15 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2021
  2. Mar 2021
    1. I've come across about 20 reference for Ivan Illitch over the past month. Not sure what is driving it. Some mentions are coming out of educator circles, others from programmers, some from what I might describe as "knowledge workers" (digital gardeners/Roam Cult/Obsidian crowds). One tangential one was from someone in the hyperlink.academy crowd.

      Here's a recent one from today that popped up within a thread shared in IndieWeb chat:

      Ivan Illich continues to be even more more relevant than he was at the height of his New Left popularity. Conviviality in the digital tools we use has continued to wither https://t.co/D88V6KL7Ez pic.twitter.com/OFDYTjXyCn

      — Count Bla (@123456789blaaa) March 15, 2021
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Deschooling Society and Tools for Conviviality look very interesting. Perhaps they've distilled enough that their ideas are having a resurgence?

  3. Feb 2021
    1. The idea of a purely linear text is a myth; readers stitch together meanings in much more complex ways than we have traditionally imagined; the true text is more of a network than a single, fixed document.

      The internet isn't a new invention, it's just a more fixed version of the melange of text, ideas, and thought networks that have existed over human existence.

      First there was just the memory and indigenous peoples all over the world creating vast memory palaces to interconnect their thoughts. (cross reference the idea of ancients thinking much the way we do now from the fist episode or so of Literature and History)

      Then we invite writing and texts which help us in terms of greater storage without the work or relying solely on memory. This reaches it's pinnacle in the commonplace book and the ideas of Llull's combinatorial thought.

      Finally we've built the Internet which interconnects so much more.

      But now we need to go back and revisit the commonplace book and memory techniques to tie them altogether. Perhaps Lynne Kelly's concept of The Third Archive is what we should perfect next until another new instantiation comes to augment the system.

    1. They also turned their reading into writing, because commonplacing made them into authors. It forced them to write their own books; and by doing so they developed a still sharper sense of themselves as autonomous individuals. The authorial self took shape in the common man’s commonplace book, not merely in the works of great writers. It belonged to the general tendency that Stephen Greenblatt has called “Renaissance self-fashioning.”

      This fits into my broader developing thesis about thinking and writing as a means of evolving thought.

  4. Oct 2020
    1. What if the best tools for thought have already been discovered? In other words, perhaps the 1960s and 1970s were an unrepeatable golden age, and all we can expect in the future is gradual incremental improvement, and perhaps the occasional major breakthrough, at a decreasing frequency?

      Many have been, but they've been forgotten and need to be rediscovered and repopularized as well as refined.

      Once this has happened, perhaps others may follow. Ideas like PAO are incredibly valuable ones that hadn't previously existed, but were specially built for remembering specific types of information. How can we combinatorially use some of these other methods to create new and interesting ones for other types of tools?

    2. Put another way, many tools for thought are public goods. They often cost a lot to develop initially, but it’s easy for others to duplicate and improve on them, free riding on the initial investment. While such duplication and improvement is good for our society as a whole, it’s bad for the companies that make that initial investment. And so such tools for thought suffer the fate of many public goods: our society collectively underinvests in them, relative to the benefits they provide
  5. Aug 2020
  6. Jun 2020
    1. One need arose quite commonly as trains of thought would develop on a growing series of note cards. There was no convenient way to link these cards together so that the train of thought could later be recalled by extracting the ordered series of notecards. An associative-trail scheme similar to that out lined by Bush for his Memex could conceivably be implemented with these cards to meet this need and add a valuable new symbol-structuring process to the system.

      This reminds me of of how the Roam Research app has implemented bidirectional links and block references.

    2. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human "feel for a situation" usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.

      This sounds a lot like Rheingold's tools for thought.

    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.