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  1. Last 7 days
    1. Rather than the night before a quiz or exam, it may be more important to sleep well for the duration of the time when the topics tested were taught. The implications of these findings are that, at least in the context of an academic assessment, the role of sleep is crucial during the time the content itself is learned, and simply getting good sleep the night before may not be as helpful.
  2. Oct 2020
    1. Luhmann’s slip-box grew to become an equal thinking partner in his work. He described his system as his secondary memory (zweitgedächtnis), alter ego, or reading memory (lesegedächtnis).
    1. ...conversations take random walks through events and ideas in a manner determined by the associative networks of the participants." --Douglas Hofstadter, Foreward, Sparse Distributed Memory

      This is reminiscent of Zegnat's mention during the Gardens and Streams session of remembering where things were in the IndieWeb wiki by remembering the pathways more so than the things themselves. This is very reminiscent of Australian songlines.

    1. In mnemotechnic,brevitasrefers to the creating ofsuch ‘‘rich’’ if necessarily ‘‘brief ’’ units. Because there is in principle no limiton the number ofdivisionesa person may have in memory, readers could beencouraged to make ‘‘brief and compendious’’ summaries of materials theyhad learned.

      This is very similar to the idea in TiddlyWiki or Zettlekasten of writing down and storing the minimal amount of information on a card to capture an idea.

    2. Therefore it is a great valuefor fixing a memory-image that when we read books, we strive to impress onour memory through the power of forming our mental images not only thenumber and order of verses or ideas, but at the same time the color, shape,position, and placement of the letters, where we have seen this or that writ-ten, in what part, in what location (at the top, the middle, or the bottom)we saw it positioned, in what color we observed the trace of the letter or theornamented surface of the parchment

      I've always been able to generally remember how far into a book and on what part of the page (left/right; top/middle/bottom) the thing was. This obviously is not a new phenomenon, though obviously the printing of texts in the modern age helps standardize this for students in comparison with this particular example which discusses different versions of the same text.

    3. Having learned the Psalms [as a whole], I then devise the same sort ofscheme for each separate psalm, starting with the beginning words of theverses just as I did for the whole Psalter starting with the first words of thepsalms, and I can thereafter easily retain in my heart the whole series one verseat a time; first by dividing and marking off the book by [whole] psalms andthen each psalm by verses, I have reduced a large amount of material to suchconciseness and brevity

      The repeated uses of knowing and keeping things in the heart in this text along with the overlap of memory makes me wonder where the initial phrase "to know by heart" originated. This 12th century text certainly is a reasonably old one, though certainly others may have likely existed before.

    4. Now indeed endeavor to imprintin this fashion in your memory the matters which are written out below, ac-cording to the method and diagram for learning by heart demonstrated toyou earlier, so that by experience you can know the truth of my words, whenyou perceive how valuable it is to devote study and labor not just to havingheard the lectures on the Scriptures or to discussion, but to memory-work.

      here's the phrase "learning by heart" translated more familiarly

      I'm curious what the original Latin was?

    5. Thus, as an art, memory was most importantly associated in the MiddleAges with composition, not simply with retention.
    6. Re-collection is not passive, but rather an activity involvinghuman will and thought; it is often defined as a form of reasoning. One mayconveniently think of this activity in spatial terms, as if memories have beenstored in a variety of places and must be called together in a common placewhere we can become aware of them, where we can ‘‘see’’ them again andknow them in the present.

      I don't use it frequently (enough perhaps), but TiddlyWiki has the ability to open multiple cards (tiddlers) in one view (using a permalink) as a means of giving disparate small pieces of thought a commonplace. Very few other note taking systems do this without relying on a taxonomy mechanism.

    7. As understood by the early scho-lastic philosophers, Aristotle taught also thatevery memory is composed of twoaspects: a ‘‘likeness’’ or ‘‘image,’’ which is visual in nature (simulacrum), and anemotional resonance or coloring (intentio), which serves to ‘‘hook’’ a particu-lar memory into one (or perhaps more) of a person’s existing networks of ex-perience.Memory works by association.
    8. Finally, and as fundamentally as there is a numerical memory and a dia-lectical memory, there is a geometry of memory too. Almost every monas-tic mnemotechnical scheme—ladders, roses, buildings, maps—was based ongeometrical figures: squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, and complex refor-mations of these, including three-dimensional structures

      She doesn't mention it, but they're not only placing things in order for potential memory purposes, but they're also placing an order on their world as well.

      Ladders and steps were frequently used to create an order of beings as in the scala naturae or the Great Chain of Being.

      Some of this is also seen in Ramon Lull's Ladder of Ascent and Descent of the Mind, 1305 (Ars Magna)

    9. memory-making was regarded as active; it was even a craft with techniquesand tools, all designed tomakean ethical, useful product.

      Perhaps it was this craft and the idea of making an ethical product that forced Peter Ramus and others to suspend the arts and crafts of memory since many early practitioners encouraged violent, sexual, and other absurd images as a means of maintaining them. This certainly may not have sat well with Puritans using these mnemotechniques to memorize portions of the Bible and their catechisms.

    1. Luhmann also described his system as his secondary memory (Zweitgedächtnis), alter ego, or his reading memory or (Lesegedächtnis).

      Some interesting words in German for secondary memory and reading memory.

    1. Our brain can only hold to so much information at a time.

      of course this is why I like mnemonics and specific techniques like the method of loci. We can not only retain more but the memories can be stored in interesting ways that increase their potentially creativity like creating a Zettelkasten in the brain.

    1. Your machine is a library not a publication device. You have copies of documents is there that you control directly, that you can annotate, change, add links to, summarize, and this is because the memex is a tool to think with, not a tool to publish with.

      I can't help but think about Raymond Lull's combinatorial rings which he used as a thinking tool. Or Giordano Bruno's revision of Lull's tools as described in De Umbris Idearum. Given their knowledge of the art of memory stemming from rhetoric in combination with his combinatorial tool, he was essentially sitting on top of an early form of a memex.

      I also can't help but think about Kicks Condor's Fraidyc.at reader tool that pulls in wiki content from TiddlyWikis and which have the potential to also make wikis publishing tools as well.

    1. It looks to me like Andy and Michael are grasping at recreating with modern technology and tools what many (most? all?) indigenous cultures around the world used to ritually learn and memorize their culture's knowledge. Mnemonics, spaced repetition, graded initiation, orality, dance, and song were all used as a cohesive whole to do this.

      The best introduction to many of these methods and their pedagogic uses is best described by Lynne Kelly's book Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory, and the Transmission of Culture.

      If they take her ideas as a basis and then layer on their own thinking, I think they'll get much further much quicker. Based on my reading of their work thus far, they're limiting themselves.

    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.

    2. designed so the user must always engage deeply with the meaning of the question, not its superficial appearance

      They seem to be missing the idea of association in memory techniques. The spaced repetition is working on the form of the question by itself since the card doesn't form a specific or memorable enough associating between the two important pieces of knowledge.

    3. 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?

    4. In 1971, the psychologist Allan Paivio proposed the dual-coding theory, namely, the assertion that verbal and non-verbal information are stored separately in long-term memory. Paivio and others investigated the picture superiority effect, demonstrating that pictures and words together are often recalled substantially better than words alone.

      Another example of how much of historic memory methods we've dramatically lost and need to regain.

    5. The text is beautiful, but reading it is a much more remote and cerebral experience, conveying a much less visceral emotional understanding.

      And here again they reveal their lack of memory research. Indigenous peoples have used song, dance, and visuals to more dramatically appeal to the senses for improving memory.

      I'm also struck here that they haven't touched on the idea of memory related to smells.

    6. A second caution relates to elaborative encoding. The mnemonic techniques are, as you have likely realized, an example of elaborative encoding in action, connecting the things we want to memorize (say, our shopping list) to something which already has meaning for us (say, our memory palace). By contrast, when an expert learns new information in their field, they don’t make up artificial connections to their memory palace. Instead, they find meaningful connections to what they already know.

      This was essentially the logical memory method espoused by Peter Ramus in the mid-1500's. He's a major source of the reason we don't use a broader number of methods within the art of memory in modern society. We need to remedy this error. I feel like the authors are woefully unaware of a lot of history and psychology here.

    7. Is it possible to create a medium which blends the best qualities of both video and text?

      IMAGINATION!!!

      Hello?

    8. One of us has previously assertedMichael Nielsen, Augmenting Long-Term Memory (2018). that in spaced-repetition memory systems, users need to make their own cards. The reasoning is informal: users often report dissatisfaction and poor results when working with cards made by others. The reason seems to be that making the cards is itself an important act of understanding, and helps with committing material to memory. When users work with cards made by others, they lose those benefits.

      This is actually an incredibly well documented phenomenon in the history of mnemotechniques or ars memorativa. Because creativity for individuals is dramatically different in addition to their prior knowledge and value of links, having custom made images helps tremendously.

      This is also at the root of some of the philosophy of Bartłomiej Beniowski's A Handbook of Phrenotypics for Teachers and Students, Part 1 in 1842.

    9. Historically, a lot of work on tools for thought has either ignored emotion, or treated it as no more than a secondary concern.

      These guys are going to have their skirts blown up when they come across the work of Lynne Kelly.

    10. These are preliminary results, and need more investigation.

      How preliminary can they really be? The idea of spaced repetition goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and Hermann Ebbinghaus did psychology research on the topic and was publishing in 1885. Surely they've got to have a better grasp than this indicates here.

    11. I want creativity!

      For this one need look no further than Ramond Lull...

    12. How to best help users when they forget the answer to a question? Suppose a user can’t remember the answer to the question: “Who was the second President of the United States?” Perhaps they think it’s Thomas Jefferson, and are surprised to learn it’s John Adams. In a typical spaced-repetition memory system this would be dealt with by decreasing the time interval until the question is reviewed again. But it may be more effective to follow up with questions designed to help the user understand some of the surrounding context. E.g.: “Who was George Washington’s Vice President?” (A: “John Adams”). Indeed, there could be a whole series of followup questions, all designed to help better encode the answer to the initial question in memory.

      Here they're using the word encode at the bottom of the example, but they're not encoding anything!! They're talking about making other tangential associations which may help to triangulate the answer, but they're not directly encoding the actual information itself.

    13. Indeed, it seems fair to say that any person who could invent Hindu-Arabic numerals, starting from the Roman numerals, would be both one of the great mathematical geniuses who ever lived, and one of the great design geniuses who ever lived. They’d have to be extraordinarily capable in both domains, capable of an insight-through-making loop which used the evolving system of numerals to improve not just their own mathematical ideas, but to have original, world-class insights into mathematics; and also to use those mathematical insights to improve their evolving system of numerals.

      I feel somewhat the same way about them and their memory abilities and insights. They don't seem to have done enough deep research into memory systems to be making the suppositions and blanket statements they're making. There's more genius hiding in there than they seem to be aware of. Sure, some of their caution and caveats are appropriate, but I feel like they're missing more than they're getting.

    1. I ran across this 5 year old article courtesy of a few recent tweets:

      This took me back to a time and something I’d forgotten writing, that has made me rethink where we are now: https://t.co/COgNQnutZr

      — Kate Bowles (@KateMfD) April 25, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      “power is distributed very unevenly throughout the global network of higherEd institutions. If digital innovation is left to the market, we will continue to see scale and standardisation dressed up as personalisation and differentiation.” ⁦@KateMfDhttps://t.co/pqskuKPbQj

      — Robin DeRosa (@actualham) April 25, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      What surprises me is that it's about education and pedagogy that starts off with a vignette in which Kate Bowles talks about the unknown purpose of Stonehenge.

      But I've been doing some serious reading on the humanities relating to memory, history, and indigenous cultures over the last few years. It dawns on me:

      I know what those stones are for!

      A serious answer provided by Australian science and memory researcher Dr. Lynne Kelly indicates that Stonehenge and similar monolithic sites built by indigenous cultures across the world are--in fact--pedagogic tools!!

      We've largely lost a lot of the roots of our ancient mnemonic devices through gradual mis- and dis-use as well as significant pedagogic changes by Petrus Ramus, an influential French dialectician, humanist, logician, and educational reformer. Scholar Frances Yates indicated in The Art of Memory that his influential changes in the mid-1500's disassociated memory methods including the method of loci, which dated back to ancient Greece, from the practice of rhetoric as a field of study. As a result we've lost a fantastic tradition that made teaching and the problem of memory far worse.

      Fortunately Lynne Kelly gives a fairly comprehensive overview of indigenous cultures across human history and their use of these methods along with evidence in her book Memory Code which is based on her Ph.D. thesis. Even better, she didn't stop there and she wrote a follow up book that explores the use of these methods and places them into a modern pedagogy setting and provides some prescriptive uses.

      I might suggest that instead of looking forward to technology as the basis of solutions in education, that instead we look back---not just to our past or even our pre-industrial past, but back to our pre-agrarian past.

      Let's look back to the tremendous wealth of indigenous tribes the world over that modern society has eschewed as "superstitious" and "simple". In reality, they had incredibly sophisticated oral stories and systems that they stored in even more sophisticated memory techniques. Let's relearn and reuse those techniques to make ourselves better teachers and improve our student's ability to learn and retain the material with which they're working.

      Once we've learned to better tap our own memories, we'll realize how horribly wrong we've been for not just decades but centuries.

      This has been hard earned knowledge for me, but now that I've got it, I feel compelled to share it. I'm happy to chat with people about these ideas to accelerate their growth, but I'd recommend getting them from the source and reading Dr. Kelly's work directly. (Particularly her work with indigenous peoples of Australia, who helped to unlock a large piece of the puzzle for her.) Then let's work together to rebuild the ancient edifices that our ancestors tried so desperately to hand down, but we've managed to completely forget.

      The historical and archaeological record: The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments by Dr. Lynne Kelly

      A variety of methods and teaching examples: Memory Craft: Improve Your Memory with the Most Powerful Methods in History by Dr. Lynne Kelly

    1. Similar lists of 100 words had been in circulation well before Celtis, however, those were not alphabetically designed.
    2. In the Ars memorandi noua secretissima, published in 1500 or 1501,20 Jodocus Weczdorff de Triptis (Weimar) inserted an alphabetical list of words, similar to that of Celtis, but he simply suggested that it could be used as a memory house without any scope for our private associations. Moreover, the alphabetic table of Celtis was included in the famous Margarita philosophica nova of Gregor Reisch, which was probably the most popular handbook of the artes scholars in the fi rst two decades of the 16th century.

      Books on memory that used Celtes' trick

    3. The closest analogue to this nude couple can be found in the work of Jacobus Publicius: a similar woodcut appears in the 1485 edition of his Oratoriae artis epitoma for the fi rst time (fi gure 6).42 However, Publicius does not explain the meaning of that image at all, a phenomenon that is restricted to this one picture in his book. The lack of explanation for these enigmatic images raised the value of the lectures of the professor and at the same time kept the secrecy of the ars.
    4. “The Art of Memory in Late Medieval East Central Europe (Bohemia, Hungary, Poland): An Anthology,” co-written by Lucie Doležalová, Rafał Wójcik and myself.
    5. Similar antropomorphic imagines were designed by Johannes Romberch von Host in his Con-gestorium artifi ciosae memoriae,published for the fi rst time in 1520. He associated the declention of nouns to body parts: if we want remember the word “smith” in the nominative case, we should mark him with a blister on his head, in the accusative with a blister on the chest, in the vocative on the belly, etc.; the singular forms are supposed to be dressed up, while the plurals are nude.

      Memory methods for Latin Grammar that could be interesting.

    6. Although Celtis rejected the use of such fi gurative let-ters and he promoted his own alphabetic-associative system instead, still, Cusanus copied both methods in his treatise. However, he only copies the words of the mne-monic alphabet of Celtis but not the associative method itself. The fi rst fi ve elements of Celtis (in the work of Cusanus: abbas, eques, illuminator, organista, usurarius) are not associative topoi anymore, but only the scheme of a ready-made mental book (liber mentalis).
    7. The criticism of Celtis turns against the entire tradition of 15th century art of memory, but particularly against the teachings of Jacobus Publicius,11 whose Oratoriae artis epito-mata he had excerpted both in his summary of the Ciceronian rhetoric and the treatise on letter writing.
    8. The only exception is the letter A, which appears in the list – unlike the other vowels – and contains fi ve words beginning with the fi ve vowels: a – abbas (abbot), e – eques (knight), i – institor (tax-collector), o – offi cialis (ecclesiastical judge), and u – usurarius (usurer).

      Here he's interestingly removed the vowels, which is certainly reminiscent of the later Major System structure in at least some respect.

    9. Cusanus, being a teacher in mathematics, imagines a more abstract, almost geometri-cal, scheme for the memory houses in which he combined the method of Publicius with the alphabet of Celtis: the images should be contained in three types of houses.
    10. Celtis advises his readers to memorise things with the aid of the alphabet, because by “keeping the natural order” of the letters (servata earundem naturali ordine), the elements or members of our material can be easily retained by memory. According to the ideas presented by Celtis, under each letter of the alphabet one should memorise fi ve words that begin with the same letter, and these could be the images that belong to the locus, i.e. to the letter itself.
    11. As Celtis said, “it helps the memory a great deal, if someone knows the things of the world,”37 and Valentinus followed this advice when he refi lled the table of Celtis with meanings of his own.

      This seems to be very common practice in the modern art as many writers suggest using or modifying techniques so that they suit your experience and lived memory. If a different key word comes to you more quickly, then why not use that instead of one supplied by the creator of the system.

      There's also an echoing of this in Beniowski's idea of notions in "A Handbook of Phrenotypics" on the closeness of ideas.

    12. Stabbing one-self with a sword is a typical ‘surprise’ element in 15-16th century mnemotechnics. One can fi nd the same motif in the anonymous fi gurative Gospel (ca. 1470, Figu-rae Evangeliorum), e.g. in the second image of the Gospel of Marc (fi gure 4),40 or in the Logica memorativa of Thomas Murner (1509, fi gure 5).
    13. Konrad Celtis, Epitoma in utramque Ciceronis rhetoricam cum arte memoratiua noua, et modo epi-stolandi utilissimo (Ingolstadt: [s.n.], 1492), 14r-v. EK Inc. 444.

      want to read

    14. One of the most interesting new treatises is contained in the Epitoma in utramque Cic-eronis rhetoricam of Cornad Celtis, the ‘German archhumanist’
    1. Based on all available forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s (pl. *druwides) meaning "oak-knower".

      With the early history of druids going into the 4th century BCE (and keeping in mind that Stonehenge's dates go to about 1600 BCE), is it possible that the druids used trees as the basis for their mnemonics in lieu of standing stones? Thus the name oak-knower is more specific to what they were doing than we give them credit for? To an outsider unaware of their ways, their ritual memory systems would have made it seem like they worshiped the trees in ways other cultures would not have?

    1. Given technological advances and a trend to promote digital annotation by students in school, empirical findings are mixed regarding the evidence-based benefits of handwritten annotation for learning.

      There are also now digital tools like Anki, Mnemosyne, and even Amazon's notebook tools that allow highlights and annotations in books to be transferred into digital flashcards to be used for spaced reviews of knowledge and information. I suspect that even students that heavily highlight their textbooks are rarely reviewing over those highlights after-the-fact, and have generally found this to be the case when asking those I see actively doing so.

    1. The idea here is honestly atrocious. Rote memorization with a hint of spaced repetition. Ugh!

      For someone to call this the John Place method totally demeans the idea of the art of memory.

    1. I don’t think the right answer is to use something like the Mnemonic medium to memorize a cookbook’s contents. I think a likelier model is: each time you see a recipe, there’s some chance it’ll trigger an actionable “ooh, I want to make this!”, dependent on seasonality, weather, what else you’ve been cooking recently, etc. A more effective cookbook might simply resurface recipes intermittently over time, creating more opportunities for a good match: e.g. a weekly email with 5-10 cooking ideas, perhaps with some accompanying narrative. Ideally, the cookbook would surface seasonally-appropriate recipes. Seasonality would make the experience of “reading” a cookbook extend over the course of a year—a Timeful text.

      Indigenous peoples not only used holidays and other time-based traditions as a means of spaced repetition, but they also did them for just this purpose of time-based need. Winter's here and the harvest changes? Your inter-tribal rituals went over your memory palace for just those changes. Songs and dances recalled older dishes and recopies that hadn't been made in months and brought them into a new rotation.

      Anthropologists have collected examples of this specific to hunting seasons and preparations of the hunt in which people would prepare for the types of game they would encounter. Certainly they did this for feast times and seasonal diets as well. Indians in the Americas are documenting having done things like this for planting corn and keeping their corn varieties pure over hundreds of years.

    1. While calling memory “the store-house of our ideas,” John Locke recognized its limitations. On the one hand, it was an incredible source of knowledge. On the other hand, it was weak and fragile. He knew that over time, memory faded and became harder to retrieve, which made it less valuable.

      As most humanists of the time may have had incredibly well-trained memories (particularly in comparison with the general loss of the art now), this is particularly interesting to me. Having had a great memory, the real value of these writings and materials is to help their memories dramatically outlive their own lifetimes. This is particularly useful as their systems of passing down ideas via memory was dramatically different than those of indigenous peoples who had a much more institutionalized version of memory methods and passing along their knowledge.

    2. Commonplace books, during the Renaissance, were used to enhance the memory. Yeo writes, This reflected the ancient Greek and Roman heritage. In his Topica, Aristotle formulated a doctrine of ‘places’ (topoi or loci) that incorporated his ten categories. A link was soon drawn between this doctrine of ‘places’ (which were, for Aristotle, ‘seats of arguments’, not quotations from authors) and the art of memory. Cicero built on this in De Oratore, explaining that ‘it is chiefly order that gives distinctness to memory’; and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria became an influential formulation. This stress on order and sequence was the crux of what came to be known as ‘topical memory’, cultivated by mnemonic techniques (‘memoria technica’) involving the association of ideas with visual images. These ideas, forms of argument, or literary tropes were ‘placed’ in the memory, conceived in spatial terms as a building, a beehive, or a set of pigeon holes. This imagined space was then searched for the images and ideas it contained…. In the ancient world, the practical application of this art was training in oratory; yet Cicero stressed that the good orator needed knowledge, not just rhetorical skill, so that memory had to be trained to store and retrieve illustrations and arguments of various kinds. Although Erasmus distrusted the mnemonic arts, like all the leading Renaissance humanists, he advocated the keeping of commonplace books as an aid to memory.

      I particularly love the way this highlights the phrase "'placed' in the memory" because the idea of loci as a place has been around so long that we tacitly use it as a verb so naturally in conjunction with memory!

      Note here how the author Richard Yeo manages not to use the phrase memory palace or method of loci.Was this on purpose?

    3. “In his influential De Copia (1512),” writes Professor Richard Yeo, “Erasmus advised that an abundant stock of quotations and maxims from classical texts be entered under various loci (places) to assist free-flowing oratory.” Arranged under ‘Heads’ and recorded as ‘common-places’ (loci communes), these commonplace books could be consulted for speeches and written compositions designed for various situations — in the law court, at ceremonial occasions, or in the dedication of a book to a patron. Typical headings included the classical topics of honour, virtue, beauty, friendship, and Christian ones such as God, Creation, faith, hope, or the names of the virtues and vices.
    1. Looking up “ars memoria” on Wikipedia, I found a suggestion that for some people in the Middle Ages, looking at certain images was considered a means of gaining all knowledge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_of_memory). It quotes Yates, Art of Memory: The practitioner of the Ars Notoria gazed at figures or diagrams curiously marked and called 'notae' whilst reciting magical prayers. He hoped to gain in this way knowledge, or memory, of all the arts and sciences, a different 'nota' being provided for each discipline. The Ars Notoria is perhaps a descendant of the classical art of memory, or of that difficult branch of it which used the shorthand notae. It was regarded as a particularly black kind of magic and was severely condemned by Thomas Aquinas.

      I'm intrigued by the word shorthand in this setting along with the idea of notoria or notae, but I don't hold much hope...

    2. Later in the thread just cited, John Meador quoted another text, 1594, attesting to something more astounding: ...two especial uses, I have often exercised this art for the better help of my own memory, and the same as yet has never failed me. Although I have heard some of Master Dickson, his schollers, that have prooved such cunning Cardplayers hereby, that they could tell the course of all the Cards and what every gamester had in his hand. So ready we are to turn an honest and commendable invention into craft and cousenage." -Hugh Platt: The Jewell House of Art and Nature 1594 This art, or at least its claims, goes somewhat beyond remembering what cards have been played: they actually can use it to know what the other players have in their hand, before playing the cards. Platt considers this a kind of cheating (usually "cozenage", from "cozen", first use 1573, probably from the Italian cozzone, horse trader, per http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cozen).
    3. In his play Il Candelaio he mentions the tarot: an innkeeper asks a scoundrel in his establishment if he likes to play tarot; the scoundrel replies ”A questo maldetto gioco non posso vincere, per che ho una pessima memoria”. (“At this cursed game I cannot win, because I have a terrible memory”)
    1. In 1887, Twain crossed paths with Professor Loisette a ‘memory doctor’ who made a living peddling a system of memory techniques bearing his name. Inductees into the “Loisette system” were sworn to secrecy, and charged the modern equivalent of five hundred dollars to learn the “natural laws of memory” which the doctor claimed to have discovered. Twain enrolled in a several-week-long course and at first was deeply impressed, even going so far as to publish a testimonial in favour of the Loisette system.
    2. In 1885, he patented “Mark Twain’s Memory Builder: A Game for Acquiring and Retaining All Sorts of Facts and Dates.”
    1. Writing on Gustave Moreau, Proust detects a universe of analogies, paintings that document an “intoxication of mind” in which reality is a “mysterious country” of unlike objects “resembl[ing] one another.” Describing Rembrandt, he finds an exacting individualism visible in a manipulation of light “that bathes [Rembrandt’s] portraits and his pictures [in] the very light of his thought […] a personal light in which we view things when we are thinking for ourselves.” Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was probably Proust’s favorite painter. He sees in Chardin a vision “combining things and people in those rooms which are more than a thing and perhaps more than a person, rooms which are the scene of their joint lives, the law of affinities and contrarieties […] the shrine of their past.”
    1. Experienced practitioners [...] don't have to plod step by step through such a listing of concepts and questions. When they encounter a set of ideas or engage in debate, they can speed through the familiar relationships and spot at a glance the concepts that haven't been taken into account and the questions that haven't been asked. When they work out their own arguments or ideas, they can look at each point from a galaxy of different perspectives that might never come to mind without the help of the combinatorial system and the mental training it provides. Like the Lullian adepts of the Renaissance, they supplemented the natural capacities of their minds with the systematic practices of the combinatorial art. This, in turn, the art of memory seeks to do with the natural capacities of the human memory.  De Umbris Idearum, 'Working Bruno's Magic', p. 164
    1. Further, as stated, by merely glancing at the pictorially indicated recipe of the present invention the cook can ascertain at a glance the required ingredients, can ascertain whether such ingredients are on hand, and, if not, the needed articles will be more easily remembered in purchasing the days supply of groceries, etc.

      an example in the wild of visual memory being stronger than other forms.

    2. Fourteenth-century recipe collections that have survived to today, such as Viandier pour appareiller toutes manières de viandes, Libre de sent sovi, Daz bûch von gûter spîse, and Forme of Cury, were written by professional cooks to use as an aide-mémoire for themselves or other professional cooks.
    1. Once again, Atiyah writes very clearlyand sensibly on this matter (while acknowledging his debt to earlier great mathematicianssuch as Poincar ́e and Weyl). He makes the point (see for example [A2]) that so muchmathematics is produced that it is not possible for all of it to be remembered. The processesof abstraction and generalization are therefore very important as a means of making senseof the huge mass of raw data (that is, proofs of individual theorems) and enabling at leastsome of it to be passed on. The results that will last are the ones that can be organizedcoherently and explained economically to future generations of mathematicians. Of course,some results will be remembered because they solve very famous problems, but even these,if they do not fit into an organizing framework, are unlikely to be studied in detail by morethan a handful of mathematicians.

      bandwidth in mathematics is an important concept

      We definitely need ways of simplifying and encoding smaller cases into bigger cases to make the abstractions easier to encapsulate and pass on so that new ground can be broken

    1. In any case Quintilian makes it clear that non-alphabetic signs can be employed as memory images, and even goes on to mention how 'shorthand' signs (notae) can be used to signify things that would otherwise be impossible to capture in the form of a definite image (he gives "conjunctions" as an example).[36]
    2. The Art of Signs (Latin Ars Notoria) is also very likely a development of the graphical mnemonic. Yates mentions Apollonius of Tyana and his reputation for memory, as well as the association between trained memory, astrology and divination.[37] She goes on to suggest It may have been out of this atmosphere that there was formed a tradition which, going underground for centuries and suffering transformations in the process, appeared in the Middle Ages as the Ars Notoria, a magical art of memory attributed to Apollonius or sometimes to Solomon. The practitioner of the Ars Notoria gazed at figures or diagrams curiously marked and called 'notae' whilst reciting magical prayers. He hoped to gain in this way knowledge, or memory, of all the arts and sciences, a different 'nota' being provided for each discipline. The Ars Notoria is perhaps a descendant of the classical art of memory, or of that difficult branch of it which used the shorthand notae. It was regarded as a particularly black kind of magic and was severely condemned by Thomas Aquinas.[38]
    1. “The margins are full of images of disembodied body parts, plants, animals, even portraits of cross-eyed kings, which relate to the main body of text and act as a mnemonic for the reader,” Greene says. “Even though you open the manuscript knowing it is a medical text designed for practical use, nothing quite prepares you for seeing a disembodied leg, posterior, or penis pointing at salient parts of the text!”

      memory illuminated manuscripts

    1. we tend to believe things more if they rhyme.

      Useful for not only framing, but likely works for memory and repetition as well.

    2. The stories added meaning that couldn’t be matched by facts and figures about the items for sale. Meaning can be very difficult to pull off in design, but sto-ries create cognitive fluency around meaning. Our minds love narratives because they love patterns; stories are like really well-packaged patterns. Beginning, middle, and end. Connect-ing that pattern to an object or action in your design can be achieved, in part, by making sure your design accommodates story—whether in the metaphorical sense of how the page is structured (i.e., the page has a clear beginning, middle, and end) or the more literal sense of actually making sure the design leaves room for text that tells a story.

      This can also be leveraged to help improve one's memory.

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    1. Why, though, do we not romanticize our preservation? The same matter of chance, of the fleeting nature of fate exists on the other side of the coin. What would have happened if we were better rested, if our energy was better preserved, if we managed our time and said what we really mean? Rarely do we approach whether we get eight hours of sleep with the same guilt as we do whether or not we attended a party, even when, according to sleep expert Matthew Walker, sleep deprivation prevents the brain from remembering information, creating new memories, and sustaining emotional well-being.

      A great observation!

    1. a roughly 240-page medieval codex written in an indecipherable language, brimming with bizarre drawings of esoteric plants, naked women, and astrological symbols. Known as the Voynich manuscript, it defies classification, much less comprehension.

      Something I hadn't thought of before, but which could be highly likely given the contents: What if the manuscript is a personal memory palace? Without supporting materials, it's entirely likely that what's left on the page is a substrate to which the author attached the actual content and not having the other half, the entire enterprise is now worthless?

    2. All we know for certain, through forensic testing, is that the manuscript likely dates to the 15th century, when books were handmade and rare.

      This may provide some additional proof that it's a memory aid in the potential form of a notebook or commonplace book. What were the likelihoods of these being more common that other books/texts? What other codes were used at the time? Was the major system or a variant in use at the time?

    1. Child considered that folk ballads came from a more democratic time in the past when society was not so rigidly segregated into classes, and the "true voice" of the people could therefore be heard. He conceived "the people" as comprising all the classes of society, rich, middle, and poor, and not only those engaged in manual labor as Marxists sometimes use the word.
    1. Celtic Tree Alphabet

      Just this name gives me ideas

    2. The Isle of Man has five inscriptions. One of these is the famous inscription at Port St. Mary (503) which reads DOVAIDONA MAQI DROATA ᚛ᚇᚑᚃᚐᚔᚇᚑᚅᚐ ᚋᚐᚊᚔ ᚇᚏᚑᚐᚈᚐ᚜ or 'Dovaidona son of the Druid'.

      An indication of links of these stones and inscriptions to Druid culture.

    1. "These people chose to erect these great stones very precisely within the landscape and in relation to the astronomy they knew. They invested a tremendous amount of effort and work to do so. It tells us about their strong connection with their environment, and how important it must have been to them, for their culture and for their culture's survival."

      Connection to environment and importance for culture's survival.

    1. René Descartes designed a deck of playing cards that also functioned as flash cards to learn geometry and mechanics. (King of Clubs from The use of the geometrical playing-cards, as also A discourse of the mechanick powers. By Monsi. Des-Cartes. Translated from his own manuscript copy. Printed and sold by J. Moxon at the Atlas in Warwick Lane, London. Via the Beinecke Library, from which you can download the entire deck.)

      My immediate thought is that this deck of cards was meant as a memory palace. I'm curious what training in rhetoric/memory methods Descartes must have had?

    2. It is worth asking why ebooks and e-readers like the Kindle treaded water after swimming a couple of laps. I’m not sure I can fully diagnose what happened (I would love to hear your thoughts), but I think there are many elements, all of which interact as part of the book production and consumption ecosystem.

      For me, and potentially for a majority of others, our memories have evolved to be highly location specific. It's far easier for me to remember what I've read when I read a physical book. I can often picture what I was reading at the top, middle, or bottom of the left or right page. This fact in addition to how far I am in the book gives me a better idea of where I am with respect to a text.

      These ideas are very subtle and so heavily ingrained in us that they're not very apparent to many, if at all.

      See also Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture by Lynne Kelly (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

    1. Finally, I decided to build it around all my favorite stories that touched on calculus, stories that get passed around in the faculty lounge, or the things that the professor mentions off-hand during a lecture. I realized that all those little bits of folklore tapped into something that really excited me about calculus. They have a time-tested quality to them where they've been told and retold, like an old folk song that has been sharpened over time.

      And this is roughly how memory and teaching has always worked. Stories and repetition.

    1. Of other significance, this passage is recognized as the first example of cosmological mapping in the history of Greece.[4]

      I should read this reference below) with respect to Lynne Kelly's indigenous people's thesis of memory palaces. Perhaps it ties together the original story with broader history and the Greek's place within it and provides additional support for her thesis.

      Germaine Aujac. (1987). The Foundations of Theoretical Cartography in Archaic and Classical Greece. The History of Cartography, volume 1 (pp. 130-147) University of Chicago Press.

    1. It was later determined that humans impose meaning even on nonsense syllables to make them more meaningful. The nonsense syllable PED (which is the first three letters of the word "pedal") turns out to be less nonsensical than a syllable such as KOJ; the syllables are said to differ in association value.[5] It appears that Ebbinghaus recognized this, and only referred to the strings of syllables as "nonsense" in that the syllables might be less likely to have a specific meaning and he should make no attempt to make associations with them for easier retrieval.

      This seems roughly similar to Major Beniowski's phrenotypic associative memory. Some of these nonesense syllables could more easily be associated than others. Perhaps going through them one could do phrenotypic distances?

      Would Ebbinghaus have known of Beniowski's work? Evidence?

    2. Ebbinghaus had also documented the serial position effect, which describes how the position of an item affects recall. The two main concepts in the serial position effect are recency and primacy. The recency effect describes the increased recall of the most recent information because it is still in the short-term memory. The primacy effect causes better memory of the first items in a list due to increased rehearsal and commitment to long-term memory.
    1. son of Memory

      One must wonder in what sense he meant this given the ars memorativa of the age. Compare this to the ancient interpretation of a "biography" in the first century with that of a 19th century biography as indicated in Bart Ehrman's opening chapters of A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.

    1. Declutter your mind. Add structure as you go.

      I see this sort of advertisement for knowledge worker tools far too often. The key is to create a lot of structure as you go so that your mind is potentially MORE cluttered, but you have better retention and associations among the things you do know.

    1. Christman said that he first came up with the idea to look at the effects of eye movements on memory after learning that leftward eye movements activate the right brain hemisphere and that rightward movements activate the left hemisphere. He thought that horizontal eye movements might, therefore, improve memory by helping the hemispheres interact.

      This may be related to people looking up when trying to remember dates (for example) but looking down when trying to remember locations? (Need to look this up, but I know I've heard a comedian referencing this sort of behavior in a joke.)

    1. Sioned Davies is Chair of Welsh at Cardiff University. Her special interest is the interplay between orality and literacy, together with the performance aspects of medieval Welsh narrative.

      Oh! This is fascinating. Perhaps some interesting tidbits for my growing theory about the borders of orality and literacy could be hiding in some of her research?

    1. their name gives no mnemonic boost whatsoever. Whatever faint associations it might once have held fade away, especially when the discover was neither famous nor narrow, and the reader is several generations removed.

      This might be debatable as many of the names in the example are relatively famous names. Any associations they provide might also extend to the dates of the mathematician which also then places the ideas historically as well.

      More often I see the problem with some of the bigger greats like Euler and Cauchy who discovered so many things and everything is named after them.

      The other problem is mis-attribution of the discovery, which happens all-too-frequently, and the thing is named after the wrong person.

    1. While there is an extensive subfield in sociology studying the sources,content, and consequences of collective memory
    2. While there is an extensive subfield in sociology studying the sources,content, and consequences of collective memory

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    1. “I do remember! I slept soundly.”

      This seems to suggest that Franklin stole the diamond under the influence of opium, which is also why he forgot that he ever stole it. This also reminds me of that scene with the three indians and the little boy during the First Period, although I am not sure if the two are connected. It also finally explains the role of opium in the plot. I am not sure how this drug works, but to my knowledge this is supposed to be a pain killer. Not sure how it would make someone 'do things' without recollection, which is the only thing that confuses me about all this. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see what else happened during the period that Franklin cannot recall, as I am sure that it will be revealed at some point later on.

    1. The crux being -

      1. Exercise, that's the best drug to get your brain running, and it is true. I have experienced the best ideas hit me when I am exercising or about to sleep, which brings me to the second point
      2. Get ample amount of sleep, it helps to build synapses, and literally updates your brain as per research.
      3. Form habits, 3 elements - cue > routine > reward
      4. There are lot many memorization techniques, like - Memory palace, graphic representation and spaced repetitions, try and see which fits best.
      5. Make chunks, or divide in modules whatever you learn, making it easier to access and use.
      6. And finally, if the task seems tough, it is because it is new. Just start, as and when the synapses are formed it becomes easier to do it again and again, and even more rewarding in the future. Kinda like building a habit.
  3. Sep 2020
    1. Le Bert, N., Tan, A. T., Kunasegaran, K., Tham, C. Y. L., Hafezi, M., Chia, A., Chng, M. H. Y., Lin, M., Tan, N., Linster, M., Chia, W. N., Chen, M. I.-C., Wang, L.-F., Ooi, E. E., Kalimuddin, S., Tambyah, P. A., Low, J. G.-H., Tan, Y.-J., & Bertoletti, A. (2020). SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in cases of COVID-19 and SARS, and uninfected controls. Nature, 584(7821), 457–462. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2550-z

  4. Aug 2020
    1. Mateus, J., Grifoni, A., Tarke, A., Sidney, J., Ramirez, S. I., Dan, J. M., Burger, Z. C., Rawlings, S. A., Smith, D. M., Phillips, E., Mallal, S., Lammers, M., Rubiro, P., Quiambao, L., Sutherland, A., Yu, E. D., Antunes, R. da S., Greenbaum, J., Frazier, A., … Weiskopf, D. (2020). Selective and cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes in unexposed humans. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd3871

    1. enabling precise control over agronomically-relevant outputs such as flowering time, stress response, or the biosynthesis of added value metabolites.
    1. Ferretti, A. P., Kula, T., Wang, Y., Nguyen, D. M., Weinheimer, A., Dunlap, G. S., Xu, Q., Nabilsi, N., Perullo, C. R., Cristofaro, A. W., Whitton, H. J., Virbasius, A., Olivier, K. J., Baiamonte, L. B., Alistar, A. T., Whitman, E. D., Bertino, S. A., Chattopadhyay, S., & MacBeath, G. (2020). COVID-19 Patients Form Memory CD8+ T Cells that Recognize a Small Set of Shared Immunodominant Epitopes in SARS-CoV-2. MedRxiv, 2020.07.24.20161653. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.24.20161653

    1. Rodda, L. B., Netland, J., Shehata, L., Pruner, K. B., Morawski, P. M., Thouvenel, C., Takehara, K. K., Eggenberger, J., Hemann, E. A., Waterman, H. R., Fahning, M. L., Chen, Y., Rathe, J., Stokes, C., Wrenn, S., Fiala, B., Carter, L. P., Hamerman, J. A., King, N. P., … Pepper, M. (2020). Functional SARS-CoV-2-specific immune memory persists after mild COVID-19. MedRxiv, 2020.08.11.20171843. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.11.20171843

    1. 3) Tell your students to study different subjects in different rooms in their house and use the cues in their surroundings (furniture, windows, colors, shapes, etc) to help them access that memory later. They could use the same rooms they imagined in their memory palace: study the modals in the living room and vocabulary in the kitchen;

      The environment we are in can help set the cues for helping us remember things better.

      This is one of the reasons why it can be useful to move between classrooms in school - goto the science room, different settings, tools, etc.

      Goto the history room - different things on the walls.

      These can all act as cues to prime you for that topic, and can help build a memory palace and a place association with the things we are trying to learn.

      This can also be useful in work - different meetings in different rooms/settings, walking meetings, etc.

  5. Jul 2020
    1. I have begun this letter five times and torn it up five times.

      Begins with parallel structure a rhetorical device used throughout. With students I'd ask them to identify other examples in letter. Discuss parallelism in sermon construction and its emotionally evocative power and its use by Baldwin, King, and Obama. Connect to musicality and memory--important cultural literary structures when literature is spoken rather than read. Can connect to Akhmatova social/political context. Note the intimacy of POV. There's a duality in the expository form--it's addressed to one but published to many. Why is this an effective voice for the persona? How would you describe the persona?

  6. Jun 2020
  7. May 2020
    1. Cloze deletion is, of course, just a fancy way of saying fill in the blank. This might sound trivial, but the simple act forces you to consider the surrounding context and search your mind for an answer. This, in turn, is scientifically proven to form stronger memories enabling you to remember profoundly more of what you've read.
  8. Apr 2020
  9. Mar 2020
    1. Imagine an associate with a photographic memory and excellent pattern recognition who digested and analyzed millions of cases. Would you want that associate working for you for less than the price of one typical billable hour every month?
    1. We long ago admitted that we’re poor at scheduling, so we have roosters; sundials; calendars; clocks; sand timers; and those restaurant staff who question my integrity, interrupting me with a phone call under the premise of “confirming” that I’ll stick to my word regarding my reservation.
    2. A closely-related failing to scheduling is our failure to remember, so humans are very willing to save information on their computers for later.
  10. Dec 2019
    1. His answer is that our creative minds are being strengthened rather than atrophied by the ability to interact easily with the Web and Wikipedia. “Not only has transactive memory not hurt us,” he writes, “it’s allowed us to perform at higher levels, accomplishing acts of reasoning that are impossible for us alone.”

      This is where I disagree with Thompson. The potential for IA is there but we have retrogressed with the advent of the web.

    2. Socrates and his prediction that writing would destroy the Greek tradition of dialectic. Socrates’ primary concern was that people would write things down instead of remembering them. “This discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories,” Plato quotes him as saying. “They will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.”

      The dialectic process is important particularly in the context of human to computer communication and synthesis. Here Socrates articulates the importance of memory to this process and how writing undermines it. If there is an asymmetry between the mind of the writer and reader the written work provides method of diffusing information from one mind to another. This balance of the mind is true of human to computer interaction as well. We need to expand our memory capacity if we are to be expand the reasoning capacity of computers. But instead we are using computers to substitute our memories. We neglect memory so we can't reason; humans and computers alike.

  11. Nov 2019
    1. It is challenging to study how pneumococci control virulence factor expression, because cues of natural environments and the presence of an immune system are difficult to simulate in vitro
  12. Oct 2019
    1. With this approach, neurons that show E-SARE–driven expression in response to stimuli are permanently labeled by the fluorescent protein during the time window specified by the drug
    2. Expression of a drug-inducible Cre recombinase downstream of E-SARE enabled imaging of neuronal populations that respond to monocular visual stimulation and tracking of their long-distance thalamocortical projections in living mice
    1. The feedback loop permits sustained induction of recombinant proteins without massive quantities of inducer.
    1. in the absence of tamoxifen, it exhibits some activity
    2. A technique common in rodents is the use of Cre recombinase lines that are inducible at specific developmental time points (Figure 3b). The most common form of inducible Cre is CreERT2, which contains a modified estrogen receptor binding domain that prevents Cre from entering the nucleus in the absence of a ligand
    3. strong promoters capable of driving expression of microbial opsins or fluorescent proteins in specific populations can exhibit leaky expression elsewhere. This low-level leak may be virtually undetectable as light responsiveness or fluorescence but can be a serious issue when expressing Cre recombinase.
    1. creating improved technologies for large-scale recordings of neural activity in the live brain is a crucial goal in neuroscience
    1. new toolkits for chronic labeling of active ensembles will provide a much awaited experimental basis to interrogate various aspects of neuronal circuits underlying long-term plastic changes of the brain, such as during nervous system development, during establishment of long-lasting remote memory over months, or in association with age-related neuronal changes over several years.
    2. new direction of functional labeling involves conversion of transient expression from activity-dependent promoters into a permanent labeling based on tamoxifen-dependent recombinases
    1. This gene fusion approach will allow us to assay the induction of gene expression in as few as one cell

      Recombinase memory as a reporter for expression in 1 cell

  13. Sep 2019
  14. Aug 2019
    1. Now we can ask, ‘Have I seen iron at some threshold?’ ‘Have I seen some nitrate?’ And have every microbe write it down. As one thinks about long-term incubation, this is a really powerful tool, because even six months later we can pull out the DNA and see what happened.”
    1. Growth history influences starvation-induced expression of uspA, grpE, and rpoS and subsequent cryotolerance in Escherichia coli O157:H7
    2. in E. coli a form of ‘memory’ of past phosphate limitation leads to a faster response to successive periods of phosphate limitation, and that this faster response may be survival enhancing

      phosphate starvation memory

    1. these technologies all require destruction of samples and prevent us from analyzing dynamic changes in molecular profiles, phenotypes, and behaviors of individual cells in a complex system

      current omics and single cell technologies => High resolution x destructive single time-point measurements

    2. Live cell imaging is capable of analyzing spatiotemporal dynamics of molecules and cells with fluorescent proteins or probes, but only for a limited number of objects, which can be observed by microscopy
    1. The psychological Interpretation according to which the “I” has something ‘in the memory’ [“im Gedächtnis”] is at bottom a way of alluding to the existentially constitutive state of Being-in-the-world.

      Heidegger: inwardness of memory ["Gedächtnis"] as an allusion to "Being-in-the-world" ||

    1. The genetic/epigenetic relation is a dimension of différance qua the history of life. The question then is that of a specification of différance differing and deferred, of the possibility of such specification, if it is true that Leroi-Gourhan’s major point consists in putting into question a clear break between the animal and the human. His way of broaching this problem brings him back, in the final analysis, to the heart of a simple opposition, albeit one shifted to the also quite traditional level of faber/sapiens. He is brought back in the same stroke (the coup of the second origin) to the metaphysics of an opposition between the inside and the outside, the before and the after, of the animal human and the spiritual human, and so on. We are trying to preserve and to broach the aporetic impossibility of simply opposing the interior to the exterior in speaking of an instrumental maieutics that alone permits an understanding of how tools do not derive from a creation or from a consciousness present to itself, master of matter, but pursue a process engaged long before the rupture yet nevertheless constitute a rupture— a new organization of différance, a différance of différance. Now, if the central concept is in fact that of epiphylogenetic memory, allowing for both the contestation of oppositions and the description and preservation of differentiations, it does not seem to us to have any equivalent in grammatological deconstructions. We shall develop this question further on the level of linear writing. Without such a concept, it seems to us impossible to specify the différance, differing and deferring, with respect to différance in general qua the history of life in general, or to say what the human is or is not. We are left: with the ambiguity of the invention of the human, that is, of the subject of the verb “to invent,” that which holds together the who and the what, as being that which binds them while separating them; this is, then, différance— this double movement, this intersection of reflection, this reflecting whereby the who and the what are constituted as the twin faces of the same phenomenon.

      Stiegler: (partial) critique of "différance" || interested to know whether Derrida ever responds to this point directly

    1. a high-fidelity memory device might allow researchers to identify cell populations responsive to specific events and track their progression through the cellular response
    2. suggested that low basal expression coupled with switch-like activation is required to maintain memory; growth rate was also found to significantly impact memory loop protein sustainability following cell division.

      Requirements for toggle switch memory