8 Matching Annotations
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.