- Feb 2022
9/8g Hinter der Zettelkastentechnik steht dieErfahrung: Ohne zu schreiben kann mannicht denken – jedenfalls nicht in anspruchsvollen,selektiven Zugriff aufs Gedächtnis voraussehendenZusammenhängen. Das heißt auch: ohne Differenzen einzukerben,kann man nicht denken.
9/8g The Zettelkasten technique is based on experience: You can't think without writing—at least not in contexts that require selective access to memory.
That also means: you can't think without notching differences.
There's something interesting about the translation here of "notching" occurring on an index card about ideas which can be linked to the early computer science version of edge-notched cards. Could this have been a subtle and tangential reference to just this sort of computing?
The idea isn't new to me, but in the last phrase Luhmann tangentially highlights the value of the zettelkasten for more easily and directly comparing and contrasting the ideas on two different cards which might be either linked or juxtaposed.
- Graeber and Wengrow ideas of storytelling
Shield of Achilles and ekphrasis thesis
https://hypothes.is/a/I-VY-HyfEeyjIC_pm7NF7Q With the further context of the full quote including "with selective access to memory" Luhmann seemed to at least to make space (if not give a tacit nod?) to oral traditions which had methods for access to memories in ways that modern literates don't typically give any credit at all. Johannes F.K .Schmidt certainly didn't and actively erased it in Niklas Luhmann’s Card Index: The Fabrication of Serendipity.
- mechanical computing
- compare and contrast
- origins of the computer
- scientific method
- tools for thought
- computer science
- shield of Achilles
- edge-notched cards
In our current global networked culture that puts so much emphasis on the virtual and the visual, the mind and the body have become detached and ultimately disconnected. Though physical appearance is idolised for its sexual appeal and its social identity, the role of the body in developing a full understanding of the physical world and the human condition has become neglected. The potential of the human body as a knowing entity – with all our senses as well as our entire bodily functions being structured to produce and maintain silent knowledge together – fails to be recognised. It is only through the unity of mind and body that craftsmanship and artistic work can be fully realised. Even those endeavours that are generally regarded as solely intellectual, such as writing and thinking, depend on this union of mental and manual skills.
The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture by Juhani Pallasmaa
This sounds a bit like some of the physical and external memory ideas in The Extended Mind by Annie Murphy Paul.
This book came up in Dan Allosso's book club on How to Take Smart Notes.
It should be recognized that these basic note types are very different than the digital garden framing of 📤 (seedbox), 🌱 (seedling), 🪴 (sapling), 🌲 (evergreen), etc. which are another measure of the growth and expansion of not just one particular idea but potentially multiple ideas over time. These are a project management sort of tool for focusing on the growth of ideas. Within some tools, one might also use graph views and interconnectedness as means of charting this same sort of growth.
Sönke Ahrens' framing of fleeting note, literature note, and permanent note are a value assignation to the types of each of these notes with respect to generating new ideas and writing.
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