441 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2022
    1. “I started my Zettelkasten,because I realized that I had to plan for a life and not for a book.”5

      from Niklas Luhmann, Niklas Luhmann Short Cuts (English Translation), 2002, 22.

  2. Nov 2022
    1. Productivity drops off 20% after female faculty members become parents

      This just means that they're measuring productivity incorrectly. If they worked out productivity per work hour, they'd likely find the drop in productivity was much less, if present at all.

  3. Oct 2022
    1. @1:10:20

      With HTML you have, broadly speaking, an experience and you have content and CSS and a browser and a server and it all comes together at a particular moment in time, and the end user sitting at a desktop or holding their phone they get to see something. That includes dynamic content, or an ad was served, or whatever it is—it's an experience. PDF on the otherhand is a record. It persists, and I can share it with you. I can deliver it to you [...]

      NB: I agree with the distinction being made here, but I disagree that the former description is inherent to HTML. It's not inherent to anything, really, so much as it is emergent—the result of people acting as if they're dealing in live systems when they shouldn't.

    1. Émile flew offthe shelves in 18th-century Paris. In fact, booksellers found it more profitable torent it out by the hour than to sell it. Ultimately the excitement got too much forthe authorities and Émile was banned in Paris and burned in Geneva

      Émile: or On Education was so popular that it was rented out by the hour for additional profit instead of being sold outright. [summary]


      When did book rental in education spaces become a business model? What has it looked like historically?

    1. Dwyer, Edward J. “File Card Efficiency.” Journal of Reading 26, no. 2 (1982): 171–171.

      Ease of use in writing and grading with short assignments by using 4 x 6" index cards in classrooms.

      This sounds like some of the articles from 1912 and 1917 about efficiency of card indexes for teaching.

      I'm reminded of some programmed learning texts that were card-based (or really strip-based since they were published in book form) in the 1960s and 1970s. Thse books had small strips with lessons or questions on the front with the answers on the reverse. One would read in strips through the book from front to back and then start the book all over again on page one on the second row of strips and so on.

    1. While money derived from markets is necessary at some point, the support of the art and artist is not subject to markets, but instead falls under the category of “patronage,” where the artist with the second job is a kind of self-patron.

      Art and markets intersect in the form of patronage

      Even when it is "self-patronage" of an "artist with a second job."

    1. Not mentioned in any other sources I've consulted (yet), Goutor recommends adding notes about the physical location of bibliographic sources to bibliographic notes. This should include details about not only the library and even call numbers, to minimize needing to look them up again in the future, but to have notes about arrangements and contacts which may needed to revisit harder to access resources. (p14) This can also be useful for sources like maps which may be needed for higher quality reproduction in the final text. (p15)

  4. Sep 2022
    1. Posted byu/sscheper4 hours agoHelp Me Pick the Antinet Zettelkasten Book Cover Design! :)

      I agree with many that the black and red are overwhelming on many and make the book a bit less approachable. Warm tones and rich wooden boxes would be more welcome. The 8.5x11" filing cabinets just won't fly. I did like some with the drawer frames/pulls, but put a more generic idea in the frame (perhaps "Ideas"?). From the batch so far, some of my favorites are #64 TopHills, #21 & #22 BigPoints, #13, 14 D'Estudio. Unless that pull quote is from Luhmann or maybe Eco or someone internationally famous, save it for the rear cover or maybe one of the inside flaps. There's an interesting and approachable stock photo I've been sitting on that might work for your cover: Brain and ZK via https://www.theispot.com/stock/webb. Should be reasonably licensable and doesn't have a heavy history of use on the web or elsewhere.

    1. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=math+demystified&i=stripbooks&crid=UM15P2ZTY84C&sprefix=math+demystified%2Cstripbooks%2C137&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

      A whole series of books from McGraw Hill whose titles all carry an implicit math shaming. Who wants to carry these books around and be seen reading them? Even the word DeMYSTiFieD on the cover is written in CLoWn case.

      • Business Math Demystified
      • Dosage Calculations and Basic Math for Nurses Demystified
      • Geometry Demystified
      • Business Calculus Demystified
      • Math Word Problems Demystified
      • Everyday Math Demystified
      • Discrete Mathematics Demystified
      • Math Proofs Demystified
      • Pre-Algebra Demystified
  5. Aug 2022
    1. German publishers send out so-called book cards to book shops along with their newreleases. On them, bibliographic information is printed. Those book cards are also in postcardsize, i.e. A6, and their textual structure allows for them to be included in the reference filebox.

      Automatic reference cards!

      When did they stop doing this!!!

    1. fragments_shored · 1 hr. agoI don't have a specific edition to offer, but you asked "why don't publishers publish more books with scholar's margins?" and the answer is because it's expensive. More white space means more paper and binding material, longer time for the print run, more customization on the press, heavier and therefore more costly to ship. Book publishing operates on a very thin margin so it's not cost-effective, especially when most consumers don't care about the extra margin space and/or aren't willing to absorb the costs in the purchase price.What can consumers do to encourage publishers to change these practices? Be willing to spend the $80 for the scholar's margins instead of expecting to pay the normal $5 to $10.

      The razor thin margins argument only works from the bookseller's perspective, and this is primarily due to excessive competition from Amazon. Beyond this, sure the product would be slightly more expensive, but (pun intended) only marginally so. Revenue margins on classics written before 1924 (which most of this class of books is) are also significantly higher because they're public domain and the company isn't paying royalties on them. Additionally, at scale, a company with a series like Penguin Classics has a pretty solid understanding of print runs and demand to more easily allow them to innovate like this. Take the Penguin Classics copy of Thucydides' The History of the Peloponnesian War which lists for $20 in paperback and sells for $12.00 on Amazon. (You'll notice that Amazon is essentially giving away their entire discount (aka margin, usually a 40% discount on the list price) here. At a 10,000 copy print run, the cost of the print/paper/print run is in the $2.00 per copy range or lower. Amazon is taking a razor margin for the sale, but Penguin is pocketing almost $10 in pure profit as I'm sure their marketing budget is very near zero here.<br /> They could easily still do very close to this with either larger book margins or even the same text printed on 6 x 9" instead of 5 x 8.25 (or even smaller pulp sizes) so they don't have to reset the entire book for pennies on the dollar at the publisher level. Given that the majority of this market is targeted at students, who could directly use these affordances (and often do but in more cramped space) for the small mark up (particularly in comparison to the $80 copies, which still don't fit the bill, when they exist), I would attribute their non-existence to laziness and lack of imagination on the part of the publishers. Perhaps a smaller publishers like Dover might take on such a project as a means of cheaply, but profitably improving their position in the market? Those making the argument for not marking up these sorts of copies to keep the book pristine for the next reader are missing the point. I also suspect that they haven't recently purchased these sorts of used copies that often go for under $4 on the used market. Even when treated well and not heavily annotated by the first reader, these books are not in good shape and really aren't designed to be read by more than three people. It's also the reason that most libraries don't purchase them. I might buy their argument for the more expensive hardcover collector's market, but not for the pulp mass market books which hold almost no value on the secondary market. Additionally the secondary market for this class of books doesn't usually reflect large value differences between heavily annotated/highlighted texts and those that aren't. Whether they mark them up or not, the first owner is responsible for the largest proportion of depreciated value. Tangentially, I find myself lamenting the cultural practices of prior generations who valued sharing annotated copies of texts with friends and lovers as tokens of their friendship and love. I'm guessing those who vitiate against annotation have never known these practices existed.

    1. Teachers have long understood that grasping the themes of great literature, while often times challenging, is well within the means of those readers willing to thoughtfully engage the text. Furthermore, teachers have long understood the value of margin notes as a powerful tool in accomplishing this end. Yet despite the collective wisdom of many educators, publishers continue to print the classics in a format little conducive to the kind of "text-grappling" that experts recommended. In listening to students and educators, Gladius Books has heeded the call by publishing a series of the most frequently read classics, each printed with extra-wide margins for convenient annotations. To maximize the value of margin notes, the publisher has also included an appendix with helpful note-taking suggestions.

      a publisher that takes having wider margins seriously!

    1. Annotate Books has added a 1.8-inch ruled margin on every page. The ample space lets you to write your thoughts, expanding your understanding of the text. This edition brings an end to does convoluted, parallel notes, made on minute spaces. Never again fail to understand your brilliant ideas, when you go back and review the text.

      This is what we want to see!! The publishing company Annotate Books is republishing classic texts with a roomier 1.8" ruled margin on every page to make it easier to annotate texts.

      It reminds me about the idea of having print-on-demand interleaved books. Why not have print-on-demand books which have wider than usual margins either with or without lines/grids/dots for easier note taking and marginalia?

      Link to: https://hypothes.is/a/C5WcYFhsEeyLyFeV9leIzw

    1. The academic research that was footnoted in the Wikipedia articles was found to be cited more often in subsequent academic publications, as well.

      Academic research used in Wikipedia articles drives more citations

  6. Jul 2022
    1. I recently started building a website that lives at wesleyac.com, and one of the things that made me procrastinate for years on putting it up was not being sure if I was ready to commit to it. I solved that conundrum with a page outlining my thoughts on its stability and permanence:

      It's worth introspecting on why any given person might hesitate to feel that they can commit. This is almost always comes down to "maintainability"—websites are, like many computer-based endeavors, thought of as projects that have to be maintained. This is a failure of the native Web formats to appreciably make inroads as a viable alternative to traditional document formats like PDF and Word's .doc/.docx (or even the ODF black sheep). Many people involved with Web tech have difficulty themselves conceptualizing Web documents in these terms, which is unfortunate.

      If you can be confident that you can, today, bang out something in LibreOffice, optionally export to PDF, and then dump the result at a stable URL, then you should feel similarly confident about HTML. Too many people have mental guardrails preventing them from grappling with the relevant tech in this way.

    1. NOTES AND REFERENCES

      Dear god I really hate when publishers do their references/notes like this. Sitting here at the end, unlinked to the actual text. There's a special place in hell for editors that do this in the digital age.

  7. Jun 2022
    1. u/sscheper in writing your book, have you thought about the following alternative publishing idea which I'm transcribing from a random though I put on a card this morning?

      I find myself thinking about people publishing books in index card/zettelkasten formats. Perhaps Scott Scheper could do this with his antinet book presented in a traditional linear format, but done in index cards with his numbers, links, etc. as well as his actual cards for his index at the end so that readers could also see the power of the system by holding it in their hands and playing with it?

      It could be done roughly like Edward Powys Mathers' Cain's Jawbone or Henry Korn's Pontoon Manifesto? Perhaps numbered consecutively to make it easier to bring back into that format, but also done with your zk numbering so that people could order it and use it that way too? This way you get the book as well as a meta artifact of what the book is about as an example of how to do such a thing for yourself. Maybe even make a contest for a better ordering for the book than the one you published it in ?

      Link to: - https://hyp.is/6IBzkPfeEeyo9Suq-ZmCKg/www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

    1. surveys indicate that screens and e-readers interfere with two other important aspects of navigating texts: serendipity and a sense of control.

      Based on surveys, readers indicate that two important parts of textual navigation are sense of control and serendipity.

      http://books.google.com/books/about/Electronic_journal_literature.html?id=YSFlAAAAMAAJ


      How does the control over a book frame how we read? What does "power over" a book look like compared to "power with"?

      What are the tools for thought affordances that paper books provide over digital books and vice versa?


      I find myself thinking about people publishing books in index card/zettelkasten formats. Perhaps Scott Scheper could do this with his antinet book presented in a linear format, but done in index cards with his numbers, links, etc. as well as his actual cards for his index so that readers could also see the power of the system by holding it in their hands and playing with it.

    1. We are the leading independent Open Access publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the UK: a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run by scholars who are committed to making high-quality research freely available to readers around the world. All our books are available to read online and download for free, with no Book Processing Charges (BPCs) for authors. We publish monographs and textbooks in all areas, offering the academic excellence of a traditional press combined with the speed, convenience and accessibility of digital publishing. We also publish bespoke Series for Universities and Research Centers and invite libraries to support Open Access publishing by joining our Membership Programme.
    1. One conclusion follows from the opposition between the can-ons of good writing and those of good written speeches: unless youare threatened with jail and a heavy fine, do not allow a writtenlecture to be published without extensive rewriting on your part.

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    1. We still imagine the web as a series of paper documents with text and images presented on them.

      I don't know if this is true for anyone. It certainly seems like most people who are digital natives (or immigrants) rarely make the connection and end up missing out on some lessons from print that would actually be helpful.

  8. May 2022
    1. in 1950, when as a young editorial assistant at Doubleday in Paris she rescued the diary of Anne Frank from a pile of rejects and persuaded her superiors to publish it in the United States — a stroke of fortune that gave the English-speaking world the intimate portrait of a forgotten girl, the child everyone had lost in World War II.

      As an editorial assistant at Doubleday in Paris, Judith Jones rescued the diary of Anne Frank from a pile of rejects in 1950. She proceeded to persuade a superior to publish the diary in the United States.

    1. Senior colleagues indicate that I should not have to balance out publishing in “traditional, peer-reviewed publications” as well as open, online spaces.

      Do your colleagues who read your work, annotate it, and comment on it not count as peer-review?

      Am I wasting my time by annotating all of this? :) (I don't think so...)

    1. the skills to tweak an app or website into what they need

      Does "what they need" here implicitly mean "a design that no one really benefits from but you can bill a client for $40+/hr for"? Because that's how Glitch comes off to me—more vocational (and even less academic) than a bootcamp without the structure.

      What was that part about home-cooked meals?

    2. Building and sharing an app should be as easy as creating and sharing a video.

      This is where I think Glitch goes wrong. Why such a focus on apps (and esp. pushing the same practices and overcomplicated architecture as people on GitHub trying to emulate the trendiest devops shovelware)?

      "Web" is a red herring here. Make the Web more accessible for app creation, sure, but what about making it more accessible (and therefore simpler) for sharing simple stuff (like documents comprising the written word), too? Glitch doesn't do well at this at all. It feels less like a place for the uninitiated and more like a place for the cool kids who are already slinging/pushing Modern Best Practices hang out—not unlike societal elites who feign to tether themself to the mast of helping the downtrodden but really use the whole charade as machine for converting attention into prestige and personal wealth. Their prices, for example, reflect that. Where's the "give us, like 20 bucks a year and we'll give you better alternative to emailing Microsoft Office documents around (that isn't Google Sheets)" plan?

    1. your Second Brain is a privateknowledge collection designed to serve a lifetime of learning andgrowth, not just a single use case

      Based on Tiago Forte's definition of a second brain the primary distinction from a commonplace book is solely that it is digital.

      Note here that he explicitly defines a second brain as being private. Historically commonplace books were private affairs though there are examples of them being shared from person to person as well as examples that have been printed.

    1. it’s hard to look at recent subscription newsletter darling, Substack, without thinking about the increasingly unpredictable paywalls of yesteryear’s blogging darling, Medium. In theory you can simply replatform every five or six years, but cool URIs don’t change and replatforming significantly harms content discovery and distribution.
  9. Apr 2022
    1. The day after his mother's death in October 1977, the influential philosopher Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning. Taking notes on index cards as was his habit, he reflected on a new solitude, on the ebb and flow of sadness, and on modern society's dismissal of grief. These 330 cards, published here for the first time, prove a skeleton key to the themes he tackled throughout his work.

      Published on October 12, 2010, Mourning Diary is a collection published for the first time from Roland Barthes' 330 index cards focusing on his mourning following the death of his mother in 1977.

      Was it truly created as a "diary" from the start? Or was it just a portion of his regular note taking collection excerpted and called a diary after-the-fact? There is nothing resembling a "traditional" diary in many portions of the collection, but rather a collection of notes relating to the passing of his mother. Was the moniker "diary" added as a promotional or sales tool?

    1. In an ever-increasing sphere of digital print, why can't publishers provide readers a digitally programmed selection of footnote references in texts?

      This digital version of Annie Murphy Paul's book has endnotes with links from the endnotes back to the original pages, but the opposite links from the reading don't go to the endnotes in an obvious way.

      I'd love to be able to turn on/off a variety of footnote options so that I can see them on the pages they appear, as pop up modals, or browse through them in the end notes after-the-fact as I choose. This would allow me to have more choice and selection from a text based on what I want to get out of it rather than relying on a publisher to make that choice for me.

      Often in publishing a text written for the broad public will "hide" the footnotes at the end of the text in unintuitive ways where as more scholarly presses will place them closer to their appearance within the text. Given the digital nature of texts, it should be possible to allow the reader to choose where these items appear to suit their reading styles.

    1. NABOKOV: By “editor” I suppose you mean_proofreader.Among these I have known limpid creatures of limitless tact andtenderness who would discuss with me a semicolon as if it werea point of honor—which, indeed, a point of art often is. But Ihave also come across a few pompous avuncular brutes who wouldattempt to “make suggestions” which I countered with a thunder-ous “‘stet!”’
    1. This appeal would have a greater effect if it weren't itself published in a format that exhibits so much of what was less desirable of the pre-modern Web—fixed layouts that show no concern for how I'm viewing this page and causes horizontal scrollbars, overly stylized MySpace-ish presentation, and a general imposition of the author's preferences and affinity for kitsch above all else—all things that we don't want.

      I say this as someone who is not a fan of the trends in the modern Web. Responsive layouts and legible typography are not casualties of the modern Web, however. Rather, they exhibit the best parts of its maturation. If we can move the Web out of adolescence and get rid of the troublesome aspects, we'd be doing pretty good.

    1. Having died in 1977, Nabokov never completed the book, and so all Penguin had to publish decades later came to, as the subtitle indicates, A Novel in Fragments. These “fragments” he wrote on 138 cards, and the book as published includes full-color reproductions that you can actually tear out and organize — and re-organize — for yourself, “complete with smudges, cross-outs, words scrawled out in Russian and French (he was trilingual) and annotated notes to himself about titles of chapters and key points he wants to make about his characters.”

      Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977 leaving an unfinished manuscript in note card form for the novel The Original of Laura. Penguin later published the incomplete novel with in 2012 with the subtitle A Novel in Fragments. Unlike most manuscripts written or typewritten on larger paper, this one came in the form of 138 index cards. Penguin's published version recreated these cards in full-color reproductions including the smudges, scribbles, scrawlings, strikeouts, and annotations in English, French, and Russian. Perforated, one could tear the cards out of the book and reorganize in any way they saw fit or even potentially add their own cards to finish the novel that Nabokov couldn't.


      Link to the idea behind Cain’s Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers which had a different conceit, but a similar publishing form.

    1. But it is more difficult in a world of manuscriptsthan in the era of printing to evaluate what constitutes a note—that is, a piece ofwriting not meant for circulation but for private use, say, as preparatory toward afinished work

      Based on this definition of a "note", one must wonder if my public notes here on Hypothes.is are then not notes as they are tacitly circulated publicly from the first use. However they are still specifically and distinctly preparatory towards some future finished work, I just haven't yet decided which ultimate work in which they'll appear.

    2. Even as he was critical of overabundance, Gesner exulted in it, seeking exhaustiveness in his accumulation of both themes and works from which others could choose according to their judgment and interests.

      Note here the presumed freedom to pick and choose based on interest and judgement. Who's judgement really? Book banning and religious battles would call to question which people got to exercise their own judgement.

    3. A complaint more specific to the quantity of books was articulated in 1522 by the jurist Giovanni Nevizzano of Asti (d. 1540) who observed that the great number of available books made it hard to find the books one needed. Proper selection among the many books available was crucial because “if a scholar does not have the books required for his subject, he does not enjoy the privi-leges of a scholar.”20

      This same sort of quote is often repeated in the present while vitiating against the corporate publishers who own most of research publishing and charge for it dearly.

    4. Another fourteenth- century manuscript of Hautfuney’s index to Vincent of Beauvais’s Speculum historiale. The absence of rubrication and the narrower columns make the entries harder to identify although the two indexes contain the same information.
    5. To make a more radical correction, printers could also replace a whole page or quire with a new one (called a cancel).
    6. Medieval manuscripts did not include title pages, and bibliographers identify them by incipit or opening words: no special markers were needed to recognize a book that one had commissioned and waited for while it was copied.185 By contrast, a printed book needed to ap-peal to buyers who had no advance knowledge of the book, so the title page served as an advertisement, announcing title and author, printer and/or book-seller (where the book could be purchased), generally a date of publication, and also additional boasts about useful features—“very copious indexes” or a “cor-rected and much augmented” text. T
    7. A number of incunabula mention that 300 copies were printed, though this figure may have become formulaic. Most scholars assume that despite contextual variations, print runs generally increased during the sixteenth century—1,000 is often used as a ballpark estimate.181

      Print runs of the earliest books by publishers may have been around 300 copies going up to 1,000 copies during the sixteenth century. Compare this to 10,000 copies today to reach "best seller" status.

    1. There's way too much excuse-making in this post.

      They're books. If there's any defensible* reason for making the technical decision to go with "inert" media, then a bunch of books has to be it.

      * Even this framing is wrong. There's a clear and obvious impedance mismatch between the Web platform as designed and the junk that people squirt down the tubes at people. If there's anyone who should be coming up with excuses to justify what they're doing, that burden should rest upon the people perverting the vision of the Web and treating it unlike the way it's supposed to be used—not folks like acabal and amitp who are doing the right thing...

  10. Mar 2022
    1. Of two editions that I have been involved with, Volume One of The Collected Works of John Ford now costs £222.50, while Volume One of The Oxford Francis Bacon sells at £322.50. These prices have increased since publication in 2012 at rates exceeding any measure of inflation, and have reached a level that no individual, and ever fewer libraries, can afford. They are so expensive that fewer copies are being sent out for review, which means that fewer readers will hear about them. The claim that “Oxford University Press advances knowledge and learning” is undermined by its policy on pricing. Editors who devote years of their lives to producing accurate and helpful texts are disappointed that their chances of reaching a scholarly audience are diminishing.
  11. readlists.jim-nielsen.com readlists.jim-nielsen.com
    1. https://readlists.jim-nielsen.com/

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Jim Nielsen</span> in (Re)Introducing Readlists (<time class='dt-published'>03/25/2022 23:09:14</time>)</cite></small>

    1. https://every.to/letter

      A manifesto about what the Every platform is all about. They're trying to create a new(?) economic model for writers working together.

      I'm not really sure how this is dramatically different from prior efforts or if the economic incentives are actually properly aligned here. Many writers without critically looking at the whole may be led here as much by marketing hype as anything else. It almost sounds like they're recreating The Huffington Post, but giving away some of the value up front instead of leaving all the value in one person's hand for a future sale.

      Who owns the copyright of the created works? Are editors and proofreaders just work for hire here? What about their interests?

    1. the department knew it was happening and almost certainly has a master calendar somewhere that features months worth of programming for every facility under its control. So a couple questions:Why so stingy with that data?Why not publish it in a format that people will actually use?This information is not very useful on some random, deep-linked webpage
    1. The current mass media such as t elevision, books, and magazines are one-directional, and are produced by a centralized process. This can be positive, since respected editors can filter material to ensure consistency and high quality, but more widely accessible narrowcasting to specific audiences could enable livelier decentralized discussions. Democratic processes for presenting opposing views, caucusing within factions, and finding satisfactory compromises are productive for legislative, commercial, and scholarly pursuits.

      Social media has to some extent democratized the access to media, however there are not nearly enough processes for creating negative feedback to dampen ideas which shouldn't or wouldn't have gained footholds in a mass society.

      We need more friction in some portions of the social media space to prevent the dissemination of un-useful, negative, and destructive ideas swamping out the positive ones. The accelerative force of algorithmic feeds for the most extreme ideas in particular is one of the most caustic ideas of the last quarter of a century.

    2. Creative work is not complete until it is disseminated

      This is an interesting perspective, but are there cases where it's false?

      Link to the idea at CAA that you haven't really read a script unless you've actively acted upon what you've read.

    1. writing instead of formatting

      A substantial subset of the personal homepage contingency associated with blogging advocacy "movement" doesn't understand this.

  12. Feb 2022
    1. Try not to have white spaces in your folder and file names

      This would be a useful plugin for freely publishing Obsidian content via Git, except for this problem. I depend on whitespace in filenames. Pity.

    1. and keep your site consistent

      But maybe you don't need to do that. Maybe it would be instructive to take lessons from the traditional (pre-digital) publishing industry and consider how things like "print runs" and "reissues" factored in.

      If you write a blog post in 2017 and the page is acceptable*, and then five years later you're publishing a new post today in 2022 under new design norms and trying to retrofit that design onto your content from 2017, then that sounds a lot like a reprint. If that makes sense and you want to go ahead and do that, then fair enough, but perhaps first consider whether it does make sense. Again, that's what you're doing—every time you go for a visual refresh, it's akin to doing a new run for your entire corpus. In the print industry (even the glossy ones where striking a chord visually was and is something considered to merit a lot of attention), publishers didn't run around snapping up old copies and replacing them with new ones. "The Web is different", you might say, but is it? Perhaps the friction experienced here—involved with the purported need to pick up a static site generator and set your content consistently with templates—is actually the result of fighting against the natural state of even the digital medium?

      * ... and if you wrote a blog post in 2017 and the page is not acceptable now in 2022, maybe it's worth considering whether it was ever really acceptable—and whether the design decisions you're making in 2022 will prove to be similarly unacceptable in time (and whether you should just figure out the thing where that wouldn't be the case, and instead start doing that immediately).

    1. I used Publii for my blog, but it was very constraining in terms of its styling

      This is a common enough feeling (not about Publii, specifically; just the general concern for flexibility and control in static site generators), but when you pull back and think in terms of normalcy and import, it's another example of how most of what you read on the internet is written by insane people.

      Almost no one submitting a paper for an assignment or to a conference cares about styling the way that the users of static site generators (or other web content publishing pipelines) do. Almost no one sending an email worries about that sort of thing, either. (The people sending emails who do care a lot about it are usually doing email campaigns, and not normal people carrying out normal correspondence.) No one publishing a comment in the thread here—or a comment or post to Reddit—cares about these things like this, nor does anyone care as much when they're posting on Facebook.

      Somehow, though, when it comes to personal Web sites, including blogs, it's MySpace all over again. Visual accoutrement gets pushed to the foreground, with emphasis on the form of expression itself, often with little relative care for the actual content (e.g. whether they're actually expressing anything interesting, or whether they're being held back from expressing something worthwhile by these meta-concerns that wouldn't even register if happening over a different medium).

      When it comes to the Web, most instances of concern for the visual aesthetic of one's own work are distractions. It might even be prudent to consider those concerns to be a trap.

    1. keeping your website's look 'up to date' requires changes

      Yeah, but...

      Keeping your website's look 'up to date' requires changes, but keeping your website up does not require "keeping its look 'up to date'".

  13. Jan 2022
  14. notesfromasmallpress.substack.com notesfromasmallpress.substack.com
    1. If booksellers like to blame publishers for books not being available, publishers like to blame printers for being backed up. Who do printers blame? The paper mill, of course.

      The problem with capitalism is that in times of fecundity things can seem to magically work so incredibly well because so much of the system is hidden, yet when problems arise so much becomes much more obvious.

      Unseen during fecundity is the amount of waste and damage done to our environments and places we live. Unseen are the interconnections and the reliances we make on our environment and each other.

      There is certainly a longer essay hiding in this idea.

    1. So ultimately, I wound up not doing a lot with my stories… until I stumbled across a newsletter article on substack talking about how people were serializing their novels on newsletters, because the new newsletter-subscription models let them sell directly to fans without using Amazon or Wattpad or Patreon as a middleman.

      People have begun serializing their novels using newsletters. This allows them to sell directly to fans without allowing middleman companies like Amazon, Patreon, or Wattpad to disintermediate them.

    1. commercial enterprises like Alexander Street Press, which offers libraries beautifully produced collections of everything from Harper’s Weekly to the letters and diaries of American immigrants.
    2. Early English Books Online offers a hundred thousand titles printed between 1475 and 1700. Massive tomes in Latin and the little pamphlets that poured off the presses during the Puritan revolution—schoolbooks, Jacobean tragedies with prompters’ notes, and political pamphlets by Puritan regicides—are all available to anyone in a major library.
    3. Chadwyck-Healey and Gale, which sell their collections to libraries and universities for substantial fees.
    1. St. Bonaventura (1221-1274) found that there are basically four ways of 'making books' (modi faciendi librum):"A man might write the work of others, adding and changing nothing in which case he is simply called a 'scribe' (scriptor).""Another writes the work of others with additions which are not his own; and he is called a 'compiler (compilator).""Another writes both others’ work and his own, but with others’ work in principal place, adding his own for purposes of explanation; and he is called a 'commentator' (commentator) …""Another writes both his own work and others' but with his own work in principal place adding others' for purposes of confirmation; and such a man should be called an 'author' (auctor).’"
  15. Dec 2021
    1. Medium, a writing app that is also a publishing platform and a social-media network, represents the logical extreme of this vertical integration.

      Julian Lucas indicates that tools like Microsoft Word, WordStar, WordPerfect, and Google Docs, are writing tools which ultimately result into the vertical integration of Medium. The mistake here is that while they are certain tools and one can write into them and use them for editing, they are all probably best thought of as tools in the chain of moving toward publishing with Medium being the example that allows one to present their work as well as a distribution mechanism with a cheery on top.

      What she is not focusing enough (any?) attention on is the creation processes at the start. How does one come up with an interesting idea? How does one do the research? How does one collect ideas moving toward some teleological endpoint? Tools that address these ideas of invention and creation are the real writing tools that writers so elusively search out.

      Far better to look at note taking tools or tools like Hypothes.is that go to the roots of the creation process. Tools that can take fleeting ideas and collect them. Tools that can take those collections and interlink them. Tools that allow for combinatorial juxtaposition and rearrangement. Tools that allow outlining.

      It is only after this that one may use a tool like Microsoft Word to do the final arrangement, editing, and polish before sending it off to a publisher.

    1. In an effort to mitigate these issues, some book contracts now specify the number of posts required before and after a book is published.

      Perhaps better would be stipulations in the contract that incentivize authors to leverage their platforms in the form of bonuses while removing the advance money in lieu. Make the author part of the promotion, which has been part of the movement in publishing for the last decade.

    2. The journalist and media personality Piers Morgan had a weaker showing in the United States. Despite his followers on Twitter (8 million) and Instagram (1.8 million), “Wake Up: Why the World Has Gone Nuts” has sold just 5,650 U.S. print copies since it was published a year ago, according to BookScan. (It sold more than 190,000 print copies in the United Kingdom, according to his U.K. publisher.)

      Piers Morgan has lost relevancy here in the United States, particularly on the political front. I'm not surprised at these marginal numbers.

    3. Tamika D. Mallory, a social activist with over a million Instagram followers, was paid over $1 million for a two-book deal. But her first book, “State of Emergency,” has sold just 26,000 print copies since it was published in May, according to BookScan.

      Following numbers can't matter as much as something like daily or weekly engagement, which might be a better predictor for book sales.

    4. “It’s become more and more important as the years went on,” said Marc Resnick, executive editor at St. Martin’s Press. “We learned some hard lessons along the way, which is that a tweet or a post is not necessarily going to sell any books, if it’s not the right person with the right book and the right followers at the right time.”

      This seems like common sense to me, why hasn't the industry grokked it?

    1. The professionalisation of academic writing has forced us “to substitute the more writerly, discoursive forms, such as the essay, for the more measured and measurable –largely unread and unreadable – quasi-scientific journal article”

      I wonder if it would be useful to distinguish between research and scholarship, where formal research is but one type of scholarly practice?

      If we look at a journal as a channel for promoting scholarship then there's no reason that we can't include essays as a category of writing.

    1. “I could fit this in my pocket,” I thought when the first newly re-designed @parisreview arrived. And sure enough editor Emily Stokes said it’s was made to fit in a “large coat pocket” in the editor’s note.

      I've been thinking it for a while, but have needed to write it down for ages---particularly from my experiences with older manuscripts.

      In an age of print-on-demand and reflowing text, why in goodness' name don't we have the ability to print almost anything we buy and are going to read in any font size and format we like?

      Why couldn't I have a presentation copy sized version of The Paris Review?

      Why shouldn't I be able to have everything printed on bible-thin pages of paper for savings in thickness?

      Why couldn't my textbooks be printed with massively large margins for writing notes into more easily? Why not interleaved with blank pages even? Particularly near the homework problem sections?

      Why can't I have more choice in a range of fonts, book sizes, margin sizes, and covers?

    1. The second volume of the Bibliotheca Universalis , published in 1548 under the title Pandectarum sive Partitionum Universalium , contains a list of keywords, ordered not by authors ’ names, but thematically. This intro-duces a classifi cation of knowledge on the one hand, and on the other hand offers orientation for the novice about patterns and keywords (so-called loci communes ) that help organize knowledge to be acquired.

      Konrad Gessner's second edition of Bibliotheca Universalis in 1548 contains a list of keywords (loci communes) thus placing it into the tradition of the commonplace book, but as it is published for use by others, it accelerates the ability for others to find and learn about information in which they may have an interest.

      Was there a tradition of published or manuscript commonplace books prior to this?

  16. Nov 2021
    1. By examining works by Shakespeare, Spenser, Montaigne, and others, he dispels the notion of literary texts as static or closed, and instead demonstrates how the unsettled conventions of early print culture fostered an idea of books as interactive and malleable.

      Jeffrey Todd Knight in Bound to read: Compilations, Collections, and the Making of Renaissance Literature examines the works of various writers to dispel the notion of literary texts as static. He shows how the evolution of early print culture helped to foster the idea as interactive and malleable. This at a time when note takers and writers would have been using commonplacing techniques at even smaller scales for creating their own writing thus creating a similar pattern from the smaller scale to the larger scale.

      This pattern of small notes building into larger items with rearrangement which is seen in Carl Linnaeus' index card-based notes as well as his longer articles/writings and publication record over time as well.

    2. In Bound to Read, Jeffrey Todd Knight excavates this culture of compilation—of binding and mixing texts, authors, and genres into single volumes—and sheds light on a practice that not only was pervasive but also defined the period's very ways of writing and thinking.
    3. In this early period of print, before the introduction of commercial binding, most published literary texts did not stand on shelves in discrete, standardized units. They were issued in loose sheets or temporarily stitched—leaving it to the purchaser or retailer to collect, configure, and bind them.

      In the early history of printing, books weren't as we see them now, instead they were issued in loose sheets or with temporary stitching allowing the purchaser or retailer to collect, organize, and bind them. This pattern occurs at a time when one would have been thinking about collecting, writing, and organizing one's notes in a commonplace book or other forms. It is likely a pattern that would have influenced this era of note taking practices, especially among the most literate who were purchasing and using books.

    1. I have no problem with publishers making a profit, or with peer reviewers doing their work for free. The problem I have is when there is such an enormous gap between those two positions.

      If publishers make billions in profit (and they do), while at the same time reviewers are doing a billion dollars worth of work for free, that seems like a broken system.

      I think there are parallels with how users contribute value to social media companies. In both cases, users/reviewers are getting some value in return, but most of the value that's captured goes to the publisher/tech company.

      I'd like to see a system where more of the value accrues to the reviewers. This could be in the form of direct payment, although this is probably less preferable because of the challenges of trying to convert the value of different kinds of peer review into a dollar amount.

      Another problem with simply paying reviewers is that it retains the status quo; we keep the same system with all of it's faults and redistribute profits. This is an OK option as it at least sees some of the value that normally accrues to publishers moving to reviewers.

      I also don’t believe that open access - in it’s current form - is a good option either. There are still enormous costs associated with publishing; the only difference is that those costs are now covered by institutions instead of the reader. The publisher still makes a heart-stopping profit.

      A more elegant solution, although more challenging, would be for academics to step away from publishers altogether and start their own journals, on their own terms.

    1. This week they added two more domains – sci-hub.ru and scihub.unblockit.kim.

      Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer Nature are expanding the use of domain blocking to prevent people from accessing services like Sci-Hub.

    2. The usual targets of The Publishers Association include domains that facilitate access to the popular Libgen library and eBook portals eBookee and FreeBookSpot. The trend was maintained this week when ISP TalkTalk revealed that more domains had been blocked in the UK. The new additions are as follows: ebookee.unblockit.kim, ebookee.123unblock.world, ebookee.mrunblock.bar, ebookee.nocensor.biz, ebookee.unbl4you.cyou, ebookee.unbl0ck.icu, ebookee.unblockproject.top, ebookee.proxybit.sbs, freebookspot.unblockit.kim, libgen.unblockit.kim, libgen.123unblock.world, libgen.mrunblock.bar, libgen.nocensor.biz, libgen.unbl4you.cyou,, libgen.unbl0ck.icu, libgen.unblockproject.top, libgen.proxybit.sbs
  17. Oct 2021
    1. Ein Beispiel: Seit Beginn des Projektes wurden bis heute von den Editoren bereits gut 2800 bibliographische Datensätze zu Literatur angelegt, mit der Luhmann gearbeitet hat. Dazu kommen die gut 2100 Publikationen von Luhmann selbst. Und wir sind erst mittendrin.

      Machine translation:

      An example: since the beginning of the project, the editors have already created a good 2,800 bibliographical records on literature that Luhmann has worked with. Then there are the 2100 publications by Luhmann himself. And we are only in the middle of it.

      I wonder what this ratio looks like for other writers and researchers? I'd suspect Niklas Luhmann to be several standard deviations above the average.

    1. Of course someone has published a zettelkasten notebook for taking notes to be moved into one's zettelkasten at a later date.

      It includes space for notes as well as meta data box which includes labels and spaces for the following:

      • UID
      • Parent UID
      • Zettel
      • tags
      • refs

      It's also got (at least one) page for an index in the end titled "tag list" with a two column ruling

      This follows the general pattern of pre-printed commonplace books which was common with at least John Locke's index pre-printed.

      Other examples include published bullet journals with custom formatting.

    1. iA Writer + Ghost

      This is the integration that I am using to connect my daily writing practice with the process of publishing. iA Writer and Ghost have enabled me to share my ideas and project intentions into the world in such a way that they have become indispensable tools for community building.

  18. Sep 2021
    1. Ebooks Are an Abomination: If you hate them, it’s not your fault. by Ian Bogost in The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/books/archive/2021/09/why-are-ebooks-so-terrible/620068/

      Ian Bogost has a nice look at the UI affordances and areas for growth in the e-reading space.

    2. Skimming through pages, the foremost feature of the codex, remains impossible in digital books.

      This is related to an idea that Tom Critchlow was trying to get at a bit the other day. It would definitely be interesting in this sort of setting.

      Has anyone built a generalizable text zoom JavaScript library that let's you progressively summarize an article as you zoom in and out?<br><br>(Why yes I am procrastinating my to-do list. You?)

      — Tom Critchlow (@tomcritchlow) September 17, 2021
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    3. So do all manner of other peculiarities of form, including notations of editions on the verso (the flip side) of the full title page and the running headers all throughout that rename the book you are already reading.

      I do dislike the running headers of digital copies of books as most annotation tools want to capture those headers in the annotation.

      It would be nice if they were marked up in an Aria-like method so that annotation software would semantically know to ignore them.

    4. Ebook devices are extremely compatible with an idea of bookiness that values holding and carrying a potentially large number of books at once; that prefers direct flow from start to finish over random access; that reads for the meaning and force of the words as text first, if not primarily; and that isn’t concerned with the use of books as stores of reader-added information or as memory palaces.

      Intriguing reference of a book as a memory palace here.

      The verso/recto and top/middle/bottom is a piece of digital books that I do miss from the physical versions as it serves as a mnemonic journey for me to be able to remember what was where.

      I wonder if Ian Bogost uses the method of loci?

    5. The iPad’s larger screen also scales down PDF pages to fit, making the results smaller than they would be in print. It also displays simulated print margins inside the bezel margin of the device itself, a kind of mise en abyme that still can’t actually be used for the things margins are used for, such as notes or dog-ears.

      It would be quite nice if a digital reader would allow actual writing in the margins, or even overlaying the text itself and then allowing the looking at the two separately.

      I do quite like the infinite annotation space that Hypothes.is gives me on a laptop. I wish there were UI for it on a Kindle in a more usable and forgiving way. The digital keyboard on Kindle Paperwhite is miserable. I've noticed that I generally prefer reading and annotating on desktop in a browser now for general ease-of-use.

      Also, I don't see enough use of mise en abyme. This is a good one.

      In Western art history, mise en abyme (French pronunciation: ​[miz ɑ̃n‿abim]; also mise en abîme) is a formal technique of placing a copy of an image within itself, often in a way that suggests an infinitely recurring sequence. In film theory and literary theory, it refers to the technique of inserting a story within a story. The term is derived from heraldry and literally means "placed into abyss". It was first appropriated for modern criticism by the French author André Gide.

    6. One site of that erosion, which may help explain ebook reticence, can be found in self-published books. For people predisposed to sneer at the practice, a lack of editing or the absence of publisher endorsement and review might justify self-published works’ second-class status. That matter is debatable. More clear is the consequence of disintermediation: Nobody takes a self-published manuscript and lays it out for printing in a manner that conforms with received standards. And so you often end up with a perfect-bound Word doc instead of a book. That odd feeling of impropriety isn’t necessarily a statement about the trustworthiness of the writer or their ideas, but a sense of dissonance at the book as an object. It’s an eerie gestalt, a foreboding feeling of unbookiness.

      Having helped others to self-publish in the past, I definitely do spend a bit of time putting the small sort of bookiness flourishes into their texts.

    7. If you have a high-quality hardbound book nearby, pick it up and look at the top and bottom edges of the binding, near the spine, with the book closed. The little stripey tubes you see are called head and tail bands (one at the top, one at the bottom). They were originally invented to reinforce stitched binding, to prevent the cover from coming apart from the leaves. Today’s mass-produced hardcover books are glued rather than sewn, which makes head and tail bands purely ornamental. And yet for those who might notice, a book feels naked without such details.

      It is an odd circumstance that tail bands are still used on modern books that don't need them. From a manufacturing standpoint, the decrease in cost would dictate they disappear, however they must add some level of bookiness that they're worth that cost.