The founding text of twentieth-century ethnography, BronisławMalinowski’s 1922 Argonauts of the Western Pacific, describes howin the ‘kula chain’ of the Massim Islands off Papua New Guinea, menwould undertake daring expeditions across dangerous seas inoutrigger canoes, just in order to exchange precious heirloom arm-shells and necklaces for each other (each of the most importantones has its own name, and history of former owners) – only to holdit briefly, then pass it on again to a different expedition from anotherisland. Heirloom treasures circle the island chain eternally, crossing

      hundreds of miles of ocean, arm-shells and necklaces in opposite directions. To an outsider, it seems senseless. To the men of the Massim it was the ultimate adventure, and nothing could be more important than to spread one’s name, in this fashion, to places one had never seen.

      Not to negate the underlying mechanism discussed here, but there's also a high likelihood that this "trade" was in information attached to these objects being used as mnemonic devices.

      Read further into the anthropology of these items, their names and histories.

    7. Already tens of thousands of years ago, one can find evidence ofobjects – very often precious stones, shells or other items ofadornment – being moved around over enormous distances. Oftenthese were just the sort of objects that anthropologists would laterfind being used as ‘primitive currencies’ all over the world.

      Is it also possible that these items may have served the purpose of mnemonic devices as a means of transporting (otherwise invisible) information from one area or culture to another?

      Can we build evidence for this from the archaeological record?

      Relate this to the idea of expanding the traditional "land, labor, capital" theory of economics to include "information" as a basic building block

    8. All such authors are really saying is that they themselves cannotpersonally imagine any other way that precious objects might moveabout.

      See my prior annotation https://hypothes.is/a/cLF2CmNhEeys9IOh50XdFA for a means of imagining another way these precious objects may have been used.

    1. if they were princes there's 00:20:20 one famous example from Liguria which archeologists you know I feel just love to give names to things so they call this particular burial deeply G Bay and now if he really was prince in the 00:20:34 Machiavellian sense then presumably he would have got people to do more on his behalf than just make very elaborate headdresses out of small shells he would have had them you know for little armies

      Il Principe, a dwarf with elaborate headdress made out of small seashells.

      What if this were a mnemonic device used to encode cultural knowledge which only this person had possession of? Burying it with him would make sense as it wouldn't have the same sort of intrinsic value to his friends or relatives who would either have had their own or potentially passed them down.

      This would particularly have been the case if he was younger and hadn't had the time to have an apprentice or been able to pass the knowledge on otherwise.

      From a "royal burial" perspective, it would have been a highly valuable grave good because of the information attached to it and not because of the time and effort or beauty it possessed.

      Pursue this train of thought further...

    2. there's an exception ah yes indeed there is an exception to that which is largely 00:08:28 when you're talking to someone else so in conversation and in dialogue you're actually can maintain consciousness for very long periods of time well which is why you need to imagine you're talking 00:08:41 to someone else to really be able to think out a problem

      Humans in general have a seven second window of self-consciousness. (What is the reference for this? Double check it.) The exception is when one is in conversation with someone else, and then people have much longer spans of self-consciousness.

      I'm left to wonder if this is a useful fact for writing in the margins in books or into one's notebook, commonplace book, or zettelkasten? By having a conversation with yourself, or more specifically with the imaginary author you're annotating or if you prefer to frame it as a conversation with your zettelkasten, one expands their self-consciousness for much longer periods of time? What benefit does this have for the individual? What benefit for humanity in aggregate?

      Is it this fact or just coincidence that much early philosophy was done as dialectic?

      From an orality perspective, this makes it much more useful to talk to one's surroundings or objects like rocks. Did mnemonic techniques help give rise to our ability to be more self-conscious as a species? Is it like a muscle that we've been slowly and evolutionarily exercising for 250,000 years?

    1. But the stelae were also symbols of power and status, and were used for ancestor worship and rituals.

      This is a good example of the default "ancestor worship" and "rituals" label on archeological finds of ancient peoples

      What is the actual basis for assigning these labels? Is there any real evidence or is it just become the default in the literature.

      Personally I'm building evidence towards a more comprehensive thesis for what these practices may have been used for.

    1. They claim that recent evidence suggests how the people who built Stonehenge had abandoned the cultivation of many important crops, and reverted back to gathering for significant aspects of their diet (I think they put a lot of emphasis on hazelnuts if I remember correctly – so they were not 100% hunter-gatherers, no; but they had decided to revert back to more hunting and gathering and to scale down their commitment to agriculture. But they also claim that many scholars staunchly ignore this research/evidence. Why, are they wrong?

      Note to self: Watch out closely in this section. One of the other things happening at this time is the lifeway of moving from a mobile society to a sedentary one and this may have had dramatic influence on their orality and memory, particularly as they developed new technology for being sedentary: namely Stonehenge itself as a mnemonic library of sorts as argued by Lynne Kelly.

    1. https://www.archaeology.org/issues/339-1905/trenches/7567-trenches-england-folkton-drums-stonehenge-measurement

      The diameter of the Folkton Drums and the Lavant Drum seem to be based on the "long foot" (1.056 ft) discovered by Andrew Chamberlain and Mike Parker Pearson. The drums ratios are 1:7:8:9 to the long foot respective (the Lavant Drum last).

      What was the origin of the stone used to manufacture these? Do the designs on the drums have a potential mnemonic use for the builders which may have used them as measuring devices?

      These are held by the British Museum: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1893-1228-15

      Their round nature may have made them easy to roll out measurements. the grooved "tops" may have allowed them to roll on wooden beams of some sort.

      What relationship, if any, is the bone pin that was found with them?

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alison Fisk </span> in "The Folkton Drums. Three cylinders carved from chalk about 5,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period. Decorated with geometric designs and stylised faces. Discovered, along with a bone pin, in a child’s round barrow (burial) in Yorkshire in 1889. #FindsFriday #Archaeology https://t.co/6IyUTN9bCt" (<time class='dt-published'>12/11/2021 09:11:48</time>)</cite></small>

  9. Nov 2021
    1. Mnemonic devices. It’s also a way of communicating. In an oral sense we use them as code. It started when we were texting. LOL means laugh out loud. WTF you probably already know what that means. But we also use them for studying. Please excuse my dear aunt sally. Or PEMDAS A tool in math to go through long problem in algebra. They also use this as a career driven world. And it’s also cod talking to friends or gossiping. For instance she what is a real see you next Tuesday. Or she was a Karen.

    1. As the book recounts, annotation is a centuries-old practice. For example, decorative images called drolleries were added in the margins of medieval texts as visual comments on themes in the text.

      I've not seen it argued elsewhere (yet), but I would make a case that the majority of drolleries weren't so much comment on themes in text as that they were loci placed into the books at either intervals or in particular locations as part of the practice of the art of memory. They act as signposts to which the reader can more easily memorize portions of books by attaching the ideas on those pages to the dramatic and absurd images painted into them as suggested by Rhetorica ad Herennium (https://www.loebclassics.com/view/LCL403/1954/volume.xml).

      Cross reference: The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates (University of Chicago, 1966).for the historical practice of memory in the West, though she doesn't mention drolleries at all.

      cc: @remikalir

    1. I have no doubt that the cup marks reflect memory locations. There is some recent research showing that they mark pathways. I need to get that report.

      I'm also reasonably certain that cup marks reflect memory locations as well. Is there a way to prove it though?

      The idea that there's research indicating they mark pathways sounds fascinating. I'd love to know the journal source for this.

  10. Sep 2021
    1. Ancient peoples frequently engaged in offloading their mental contents and augmenting their brainpower with external resources, as evidenced by objects they left behind. Sumerians employed clay tokens to keep track of livestock and other goods when trading; Incas tied knots in long cords, called quipus, to memorialize events; administrators and merchants across a broad swath of the ancient world used abacuses and counting boards.

      Interesting to see these examples of mnemonic devices referenced here.

      One could certainly add standing stones, stone circles, etc. to the list.

    1. Ratson and Ben-Dov found that the scroll lays out the most important dates in the Qumran sect’s 364-day calendar, including the festivals of New Wine and New Oil, which are not mentioned in the Bible. It also reveals for the first time the name given to the special days on which the sect would celebrate the transition between seasons, four times a year. The days were referred to as “Tekufah”, which translates as “period”.

      Given their focus on dates and calendars, what other evidence of mnemonic traditions might we draw from a culture that was likely near the transition from oral to written transmission?

      Would they have had standing stones, stone circles, handheld mnemonic devices?

  11. Aug 2021
    1. The earliest attested manicules appeared in the Domesday Book, the exhaustive survey of England carried out for William I in 1086.

      I wonder if we can find a direct link to the manicule and the use of the hand as a mnemonic device?

    1. Then there are the really exotic hands, which are turned into a visual feast. Fig. 7 shows and an arm that was turned into the body of a dragon, while the hands in Fig. 8 (which look like ladies’ gloves) are attached to the wrong location on the human body. These hands are not just meant to point out an important passage, they must also have been intended to bring a smile on the reader’s face.

      Far beyond this, they're most likely used as mnemonic devices to associate the important information with a more memorable image for storing in one's memory palace.

    1. Anecdotal mention here of someone using sketchnotes or doodling as a mnemonic device.

      Sketchnotes could be a means of implementing visual method of loci in one's note taking. Like creating a faux memory palace. Also somewhat similar, expecially in the case of the leaf doodle mentioned above, to the idea of drolleries, but in this case, they're not taking advantage of the memory's greater capacity of imagination to make things even more memorable for long term retention.

  12. Jun 2021
    1. Quintilian is skeptical of the art of memory. His preferred scheme is to divide words on the page intosmall, memorizable chunks, each subdivision serving as a sort oflocusin page-space. Indeed, Quintilian even suggests thatthe best mnemonic image one can construct is simply an image of the tablet or papyrus on which one wrote (11.2.27–32).

      And for renaissance scholars, this quote may be the reason that drolleries are so widespread in illuminated manuscripts.

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  13. May 2021
    1. My wife taught me to add some color after some pages are filled and the more I do that, the more I like browsing through the journal. Watercolor is still too heavy for most notebooks and I don’t bother to bring colored pencils on location. That’s a relaxing activity to do at home.

      Color also adds creativity and additional loci to one's pages which also can help to make them more memorable.

    1. The very act of recording your actions and impressions is itself powerfully mnemonic, fixing the moment more durably in your memory so that it’s easier to recall in future, even if you never consult your notes.

      Many people report this phenomenon, though I've never particularly experienced it.

  14. Mar 2021
    1. As I think back on this a few minutes later, I'm reminded that many of these sorts of abstract art forms are found not only in totems, but are seen in neolithic stone balls, European neolithic decorative art, or could have been used to decorate lukasa memory boards).

      This may make them more valuable within a system for using these individual art pieces as memory devices.