35 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2024
    1. I don't see the relevance of @chrisaldrich's mention of how "people are slowly adding small atomic pieces of information" to Wikipedia: that is about text editing, not about text structure and purpose. People do the same with any document in Google Docs, for example!


      Perhaps Wikipedia's underlying zettelkasten nature is hiding in the more narrative nature of the ultimate pages, but it's definitely there. The "standard" web user interface view of Wikipedia pages makes it less obvious that the added pieces are atomic in nature, and that Wikipedia in fact is a group zettelkasten being built in the public/commons. However, if you've customized your own specific view of Wikipedia; are using an Atom Subscription (and yes, it's actually called this!); watching recent changes; or are using the history functionality (example: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zettelkasten&action=history), then you're getting closer to the sorts of views of atomic additions I was speaking of. Some of this is also the reason that there is a checkbox for "minor edits" to take account of typos and minutiae which are sub-atomic and filters out or cleans up the stream of the updates one could receive.

      Viewed from this perspective, Wikipedia is a distributed zettelkasten of the highest order. Intellectually all this traces back to the original zettelkasten of Konrad Gessner, who uncoincidentally is one of the most famous and prolific encyclopedists in history.

      One could easily take small notes made in their own zettelkasten and add them on a 1-1 corresponding basis (including the note, the references, and even a unique identifier chosen and applied by Wikipedia; here's an example with the identifier 1118181304 as a demonstration) to a variety of Wikipedia articles. For certain topics I'm interested in watching, this can be a great boon to my own zettelkasten as I can reverse this process and subscribe to/watch additions at the smallest level and not only excerpt them directly into my zettelkasten, but I can usually locate the original source and excerpt directly from it as a means of verification/fact checking. As a result this zettelkasten being built in the commons on a daily basis can be imminently more useful to me. (Sadly, I don't think that many others are using it the same way or if they are, they're not doing so at the rate/speed/facility that I am.)

      A similar example can be seen in the topically arranged group zettelkasten created for The Great Books of the Western World which was lightly edited into the book form of The Syntopicon (volumes 2 and 3 of the 54 book series). One could certainly try to argue that The Syntopicon isn't a zettelkasten because it is in edited book form, but in fact, it's just an easier published and more portable form for me to have a copy of Adler and Company's physical zettelkasten as the end product is a 1-1 version of their card index with some introductory material added for readability and direction. The sad part here is that Adler's zettelkasten has ceased updating in 1952 while Wikipedia continues apace.

      For the "fans", one might say Wikipedia is even more closely related to Luhmann's variation of a zettelkasten as the user adding a particular idea doesn't need to add explicit links to other external ideas (though they certainly could), but by placing it on a particular page in a particular paragraph, they're juxtaposing it to a specific location that closely relates it to nearby ideas which already exist in that particular page (train of though/folgezettel).

      Certainly Wikipedia has a hypertextual nature as well as a text and document editing capabilities and dozens of other interesting and useful affordances, but at it's core, it's true soul is that of a (digital) zettelkasten.

      Reply to @andy at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/20462/#Comment_20462

  2. Mar 2024
    1. Hi Muhammed, Thank you so much for the workshop friday. It was Nice to hear others geek out and talk about the Zettelkasten principle and with interactive exercises it was wonderful. I have done my PhD with inspiration in Luhmann’s system for knowledge creation so I am quite familiar with it. Still I have a question for you that I am sad I didn’t get around to discuss with you in person at the summit. Instead I thought I could ask it here and hope you would still see it. Are you doing your Zettelkasten in obsidian - and if so why do you still number them? Best Agnes

      /reply at Digital Fitness in response to Agnes Lausen about folgezettel

      Hey Agnes, thanks a lot for attending. I rlly loved the energy and loved doing the workshop. As to your question, yes I do use obsidian for my zettelkasten. As to the numbering, it gives me a few benefits. Firstly, it forces me to make a link. If I am going to import a new note, I will have to link the note to another note, because I have to give an ID (number). This prevents orphan notes. And, it gives me a visual sense of what is going on in my zettelkasten. I can see at a glance if a section has more notes than others (my section 4, for example, has more notes.) Both the ID and the statement title, for me, gives me so much context just seeing the title without looking at the contents.

    1. https://web.archive.org/web/20240305193114/https://writing.bobdoto.computer/how-to-use-folgezettel-in-your-zettelkasten-everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-started/

      I regularly come across posts wrt to use Folgezettel or not, and whether there's a role for them outside 'Luhmann purism'. Bob Doto is vocal about it, or has been over the yrs. I get three elements from this: 1. The numerical branches and numbers are emergent, not preplanned like Johnny Decimal or as people once suggested for common placing 1. It forces a first link. Which also serves as a mental anchor. This is something that can work regardless of Folgezettel. I also always add at least one link. The thing is I do not fixate that link by marking them as the original or something like that. I could however do that in some way. The same is true for exploring the collection. It might help as an entry point (and you may have a mental map of the main numbered branches) but that works without numbering too: I know from the graph where main sections of my notes are and use that as starting point. 1. Luhmann and Doto remarked it helps preserve original lines of reasoning /argumentation from a source text or their thinking session. This is something I currently don't really have, and do miss. I do at times create an overview note for such things, and I sometimes add 'link trains' to a note, linking to an overarching concept and following concept and an example. I am not sure that introducing numbering is key in keeping lines of argumentation visible/traceable. This is one of the things to think about n:: numbering systems allow keeping lines of reasoning

  3. Oct 2023
    1. In Re: to folgezettel or not? in an unlogged chat:

      Zettelkasten (slips) or not (commonplaces, notebooks, paper, files, other), you're going to have a variety of related ideas which you'll juxtapose, especially if you're regularly writing. Those who practice folgezettel are putting in some of the work/heavy lifting from the start versus those who don't and are leaving the work until some later point closer to composition. Folgezettel also helps to encourage the emergence of ideas, but requires work to do so. This doesn't mean that this emergence or new ideas may not arrive without Folgezettel and/or Zettelkasten, but one needs to have some process or affordances which help to foster them. Victor Margolin's process put more of his work on the back end in comparison to Luhmann, but his version obviously works all the same. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxyy0THLfuI

  4. Sep 2023
    1. Doto, Bob. “Folgezettel Mechanics.” Bobdoto.Computer (blog), March 1, 2022. https://bobdoto.computer/folgezettel-mechanics.

    2. For note makers who find themselves creating an unwieldy amount of so-called "orphan notes," the folgezettel sounds the alarm. When faced with a sea of parents without children (9A 9B 9C 9D 9E, etc) it makes these "empty nesters" all the more apparent as the note gets added to the stack.

      There's an interesting dichotomy which seems to be arising here. It's almost as if he's defining a folgezettel note in opposition to orphaned notes, most often seen in digital settings when importing lots of "stuff" but which Doto indicates can happen in analog systems as well.

      Orphaned notes in an analog space, however are still linked by proximity even though they're not as densely linked (even from a mathematical topology perspective.)

    3. folgezettel pushes the note maker toward making at least one connection at the time of import.

      There is a difference between the sorts of links one might make when placing an idea into an (analog) zettelkasten. A folgezettel link is more valuable than a simple tag/category link because it places an idea into a more specific neighborhood than any handful of tags. This is one of the benefits of a Luhmann-artig ZK system over a more traditional commonplace one, particularly when the work is done up front instead of being punted to a later time.

      For those with a 1A2B3Z linking system (versus a pure decimal system), it may be more difficult to insert a card before other cards rather than after them because of the potential gymnastics of numbering and the natural tendency to put things into a continuing linear order.

      See also: - https://hypothes.is/a/ToqCPq1bEe2Q0b88j4whwQ - https://hyp.is/WtB2AqmlEe2wvCsB5ZyL5A/docdrop.org/download_annotation_doc/Introduction-to-Luhmanns-Zette---Ludecke-Daniel-h4nh8.pdf

    1. This impression may come from the fact that technically implementing such a feature with a so-called tree component requires a root element – with all following elements being „children“, thus it seems that the first element – the root – defines a specific category. But, all notes in a note sequence are on the same level. There are no categories.
  5. Aug 2023
    1. Another surprise was the amount of notecards that are associated with one another. While some cards contain a short one-line joke, other jokes span several cards. These collections of cards had originally been paper-clipped together, but at some point in the life of the gag file the paper clips were removed. This removal was great in terms of preservation because paper clips tend to rust and cause damage to the surface to which they have been attached. But the removal also made it difficult to decipher which cards were originally associated with one another. I was able to use the bend marks on cards as well as rust marks from where a paper clip used to be to record which joke cards were most likely originally paper-clipped together. This association is important to note because some individual cards only hold a portion of a longer joke and therefore do not make sense independently.

      While most of the jokes in Phyllis Diller's gag file were individual, stand-alone cards, the archivist who scanned them noted that there was a surprising number of cards that were associated with one another. (jokerfolgezettel, anyone?) She was able to distinguish jokes which spanned several cards by either their paperclips (when extant), or physical markings (rust/paper bending) which indicated prior paperclipping or other association which had long since been removed.

  6. Mar 2023
  7. Feb 2023
    1. Fast, Sascha. “No, Luhmann Was Not About Folgezettel.” Topical Blog. Zettelkasten Method, October 31, 2015. https://zettelkasten.de/posts/luhmann-folgezettel-truth/.

    2. I don’t think it is the best choice to realize Luhmann’s principles. Yet it is the best application adapting his techniques I know so far.

      Sascha Fast appreciated Lüdecke's ZKN3 application as one of the best for adapting Luhmann's techniques to a digital space, but felt that it could have gone further in realizing Luhmann's principles.

      Some of the tension in this debate is that between the affordances of analog (paper) versus digital information storage and tagging.

      Paper lacks easy corpus text search while simultaneously requiring additional manual indexing to make up for it. Paper also doesn't have the discovery value of autocomplete. On the opposite end paper forces one to more regularly review physical associative trails through one's past work while digital allows one to skip over some of this review process.

    3. One piece of clutter was the concept of Folgezettel.

      Sascha Fast felt in 2015 that the idea of Folgezettel within a zettelkasten was unnecessary "clutter".

      Did he later change his mind after further discussion?

      check this for further arguments: https://hypothes.is/a/xzuclLbBEe2Ov4viA3XOkQ

    4. Update 2020-04-15: The topic re-emerged after a couple of years. There is quite some discussions in the forum. For example: Here, here and here. See this new post from 2020 for an expansion on that topic.
    1. Not sure I completely follow the logic of the debate between Sascha and taurusnoises (Bob Doto) here. I'll have to look closer.

      Perhaps mapping out the 1-1 distinctions between the digital and the analog here would be helpful. What structures would be needed to make them 1-1?

    2. fz is less about the tree (though that is important) and more about the UX.

      I do like the framing of folgezettel as a benefit with respect to user experience.

      There is a lot of mention of the idea of trees within the note taking and zettelkasten space, but we really ought to be looking more closely at other living systems models like rhizomes and things which have a network-like structure.

    1. Part 1: What Do We Need? Denote as a Zettelkasten, 2023. https://share.tube/w/mu7fMr5RWMqetcZRXutSGF.

      It starts and ends with Denote, but has an excellent overview of the folgezettel debate (or should one use Luhmann-esque identifiers within their digital zettelkasten system?)

      Some of the tension within the folgezettel debate comes down to those who might prefer more refined evergreen (reusable) notes in many contexts, or those who have potentially shorter notes that fit within a train of thought (folgezettel) which helps to add some of the added context.

      The difference is putting in additional up-front work to more heavily decontextualize excerpts and make them reusable in more contexts, which has an uncertain future payoff versus doing a bit less contextualization as the note will speak to it's neighbors as a means of providing some of this context. With respect to reusing a note in a written work, one is likely to remove their notes and their neighbors to provide this context when needed for writing.

      (apparently I didn't save this note when I watched it prior to number 2, blech....)

    1. hough I don’t know for certain, it seems possible that his system is a hybrid of the outlining method from law and the notecard method from history and sociology. The use of copious cross-links between the individual notes stems from his particular project of synthesizing knowledge from multiple disciplines, thus making it difficult to ever place most cards in one and only one spot in the ever-growing outline.

      presumption: L's Folgezettel are a combination of outlining (as common in US maybe not German law edu) and the note cards used in sociology. Cross linking as a way to escape forced categorisation into exclusive buckets. Is there also in cross linking an element perhaps of escaping established idiom while building new (fields) of knowledge? (Vgl. Richard Rorty's struggle when forced to explain pragmatism in the language of Platonic dilemma's. [[Taal als zicht beperkend element 20031104104523]] )

    2. We just need to understand where they (likely) come from and their purpose in the overall system. In short, I believe that they are an artifact of Luhmann’s legal education and serve the purpose of synthesis.

      Lawson thinks L's Folgezettel are a product of his training in law, and they were used by L for synthesis.

    1. level 2A_Dull_SignificanceOp · 2 hr. agoYes! When I run across a comment on a book I haven’t read yet but seems interesting I make a little card with the comment and book title2ReplyGive AwardShareReportSaveFollowlevel 2taurusnoises · 2 hr. agoObsidianSo, you keep the titles of books you want to read organized in folgezettel (you give them an alphanumeric ID?) among your ZK notes? That's really interesting!

      I've done something like this when I think a particular reference(s) can answer a question related to a train of thought. But I keep cards of unread sources at the front of my sources section so that it's easier to pull it out frequently to prioritize and decide what I should be reading or working on next. These will then have links to the open questions I've noted, so that I can go back to those sections either as I'm reading/writing or to add those ideas into the appropriate folgezettel. These sorts of small amounts of work documented briefly can add up quickly over time. Source cards with indications of multiple open questions that might be answered is sometimes a good measure of desire to read, though other factors can also be at play.

      That to-read pile of bibliographic source notes (a mini antilibrary) is akin to walking into a party and surveying a room. I may be aware of some of the people I haven't met yet and the conversations we might have, but if there are interesting questions I know I want to ask of specific ones or conversations I already know I want to have, it can be more productive to visit those first.

      This sort of practice has been particularly helpful for times when I want to double check someone's sources or an original context, but don't have the time to do it immediately, don't want to break another extended train of thought, have to wait on materials, or may have to make a trip to consult physical materials that are singular or rare. For quick consultative reading, this can be a boon when I know I don't want or need to read an entire work, but skimming a chapter or a few pages for a close reading of a particular passage. I'll often keep a pile of these sorts of sources at hand so that I can make a short trip to a library, pick them up, find what I need and move on without having to recreate large portions of context to get the thing done because I've already laid most of the groundwork.

    1. A sequence of Folgezetteln notes in the filenames of the Zettelns can from this perspective be considered a hardcoded outline and should be avoided, however convenient it seems.

      And here he says it out loud... see https://hypothes.is/a/Gl5ferPsEe2Yf5P83a3wUg

    2. But it is your writing that is the map, not the Zettelkasten, it can’t do that for you, you have to put in the work.

      He's arguing here for even more work to make an outline for writing as if some of that work hasn't already been done. This seems very off to me.

      The author would likely fall into the "folgezettel is not an outline" camp. I take a middle ground that it could be an outline or at least help to lower the activation threshold to making one.

    1. https://writing.bobdoto.computer/how-to-use-folgezettel-in-your-zettelkasten-everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-started/

    2. Using an alphanumeric identification system for your notes is a workout. By having to situate new notes among previously imported ones, folgezettel forces at least one connection between ideas. It's mental calisthenics,8 acting as a check against capture bloat—that is, importing "all the things."

      Those who practice analog note taking have a high level of friction which prevents them from over-collecting (or "capture bloat", importing "all the things", or "collector's fallacy") ideas, which may not rise to a certain level of value. Beyond this, the requirement to find at least one other note to link each idea to provides a smaller hurdle against these hoarding practices.

  8. Aug 2022
    1. https://writing.bobdoto.computer/folgezettel-is-not-an-outline-luhmanns-playful-appreciation-of-disfunction/

    2. At first glance, Luhmann's alphanumeric system—sometimes referred to as "folgezettel"1—appears to be a way of structuring an outline of specific arguments within one's stack of notes.

      Luhmann's folgezettel (sequence of notes) may not quite be an outline, but I'm begining to suspect that Luhmann used the idea of an outline or a table of contents to structure his note making practice.

      While he may have gotten it elsewhere, we know he read Heyde's instructions as (at least one of his) source(s). Heyde's table of contents (the 1970's version at least, we'll need to double check the 1930's versions) is highly suggestive, both in form, structure, and even numbering of the same set up in Luhmann's zettelkasten.

      It's likely that Luhmann was attempting to get around all the additional copying and filing work suggested in Heyde.

  9. Apr 2022
    1. If a thought is to be placed in the Zettelkasten, first consider which topic it fits to. Then this topic must be sifted through, after which a note can be incorporated - be it as a new “initial note”, as a continuation or as a branching off of a note

      Folgezettel required finding the place where a thought fits, which is quite a bit of work and can be meaningful.

    1. Links or references do not emphasize the relationship between notes (ideas, content). The context of connections usually remains unclear due to arbitrary relationships. Folgezettel, however, create specific relationships – adding manual links (references) to these relationships create relationship of relationships, the core aspect of Luhmann’s working principle

      I think the distinction between Folgezettel and direct links isn't useful. The real distinction is between connections that are defined relationships, and connections that are undefined.

  10. Oct 2020