16 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. Aug 2021
    1. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/adversaria

      Note the use of adversaria also as a book of accounts. This is intriguing and gives a historical linguistic link to the idea of waste books being used in the commonplace tradition. When was this secondary use of adversaria used?

    1. Unlike traditional journaling or commonplacing, my pocket notebooks don’t have any set format, and mostly amount to a collection of short lists, reminders, and random stream-of-consciousness jottings. These notebooks essentially serve the same purpose as scratch paper, only I have all of my random musings gathered together in one place as opposed to scattered around my desk on post-its and the backs of old grocery lists.

      This is an example in the wild of someone using pocket notebooks as waste books. Though in this case they weren't actively moving pieces into a more permanent commonplace.

      https://www.gentlemanstationer.com/blog/2020/7/31/personal-journaling-setup-part-3-revisiting-pocket-notebooks

  3. Jul 2021
    1. "I always get my jokes down on pieces of paper right away—backs of matchbos, whatever. No one is allowed to throw a piece of paper out in my house, because on the back of a laundry list there may be a joke."

      For Joan Rivers scraps of paper, receipts, laundry lists, and matchbooks served the function as waste books. She would eventually transfer them to 3x5" index cards using a typewriter.

    1. Over time, Carlin formalized that system: paper scraps with words or phrases would each receive a category, usually noted in a different color at the top of the paper, and then periodically those scraps would be gathered into plastic bags by category, and then those bags would go into file folders. Though he would later begin using a computer to keep track of those ideas, the basic principle of find-ability remained. “That’s how he built this collection of independent ideas that he was able to cross-reference and start to build larger routines from,” Heftel explains.

      George Carlin's process of collecting and collating his material. His plastic bags by category were similar to the concept of waste books to quickly collect information (similar to the idea of fleeting notes). He later placed them into file folders (an iteration on the Zettelkasten using file folders of papers instead of index cards).

  4. May 2021
    1. We still do not understand how information practices from the worlds of learning, finance, industry, and administration cross-pollinated. From the fourteenth century onward, accountants developed complex instructions for note-taking to describe holdings and transactions, as well for the recording of numbers and calculations. By the seventeenth century, merchants, and indeed ship captains, engineers, and state administrators, were known to travel with trunks of memoranda, massive inventories, scrap books, and various ledgers and log books that mixed descriptive notes and numbers. By the eighteenth century, tables and printed forms cut down on the need for notes and required less description and more systematic numerical notes. Notaries also were master information handlers, creating archives for their legal and financial documents and cross-referencing catalogue systems.

      I'm noticing no mention here of double entry book keeping or the accountant's idea of waste books.

      There's also no mention of orality or memory methods either.

    1. Waste books were also used in the tradition of the commonplace book. A well know example is Isaac Newton's Waste Book in which he did much of the development of the calculus.[4] Another example is that of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who called his waste books sudelbücher, and which were known to have influenced Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, Andre Breton, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.[

      I added this section.

    2. I've heard references of people using these in combination with or also for commonplace books.

    1. Newton's Waste Book (MS Add. 4004) The most cherished legacy that Newton received from his stepfather, Barnabas Smith (1582-1653), seems to have been this vast manuscript commonplace book Add. 4004. Smith was rector of North Witham, a wealthy clergyman who married Newton’s mother on 27 January 1646. The immediate consequence of this union was that the three-year old Isaac Newton had to be sent to live with his grandmother. On Smith’s death, Newton appears to have inherited his library, most of which he gave away much later in life to a kinsman in Grantham. Smith himself had made extensive use of these books, in compiling a volume of theological commonplaces. This consisted of hundreds of folios bound in pasteboard, ruled at the top and in the margin of each folio to allow space for a heading and references to each entry. Newton was not interested by the very pedestrian efforts in divinity, largely the culling of quotations, with which Smith had begun to fill the book since its inception on 12 May 1612. He wanted its paper, as the title that he wrote on its original cover in February 1664 (‘Waste Book’) suggested.

      Here's the beginning of the digital example of Isaac Newton's Waste Book.

    1. Gimmick Book Pulp sci-fi author Alfred Bester kept a book of storytelling tricks. All I ever wanted was to be a great storytelling pitchman, which is why I collected the tricky devices and means which are entered in this Gimmick Book.

      It's been a while since I've seen someone mention either gimmick books or waste books in relation to commonplace books.

    1. The largest collection of Isaac Newton's papers has gone digital, committing to open-access posterity the works of one of history's greatest scientist. Among the works shared online by the Cambridge Digital Library are Newton's own annotated copy of Principia Mathematica and the 'Waste Book,' the notebook in which a young Newton worked out the principles of calculus.

      I've annotated something about Isaac Newton's Waste Book for calculus before (possibly in Cambridge's Digital Library itself, but just in case, I'm making a note of it here again so it doesn't get lost.

      In my own practice, I occasionally use small notebooks to write temporary notes into before transferring them into other digital forms. I generally don't throw them away, but they're essentially waste books in a sense.