31 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2022
    1. Another visual-mapping tool is Open Knowledge Maps, a service offered by a Vienna-based not-for-profit organization of the same name. It was founded in 2015 by Peter Kraker, a former scholarly-communication researcher at Graz University of Technology in Austria.


      Open Knowledge maps is a visual literature search tool that is based on keywords rather than on a paper's title, author, or DOI. The service was founded in 2015 by Peter Kraker, a former scholarly communication researcher at Graz University of Technology.

    1. the development of intelligent thinking is fundamentally a social process

      great quote

      How can social annotation practices take advantage of these sorts of active learning processes? What might be done in a flipped classroom setting to get students to use social annotation on a text prior to a lecture and have the questions and ideas from these sessions brought into the lecture space for discussion, argument, and expansion?

    1. A filing system is indefinitely expandable, rhizomatic (at any point of timeor space, one can always insert a new card); in contradistinction with the sequen-tial irreversibility of the pages of the notebook and of the book, its interiormobility allows for permanent reordering (for, even if there is no narrative conclu-sion of a diary, there is a last page of the notebook on which it is written: its pagesare numbered, like days on a calendar).

      Most writing systems and forms force a beginning and an end, they force a particular structure that is both finite and limiting. The card index (zettelkasten) may have a beginning—there's always a first note or card, but it never has to have an end unless one's ownership is so absolute it ends with the life of its author. There are an ever-increasing number of ways to order a card index, though some try to get around this to create some artificial stability by numbering or specifically ordering their cards. New ideas can be accepted into the index at a multitude of places and are always internally mobile and re-orderable.

      link to Luhmann's works on describing this sort of rhizomatic behavior of his zettelkasten

      Within a network model framing for a zettelkasten, one might define thinking as traversing a graph of idea nodes in a particular order. Alternately it might also include randomly juxtaposing cards and creating links between ones which have similarities. Which of these modes of thinking has a higher order? Which creates more value? Which requires more work?

  2. Feb 2022
    1. Something about Scrivener elicits a lot of strong feelings from people who have used it, both positive and negative. It has a growing community of writers who swear by it, and a parallel community that is tired of hearing all the Scrivener-heads raving about their magic tool.

      Scrivener and its community are an example of a tool for thought being thought of as a magical tool potentially without people thinking about what the tool is doing that makes things so dramatically different.

      This article is written in 2017 just before the expansion of the zettelkasten craze in various social media spaces.

    1. 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

      (Gadamer 2004).

      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.

    1. As much as I automate things, though,none of my thinking is done by a tool.Even with plugins like Graph Analysis, I never feel like I'm being presented with emergent connections — tho this is what the plugin is intended for, and I believe it works for other people.

      At what point could digital tools be said to be thinking? Do they need to be generative? It certainly needs to be on the other side of serendipitously juxtaposing two interesting ideas. One can juxtapose millions of ideas, it's the selection of a tiny subset of these as "better" or more interesting than the others and then building off of that that constitutes this sort of generative thought.

  3. Jan 2022
    1. I could quote Luhmann on this as well, who thought that "without writing one cannot think," But there is nothing peculiarly "Luhmannian" about this idea. Isaac Asimov is said to have said "Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers." And, to give one other example, E. B. White (of "Strunk and White" fame) claimed that "writing is one way to go about thinking." In other words, writing is thinking. And since I do almost all my significant writing in ConnectedText these days, it might be called my "writing environment."

      Various quotes along the lines of "writing is thinking".

      What is the equivalent in oral societies? Memory is thinking?

    1. in Luhmann’s mind theprocess of writing things down enables disciplined thinking in the first place: “Underlying the filing tech-nique is the experience that without writing, there is no thinking.”22
      1. Luhmann, Zettelkasten II, index card no. 9/8g (my translation).

      The act of taking notes helps to focus the mind and one's concentration. This facilitates better and deeper thinking. While he erases oral cultures and those who used mnemonic techniques, Niklas Luhmann said, "without writing, there is no thinking."

    1. Here, the card index func-tions as a ‘thinking machine’,67 and becomes the best communication partner for learned men.68

      From a computer science perspective, isn't the index card functioning like an external memory, albeit one with somewhat pre-arranged linked paths? It's the movement through the machine's various paths that is doing the "thinking". Or the user's (active) choices that create the paths creates the impression of thinking.

      Perhaps it's the pre-arranged links where the thinking has already happened (based on "work" put into the system) and then traversing the paths gives the appearance of "new" thinking?

      How does this relate to other systems which can be thought of as thinking from a complexity perspective? Bacteria perhaps? Groups of cells acting in concert? Groups of people acting in concert? Cells seeing out food using random walks? etc?

      From this perspective, how can we break out the constituent parts of thought and thinking? Consciousness? With enough nodes and edges and choices of paths between them (or a "correct" subset of paths) could anything look like thinking or computing?

  4. Oct 2021
    1. What I'm interested in is doing this with visual artefacts as source material. What does visual pkm look like? Journaling, scrapbooking, collecting and the like. The most obvious tool is the sketchbook. How does a sketchbook work?

      It builds on many of these traditions, but there is a rather sizeable movement in the physical world as well as lots online of sketchnotes which might fit the bill for you Roy.

      The canonical book/textbook for the space seems to be Sketchnote Handbook, The: the illustrated guide to visual note taking by Mike Rohde.

      For a solid overview of the idea in about 30 minutes, I found this to be a useful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evLCAYlx4Kw

  5. Sep 2021
    1. https://via.hypothes.is/https://finiteeyes.net/pedagogy/extending-the-mind/

      A well written review of Annie Murphy Paul's The Extended Mind. Matthew Cheney has distilled a lot out of the book from his notes with particular application to improving pedagogy.

      I definitely want to read this with relation to not only using it to improve teaching, but with respect to mnemotechniques and the methods oral and indigenous societies may have either had things right or wrong and what Western culture may have lost as a result. I'm also particularly interested in it for its applications to the use of commonplace books and zettelkasten as methods of extending the mind and tools for thought.

    2. How to Use These Ideas

      I love that he's not only externalized his thoughts from the book as annotations/notes and then synthesized them into a longer essay, but he's further expanded and externalized them by thinking about how to put them to use!

  6. Aug 2021
    1. Now, whenever I have a thought worth capturing, I write it on an index card in either marker pen or biro (depending on the length of the thought), and place in the relevant box. I use index cards for books, blogs, conversations I overhear at the club, memories, etc. They’re in my coat pocket when I fetch the kids from school. I leave them handy in the locker at the swimming pool (where I do much of my best thinking). And I run with them. Sound weird? Well, I’m in good company. Ryan Holiday[116], Anne Lamott[117], Robert Greene[118], Oliver Burkeman[119], Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Nabokov[120] and Ludwig Wittgenstein[121] all use (d) the humble index card to catalogue and organise their thoughts. If you’re serious about embarking on this digital journey, buy a hundred-pack of 127 x 76mm ruled index cards for less than a pound, rescue a shoebox from the attic and stick a few marker-penned notecards on their end to act as dividers. Write a “My Digital Box” label on the top of the shoebox, and you’re off.

      apparently a quote from Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money by David Sawyer FCIPR.

      Notes about users of index card based commonplace books.

    1. For example, his erasable writing tablet is referenced inW. Blunt, Linnaeus: The Compleat Naturalist(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 70.

      What form did Carl Linnaeus' erasable writing tablet take?

  7. Jul 2021
    1. the idea is to render very clear the connections between ideas with as little friction as possible.

      The goal of note taking and tools for it is to make capturing ideas and creating connections between them as easy and friction free as possible. This allows note taking come closer to actual thinking with better long term retention.

    2. Carr’s argument is something I resisted for a long time, but his main assertion — that the tools we use to think shape how we think — is hard to ignore.

      While this may be Nicholas Carr's statement, it's actually pre-dated significantly by Marshall McLuhann

    1. I'm currently building Lotu, a tool for intertwingled thinking. It's a space where you store your ideas as building blocks and then you compose them in arbitrary trails. I'd love to collaborate with adjacent projects.
    1. Linnaeus had to manage a conflict between the need to bring information into a fixed order for purposes of later retrieval, and the need to permanently integrate new information into that order, says Mueller-Wille. “His solution to this dilemma was to keep information on particular subjects on separate sheets, which could be complemented and reshuffled,” he says.

      Carl Linnaeus created a method whereby he kept information on separate sheets of paper which could be reshuffled.

      In a commonplace-centric culture, this would have been a fascinating innovation.

      Did the cost of paper (velum) trigger part of the innovation to smaller pieces?

      Did the de-linearization of data imposed by codices (and previously parchment) open up the way people wrote and thought? Being able to lay out and reorder pages made a more 3 dimensional world. Would have potentially made the world more network-like?

      cross-reference McLuhan's idea about our tools shaping us.

    1. But you know what? Screw it. I need to take my time and develop the necessary ideas properly. If these thoughts never develop in such a way that I can turn them into a book, so be it. If they do so develop and nobody wants to publish it, so be it. (I’ll just make various digital versions.) The point, at this stage in my career, after fifteen published books, is not the publication, it’s the thinking. So let the thinking, in public, commence.

      Some interesting thoughts about thinking and writing in public.

  8. Jun 2021
    1. The more pieces of information we can “access” and the faster we can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.

      But are Google's tools really making us more productive thinkers? One might argue that it's attempting to do all the work for us and take out the process of thought all together. We're just rats in a maze hitting a bar to get the food pellet.

      What if the end is a picture of us as the people on the space ship at the end of WALL-E? What if it's keeping us from thinking?

      What if it's making us more shallow thinkers rather than deep thinkers?

      Cross reference P.M. Forni.

    1. The way to do a piece of writing is three or four times over, never once. For me, the hardest part comes first, getting some-thing--anything--out in front of me. Sometimes in a nervous frenzy I just fling words as if I were flinging mud at a wall. Blurt out, heave out, babble out something--anything-as a first draft. With that, you have acf>ieved a sort of nucleus. Then, as you work it over and alter it, you begin to shape sentences that score higher with the ear and eye. Edit it again-top to bottom. The chances are that about now you'll be see-ing something that you are sort of eager for others to see. And all that takes time. What I have left out is the interstitial time. You finish that first awful blurt-ing, and then you put the thing aside. You get in your car and drive home. On the way, your mind is still knitting at the words. You think of a better way to say something, a good phrase to correct a . certain problem. Without the drafted version-if it did not exist-you obvi-ously would not be thinking of things that would improve it. In short, you may be actually writing only two or three hours a day, but your mind, in one way or another, is working on it twenty-four hours a day-yes, while you sleep-but only if some sort of draft or earlier ver-sion already exists. Until it exists, writ-ing has not really begun."

      Some solid advice not only for writing, but even thinking in general. Writing out your thoughts can help to sharpen and improve them.



    1. Though it is often assumedthat mnemonics were used to memorize speeches, the importance of memory to theinventionofspeech was readily apparent to ancient orators—thus the famous praise of memory as athesauruminventorum(Herennium3.16.28). As Cicero writes inDe Oratore, the orator must commit tomemory“the whole past with its storehouse of examples and precedents,”as well as a knowledgeof all laws general and civil, for without such memories, the orator is left speechless (1.17–18).Expanding on Cicero’s point, Quintilian claims that“it is the power of memory alone that bringsbefore us all the store of precedents, laws, rulings, sayings, and facts which the orator must possessin abundance . . . and hold ready for immediate use”(Institutio11.2.1). The art of memory was thusto be used to recollect not only pre-written orations but also knowledge from a variety of sources tobe called upon when constructing new texts, speakingex tempore, or responding to an interlocutor’sarguments.

      Too often, this seems to me to be a missing piece that few talk about now. Those posting to the Art of Memory forum are usually talking about the need to memorize for memorization's sake. Rarely are they talking about or noticing the second or third level order changes as the result of an improved memory.

  9. May 2021
    1. Think of it as a spectrum. Things we dump into private WhatsApp group chats, DMs, and cavalier Tweet threads are part of our chaos streams - a continuous flow of high noise / low signal ideas. On the other end we have highly performative and cultivated artefacts like published books that you prune and tend for years.Gardening sits in the middle. It's the perfect balance of chaos and cultivation.

      There's something here that's reminiscent of Craig Mod's essay Post Artifact Books and Publishing.

      Reminder to self: revisit this idea.

    1. The scrapbooks reveal a critical and analytical way of thinking and emphasis on experimental evidence in physics, through which he became one of the early founders and advocates of modern scientific methodology. The more experience and experiments are accumulated during the exploration of nature, the more faltering its theories become. It is always good though not to abandon them instantly. For every hypothesis which used to be good at least serves the purpose of duly summarizing and keeping all phenomena until its own time. One should lay down the conflicting experience separately, until it has accumulated sufficiently to justify the efforts necessary to edifice a new theory. (Lichtenberg: scrapbook JII/1602)

      Georg Christoph Lichtenberg used his notebooks as thinking tools with respect to scientific methodology.

  10. Oct 2020
    1. Our experience is that many of today’s technology leaders genuinely venerate Engelbart, Kay, and their colleagues. Many even feel that computers have huge potential as tools for improving human thinking. But they don’t see how to build good businesses around developing new tools for thought. And without such business opportunities, work languishes.

      Some of these ideas in this section tangentially touch on the broader problems of EdTech. Technology isn't necessarily the answer.

      They're onto something, but I feel like they're missing a huge grounding in areas of pedagogy, teaching, EdTech history, and even memory and memory research.

  11. Jun 2020
    1. With that said, the term “tools for thought” has been widely used since Iverson’s 1950s and 1960s work An account may be found in Iverson’s Turing Award lecture, Notation as a Tool of Thought (1979). Incidentally, even Iverson is really describing a medium for thought, the APL programming language, not a narrow tool. introducing the term. And so we shall use “tools for thought” as our catch all phrase, while giving ourselves license to explore a broader range, and also occasionally preferring the term “medium” when it is apt.