11 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2022
    1. Writing permanent notes was time consuming as f***. On one side writing them helped me grasp the concepts they described on a deep level. One the other side I think this would have been possible without putting an emphasis on referencing, atomicity, deep linking, etc.

      The time it takes to make notes is an important investment. If it's not worth the time, what were you actually doing? Evergreen/permanent notes are only useful if you're going to use them later in some sort of output. Beyond this they may be useful for later search.

      But if you're not going to search them or review them, which the writer says they didn't, then what was the point?

      Have a reason for taking a note is of supreme importance. Otherwise, you're just collecting scraps...

      People who have this problem shouldn't be using digital tools they should be spending even more time writing by hand. This will force them into being more parsimonious.

  2. Nov 2022
    1. One of the first things that was discovered about building complicated technical hypertext is that you don’t know what the structure will be in advance. And as you’re adding information, you know you want to keep the information, but you frequently don’t know what the information you’re adding is. You can’t describe its type or its nature or its importance in advance. You just suspect that it’s going to be pertinent somehow. Or you see a terrific quotation that you know will be great to use, but you don’t know when that quotation will fit or even if it’ll fit in this book, or if you’ll have to save it for something else. Finding ways to say, “I think these two things are related somehow, but I don’t want to commit myself yet as to exactly how,” turns out to be quite an interesting design problem. Hypertext people started out, in fact, by inventing the outliner very early — 1968. And outliners are terrific if you already know the structure of your information space. But hierarchies are not good if you’re just guessing about how things fit together because you tend to build great elaborate structures that turn out to be wrong, and you have to unbuild them, and then you’ve got a terrible pile on your desk.

      Connecting ideas across space and time when you don't know how they'll fully relate in advance is a tough design problem.

      Outliner programs, first developed for computers in 1968, are great if you know the structure of a space in advance, but creating hierarchies by guessing about relationships in advance often turn out wrong or create other problems as one progresses.

    1. If you can’t talk yourself into using your energy to write or type something out, it’s probably not worth capturing.

      Being willing to capture an idea by spending the time writing it out in full is an incredibly strong indicator that it is actually worth capturing. Often those who use cut and paste or other digital means for their note capture will over-collect because the barrier is low and simple.

      More often than not, if one doesn't have some sort of barrier for capturing notes, they will become a burden and ultimately a scrap heap of generally useless ideas.

      In the end, experience will eventually dictate one's practice as, over time, one will develop an internal gut feeling of what is really worth collecting and what isn't. Don't let your not having this at the beginning deter you. Collect and process and over time, you'll balance out what is useful.

  3. Oct 2022
    1. Most men's notes are useless stuff to others, useless even to them-selves with the passage of time, and useless especially because ofchaotic arrangement.
    1. As Francis Bacon warned long ago, ‘One man’s notes will little profit another.’
    2. The awful warning is Lord Acton, whose enormous learning never resulted in the great work the world expected of him. An unforgettable description of Acton’s Shropshire study after his death in 1902 was given by Sir Charles Oman. There were shelves and shelves of books, many of them with pencilled notes in the margin. ‘There were pigeonholed desks and cabinets with literally thousands of compartments into each of which were sorted little white slips with references to some particular topic, so drawn up (so far as I could see) that no one but the compiler could easily make out the drift.’ And there were piles of unopened parcels of books, which kept arriving, even after his death. ‘For years apparently he had been endeavouring to keep up with everything that had been written, and to work their results into his vast thesis.’ ‘I never saw a sight,’ Oman writes, ‘that more impressed on me the vanity of human life and learning.’

      Lord Acton read widely and collected notes which he kept in pigeonholed desks and cabinets with thousands of compartments. Sadly he died in 1902 without having written anything using them, and being only made sense of by the compiler were broadly useless.

  4. Aug 2022
    1. Newspaper clippings were usually placed in boxes or file storages dependingon their scientific or otherwise valuable content. This procedure is inadequate as it means thatone forgets about the clipping when it might have been useful, or, if one does not forget aboutthe clipping, it is nowhere to be found in the ever growing pile of collection folders (or canonly be found after hours of searching for it).

      the scrap heap problem



    1. Don’t let it pile up. A lot of people mark down passages or fold pages of stuff they like. Then they put of doing anything with it. I’ll tell you, nothing will make your procrastinate like seeing a giant pile of books you have to go through and take notes on it. You can avoid this by not letting it pile up. Don’t go months or weeks without going through the ritual. You have to stay on top of it.
  5. Mar 2022
    1. Would maintaining a multi-user, potentially public zettelkasten have positive outcomes? Would it face the issue of becoming a scrap heap for those who don't work with it regularly? There might be an issue of trust for individual assertions which aren't properly cited our sourced.

      Tummelling and solid design would probably be necessary to prevent toxicity as seen in many areas of social media.

  6. May 2021
    1. AS PAPER became ever more abundant from the fourteenth century onward, note-taking proliferated, expanding from erasable wax tablets (the method used by Cicero and medieval wool merchants) and erasable donkey skin to permanent slips of paper and notebooks. An early-modern term for notes was “scraps.” Piles of them were called scrap heaps, and tragically for historians, most notes ended up there. Yet notes made in the margins of great printed books survived, and they are like rare seashells in the sands of the libraries.

      Early versions of annotations. Sad to realize that most of them likely perished.

      Interesting to think of this problem of note taking actually coining the phrase "scrap heap".