8 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2022
    1. René Descartes designed a deck of playing cards that also functioned as flash cards to learn geometry and mechanics. (King of Clubs from The use of the geometrical playing-cards, as also A discourse of the mechanick powers. By Monsi. Des-Cartes. Translated from his own manuscript copy. Printed and sold by J. Moxon at the Atlas in Warwick Lane, London. Via the Beinecke Library, from which you can download the entire deck.)

      My immediate thought is that this deck of cards was meant as a memory palace. I'm curious what training in rhetoric/memory methods Descartes must have had?

  2. Feb 2022
    1. In preparing these instructions, Gaspard-Michel LeBlond, one of their authors, urges the use of uniform media for registering titles, suggesting that “ catalog materials are not diffi cult to assemble; it is suffi cient to use playing cards [. . .] Whether one writes lengthwise or across the backs of cards, one should pick one way and stick with it to preserve uniformity. ” 110 Presumably LeBlond was familiar with the work of Abb é Rozier fi fteen years earlier; it is unknown whether precisely cut cards had been used before Rozier. The activity of cutting up pages is often mentioned in prior descrip-tions.

      In published instructions issued on May 8, 1791 in France, Gaspard-Michel LeBlond by way of standardization for library catalogs suggests using playing cards either vertically or horizontally but admonishing catalogers to pick one orientation and stick with it. He was likely familiar with the use of playing cards for this purpose by Abbé Rozier fifteen years earlier.

    2. Rozier chances upon the labor-saving idea of producing catalogs according to Gessner ’ s procedures — that is, transferring titles onto one side of a piece of paper before copying them into tabular form. Yet he optimizes this process by dint of a small refi nement, with regard to the paper itself: instead of copying data onto specially cut octavo sheets, he uses uniformly and precisely cut paper whose ordinary purpose obeys the contingent pleasure of being shuffl ed, ordered, and exchanged: “ cartes à jouer. ” 35 In sticking strictly to the playing card sizes available in prerevolutionary France (either 83 × 43 mm or 70 × 43 mm), Rozier cast his bibliographical specifi cations into a standardized and therefore easily handled format.

      Abbé François Rozier cleverly transferred book titles onto the blank side of French playing cards instead of cut octavo sheets as a means of indexing after being appointed in 1775 to index the holdings of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

    3. Therefore, they were frequently used as lottery tickets, marriage and death announcements, notepads, or busi-ness cards.

      With blank backs, French playing cards in the late 1700s were often used as lottery tickets, marriage and death announcements, notepads, and business cards.

    4. Playing cards offer numerous advantages: only after 1816 do their hitherto unmarked backs (fi gure 3.1) assumed a Tarot pattern.

      Prior to 1816 in France playing cards (cartes à jouer) had unmarked backs and thereafter contained a Tarot pattern.

  3. Jul 2021
    1. according to Charmantier and Müller-Wille, playing cards were found under the floorboards of the Uppsala home Linnaeus shared with his wife Sara Lisa.
    2. In 1791, France’s revolutionary government issued the world’s first national cataloging code, calling for playing cards to be used for bibliographical records.

      Reference for this as well?

    3. Linnaeus may have drawn inspiration from playing cards. Until the mid-19th century, the backs of playing cards were left blank by manufacturers, offering “a practical writing surface,” where scholars scribbled notes, says Blair. Playing cards “were frequently used as lottery tickets, marriage and death announcements, notepads, or business cards,” explains Markus Krajewski, the author of Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogs.

      There was a Krajewski reference I couldn't figure out in the German piece on Zettelkasten that I read earlier today. Perhaps this is what was meant?

      These playing cards might also have been used as an idea of a waste book as well, and then someone decided to skip the commonplace book as an intermediary?