203 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. Nov 2021
    1. 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.
    1. Ivan—the intellectual Karamazov—stages a “rebellion” in which he renounces the world of God.

      Even i am renouncing till now with extrospective arguments

    1. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1459547762517688327.html

      Anthony Baker experimenting with ideas from Necromant and Eleanor Konik to cross link digital notes with physical paper notes.

      I've thought about doing something similar to this with my physical notebooks in the past, though hadn't done block level linking as a means of potentially pulling in and linking pieces in the future.

      Often for more important linked things, I'll simply import the physical version into my digital copy at the time of first use/reference, but this could be interesting for large bodies of notes which aren't digital.

    1. A fluorescence of note taking tools

      What is missing in this train of thought is search. The real challenge is recalling of information easily, whether that is traditional search or something more AI-ish that can uncover connections between items that I don't see myself. What I want is a tool that can search across all my repositories, and that requires either APIs for communication or standard data storage formats. I prefer APis.

    1. "The Zettelkasten takes more of my time than the writing of books." —Niklas Luhmann (via vimeo.com/173128404)

      Some people complain about the amount of time that working in their zettelkasten or notes may take, and it may take a while, but it is exactly the actual work of creation that takes the longest. The rest of the process is just the copying over and editing.

  3. Oct 2021
    1. sometimes you de- yelop a whole passage, not with the intention of completing it, but because it comes of itself and because inspiration is like grace, which passes by and does not come back.

      So very few modern sources describe annotation or note taking in these terms.

      I find often in my annotations, the most recent one just above is such a one, where I start with a tiny kernel of an idea and then my brain begins warming up and I put down some additional thoughts. These can sometimes build and turn into multiple sentences or paragraphs, other times they sit and need further work. But either way, with some work they may turn into something altogether different than what the original author intended or discussed.

      These are the things I want to keep, expand upon, and integrate into larger works or juxtapose with other broader ideas and themes in the things I am writing about.

      Sadly, we're just not teaching students or writers these tidbits or habits anymore.

      Sönke Ahrens mentions this idea in his book about Smart Notes. When one is asked to write an essay or a paper it is immensely difficult to have a perch on which to begin. But if one has been taking notes about their reading which is of direct interest to them and which can be highly personal, then it is incredibly easy to have a starting block against which to push to begin what can be either a short sprint or a terrific marathon.

      This pattern can be seen by many bloggers who surf a bit of the web, read what others have written, and use those ideas and spaces as a place to write or create their own comments.

      Certainly this can involve some work, but it's always nicer when the muses visit and the words begin to flow.

      I've now written so much here in this annotation that this note here, is another example of this phenomenon.

      With some hope, by moving this annotation into my commonplace book (or if you prefer the words notebook, blog, zettelkasten, digital garden, wiki, etc.) I will have it to reflect and expand upon later, but it'll also be a significant piece of text which I might move into a longer essay and edit a bit to make a piece of my own.

      With luck, I may be able to remedy some of the modern note taking treatises and restore some of what we've lost from older traditions to reframe them in an more logical light for modern students.

      I recall being lucky enough to work around teachers insisting I use note cards and references in my sixth grade classes, but it was never explained to me exactly what this exercise was meant to engender. It was as if they were providing the ingredients for a recipe, but had somehow managed to leave off the narrative about what to do with those ingredients, how things were supposed to be washed, handled, prepared, mixed, chopped, etc. I always felt that I was baking blind with no directions as to temperature or time. Fortunately my memory for reading on shorter time scales was better than my peers and it was only that which saved my dishes from ruin.

      I've come to see note taking as beginning expanded conversations with the text on the page and the other texts in my notebooks. Annotations in the the margins slowly build to become something else of my own making.

      We might compare this with the more recent movement of social annotation in the digital pedagogy space. This serves a related master, but seems a bit more tangent to it. The goal of social annotation seems to be to help engage students in their texts as a group. Reading for many of these students may be more foreign than it is to me and many other academics who make trade with it. Thus social annotation helps turn that reading into a conversation between peers and their text. By engaging with the text and each other, they get something more out of it than they might have if left to their own devices. The piece I feel is missing here is the modeling of the next several steps to the broader commonplacing tradition. Once a student has begun the path of allowing their ideas to have sex with the ideas they find on the page or with their colleagues, what do they do next? Are they being taught to revisit their notes and ideas? Sift them? Expand upon them. Place them in a storehouse of their best materials where they can later be used to write those longer essays, chapters, or books which may benefit them later?

      How might we build these next pieces into these curricula of social annotation to continue building on these ideas and principles?

    1. For academics, annotation is also essential to scholarly communication and knowledge production. With Annotation, we eagerly accepted a social and scholarly responsibility to spark, curate, and facilitate discussion about annotation.

      The tools for thought crowd should all be reading Kalir and Garcia's book Annotation.

    1. What I'm interested in is doing this with visual artefacts as source material. What does visual pkm look like? Journaling, scrapbooking, collecting and the like. The most obvious tool is the sketchbook. How does a sketchbook work?

      It builds on many of these traditions, but there is a rather sizeable movement in the physical world as well as lots online of sketchnotes which might fit the bill for you Roy.

      The canonical book/textbook for the space seems to be Sketchnote Handbook, The: the illustrated guide to visual note taking by Mike Rohde.

      For a solid overview of the idea in about 30 minutes, I found this to be a useful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evLCAYlx4Kw

    1. Synthesis is about describing a clear idea that can be represented in a (atomic) succinct note, with supporting evidence as applicable.

      At the moment, I guess I’m currently doing this in Drafts, but without any real rigour. What I’ve intended to do is host my atomic notes in iThoughts. But maybe this is part of my system that needs closer attention. Maybe there’s legitimate cause for another tool in the stack? Or maybe this just calls for another workspace? I think this is the space I wanted Project Meta to fill…

  4. Sep 2021
    1. I've got serious reservations about this Gerst fellow. His answers are too vague and contain too many bald assertions. The form of his answers fits what I've noticed to be a "style" of regressives seeking to promote obsolete traditions and social norms.

      Granted, it's difficult to present precise information in "interview format" articles like this one, but education is too important to get get wrong - again.

    1. I love this outline/syllabus for creating a commonplace book (as a potential replacement for a term paper).

      I'd be curious to see those who are using Hypothes.is as a communal reading tool in coursework utilize this outline (or similar ones) in combination with their annotation practices.

      Curating one's annotations and placing them into a commonplace book or zettelkasten would be a fantastic rhetorical exercise to extend the value of one's notes and ideas.

    1. As the title of a research paper that the Vallée-Tourangeaus wrote with Lisa G. Guthrie puts it, “Moves in the World Are Faster Than Moves in the Head.”

      Perhaps this is some of the value behind the ability to resort index cards within a zettelkasten over the prior staticness of the commonplace tradition? The ideas aren't anchored to the page, but can be moved around, rearranged.

    1. https://via.hypothes.is/https://finiteeyes.net/pedagogy/extending-the-mind/

      A well written review of Annie Murphy Paul's The Extended Mind. Matthew Cheney has distilled a lot out of the book from his notes with particular application to improving pedagogy.

      I definitely want to read this with relation to not only using it to improve teaching, but with respect to mnemotechniques and the methods oral and indigenous societies may have either had things right or wrong and what Western culture may have lost as a result. I'm also particularly interested in it for its applications to the use of commonplace books and zettelkasten as methods of extending the mind and tools for thought.

    2. How to Use These Ideas

      I love that he's not only externalized his thoughts from the book as annotations/notes and then synthesized them into a longer essay, but he's further expanded and externalized them by thinking about how to put them to use!

    3. Paul likes to quote the philosopher who first came up with the idea of the extended mind, Andy Clark, when he says that humans are “intrinsically loopy creatures”.
    4. Offloading can be far more complex, however, and doesn’t necessarily involve language. For example, “when we use our hands to move objects around, we offload the task of visualizing new configurations onto the world itself, where those configurations take tangible shape before our eyes” (243-244).

      This is one of the key benefits over the use of index cards in moving toward a zettelkasten from the traditional commonplace book tradition. Rearranging one's ideas in a separate space.

      Raymond Llull attempted to do this within his memory in the 12th century, but there are easier ways of doing this now.

    1. The big thing here for me, though, is the difference between tagged content showing up in a read-only space vs. showing up in a read-and-write space.

      Or more powerful, in a read, write, remix, and edit space.

      Somewhat related to:

      The Read Write Web is no longer sufficient. I want the Read Fork Write Merge Web. #osb11 lunch table. #diso #indieweb 2011-06-23 at OSBridge2011 having lunch with Ward, Tantek exclaimed

      https://indieweb.org/2011/Smallest_Federated_Wiki#Inspiration

  5. Aug 2021
    1. The idea here is to clear the decks so to speak. Getting all the negative worrisome shit out of your head and onto the page is an easy form of catharsis that can provide sharp relief from all the niggling little issues stopping you from blasting pure awesome out into the universe.

      Example of clearing the mental clutter by writing using Julia Cameron's Morning Pages concept.

    1. " Havens' inclusive approach and argument for a broad definition of the commonplace book responds to previous scholarship whose scope has been restricted to documents that fit classical theories of the commonplace. In Havens' view, this exclusivity obscures much of the actual history and personal practices of compilers of commonplaces, particularly because it focuses on Renaissance humanist compilations that were made for print.

      I take this more inclusive approach to note taking as well.

  6. Jul 2021
    1. the idea is to render very clear the connections between ideas with as little friction as possible.

      The goal of note taking and tools for it is to make capturing ideas and creating connections between them as easy and friction free as possible. This allows note taking come closer to actual thinking with better long term retention.

    2. Carr’s argument is something I resisted for a long time, but his main assertion — that the tools we use to think shape how we think — is hard to ignore.

      While this may be Nicholas Carr's statement, it's actually pre-dated significantly by Marshall McLuhann

    1. How can writers bridge the gap between what they want to say and what someone else understands? Eleven months later, a line from Anne Helen Petersen’s announcement of her Substack newsletter haunts me still: Writing a newsletter, Petersen wrote, meant she could publish “pieces that take ten paragraphs to get to the nut graf, if there’s one at all.”

      There's something in this quote that sounds more like old school blogging to me. Putting ideas out there and allowing the community to react and respond as a means of honing an idea can be useful and powerful. However, are writers actually doing this meaningfully over time? Are they objectively doing this and providing thoughtful updates over time?

    1. Feature Idea: Chaos Monkey for PKM

      This idea is a bit on the extreme side, but it does suggest that having a multi-card comparison view in a PKM system would be useful.

      Drawing on Raymond Llull's combitorial memory system from the 12th century and a bit of Herman Ebbinghaus' spaced repetition (though this is also seen in earlier non-literate cultures), one could present two (or more) random atomic notes together as a way of juxtaposing disparate ideas from one's notes.

      The spaced repetition of the cards would be helpful for one's long term memory of the ideas, but it could also have the secondary effect of nudging one to potentially find links or connections between the two ideas and help to spur creativity for the generation of new hybrid ideas or connection to other current ideas based on a person's changed context.

      I've thought about this in the past (most likely while reading Frances Yates' Art of Memory), but don't think I've bothered to write it down (or it's hiding in untranscribed marginalia).

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Matthias Melcher</span> in About | x28's new Blog (<time class='dt-published'>07/06/2021 11:09:19</time>)</cite></small>

    1. Ohne zu schreiben, kann man nicht denken; jedenfalls nicht in anspruchsvoller, anschlussfähiger Weise.

      You cannot think without writing; at least not in a sophisticated, connectable way. —Niklas Luhmann

      (Source of the original??)

      This is interesting, but is also ignorant of oral traditions which had means of addressing it.

    1. Seeing how his system worked is enough to inspire anyone not to let thoughts go to waste, notes Carlin estate archivist Logan Heftel. “A good idea,” Heftel says Carlin learned early, “is not of any use if you can’t find it.”
    2. Now that they are part of comedy history, it can be hard to imagine George Carlin’s most famous routines as anything but finished products. Whether the infamous “Seven Words” from his album Class Clown (released exactly 45 years ago Friday) or the monologues from his hosting of the first-ever episode of Saturday Night Live (which returns for its 43rd season this Saturday), these routines can seem to have sprung fully formed from his mind. But there’s plenty of physical evidence to the contrary.

      It's rarely ever the case (my cognitive bias statement), that anything springs fully formed from the mind.

      Generally there's an infrastructure, a system, a method by which ideas or physical things are aggregated, accumulated, and edited into existence.

      When seeing them well done, they appear magical because we don't see the work or the process. We will often call them genius, when in reality, they're the result of long hard work.

      Take the Pyramids of Giza. They look large and magesterial---and likely moreso in their non-degraded form. But is it so mystical how they may have been built if we were to see the structure and scaffolding that likely went into constructing them?

    1. In some sense, this very blog is a system for me to find out what I have: I take material from my notebooks and turn it into blog posts, and the posts become tags, which become book chapters, etc.
    2. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the man who encouraged his friend Thoreau to start a journal and the man who had the most success with the journal > lecture > essay > book method, kept elaborate notebooks just for indexing his other notebooks.
    3. get down daily thoughts and mine them for material for larger pieces

      this is the general pattern for commonplace books and zettelkasten

    1. In another talk, one in which he also spoke of control and surrender, he developed another contrast, between creativity-as-architecture and creativity-as-gardening:
    2. Alan Jacobs seems to be delving into the area of thought spaces provided by blogs and blogging.

      In my view, they come out of a cultural tradition of commonplace books becoming digital and more social in the the modern era. Jacobs is obviously aware of the idea of Zettelkasten, but possibly hasn't come across the Sonke Ahrens' book on smart notes or the conceptualization of the "digital garden" stemming from Mike Caulfield's work.

      He's also acquainted with Robin Sloane, though it's unclear if he's aware of the idea of Stock and Flow.

    3. Blogging, I want to argue, is a seasoned technology that is ripe for lateral thinking.
    4. But you know what? Screw it. I need to take my time and develop the necessary ideas properly. If these thoughts never develop in such a way that I can turn them into a book, so be it. If they do so develop and nobody wants to publish it, so be it. (I’ll just make various digital versions.) The point, at this stage in my career, after fifteen published books, is not the publication, it’s the thinking. So let the thinking, in public, commence.

      Some interesting thoughts about thinking and writing in public.

  7. Jun 2021
    1. This wasn’t exactly radical behavior — marking up books, I’m pretty sure, is one of the Seven Undying Cornerstones of Highly Effective College Studying.

      Annotating books provides a way of creating modality shifts from the original form into others, and this is likely one of the reasons that it's an effective thinking, learning, and study tool.

    1. Deep reading, as Maryanne Wolf argues, is indistinguishable from deep thinking.

      I like this concept of deep reading.

      Compare/contrast with close reading and distant reading.

      What other types of reading might we imagine?

    2. The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author’s words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds.

      My own intellectual vibrations are ensconced into the annotations I make as I read.

      I'm curious how this habit will change my thinking over time.

    3. The more pieces of information we can “access” and the faster we can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.

      But are Google's tools really making us more productive thinkers? One might argue that it's attempting to do all the work for us and take out the process of thought all together. We're just rats in a maze hitting a bar to get the food pellet.

      What if the end is a picture of us as the people on the space ship at the end of WALL-E? What if it's keeping us from thinking?

      What if it's making us more shallow thinkers rather than deep thinkers?

      Cross reference P.M. Forni.

    4. As we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our “intellectual technologies”—the tools that extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies.

      Similar to the way in which people begin to resemble their dogs?! :)

      Daniel Bell defines "intellectual technologies" as tools that extend our mental capacities.

    5. Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page. But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler , Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”

      Saving the entire story for context, but primarily for this Marshall McLuhan-esque quote:

      “You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.”

      I want to know the source of the quote.

    1. More history here on the page than I would have thought.

      Definitely worth digging into some of the older examples going back to [[Conrad Gessner]] and [[Johann Jacob Moser]].

    1. This art of method was understood by Ramus and Ramists as its own efficacious art of memory. InScholae in liberales artes, Ramus is explicit about his disdain for the visual mnemonic rules suggested byclassical sources.“The art of memory,”he counters,“consists entirely in division and composition. If weseek then an art which will divide and compose things, we shall find the art of memory”(qtd. in Yates 233).Ramus thus enfolds the fourth canon into his methodical framework, linking memorization of content withits“division and composition,”that is, with its organization.

      Arrangement and organization definitely have their place and can be helpful. However they may also tend to become too rigid to the point that one's thinking begins to lack creativity and invention. Where is the space for the Llullist arts of combinatorial thought here?

  8. May 2021
    1. They're not following the conventions of the "personal blog," as we've come to know it.

      There are a number of bloggers who have to some extent, specifically used their blogs for this purpose though. I've documented several at https://boffosocko.com/tag/thought-spaces/

    1. A relatively comprehensive view of Wouter Groeneveld's commonplacing workflow. There are a few bits missing here and there, but he's got most of the bigger basics down that a majority of people seem to have found and discovered.

      He's got a strong concept of indexing, search, and even some review, which many miss. There's some organic work toward combinatorial thought, but only via the search piece.

      I should make a list of the important pieces for more advanced versions to have. I've yet to see any articles or work on this.

    2. “but I how will I be able to find stuff later on?”. Good question we’ll answer later. A part of the answer is simply by re-reading. If you don’t re-read what you’ve written, nothing will ever happen with it. So, if you intent to simply write down thoughts in order to feel a temporary moment of relief, fine. But if you intent to change your life, that won’t suffice.

      One needs to re-read and reprocess things from time to time. This is a part of the combinatorial creativity that having notes is for.

      This is reminiscent of the CAA addage: "If you read something and then don't tell anyone about it, you may as well not have read it in the first place."

    1. My website is adactio.com. I love my website. Even though it isn’t a physical thing, I think it might be my most prized possession. It’s a place for me to think and a place for me to link.

      a stark statement to make about one's website

    1. Compare that to the traditional way of exploring your files, where the computer is like a dutiful, but dumb, butler: "Find me that document about the chimpanzees!" That's searching. The other feels different, so different that we don't quite have a verb for it: it's riffing, or brainstorming, or exploring. There are false starts and red herrings, to be sure, but there are just as many happy accidents and unexpected discoveries. Indeed, the fuzziness of the results is part of what makes the software so powerful.

      What is the best word/verb for this sort of pseudo-searching via word or idea association for generating new ideas?

      I've used the related phrase combinatorial thought before, but he's also using the idea of artificial intelligence to search/find and juxtapose these ideas.

    1. This is the final inversion of blogging: not just publishing before selecting, nor researching before knowing your subject — but producing to attract, rather than serve, an audience.

      This is much better than simply building a brand or a platform.

    2. Cringing at your own memories does no one any good. On the other hand, systematically reviewing your older work to find the patterns in where you got it wrong (and right!) is hugely beneficial — it’s a useful process of introspection that makes it easier to spot and avoid your own pitfalls.

      This idea is far from new and is roughly what Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was doing with the science portions of his Waste Books in the late 1700's where he was running experiments, noting wins, losses, and making progress using the scientific method.

    1. One of the interesting things about the blogosphere was that you could see people change their minds in real time as they grappled with contending claims.
    1. Filed on a card under the key word cogitare, Blumenberg quotes Kant: “Thinking is conversation with oneself… Listening inside.”
    2. In his “On the gradual fabrication of thoughts while speaking,” Kleist was in turn musing on Immanuel Kant’s metaphor of the teacher as the midwife at the birth of the student’s thought. When stuck in developing a thought, Kleist recommends, find an acquaintance to talk at. No responses are required. The mere presence of the silent interlocutor, and even more so the imminent threat of losing their attention during lengthy stretches of boredom or incoherence will trigger, or so Kleist claims, the “fabrication of my idea in reason’s workshop.”

      This sounds a lot like a broader case than rubber duck debugging, which is obviously not a "new" thing.

    3. Media theorist Markus Krajewski has devoted a book specifically to the paper machinery of cards and catalogs. He traces the origins of this machinery back to sixteenth-century attempts at indexing books, and through the twists and turns of library technology in Europe and the U.S. over the following centuries.
    4. Ideas have a history, but so do the tools that lend disembodied ideas their material shape −− most commonly, text on a page. The text is produced with the help of writing tools such as pencil, typewriter, or computer keyboard, and of note-taking tools such as ledger, notebook, or mobile phone app. These tools themselves embody the merging of often very different histories. Lichtenberg’s notebooks are a good example, drawing as they do on mercantile bookkeeping, the humanist tradition of the commonplace book, and Pietist autobiographical writing (see Petra McGillen’s detailed analysis).

      I like the thought of not only the history of thoughts and ideas, but also the history of the tools that may have helped to make them.

      I'm curious to delve into Pietist autobiographical writing as a concept.

    5. As Friedrich Nietzsche famously conceded to his friend Heinrich Köselitz a century later, “You are right — our writing tools take part in the forming of our thoughts.”

      This is a fascinating quote and something I've thought about before. Ties to McLuhan's "the medium is the message" as well.

    6. Ruminant machines: a twentieth-century episode in the material history of ideas

      ruminant machines is an interesting concept, it sounds like a cross between a cow and Memex.

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Daniela K. Helbig </span> in  Ruminant machines: a twentieth-century episode in the material history of ideas - JHI Blog (<time class='dt-published'>05/12/2021 21:12:46</time>)</cite></small>

  9. gordonbrander.com gordonbrander.com
    1. There are rumors Pascal wrote the Pensées on notecards, and pinned these cards to a wall, connecting related thoughts with yarn. An early example of hypertext?

      This certainly fits into the broad general ideas surrounding note taking, commonplace books, and zettelkasten as tools for thought. People generally seemed to have used relatively similar methods but shoehorned them into the available tools they had at the time.

      This also, incidentally isn't too far off from how indigenous peoples the world over have used memory techniques (memory palaces, songlines, etc.) to hold together and pollinate their own thinking.

      Raymond Llull took things a step further with his combinatoric methods, though I've yet to see anyone attempting that in the area of digital gardens.

  10. Apr 2021
    1. This looks fascinating. I'm not so much interested in the coding/programming part as I am the actual "working in public" portions as they relate to writing, thinking, blogging in the open and sharing that as part of my own learning and growth as well as for sharing that with a broader personal learning network. I'm curious what lessons might be learned within this frame or how educators and journalists might benefit from it.

    1. I hope these articles give a sense of the range of topics we’ll be exploring and also the spirit of curiosity that will govern this experiment in thinking in public.
    2. An essay is, as the literal meaning of the word makes clear, an attempt: a provisional stab at the truth, not a dogmatic assertion but an exploration that seeks to come to terms with the new experiences, new events, new emotions.
    1. What does this have to do with learning? We have always made notes while studying. In the past only for ourselves. Today it is becoming more and more common to share these notes with others, which becomes easy when you take the notes digitally. If many share their thoughts, then I get a lot of suggestions. My development goes faster, see also this blog post about it . "If I want to work on a new topic, I write a blog post about it." I've heard it from quite a few. This public writing forces me to confidently verify what I have said. After all, I don't want to embarrass myself. That means I need three times as much time for the blog post as if I just wrote it down for myself. This extra time spent working on the topic is learning time. And when I publish the post, I give others the chance to benefit from it as well - and the chance to receive feedback that will help me advance on the topic. My contributions can be text contributions, videos, podcasts or slides. I can link to sources. And I can find it again in my domain - even after years. And when I've shared it, others can search for it and use it too.

      Rough translation via Google Translate ^^

      This is a good description about how working in public can be beneficial to oneself, even if no one else is looking.

  11. Mar 2021
    1. I've come across about 20 reference for Ivan Illitch over the past month. Not sure what is driving it. Some mentions are coming out of educator circles, others from programmers, some from what I might describe as "knowledge workers" (digital gardeners/Roam Cult/Obsidian crowds). One tangential one was from someone in the hyperlink.academy crowd.

      Here's a recent one from today that popped up within a thread shared in IndieWeb chat:

      Ivan Illich continues to be even more more relevant than he was at the height of his New Left popularity. Conviviality in the digital tools we use has continued to wither https://t.co/D88V6KL7Ez pic.twitter.com/OFDYTjXyCn

      — Count Bla (@123456789blaaa) March 15, 2021
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Deschooling Society and Tools for Conviviality look very interesting. Perhaps they've distilled enough that their ideas are having a resurgence?

    1. Platforms like Hypothes.is, which afford social and collaborative web annotation, demonstrate the ease with which authors and their audience can create a sociotechnical milieu to share thinking in progress, voice wonder, and rehearse informal dispositions in service of publication.

      I personally identify with this since I'm porting my annotations and thoughts to a notebook as part of a process for active thinking, revision, writing, and eventual publication.

    1. Since “Sexy Times With Wangxian” became a whole Thing, it has spawned memes, spinoff fics, and a frankly fabulous fic prompt generator that scans all of the STWW tags and chooses some at random for you to write fics around. Just now I got the tags, “Foursome – M/M/M/M,” “I’m Bad At Summaries,” “Cryptography,” “Body Dysphoria,” and “Organs.” Outstanding.

      This could be an interesting feature for a personal website/blog. A generator that takes pre-existing taxonomies from one's website and suggests combinations of them as potential writing prompts when one has writer's block.

  12. Feb 2021
    1. some bullshittersbullshit because they are naı ̈ve, biased, or sloppyin their handling of statements. They do notrealize they are crafting or spreading bullshit.There is a primary need therefore to be alert tothe possibility of bullshit. While accepting itsubiquity, one must avoid becoming so accustomedto bullshit as to be indifferent to its presence. Inother words, it is necessary to develop a healthycynicism about the possibility of bullshit.

      I wouldn't phrase it this way. Instead, I consider intellectual thought a healthy way to go.

      Existentialists have gone about this by considering every choice in life as reborn; by being conscious of what we do, we shape not only our own consequence but also that of others.

      In other words: behave like you're experiencing everything for the first time, except with wisdom.

    1. The promise also lies in doing things with the words, forging new links of association, remixing them. We have all the tools at our disposal to create commonplace books that would astound Locke and Jefferson. And yet we are, deliberately, trying to crawl back into the glass box.

      Technology is providing us with the ability to build the most amazing commonplace books, thought spaces, and thinking machines, but somehow we're ignoring the power they have.

    2. The overall increase in textual productivity may be the single most important fact about the Web’s growth over the past fifteen years. Think about it this way: let’s say it’s 1995, and you are cultivating a page of “hot links” to interesting discoveries on the Web. You find an article about a Columbia journalism lecture and you link to it on your page. The information value you have created is useful exclusively to two groups: people interested in journalism who happen to visit your page, and the people maintaining the Columbia page, who benefit from the increased traffic. Fast forward to 2010, and you check-in at Foursquare for this lecture tonight, and tweet a link to a description of the talk. What happens to that information? For starters, it goes out to friends of yours, and into your twitter feed, and into Google’s index. The geo-data embedded in the link alerts local businesses who can offer your promotions through foursquare; the link to the talk helps Google build its index of the web, which then attracts advertisers interested in your location or the topic of journalism itself. Because that tiny little snippet of information is free to make new connections, by checking in here you are helping your friends figure out what to do tonight; you’re helping the Journalism school in promoting this venue; you’re helping the bar across Broadway attract more customers, you’re helping Google organize the web; you’re helping people searching google for information about journalism; you’re helping journalism schools advertising on Google to attract new students. Not bad for 140 characters.

      A fantastic example of the value of networked thought based solely on the ability of everyone's commonplace books to talk to each other.

    3. What you see on this page is, in a very real sense, textual play: the recombining of words into new forms and associations that their original creators never dreamed of.

      What if we add in a dose of Llull's combinatorial thought to the idea of a search engine? What if the search engine can remember the top 50 categories in my personal commonplace book and show overlapping searches of those terms? What if it's even more combinatorial and randomly chooses overlaps from any words in my commonplace? Is that more or less valuable as an idea generator?

      Is it more fruitful to randomly work on various entries every day in an effort to tie them into our other thoughts?

    4. The idea of a purely linear text is a myth; readers stitch together meanings in much more complex ways than we have traditionally imagined; the true text is more of a network than a single, fixed document.

      The internet isn't a new invention, it's just a more fixed version of the melange of text, ideas, and thought networks that have existed over human existence.

      First there was just the memory and indigenous peoples all over the world creating vast memory palaces to interconnect their thoughts. (cross reference the idea of ancients thinking much the way we do now from the fist episode or so of Literature and History)

      Then we invite writing and texts which help us in terms of greater storage without the work or relying solely on memory. This reaches it's pinnacle in the commonplace book and the ideas of Llull's combinatorial thought.

      Finally we've built the Internet which interconnects so much more.

      But now we need to go back and revisit the commonplace book and memory techniques to tie them altogether. Perhaps Lynne Kelly's concept of The Third Archive is what we should perfect next until another new instantiation comes to augment the system.

    5. Since the heyday of the commonplace book, there have been a few isolated attempts to turn these textual remixes into a finished product, into a standalone work of collage. The most famous is probably Jefferson’s bible, his controversial “remix” of the New Testament. There’s also Walter Benjamin’s unfinished, and ultimately unpublishable Passagenwerk, or “Arcades Project,” his rumination on the early shopping malls of Paris built out of photos, quotes, and aphoristic musings. Just this year, David Shields published a book, Reality Hunger, built out of quotes from a wide variety of sources. And of course, there are parallel works in music, painting, and architecture that are constructed out of “quotes” lifted from original sources and remixed in imaginative ways.

      Interesting examples of remixed work.

    6. But all of this magic was predicated on one thing: that the words could be copied, re-arranged, put to surprising new uses in surprising new contexts. By stitching together passages written by multiple authors, without their explicit permission or consultation, some new awareness could take shape.

      Remixing content can be an important tool. Is there a direct relation to the ideas of Raymond Llull hidden between here and there?

    7. Locke’s method proved so popular that a century later, an enterprising publisher named John Bell printed a notebook entitled: “Bell’s Common-Place Book, Formed generally upon the Principles Recommended and Practised by Mr Locke.” Put another way, Bell created a commonplace book by commonplacing someone else’s technique for maintaining a commonplace book. The book included eight pages of instructions on Locke’s indexing method, a system which not only made it easier to find passages, but also served the higher purpose of “facilitat[ing] reflexive thought.”

      This concept here is an interesting one of being "meta".

    1. They also turned their reading into writing, because commonplacing made them into authors. It forced them to write their own books; and by doing so they developed a still sharper sense of themselves as autonomous individuals. The authorial self took shape in the common man’s commonplace book, not merely in the works of great writers. It belonged to the general tendency that Stephen Greenblatt has called “Renaissance self-fashioning.”

      This fits into my broader developing thesis about thinking and writing as a means of evolving thought.

  13. parsejournal.com parsejournal.com
    1. Their modes of operating present an image of how thinking takes shape in and through material and embodied practice
    2. short prose texts that aim to evoke mental images as a result of how they engage their readers.
  14. Jan 2021
    1. The hacks unanimously shared Dr Johnson’s view that “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money”, while my academic colleagues thought it peculiar to waste one’s energy writing anything that would not figure in scholarly citation indices. The idea that one might maintain a blog simply because one enjoyed doing it never crossed their minds.
  15. Dec 2020
    1. In both cases – speech and writing – the materiality of language undergoes a transformation (to audible sounds or written signs) which in turn produces a mental shift.

      There's surely a link between this and the idea of thought spaces in the blogosphere or the idea of a commonplace book/digital garden/wiki.

    1. surviving fragments of the Berlin Wall which once divided East from West Germany but which was opened and torn down in 1989.

      As a thought experiment, what sorts of evidence of a physical barrier like this would still exist for future scholars to study to surmise its existence a thousand years hence even if all physical remains of the wall were torn down and no written records exist?

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  16. Nov 2020
    1. A similar superstition was once prevalent, as I have heard, in ancient Greece and Rome; not applying, however (as in India), to a diamond devoted to the service of a god, but to a semi-transparent stone of the inferior order of gems, supposed to be affected by the lunar influences

      The backdrop of the narrator's story is westward expansion, and this is important to keep in mind because it can correlate to lines like this. Here, the narrator demystifies the moonstone of its superstition by fitting it into a western geologic history. Notice that he does not totally demystify it. Our narrator may not be superstitious, but he is a little stitious.

    1. You can find your mental health triggers by beginning a thought diary

      A Thought Diary will help you find triggers when you write down things that went wrong and your accompanying feelings.

      An example would be how not meeting a deadline made you feel. What happened right after you realized you didn't meet the deadline?

  17. Oct 2020
    1. Listening for External Changes By wrapping a stateful ExternalModificationDetector component in a Field component, we can listen for changes to a field's value, and by knowing whether or not the field is active, deduce when a field's value changes due to external influences.
    1. I’ll give you a more concrete example. I was writing a technical post yesterday. During the writing process, I found a way to make my code more efficient. When I write, I tend to analyze more than I do at any other time. I analyzed my code with a more critical eye because I wanted to offer you, the reader, the best experience. This is an experience I have had many times throughout writing on this blog.

      This also sounds very closely related to the idea of rubber duck debugging.

    2. I have been blogging on and off for years. I cannot remember when I started. I know that I got serious about blogging last year. I like writing. I often think that I do not understand a topic fully until I have written about it. That sounds like a cliche. I think I read a similar sentiment somewhere.

      feels like he's talking about thought spaces here...

    1. I have been wikifying past stream posts on things duplication of effort how would I avoid that duplication of effort going forwards? so that things from the stream end up in the wiki with minimal effort possibly using the org-roam timeline feature as the place to do stream posts would work for that one day… I'd want the stream to be all be indiewebified

      How could the two be merged to remove all the duplication pieces? Could there be a note/status update/Twitter-like stream for the small tidbits, then a place where further aggregation continues, and finally a finalized article that crystallizes and analyzes the thing that gets output as part of an article stream?

      Then everything is in one place and much more easily searched and referenced. I find that having things in as few places as possible is very helpful and prevents the "where did I put that idea?" problem.

    1. Some of the ideas here mirror many of those I've been looking at in having an online personal wiki where I do my collecting, annotating, and active thinking.

    1. Aaron, to change the famous quote, "It's not the number of characters (140 or 280), but the content of your character that define you." I far prefer reading your links, analysis, and even thought leadership here to people I've never met on twitter with thousands of followers.

    1. And we see that develop into the web as we know it today. A web of “hey this is cool” one-hop links. A web where where links are used to create a conversational trail (a sort of “read this if you want to understand what I am riffing on” link) instead of associations of ideas. The “conversational web”. A web obsessed with arguing points. A web seen as a tool for self-expression rather than a tool for thought. A web where you weld information and data into your arguments so that it can never be repurposed against you. The web not as a reconfigurable model of understanding but of sealed shut presentations.
    1. A blog without a publish button I’m stealing this quote from my modern friend Ryan also has a nice little idea for modern friends as being something between internet stranger and ‘actual friend’. That’s me and Ryan Ryan Dawidjan who has been pioneering this concept of open-access writing and blogging without a publish button. For a long time he has maintained a quip file called high cadence thoughts that is open access and serves as a long-running note of his thinking and ideas. It’s a less-performative version of blogging - more of a captain’s log than a broadcast blog. The distinction will come down to how you blog - some people blog in much the same way. For me however blogging is mostly performative thinking and less captain’s log. So I am looking for a space to nurture, edit in real time and evolve my thinking.

      I like the idea of a blog without a publish button. I do roughly the same thing with lots of drafts unpublished that I let aggregate content over time. The difference is that mine aren't immediately out in public for other's benefit. Though I do wonder how many might read them, comment on them, or potentially come back to read them later in a more finished form.

    1. 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?

    2. Put another way, many tools for thought are public goods. They often cost a lot to develop initially, but it’s easy for others to duplicate and improve on them, free riding on the initial investment. While such duplication and improvement is good for our society as a whole, it’s bad for the companies that make that initial investment. And so such tools for thought suffer the fate of many public goods: our society collectively underinvests in them, relative to the benefits they provide