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  1. Last 7 days
    1. And yet that is not " r e a l l y " how the project arose.What really happened is that the idea and the plan cameout o f my files; for all projects with me begin and end withthem, and books are simply organized releases from thecontinuous work that goes into them.

      Surely by "files" he means his written notes and ideas which he has filed away?

      Thus articles and books are agglomerations of ideas within notes (or perhaps one's retained memory, as best as that might be done) which are then broken off from them and released to a wider readership.

  2. Sep 2022
    1. In combination with SCA, CERICoffers freedom from the transmission model of learning, where theprofessor lectures and the students regurgitate. SCA can help buildlearning communities that increase students’ agency and power inconstructing knowledge, realizing something closer to a constructivistlearning ideal. Thus, SCA generates a unique opportunity to makeclassrooms more equitable by subverting the historicallymarginalizing higher education practices centered on the professor.

      Here's some justification for the prior statement on equity, but it comes after instead of before. (see: https://hypothes.is/a/SHEFJjM6Ee2Gru-y0d_1lg)

      While there is some foundation to the claim given, it would need more support. The sage on the stage may be becoming outmoded with other potential models, but removing it altogether does remove some pieces which may help to support neurodiverse learners who work better via oral transmission rather than using literate modes (eg. dyslexia).

      Who is to say that it's "just" sage on the stage lecturing and regurgitation? Why couldn't these same analytical practices be aimed at lectures, interviews, or other oral modes of presentation which will occur during thesis research? (Think anthropology and sociology research which may have much more significant oral aspects.)

      Certainly some of these methods can create new levels of agency on the part of the learner/researcher. Has anyone designed experiments to measure this sort of agency growth?

    1. California Could Mandate Kindergarten— What’s This Mean For School Districts And Childcare Providers?A bill that would create a mandatory kindergarten program in California has passed the legislature and is now heading to governor Gavin Newsom’s office for a final decision. The legislation, Senate Bill 70, would require children to complete one year of kindergarten before they’re admitted to the first grade. This comes as districts in California struggle with enrollment, having been a major issue during the pandemic. But if this legislation were to be signed by Governor Newsom, how would it affect teachers, the child care industry, and the children themselves.Today on AirTalk, we discuss the bill and it support among public schools with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Justine Flores, licensed childcare provider in Los Angeles and a negotiation representative for Child Care Providers United.

      Timestamps 19:11 - 35:20

      CA Senate Bill 488 2021; signed, in process,

      Orton-Gillingham method (procedure/process) but can be implemented differently. Rigorous and works. Over 100 years old.

      Wilson program uses pieces of OG. What's this? Not enough detail here.

      Dyslexia training will be built into some parts of credentialling programs.

      Each child is different.

      This requires context knowledge on the part of the teacher and then a large tool bag of methods to help the widest variety of those differences.

      In the box programs don't work because children are not one size fits all.

      Magic wand ? What would you want?

      Madhuri would like to have: - rigorous teaching in early grades - if we can teach structured literacy following a specific scope in sequence most simple to most complex - teaching with same familiar patterns over and over - cumulative (builds on itself) - multisensory - explicit - Strong transitional kindergarten through grade 3 instruction

      Prevention trumps intervention.

      Otherwise you're feeding into the school to prison pipeline.

      Madhuri's call for teaching that is structured, cumulative, multisensory, and explicit sounds a lot like what I would imagine orality-based instruction looks like as well. The structure there particularly makes it easier to add pieces later on in a way that literacy doesn't necessarily.

  3. Aug 2022
    1. At the time he was selling, Jay-Z was also coming up with rhymes. He normally wrote down his material in a green notebook he carried around with him — but he never took the notebook with him on the streets, he says. "I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice — anything just to get a paper bag," he says. "And I'd write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook. As I got further and further away from home and my notebook, I had to memorize these rhymes — longer and longer and longer. ... By the time I got to record my first album, I was 26, I didn't need pen or paper — my memory had been trained just to listen to a song, think of the words, and lay them to tape." Since his first album, he says, he's never written down any of his lyrics. "I've lost plenty of material," he says. "It's not the best way. I wouldn't advise it to anyone. I've lost a couple albums' worth of great material. ... Think about when you can't remember a word and it drives you crazy. So imagine forgetting an entire rhyme. 'What's that? I said I was the greatest something?' "

      In his youth, while selling drugs on the side, Jay-Z would write down material for lyrics into a green notebook. He never took the notebook around with him on the streets, but instead would buy anything at a corner store just for the paper bags as writing material. He would write the words onto these paper bags and stuff them into his pockets (wearable Zettelkasten anyone? or maybe Zetteltasche?) When he got home, in long standing waste book tradition, he would transfer the words to his notebook.

      Jay-Z has said he hasn't written down any lyrics since his first album, but warns, "I've lost plenty of material. It's not the best way. I wouldn't advise it to anyone. I've lost a couple albums' worth of great material."

      https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/fa/2010/11/20101116_fa_01.mp3

      Link to: https://hypothes.is/a/T3Z38uDUEeuFcPu2U_w_zA (Jonathan Edwards' zettelmantle)

    1. Through my long immersion as a student-practitioner in the Tibetan Buddhist knowledge system I am familiar with this process of secrecy and deeper meaning. Unlike the Indigenous Knowledge system, Tibetan Buddhism has a rich textual tradition. But it has also kept alive a strong oral tradition, of knowledge passed by a Buddhist master who is recognised as having not only learning but also spiritual realisation, to his/her student. The teachers talk of the outer, inner and secret meaning, and in terms of the provisional versus the absolute meaning gained through realisation.
    2. Margo Neale (featured at right) suggests that the Songlines project can be conceived as a Third Archive, a bridge between the First Archive of Indigenous knowledges, kept alive in the songlines that crisscross Australia, and the Second Archive, that of the Western Knowledge system, imported into Australia through colonisation and settlement and transmitted through our education systems and institutions of government, business and civil society.
    1. The network of trails functions as a shared external memory for the ant colony.

      Just as a trail of pheromones serves the function of a shared external memory for an ant colony, annotations can create a set of associative trails which serve as an external memory for a broader human collective memory. Further songlines and other orality based memory methods form a shared, but individually stored internal collective memory for those who use and practice them.

      Vestiges of this human practice can be seen in modern society with the use and spread of cultural memes. People are incredibly good at seeing and recognizing memes and what they communicate and spreading them because they've evolved to function this way since the dawn of humanity.

    1. Come back and read these particular texts, but these look interesting with respect to my work on orality, early "religion", secrecy, and information spread:<br /> - Ancient practices removed from their lineage lose their meaning - In spiritual practice, secrecy can be helpful but is not always necessary

      timestamp

    1. https://twitter.com/_35millimetre/status/1556586974928068611

      Turns out the world’s greatest drawing of a frog was done in 1790, by Itō Jakuchu pic.twitter.com/GttSfHA7Kl

      — Charlie (@_35millimetre) August 8, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Makes me want to revisit some of the history of early haiku and frog references. What was the literacy level within Japanese culture at this time? Were there more methods entwining elements of orality and memory into the popular culture?

    1. I’d be interested in hearing more about the ways oral cultures did their thinking, if you have resources on that handy. Otherwise if you recall your source for that could you pass it on?

      Below are some sources to give you a start on orality. I've arranged them in a suggested watching/reading order with some introductory material before more technical sources which will give you jumping off points for further research.

      • Modern Memory, Ancient Methods. TEDxMelbourne. Melbourne, Australia, 2018. https://www.ted.com/talks/lynne_kelly_modern_memory_ancient_methods.
      • Kelly, Lynne. The Memory Code. Allen & Unwin, 2016.
      • Kelly, Lynne. Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107444973.
      • Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. Taylor & Francis, 2007.
      • Parry, Milman, and Adam Parry. The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry. Oxford University Press, 1971.
      • Neale, Margo, and Lynne Kelly. Songlines: The Power and Promise. First Knowledges, 1.0. Thames & Hudson, 2020.
    1. My task...is, by the power of the written word, to makeyou hear, to make you feel – it is, before all, to makeyou see. Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

      Direct source?

      This could be interesting with respect to what it says to me about seeing things within one's mind's eye with respect to orality.

    2. ! Doing the work of linkingideas together, whether in a digital or analog system,seems to be the only sure key to creating connections thatwill allow you to return in the future and follow the sametrail of ideas.

      A nod to Vannevar Bush's phrase "associative trails" or a throwback to the much older cultural ideas of memory and orality in the vein of songlines?

      link to: - https://hypothes.is/a/bMy1FBM8Ee2K_nOEDpfB_A

  4. Jul 2022
    1. The effortinvolved in writing a note in their own words, whichinstructional designers like to call a “desirable difficulty”helps shift the idea from short-term to long-termmemory (this is the same reason many note-makers areshifting back to hand-writing on cards rather thandepending on automated apps)

      The work of writing things down or transforming them into pictures, diagrams, song, art, other creates a context shift in the material which requires greater engagement within the brain and may help to improve understanding.


      Compare/contrast the ideas of context shifting with desirable difficulty.


      Note that this use of "context shifting" (within the pedagogy space) is dramatically different to that used by people like Cal Newport and others (within the productivity space).

    2. Thetechniques and tools we’re going to discuss in this sectionon note-making are focused mostly on texts, but they canbe applied to ideas that come to you from discussion,listening to lectures, experiment, or life experience.

      This might also include other forms of art including song and dance.

      Link this to: - choreography notation (@remikalir's sister in ballet) - Caleb Deschanel's cinematography notation which he likened to musical notation

    3. While it maybe possible to talk without thinking, it is probably moredifficult to write without thinking.

      Has talking without thinking become worse with the advent of literacy and writing?

    4. writing is thinking

      Talking, like writing, is also a form of thinking, but without a lot of work it doesn't have the instantaneous "memory" built into the process.

      "Let's talk this out..."

      Link to: - https://hypothes.is/a/5Ct1LJqTEeyewcuZMx620Q<br /> - https://hypothes.is/a/xvqbambjEey2CKNBjNDhFg

    1. For example, in the Phaedrus, one of Plato’s dialogues from the 4th century BCE, Socrates relates the myth of the king Thamus and the god Theuth. Theuth was the inventor of letters — the first technology of thinking!

      Another of the abounding examples of people thinking that writing and literacy are the first technology of thinking.

    1. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1547390915689566211.html via https://twitter.com/nicolas_gatien/status/1547390946156969984

      Nicolas, I broadly agree with you that many of these factors of reading and writing for understanding and retention are at play and the research in memory and spaced repetition underlines a lot of this. However in practice, one needs to be revisiting and actively using their notes for some particular project to remember them better. The card search may help to create both visual and physical paths that assist in memory too.

      Reliance solely on a physical zettelkasten however may not be enough without active use over time, particularly for the majority of users. It's unlikely that all or even many may undertake this long term practice. Saying that this is either the "best", "optimum", or "only" way would be disingenuous to the diversity of learners and thinkers.

      Those who want to add additional strength to these effects might also use mnemonic methods from indigenous cultures that rely on primary orality. These could include color, images, doodles (drolleries anyone?), or other associative methods, many of which could be easily built into an (antinet) zettelkasten. Lynne Kelly's work in this area can be highly illuminating. For pure practical application and diversity of potential methods, I recommend her book Memory Craft https://amzn.to/3zdqqGp, but she's got much more academic and in depth work that is highly illustrative.

      With this background on orality and memory in mind we might all broadly view wood and stone circles (Stonehenge), menhir, standing stones, songlines, and other mnemonic devices in the archaeological and sociological records as zettelkasten which one keeps entirely in their memory rather than writing them down. We might also consider, based on this and the historical record concerning Druids and their association with trees that the trees served a zettelkasten-like function for those ancient societies. This continues to extend to lots of other cultural and societal practices throughout history. Knowledge from Duane Hamacher et al's book The First Astronomers and Karlie Noone and Krystal De Napoli's Astronomy: Sky Country will underline these theories and practices in modern indigenous settings.

    1. This perspective has been called an “emblematic worldview”; it is clearly visible in the iconography ofmedieval and Renaissance art, for example. Plants and animals are not merely specimens, as in modernscience; they represent a huge raft of associated things and ideas.

      Medieval culture had imbued its perspective of the natural world with a variety of emblematic associations. Plants and animals were not simply specimens or organisms in the world but were emblematic representations of ideas which were also associated with them.

      example: peacock / pride

      Did this perspective draw from some of the older possibly pagan forms of orality and mnemonics? Or were the potential associations simply natural ones which (re-?)grew either historically or as the result of the use of the art of memory from antiquity?

    1. most people need to talk out an idea in order to think about it2.

      D. J. Levitin, The organized mind: thinking straight in the age of information overload. New York, N.Y: Dutton, 2014. #books/wanttoread

      A general truism in my experience, but I'm curious what else Levitin has to say on this subject.

    1. Mander, R., Salomon, G. and Wong, Y. A PileMetaphor for Supporting Casual Organisationof Information. Proceedings of Human Factorsin Computing Systems CHI’92, pp 627-634,1992.

      The quote from this paper references Mander 1992:

      It seems that knowledge workers use physical space, such as desks or floors, as a temporary holding pattern for inputs and ideas which they cannot yet categorise or even decide how they might use [12].

      leads me to believe that the original paper has information which supports office workers using their physical environments as thinking and memory spaces much as indigenous peoples have for their knowledge management systems using orality and memory.

    2. Many knowledge workers have extremely cluttereddesks and floors and yet are seriously disrupted bychanges made to this apparent “muddle” or byneeding to move offices regularly. This supportsearlier studies of otllce work [10, 11]. It seems thatthis apparent “muddle” plays a number of importantroles for them in their work:-

      For scholars of orality, the value of the messiness in many knowledge workers' work spaces is probably not surprising. It's likely that these workers are using their local environment as oral cultures have since time immemorial. They're creating physical songlines or memory palaces in their local environment to which they're spatially attaching memories of the work they're doing, performing, or need to perform. This allows them to offload some of their memory work, storage, and retention to items in their physical space.

    3. Unfortunately, many corporate software programsaim to level or standardise the differences betweenindividual workers. In supporting knowledgeworkers, we should be careful to provide tools whichenable diversification of individuals’ outputs.Word-processors satisfi this criterion; tools whichembed a model of a knowledge worker’s task in thesoftware do not.

      Tools which allow for flexibility and creativity are better for knowledge workers than those which attempt to crystalize their tasks into ruts. This may tend to force the outputs in a programmatic way and thereby dramatically decrease the potential for innovative outputs. If the tools force the automation of thought without a concurrent increase in creativity then one may as well rely on manual labor for their thinking.


      This may be one of the major flaws of tools for thought in the educational technology space. They often attempt to facilitate the delivery of education in an automated way which dramatically decreases the creativity of the students and the value of the overall outputs. While attempting to automate education may suit the needs of institutions which are delivering the education, particularly with respect to the overall cost of delivery, the automation itself is dramatically at odds with the desire to expand upon ideas and continue innovation for all participants involved. Students also require diverse modes of input (seen/heard) as well as internal processing followed by subsequent outputs (written/drawn/sculpted/painted, spoken/sung, movement/dance). Many teachers don't excel at providing all of these neurodiverse modes and most educational technology tools are even less flexible, thus requiring an even larger panoply of them (often not interoperable because of corporate siloing for competitive reasons) to provide reasonable replacements. Given their ultimate costs, providing a variety of these tools may only serve to increase the overall costs of delivering education or risk diminishing the overall quality. Educators and institutions not watching out for these traps will tend to serve only a small portion of their intended audiences, and even those may be served poorly as they only receive a limited variety of modalities of inputs and outputs. As an example Western cultures' overreliance on primary literacy modes is their Achilles' heel.


      Tools for thought should actively attempt to increase the potential solution spaces available to their users, while later still allowing for focusing of attention. How can we better allow for the divergence of ideas and later convergence? Better, how might we allow for regular and repeated cycles of divergence and convergence? Advanced zettelkasten note taking techniques (which also allow for drawing, visual, auditory and other modalities beyond just basic literacy) seem to allow for this sort of practice over long periods of time, particularly when coupled with outputs which are then published for public consumption and divergence/convergence cycles by others.

      This may also point out some of the stagnation allowed by social media whose primary modes is neither convergence nor divergence. While they allow for the transmission/communication portion, they primarily don't actively encourage their users to closely evaluate the transmitted ideas, internalize them, or ultimately expand upon them. Their primary mode is for maximizing on time of attention (including base emotions including excitement and fear) and the lowest levels of interaction and engagement (likes, retweets, short gut reaction commentary).

  5. Local file Local file
    1. 'I don't think it's anything—I mean, I don't think it was ever put to anyuse. That's what I like about it. It's a little chunk of history that they'veforgotten to alter. It's a message from a hundred years ago, if one knew howto read it.'

      Walter and Julia are examining a glass paperweight in George Orwell's 1984 without having context of what it is or for what it was used.

      This is the same sort of context collapse caused by distance in time and memory that archaeologists face when examining found objects.

      How does one pull out the meaning from such distant objects in an exegetical way? How can we more reliably rebuild or recreate lost contexts?

      Link to: - Stonehenge is a mnemonic device - mnemonic devices in archaeological contexts (Neolithic carved stone balls


      Some forms of orality-based methods and practices can be viewed as a method of "reading" physical objects.


      Ideograms are an evolution on the spectrum from orality to literacy.


      It seems odd to be pulling these sorts of insight out my prior experiences and reading while reading something so wholly "other". But isn't this just what "myths" in oral cultures actually accomplish? We link particular ideas to pieces of story, song, art, and dance so that they may be remembered. In this case Orwell's glass paperweight has now become a sort of "talking rock" for me. Certainly it isn't done in any sort of sense that Orwell would have expected, presumed, or even intended.

  6. Jun 2022
    1. "The implicit feel of where you are in a physical book turns out to be more important than we realized," says Abigail Sellen of Microsoft Research Cambridge in England and co-author of The Myth of the Paperless Office. "Only when you get an e-book do you start to miss it. I don't think e-book manufacturers have thought enough about how you might visualize where you are in a book."

      How might we design better digital reading interfaces that take advantage of a wider range of modes of thinking and reading?

      Certainly adding audio to the text helps to bring in benefits of orality, but what other axes are there besides the obvious spatial benefits?

    2. Instead of hiking the trail yourself, the trees, rocks and moss move past you in flashes with no trace of what came before and no way to see what lies ahead.

      Just as there are deficits like dyslexia in the literate world, are there those who have similar deficits relating to location in the oral world? What do these look like? What are they called specifically?

      There are definitely memory deficits withing cognitive neuropsychology. Is there a comprehensive list one could look at?

      Some people aren't as good at spatial orientation as others. Women are stereotyped as being less good at direction and direction finding.

    3. Both anecdotally and in published studies, people report that when trying to locate a particular piece of written information they often remember where in the text it appeared.

      How does location affect our reading? Is it similar to methods of location and memory within oral traditions?

    1. That is why building a Second Brain is a journey of personalgrowth. As your information environment changes, the way yourmind operates starts to be transformed.

      This also happens with the techniques of orality, but from an entirely different perspective. Again, these methods are totally invisible even to an expert on productivity and personal knowledge management.

      Not even a mention here of the ancient Greeks bemoaning the invention of literacy as papering over valuable memory.

    2. For most of history, humanity’s challenge was how to acquire scarceinformation. There was hardly any good information to be foundanywhere. It was locked up in difficult-to-reproduce manuscripts orstuck in the heads of scholars. Access to information was limited, butthat wasn’t a problem for most people. Their lives and livelihoodsdidn’t require much information. Their main contribution was theirphysical labor, not their ideas.

      This is an overly painful Western cultural viewpoint and totally erases orality and oral cultures from the discussion. We can and should do better.

    1. For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”

      One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.

      Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?

      Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.

      Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?

      Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"


      aside on serendipity

      As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,

    2. From the classroom, to the street, to the Internet, Eric’s voice carried, and carried within it the possibility of a kind of education–amplified with digital technologies– that enables other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.

      Sadly, we seem to have othered orality and cultural practices which don't fit into the Western literate cultural box. This prevents us from moving forward as a society and a diverse culture.

      In the 90's rap was culturally appropriated by some because of its perception as "cool" within the culture. Can this coolness be leveraged as a reintroduction of oral methods in our culture without the baggage of the appropriation? Can it be added to enhance the evolving third archive? As a legitimate teaching tool?

    3. listen deeply to Eric’s story

      Beyond Eric's words here, I'm struck by the fact that he's able to do this "feat" orally in a way that I certainly cannot. Perhaps he spent ages slowly building it up and writing it down in a literal fashion, but I suspect that part of it is not and that it is raw oral poetry in a way which requires culture and oral practice that I wholly lack, but wish I had.

      How can we better teach this?! Center this.

      Link to: - Eminem's stacking ammo

    1. It will be interesting to see where Eyler takes his scholarship post-COVID. I’ll be curious to learn how Eyler thinks of the intersection of learning science and teaching practices in an environment where face-to-face teaching is no longer the default.

      Face-to-face teaching and learning has been the majority default for nearly all of human existence. Obviously it was the case in oral cultures, and the tide has shifted a bit with the onset of literacy. However, with the advent of the Internet and the pressures of COVID-19, lots of learning has broken this mold.

      How can the affordances of literacy-only modalities be leveraged for online learning that doesn't include significant fact-to-face interaction? How might the zettelkasten method of understanding, sense-making, note taking, and idea generation be leveraged in this process?

    1. The second was “makedance pay for the dancers.” I’ve always been resentful of the fact that some of theso-called elite art forms can’t survive on their own without sponsorship andsubsidies. It bothers me that dance companies around the world are not-for-profitorganizations and that dancers, who are as devoted and disciplined as any NFL orNBA superstar, are at the low end of the entertainment industry’s income scale. Iwanted this Broadway-bound project not only to elevate serious dance in thecommercial arena but also to pay the dancers well. So I wrote my goals for theproject, “tell a story” and “make dance pay,” on two blue index cards and watchedthem float to the bottom of the Joel box.

      Given the importance of dance in oral cultures, what, why, and how has dance moved to be one of the seemingly lowest and least well paid art forms in modern society?

      How might modern dance regain its teaching and mnemonic status in our culture?

    2. The box makes me feel connected to a project. It is my soil. I feel this evenwhen I’ve back-burnered a project: I may have put the box away on a shelf, but Iknow it’s there. The project name on the box in bold black lettering is a constantreminder that I had an idea once and may come back to it very soon.

      Having a physical note taking system also stands as a physical reminder and representation of one's work and focus. It may be somewhat out of the way on a shelf, but it takes up space in a way that digital files and notes do not. This invites one into using and maintaining it.


      Link to - tying a string on one's finger as a reminder - method of loci - orality

    1. “So I’m supposed to ask the Lakota Language Consortium if I can use my own Lakota language,” Taken Alive asked in one of many TikTok posts that would come to define his social media presence. 

      Based on some beyond the average knowledge of Indigenous cultures, I'm reading some additional context into this statement that is unlikely to be seen or understood by those with Western-only cultural backgrounds who view things from an ownership and capitalistic perspective.

      There's a stronger sense of identity and ownership of language and knowledge within oral traditions than can be understood by Westerners who didn't grow up with it.

      He obviously feels like we're stealing from him all over again. We need better rules and shared definitions between Indigenous peoples and non before embarking on these sorts of projects.

    2. But the copyright on the materials still gives the organization control over how the information is used, which is what some tribal leaders find objectionable.

      Oral cultures treat information dramatically different than literate cultures, and particularly Western literate cultures within capitalism-based economies.

  7. May 2022
    1. a constellation already described in 1805 by Heinrich von Kleist in his fascinat-ing analysis of the “Midwifery of Thought”: “If you want to know something and cannotfind it through meditation, I advise you, my dear, clever friend, to speak about it withthe next acquaintance who bumps into you.” 43 The positive tension that such a conversa-tion immediately elicits through the expectations of the Other obliges one to producenew thought in the conversation. The idea develops during speech. There, the sheeravailability of such a counterpart, who must do nothing further (i.e., offer additionalstimulus through keen contradiction of the speaker) is already enough; “There is a specialsource of excitement, for him who speaks, in the human face across from him; and agaze which already announces a half-expressed thought to be understood often givesexpression to the entire other half.”44
      1. Heinrich von Kleist, “Ü ber die allm ä hliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden,” in Sämtliche Werke und Briefe. Zweiter Band, ed. Helmut Sembdner (M ü nchen: dtv, 1805/2001), 319 – 324, at 319.
      2. Ibid., 320.

      in 1805 Heinrich von Kleist noted that one can use conversation with another person, even when that person is silent, to come up with solutions or ideas they may not have done on their own.

      This phenomena is borne out in modern practices like the so-called "rubber duck debugging", where a programmer can talk to any imagined listener, often framed as a rubber duck sitting on their desk, and talk through the problem in their code. Invariably, talking through all the steps of the problem will often result in the person realizing what the problem is and allow them to fix it.

      This method of verbal "conversation" obviously was a tool which indigenous oral cultures frequently used despite the fact that they didn't have literacy as a tool to fall back on.

    1. Every bit of new information fills in the blanks of a time that has long since passed out of living memory.

      Our written records have increased incalculably because our living memory doesn't serve us or our society or culture the way it previously did in pre-literate times. The erasure of cruelties and tyrrany is all to easy when we rely only on literacy, particularly when book banning and erasure can easily become the norm.

    1. knowledgebegins with the simple, time-honored practice of taking notes

      Definite bias for literacy here.

    2. It’s time for us to upgrade our Paleolithic memory

      I'm not a fan of digs at the idea of our "Paleolithic memory", particularly as there is some reasonable evidence that oral memory methods in the Paleolithic are probably vastly superior to those "modern" humans are using now.

      Cross reference: Kelly, Lynne. Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107444973.

    3. You may find this book in the “self-improvement” category, but in adeeper sense it is the opposite of self-improvement. It is aboutoptimizing a system outside yourself, a system not subject to you

      imitations and constraints, leaving you happily unoptimized and free to roam, to wonder, to wander toward whatever makes you feel alive here and now in each moment.

      Some may categorize handbooks on note taking within the productivity space as "self-help" or "self-improvement", but still view it as something that happens outside of ones' self. Doesn't improving one's environment as a means of improving things for oneself count as self-improvement?

      Marie Kondo's minimalism techniques are all external to the body, but are wholly geared towards creating internal happiness.

      Because your external circumstances are important to your internal mental state, external environment and decoration can be considered self-improvement.


      Could note taking be considered exbodied cognition? Vannevar Bush framed the Memex as a means of showing associative trails. (Let's be honest, As We May Think used the word trail far too much.)

      How does this relate to orality vs. literacy?

      Orality requires the immediate mental work for storage while literacy removes some of the work by making the effort external and potentially giving it additional longevity.

    1. of all the horse customs found in the British Isles, only the Mari Lwyd has a poetry competition at its heart. The Pwnco might be a challenge for some parts of 21st century Wales now that village bards are scarcer, but learned or improvised, the lyrics and the contest give scope for local and topical references, and showcase the traditional Welsh love of language and poetry.

      Worth looking into the tradition of village bards in Wales.

      What is a Pwnco?

  8. Apr 2022
    1. It is notinsignificant either that among the illustrations of the Roland Barthes par RolandBarthes there are a series of facsimile reproductions of the author’s handwriting,analogic reproductions of linguistic graphemes, pieces of writing silenced,abstracted from the universe of discourse by their photographic reproduction. Inparticular, as we have seen, the three index cards are reproduced not for the sakeof their content, not for their signified, but for a reality-effect value for which ourexpanding taste, says Barthes, encompasses the fashion of diaries, of testimonials,of historical documents, and, most of all, the massive development of photogra-

      phy. In that sense, the reproduction of these three slips ironically resonates, if on a different scale, with the world tour of the mask of Tutankhamen. It refers, if not to the magic silence of a relic, at least to the ghostly parergonal quality of what French language calls a reliquat.

      Hollier argues that Barthes' reproduced cards are not only completely divorced from their original context and use, but that they are reproduced for the sheen of reality and artistic fashion they convey to the reader. So much thought, value, and culture is lost in the worship of these items in this setting compared to their original context.

      This is closely linked to the same sort of context collapse highlighted by the photo of Chief William Berens seated beside the living stones of his elders in Tim Ingold's Why Anthropology Matters. There we only appreciate the sense of antiquity, curiosity, and exoticness of an elder of a culture that is not ours. These rocks, by very direct analogy, are the index cards of the zettelkasten of an oral culture.

      Black and white photo of a man in Western dress (pants, white shirt, and vest) sits on a rock with a forrest in the background. Beside him are several large round, but generally otherwise unremarkable rocks. Chief William Berens seated beside the living stones of his elders; a picture taken by A. Irving Hallowell in 1930, between Grand Rapids and Pikangikum, Ontario, Canada. (American Philosophical Society)

    1. the brain stores social information differently thanit stores information that is non-social. Social memories are encoded in a distinctregion of the brain. What’s more, we remember social information moreaccurately, a phenomenon that psychologists call the “social encodingadvantage.” If findings like this feel unexpected, that’s because our culturelargely excludes social interaction from the realm of the intellect. Socialexchanges with others might be enjoyable or entertaining, this attitude holds, butthey’re no more than a diversion, what we do around the edges of school orwork. Serious thinking, real thinking, is done on one’s own, sequestered fromothers.

      "Social encoding advantage" is what psychologists refer to as the phenomenon of people remembering social information more accurately than other types.

      Reference to read: “social encoding advantage”: Matthew D. Lieberman, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect (New York: Crown, 2013), 284.

      It's likely that the social acts of learning and information exchange in oral societies had an additional stickiness over and beyond the additional mnemonic methods they would have used as a base.

      The Western cultural tradition doesn't value the social coding advantage because it "excludes social interaction from the realm of the intellect" (Paul, 2021). Instead it provides advantage and status to the individual thinking on their own. We greatly prefer the idea of the "lone genius" toiling on their own, when this is hardly ever the case. Our availability bias often leads us to believe it is the case because we can pull out so many famous examples, though in almost all cases these geniuses were riding on the shoulders of giants.

      Reference to read: remember social information more accurately: Jason P. Mitchell, C. Neil Macrae, and Mahzarin R. Banaji, “Encoding-Specific Effects of Social Cognition on the Neural Correlates of Subsequent Memory,” Journal of Neuroscience 24 (May 2004): 4912–17

      Reference to read: the brain stores social information: Jason P. Mitchell et al., “Thinking About Others: The Neural Substrates of Social Cognition,” in Social Neuroscience: People Thinking About Thinking People, ed. Karen T. Litfin (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 63–82.

    2. In these sessions, students didn’t listen to a description ofcomputer science concepts, or engage in a discussion about the work performedby computer scientists; they actually did the work themselves, under the tutors’close supervision.

      The process seen in cognitive apprenticeships seems more akin to the sorts of knowledge transfer done in primary oral indigenous cultures by passing down stories and performing (song, dance, art, etc.) knowledge.

      It shouldn't be surprising that cognitive apprenticeships work well given their general use by oral cultures over millennia.

      link to: Writing out answers will show gaps in knowledge Performing actions will show gaps in knowledge

    1. it is valuable to turnto the work of Bernard Stiegler, and specifically to his idea of‘tertiary memory’. Stiegler develops this concept of tertiary memorythrough a reading of Husserl, and proposes it as a supplement (andcorrective) to Husserl’s understanding of primary and secondaryretention.

      These two should be interesting to read on memory and how they delineate its various layers.

      See: Stiegler, B. (2009) Technics and Time, 2: Disorientation. Trans. S. Barker. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

    2. QuotingFriedrich Kittler, Thorn explains that the aim of such an all-encompassing approach to media is to focus on the ‘networks oftechnologies and institutions that allow a given culture to select,store, and process relevant data’ (cited in Thorn, 2008: 7).

      Has media studies looked at primary orality and the ideas of space repetition, art, dance, and mnemonics as base layers of media by which cultures created networks of knowledge and culture that they might use to select, store, process, copy, and pass along their knowledge?

    1. Printing made books affordable to greater numbers than before, as various humanist observers noted, whether they felt this was for the better (Andrea de Bussi, Ludovico Carbone) or for the worse (e.g., Hieronymo Squarcia- fico).17

      Example that every new technology will have its proponents and its detractors.

      link to Plato/Socrates on the use of writing as a replacement for speaking and memory.

    1. same with our with the with the dendrites we will always tell you the story tell the story to the juvenile who's coming through the novices who's coming through the ceremony will tell them so as they 00:47:47 get to a certain age or a certain time or a certain experience in the ceremony we will then pass that knowledge onto him and we'll take it to him so these hieroglyphs and 00:47:58 petroglyphs and the etchings on the rocks and the paintings on there on the cave walls that's our library that is our library

      The dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or the petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the indigenous peoples who always relate their stories from the markings back up to the sky.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson


      Can this be linked to the practices of the Druids who may have had similar methods? How about linking the petroglyphs in the Celtic (English) countryside?

    2. and of course the white fellas learned very quickly because they learned from the romans the british learned from iran and the first thing you attack other people from religious beliefs 00:46:28 that's the first thing you've done back in those days we didn't have towers communication so you didn't target your communication towers but you communicate you you attacked the way people transmitted 00:46:41 their knowledge

      The white fellas learned very quickly from the Romans that the first thing you attack is other people's religious beliefs, which are the modern day equivalent of communication towers. That's how oral societies communicate their knowledge and culture.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson

    1. I believe we serve our students better by helping them find a note-taking system that works best for them.

      Are there other methods of encouraging context shifts that don't include note taking (or literacy-based) solutions? What would an orality focused method look like? How might we include those methods in our practices?

  9. Mar 2022
    1. For Aboriginal Australians,its importance is recognised by its position at the centre of thenational Aboriginal flag, developed in 1971 by Luritja artist HaroldThomas.

      The Aboriginal flag was developed in 1971 by Luritja artist Harold Thomas. Centering its importance to Aboriginal Australians, the sun appears in the middle of the flag.


      It's subtle here, as in other instances, but notice that Hamacher gives the citation to the Indigenous artist that developed the flag and simultaneously underlines the source of visual information that is associated with the flag and the sun. It's not just the knowledge of the two things which are associated to each other, but they're also both associated with a person who is that source of knowledge.

      Is this three-way association common in all Indigenous cultures? While names may be tricky for some, the visual image of a particular person's face, body, and presence is usually very memorable and thereby easy to attach to various forms of knowledge.

      Does the person/source of knowledge form or act like an 'oral folder' for Indigenous knowledge?

    2. The idea that ‘everything onEarth is reflected in the sky’ and of ‘reading the stars’ to understandyour environment are two of the most common and widespreadthemes in Indigenous astronomy.

      Hidden in the phrase that "everything on Earth is reflected in the sky" or the idea of "reading the stars to understand one's environment" is the idea of associative memory. If you know one thing, you necessarily know another. Don't let this subtle idea of the words 'reflect' or 'read' hide what is going on.

    3. Peter Eseli of Mabuiag Island (known locally as Mabuyag)in the western Torres Strait began writing down traditional knowledgein the Kala Lagau Ya language in the early twentieth century. By1939, Eseli had amassed a 77-page manuscript, complete withdrawings, songs and genealogies as well as a wealth of starknowledge, some of which is included in this book. He continuedadding to it until his death in 1958. His manuscript was latertranslated into English.
    4. In 1898, Māori man Te Kōkau and his son, Rāwairi Te Kōkau,began recording traditional star knowledge in the Māori language.After 35 years, they had amassed a 400-page manuscript that

      contained over a thousand star names. Rāwairi passed the manuscript to his grandson, Timi Rāwairi. In 1995, Timi’s own grandson asked him about Matariki, a celebration that kicks off the Māori new year, heralded by the dawn rising of the Pleiades star cluster. Timi went to a cupboard, pulled out the manuscript and handed it to his grandson, Rangi Mātāmua.

      Was it partially coincidence that this knowledge was written down and passed on within the family or because of the primacy of the knowledge within the culture that helped to save in spanning from orality into literacy?

      What other examples might exist along these lines to provide evidence for the passing of knowledge at the border of orality and literacy?

      Link this to ideas about the border of orality and literacy in Welsh and Irish.

    5. The stars also give meaning to our existence. The sky is a canvasof sparkling dots that we connect to form familiar patterns, to whichwe assign narratives about their formation and meaning. Across thesky, ancestors, heroic figures, animals, landscapes and fantasticbeasts tell stories of the human experience. They speak of braveryand deceit, war and peace, sex and violence, punishment andreward. It is fascinating to find striking similarities in stories about thestars across vastly different cultures, with even more similarities in theways they are utilised.

      Are these graphic and memorable stories strikingly similar because of the underlying packages of orality and memory used in these cultures?

      This is one of my primary motivations for reading this text.

    6. Indigenous sciences are highly interconnected, while Westernscience tends to be divided into different categories by discipline, witheach diverging into ever smaller focus areas.

      Indigenous sciences are highly interconnected while Western sciences tend to be highly sub-divided into ever smaller specializations.


      Are Indigenous sciences naturally interconnected or do they form that way because of the associative memory underlying the cultural orality by which they are formed and transmitted? (I would suspect so, but don't yet have the experience to say definitively. Evidence for this should be collected.)

    7. Indigenous scholars conducting scientific research combine formalacademic training and a personal lived experience that bridgesIndigenous and Western ways of knowing. In the United States andCanada, this concept is called Etuaptmumk, meaning ‘Two-EyedSeeing’. Etuaptmumk comes from the Mi’kmaw language of easternCanada and Maine, and was developed by Elders Dr Albert Marshalland Murdina Marshall.

      Developed by Elders Dr. Albert Marshall and Murdina Marshall, the Mi'kmaw word Etuaptmunk describes the concept of "Two-Eyed Seeing". It is based on the lived experience of Indigenous peoples who have the ability to see the world from both the Western and Indigenous perspectives with one eye on the strengths of each practice.


      The idea behind Etuaptmunk is designed and geared toward Western thinkers who place additional value on the eyes and literacy. Perhaps a second analogy of "Two-Eared Hearing" might better center the orality techniques for the smaller number of people with lived experiences coming from the other direction?

      These ideas seem somewhat similar to that of the third culture kid.

    8. ‘Yes, ofcourse we have science! We’ve been saying that for years, but noone will listen.’

      No one has listened to Indigenous peoples when they say that they have science. The major boundary in hearing in this case is that Indigenous peoples rely on orality where as Western people rely more heavily on literacy. This barrier has obviously been a major gap between these cultures.

    9. Science is something anyone can do, and everyone has done. Theprocess on paper is simple: closely observe the world, test what you learn,and transmit it to future generations. Just because Indigenous cultureshave done this without test tubes doesn’t make them unscientific—justdifferent.

      Perhaps there's a clever dig here that she uses the phrase "on paper" here because most indigenous cultures have done these things orally!

      quote from Dr. Annette S. Lee

    10. Ghillar Michael Anderson, John Barsa, David Bosun, RonDay, Segar Passi and Alo Tapim

      Without these authors and their knowledge and the prior knowledge chain of all their ancestors, this book would certainly not exist.

    1. Topic A topic was once a spot not a subjecttopic. to ̆p’ı ̆k. n. 1. The subject of a speech, essay, thesis, or discourse. 2. A subject of discussion or con-versation. 3. A subdivision of a theme, thesis, or outline.*With no teleprompter, index cards, or even sheets of paper at their disposal, ancient Greek and Roman orators often had to rely on their memories for holding a great deal of information. Given the limi-tations of memory, the points they chose to make had to be clustered in some meaningful way. A popular and quite reliable method for remembering information was known as loci (see Chapter 9), where loci was Latin for “place.” It involved picking a house you knew well, imagining it in your mind’s eye, and then associating the facts you wanted to recall with specifi c places inside of that house. Using this method, a skillful orator could mentally fi ll up numerous houses with the ideas he needed to recall and then simply “visit” them whenever he spoke about a particular subject. The clusters of informa-tion that speakers used routinely came to be known as commonplaces, loci communes in Latin and koinos topos in Greek. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle referred to them simply as topos, meaning “places.” And that’s how we came to use topic to refer to subject or grouping of information.**

      Even in the western tradition, the earliest methods of mnemonics tied ideas to locations, from whence we get the ideas of loci communes (in Latin) and thence commonplaces and commonplace books. The idea of loci communes was koinos topos in Greek from whence we have derived the word 'topic'.

      Was this a carryover from other local oral traditions or a new innovation? Given the prevalence of very similar Indigenous methods around the world, it was assuredly not an innovation. Perhaps it was a rediscovery after the loss of some of these traditions locally in societies that were less reliant on orality and moving towards more reliance on literacy for their memories.

    1. Investigate further into issues of semiotic theory and dance/music

      This sounds like the sort of place where one might apply Walter Ong's work on orality or Lynne Kelly and Margo Neale's Songlines (Thames & Hudson, 2021).

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_circle

      Some timber circle sites to look into: - Secotan in North Carolina circa 1585 - Poverty Point - Hopewell timber circles (Moorehead Circle and Stubbs Earthworks) in Ohio - Cahokia

    2. An early example of a timber circle witnessed by Europeans was recorded by watercolor artist John White in July 1585 when he visited the Algonquian village of Secotan in North Carolina. White was the artist-illustrator and mapmaker for the Roanoke Colony expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to begin the first attempts at British colonization of the Americas.[2] White's works represent the sole-surviving visual record of the native inhabitants of the Americas as encountered by England's first colonizers on the Atlantic seaboard.[3] White's watercolor and the writings of the chronicler who accompanied him, Thomas Harriot, describes a great religious festival, possibly the Green Corn ceremony, with participants holding a ceremonial dance at a timber circle. The posts of the circle were carved with faces. Harriot noted that many of the participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee." and that "Three of the fayrest Virgins" danced around a central post at the center of the timber circle.[4]

      Artist, illustrator and mapmaker John White painted a watercolor in July 1585 of a group of Native Americans in the Secotan village in North America. Both he and chronicler Thomas Harriot described a gathering of Indigenous peoples gathered in the Algonquian village as part of Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Colony expedition. They describe a festival with participants holding a dance at a timber circle, the posts of which were carved with with faces.

      Harriot wrote that participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee."

      Secotans dancing in a timber circle in North Carolina, watercolor painted by John White in 1585


      This evidence would generally support some of Lynne Kelly's thesis in Knowledge and Power. A group of neighboring peoples gathering, possibly for the Green Corn Ceremony, ostensibly to strengthen social ties and potentially to strengthen and trade knowledge.

      Would we also see others of her list of markers in the area?

      Read references: - Daniels, Dennis F. "John White". NCpedia. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - Tucker, Abigal (December 2008). "Sketching the Earliest Views of the New World". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - "A Selection of John White's Watercolors : A festive dance". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 2017-12-19.

    1. But crucially, he believes the pool at the center of the complex may have also served as a surface to observe and map the stars. The water surface would have mirrored the sky, as water does – none other than Leonardo da Vinci pointed out the attributes of inert standing water when studying the night sky. For one thing, the stars were adored by the Phoenicians, whether as gods or deceased ancestors; and the position of the constellations was of keen interest to the sailors among them for navigation purposes, Nigro points out.

      Lorenzo Nigro indicates that the "kothon" of Motya in southern Sicily was a pool of Baal whose surface may have been used to observe and map the stars. He also indicates that the Phoenicians adored the stars potentially as gods or deceased ancestors. This is an example of a potentially false assumption often seen in archaeology of Western practitioners misconstruing Indigenous practices based on modern ideas of religion and culture.

      I might posit that this sort of practice is more akin to that of the science of Indigenous peoples who used oral and mnemonic methods in combination with remembering their histories and ancestors.

      Cross reference this with coming reading in The First Astronomers (to come) which may treat this in more depth.


      Leonardo da Vinci documented the attributes of standing water for studying the night sky.

      Where was this and what did it actually entail?

    1. The Inca left behind a three-dimensional system, a 3D “script.”

      Silvia Ferrara analogizes the quipu to a three-dimensional "script".

    2. The Inca are most often remembered not for what they had but for what they didn’t have: the wheel, iron, a written language.

      A solid example of how western cultures dismiss non-literate cultures.

    1. S CLEAR THAT spontaneous gestures can support intelligent thinking. There’salso a place for what we might call designed gestures: that is, motions that arecarefully formulated in advance to convey a particular notion. Geologist MicheleCooke’s gestures, inspired by sign language, fall into this category; she verydeliberately uses hand movements to help students understand spatial conceptsthat are difficult to communicate in words.

      There are two potential axes for gestures: spontaneous and intentional. Intentional gestures include examples like sign language, memetic pantomimes, and dance or related animal mimicry gestures used by indigenous cultures for communicating the movement and behavior of animals.

      Intentional gestures can also be specifically designed for pedagogical purposes as well as for mnemonic purposes.

      cross reference to Lynne Kelly example about movement/gesture in indigenous cultures.

    1. “Noteson paper, or on a computer screen [...] do not make contemporaryphysics or other kinds of intellectual endeavour easier, they make itpossible” is one of the key takeaways in a contemporary handbookof neuroscientists (Levy 2011, 290) Concluding the discussions inthis book, Levy writes: “In any case, no matter how internalprocesses are implemented, insofar as thinkers are genuinelyconcerned with what enables human beings to perform the

      spectacular intellectual feats exhibited in science and other areas of systematic enquiry, as well as in the arts, they need to understand the extent to which the mind is reliant upon external scaffolding.” (Ibid.)

      Does Neil Levy go into anything on orality with respect to this topic? Check: Levy, Neil. 2011. “Neuroethics and the Extended Mind.” In Judy Illes and B. J. Sahakian (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics, 285–94, Oxford University Press

      Link this to P.M. Forni's question about how I think about mathematics and my answer relating to scaffolding or the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

      Link this to the 9/8 zettel quote from Luhmann about writing being thinking.

      Compare the ideas of visual thinking (visualizations) and a visualization of one's thinking being instantiated in writing along with the Feynman quote about the writing being the thinking. What ways are they similar or different? Is there a gradation in which one subsumes the other?

      What does Annie Murphy Paul have to say on this topic in The Extended Mind?

  10. Feb 2022
    1. Also, we shouldn’t underestimate the advantages of writing. In oralpresentations, we easily get away with unfounded claims. We candistract from argumentative gaps with confident gestures or drop acasual “you know what I mean” irrespective of whether we knowwhat we meant. In writing, these manoeuvres are a little too obvious.It is easy to check a statement like: “But that is what I said!” Themost important advantage of writing is that it helps us to confrontourselves when we do not understand something as well as wewould like to believe.

      In modern literate contexts, it is easier to establish doubletalk in oral contexts than it is in written contexts as the written is more easily reviewed for clarity and concreteness. Verbal ticks like "you know what I mean", "it's easy to see/show", and other versions of similar hand-waving arguments that indicate gaps in thinking and arguments are far easier to identify in writing than they are in speech where social pressure may cause the audience to agree without actually following the thread of the argument. Writing certainly allows for timeshiting, but it explicitly also expands time frames for grasping and understanding a full argument in a way not commonly seen in oral settings.

      Note that this may not be the case in primarily oral cultures which may take specific steps to mitigate these patterns.

      Link this to the anthropology example from Scott M. Lacy of the (Malian?) tribe that made group decisions by repeating a statement from the lowest to the highest and back again to ensure understanding and agreement.


      This difference in communication between oral and literate is one which leaders can take advantage of in leading their followers astray. An example is Donald Trump who actively eschewed written communication or even reading in general in favor of oral and highly emotional speech. This generally freed him from the need to make coherent and useful arguments.

    2. There is no such thing as a history ofunwritten ideas.

      This is patently false since there are definitely counterexamples within a huge variety of oral cultures.

    3. We need a reliable and simple external structure tothink in that compensates for the limitations of our brains

      Let's be honest that there are certainly methods for doing all of this within our brains and not needing to rely on external structures. This being said, using writing, literacy, and external structures does allow us to process things faster than before.


      Can we calculate what the level of greater efficiency allows for doing this? What is the overall throughput difference in being able to forget and write? Not rely on communication with others? What does a back of the envelope calculation for this look like?

    4. Every intellectual endeavour starts with a note.

      I like the framing of the idea that "Every intellectual endeavour starts with a note." as the idea of a note could potentially transcend literacy to include oral cultures as well.

    1. Because of the constantly growing number of volumes, and to minimize coordination issues, Gottfried van Swieten emphasizes a set of instructions for registering all the books of the court library. Written instructions are by no means common prior to the end of the eighteenth century. Until then, cataloging takes place under the supervision of a librarian who instructs scriptors orally, pointing out problems and corrections as every-one goes along.

      Unlike prior (oral) efforts, Gottfried van Swieten created a writtten set of instructions for cataloging texts at the Austrian National Library. This helped to minimize coordination issues as well as time to teach and perfect the system.


      Written rules, laws, and algorithms help to create self-organization. This is done by saving time and energy that would have gone into the work of directed building of a system instead. The saved work can then be directed towards something else potentially more productive or regenerative.

  11. Jan 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sciwtWcfdH4

      UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2012 URL: https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/klapa-multipart-singing-of-dalmatia-southern-croatia-00746 Description: Klapa singing is a multipart singing tradition of Dalmatia. Multipart singing, a capella homophonic singing, oral tradition and simple music making are its main features. The leader of each singing group is the first tenor, followed by several tenori, baritoni and basi voices. During performances, the singers stand in a tight semicircle, and the first tenor starts the singing, followed by the others. The aim is to achieve the best possible blend of voices. Klapa songs deal with love, life situations, and the local environment. Country(ies): Croatia

    1. “One cannot think without writing.” (Luhmann 1992, 53)

      Similar statements have been made by others:

      I could quote Luhmann on this as well, who thought that "without writing one cannot think," But there is nothing peculiarly "Luhmannian" about this idea. Isaac Asimov is said to have said "Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers." And, to give one other example, E. B. White (of "Strunk and White" fame) claimed that "writing is one way to go about thinking." In other words, writing is thinking. And since I do almost all my significant writing in ConnectedText these days, it might be called my "writing environment."—Manfred Kuehn

      I think this was Luhmann's full quote:

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

      (Translation) You cannot think without writing; at least not in a sophisticated, connectable way.

      Luhmann’s “you” or "one" in his quote is obviously only a Western cultural referent which erases the existence of oral based cultures which have other ways to do their sophisticated thinking. His ignorant framing on the topic shouldn’t be a shared one. Oral cultures managed to do their thinking through speech and memory.

    1. I could quote Luhmann on this as well, who thought that "without writing one cannot think," But there is nothing peculiarly "Luhmannian" about this idea. Isaac Asimov is said to have said "Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers." And, to give one other example, E. B. White (of "Strunk and White" fame) claimed that "writing is one way to go about thinking." In other words, writing is thinking. And since I do almost all my significant writing in ConnectedText these days, it might be called my "writing environment."

      Various quotes along the lines of "writing is thinking".

      What is the equivalent in oral societies? Memory is thinking?

    1. in Luhmann’s mind theprocess of writing things down enables disciplined thinking in the first place: “Underlying the filing tech-nique is the experience that without writing, there is no thinking.”22
      1. Luhmann, Zettelkasten II, index card no. 9/8g (my translation).

      The act of taking notes helps to focus the mind and one's concentration. This facilitates better and deeper thinking. While he erases oral cultures and those who used mnemonic techniques, Niklas Luhmann said, "without writing, there is no thinking."

    1. culture that taught to learn by rote and a culture that taught to forget instead

      Pedagogical cultrues:

      • cultures taught orally
      • cultures taught to remember
      • cultures taught to learn by rote
      • cultures taught to forget

      Is there a (linear) progression? How do they differ? How are they they same? Is there a 1-1 process that allows them to be equivalence classes?

    1. How could such rhetorical facility have come to those with noawareness of the works of Varro and Quintilian?

      Jesuit missionaries during the Englightement were impressed with the level of rhetoric and argument that the indigenous Americans had without recourse to western rhetoric.

    2. Severi (2015) discusses evidence for the use of pictographicwriting systems among the indigenous peoples of NorthAmerica, and why their characterization as ‘oral’ societies ismisleading in many ways.
    1. reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written.

      Nice to see him pay some homage to orality here.

  12. Dec 2021
    1. It is impossible to think without writing; at least it is impossible in any sophisticated or networked (anschlußfähig) fashion.

      The sentiment that it is impossible to think without writing is patently wrong. While it's an excellent tool, it takes an overly textual perspective and completely ignores the value of orality an memory in prehistory.

      Modern culture has lost so many of our valuable cultural resources that we have completely forgotten that they even existed.

      Oral cultures certainly had networked thought, Luhmann and others simply can't imagine how it may have worked. We're also blinded by the imagined size of societies in pre-agricultural contexts. The size and scope of cities and city networks makes the history of writing have an outsized appearance.

      Further, we don't have solid records of these older netowrks, a major drawback of oral cultures which aren't properly maintained, but this doesn't mean that they didn not exist.

    1. Pratt persuaded tribal elders and chiefs that the reason the "Washichu" (Lakota word for white man, loosely translates to Takes the Fat) had been able to take their land was that the Indians were uneducated. He said that the Natives were disadvantaged by being unable to speak and write English and, if they had that knowledge, they might have been able to protect themselves.

      Example where literacy provides perceived power over orality.

    1. But we often find such regional networks developinglargely for the sake of creating friendly mutual relations, or having anexcuse to visit one another from time to time;33 and there are plentyof other possibilities that in no way resemble ‘trade’.

      There is certainly social lubrication of visiting people from time to time which can help and advance societies, but this regular visiting can also be seen as a means of reinforcing one's oral cultural history through spaced repetition.

      It can be seen as "trade" but in a way that anthropologists have generally ignored for lack of imagination for what may have been actually happening.

    2. Romito 2 is the 10,000-year-old burial of a male with a raregenetic disorder (acromesomelic dysplasia): a severe type ofdwarfism, which in life would have rendered him both anomalous inhis community and unable to participate in the kind of high-altitudehunting that was necessary for their survival. Studies of hispathology show that, despite generally poor levels of health andnutrition, that same community of hunter-gatherers still took pains tosupport this individual through infancy and into early adulthood,granting him the same share of meat as everyone else, andultimately according him a careful, sheltered burial.15
      1. Tilley, Lorna. 2015. ‘Accommodating difference in the prehistoric past: revisiting the case of Romito 2 from a bioarchaeology of care perspective.’ International Journal of Paleopathology 8: 64–74.

      In a case like this what might have been the reasons for keeping and helping such an individual?

      In an oral society, it's possible that despite his potential physical disabilities for hunting that he may have been an above-average store of knowledge from a memory perspective, thus making him potentially even more valuable to his society.

    1. political self-consciousness sort of 00:55:29 receding as one goes further back in time there was a book published in 1946 by the Dutch archaeologist Henry Frank Ford's called befall philosophy which 00:55:42 was about the the ancient Middle East Mesopotamia and Egypt and all that sort of thing but he wasn't actually arguing that these people didn't have the capacity for philosophy he was simply 00:55:55 pointing out that they didn't have an explicit written tradition of speculative thought like that of the ancient Greeks so that when they did speculate they did it in other ways 00:56:07 through images through discourse on the nonhuman world etc etc to find the idea that there have actually ever been individuals who didn't possess any capacity for philosophical reflection

      Henri Frankfort in The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (1946) (later retitled Before Philosophy) argued that non-literate people had philosophy and speculative thought, they just didn't have a written method of expressing it.

      Open questions: How might they have expressed it other than orally? How might one tease these ideas out of the archaeological record? Does Frankfort provide evidence?

    2. there's an exception ah yes indeed there is an exception to that which is largely 00:08:28 when you're talking to someone else so in conversation and in dialogue you're actually can maintain consciousness for very long periods of time well which is why you need to imagine you're talking 00:08:41 to someone else to really be able to think out a problem

      Humans in general have a seven second window of self-consciousness. (What is the reference for this? Double check it.) The exception is when one is in conversation with someone else, and then people have much longer spans of self-consciousness.

      I'm left to wonder if this is a useful fact for writing in the margins in books or into one's notebook, commonplace book, or zettelkasten? By having a conversation with yourself, or more specifically with the imaginary author you're annotating or if you prefer to frame it as a conversation with your zettelkasten, one expands their self-consciousness for much longer periods of time? What benefit does this have for the individual? What benefit for humanity in aggregate?

      Is it this fact or just coincidence that much early philosophy was done as dialectic?

      From an orality perspective, this makes it much more useful to talk to one's surroundings or objects like rocks. Did mnemonic techniques help give rise to our ability to be more self-conscious as a species? Is it like a muscle that we've been slowly and evolutionarily exercising for 250,000 years?

    1. https://www.landesmuseum.ch/en/exhibitions/temporary/2021/humans.-carved-in-stone/humans.-carved-in-stone

      Worth delving into more deeply for additional sources and archaeological evidence.

    2. But the stelae were also symbols of power and status, and were used for ancestor worship and rituals.

      This is a good example of the default "ancestor worship" and "rituals" label on archeological finds of ancient peoples

      What is the actual basis for assigning these labels? Is there any real evidence or is it just become the default in the literature.

      Personally I'm building evidence towards a more comprehensive thesis for what these practices may have been used for.

    1. The “agricultural revolution,” so the mainstream argument goes, was a double-edged sword – it triggered the big leap in human civilisation which brought us writing, culture, history all things that make humans “special;” but it also led to hierarchy, organised power, bureaucracy, and inequality. Graeber and Wengrow had been suspicious about this narrative for a long time – they did not believe in this evolutionary, progressive, and deterministic parable.

      Focusing on literacy as one of the features that makes humanity special is a major flaw. In fact, it is likely our earlier orality and the attendant portions that come with that which made us unique within the animal kingdom. While transmission of knowledge and information may be quicker with literacy and even with computer technology, our ability to cope with it stems first from our orality.

    1. When the user stores his thoughts in his own filing cabinet, these thoughts are no longer his own but those of his filing cabinet. In turn, the machine that gathers and reproduces excerpts is, and remains, a ‘black box’. It is not simply another Ego for enacting a user’s soliloquy but a true Alter Ego with whom the user communicates. Additionally, when the machine is started, the user does not simply refresh his memory; the filing cabinet actually speaks. To achieve this practical outcome, the card index must be provided with a ‘life of its own’ (Eigenleben) which should be as independent of the life of its educator as possible.30 In this sense, the card index functions as a ‘secondary memory’ in Stübel’s terms. This result raises some questions which justify the present article. Is there a socio-structural reason why such an improbability became possible? Is there a trend, in early and late modern society, toward an externalization and technologizing of social memory? And what insight can we gain into intellectual history?

      I'm not completely sure I can agree with this. Perhaps I'm missing part of his point?

      There is a quirky relationship here to the idea of a personbyte, the complete amount of information and knowledge a person can have. Even misty memories that a person can remember or be reminded of are part of this knowledge. Perfect recall isn't necessary as some things can potentially be reconstituted with some thought towards recreation of an idea.

      Compare this with the idea of epic poetry and song of the Yugoslavian guslars. Some may be more artful than others, but at what point are they telling a new story?

    2. In oral societies, personal memories fade and even-tually disappear, and yet knowledge somehow remains, as does language. Con-sequently, social memory arises outside, but not independently of, individual psychic systems; it may be regarded as the recursive outcome of communica-tions that are operatively reproduced inside social systems.14

      This idea of transmission of knowledge within oral societies is worth exploring. What is the media of transmission? How does it work in comparison with literate societies? What is the overlap in the two Venn Diagrams?

    1. Our local personnel are Vesna Wallace and Cathy and myself, while our international partners and consultants include Janet Gyatso, Sarah Jacoby, Matthew Kapstein, Jonathan Silk, Lopon P. Ogyan Tanzin, and Antonio Terrone. Part of the project is simply to minutely track all the processes, over several generations, that gave us some of the terma literature we know so well today, while another part will be to achieve critically-aware knowledge transfers from Hebrew studies and the English medievalists into Tibetology. Through this, we aspire to help catalyse a broader debate on what authorship really means in Tibetan religious writing as a whole, in other genres beyond terma, so that our analysis might contribute to the understanding of Tibetan religious writings as a whole.

      Researchers looking into the ideas of inventio with respect to Tibetan religious literature...

      This was published in 2010, so it should have some resultant articles worth reading with respect to their work. I'm curious to compare it to the work of Parry & Lord.

    2. I invited Jonathan Silk to give a guest lecture, and aware of my interests, he obliged by delivering a wonderful paper entitled What Can Students of Indian Buddhist Literature Learn from Biblical Text Criticism?
    3. At the most elemental level, these building blocks comprise well established fundamental Dharmic categories, such as ‘The Three Jewels’, ‘The Four Activities’, ‘The Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities’, and so on. Some Hebraists call such fundamental categories ‘lemmata’.

      Hebraists call small fundamental building blocks of knowledge "lemmata". They are simple and easily remembered.

    4. Finally, a complete work, such as the Guhyasamāja Tantra, or a commentary upon it, is called a ‘macroform’. The way such literary constructions are put together resembles an ‘anthological’ model: tradents select existing lemmata and microforms and re-anthologise them to make new wholes.

      Macroforms are the literary constructions which we might consider anthologies composed of smaller building blocks of lemmata and microforms. These smaller forms are rhetorically built up into larger forms to make "new" literary works or commentaries on prior works.

      These can be compared to Western rhetorical traditions going back to Seneca the Younger in Epistulae morales

      "We should follow, men say, the example of the bees, who flit about and cull the flowers that are suitable for producing honey, and then arrange and assort in their cells all that they have brought in; these bees, as our Vergil says, 'pack close the flowering honey | And swell their cells with nectar sweet.' "

      He's essentially saying, read the best, take their thoughts and ideas, consume them, make them your own."

      Generations later in ~430 CE, Macrobius in his Saturnalia repeated the same idea and even analogy (he assuredly read Seneca, though he obviously didn't acknowledge him):

      "You should not count it a fault if I shall set out the borrowings from a miscellaneous reading in the authors' own words... sometimes set out plainly in my own words and sometimes faithfully recorded in the actual words of the old writers... We ought in some sort to imitate bees; and just as they, in their wandering to and fro, sip the flowers, then arrange their spoil and distribute it among the honeycombs, and transform the various juices to a single flavor by some mixing with them a property of their own being, so I too shall put into writing all that I have acquired in the varied course of my reading... For not only does arrangement help the memory, but the actual process of arrangement, accompanied by a kind of mental fermentation which serves to season the whole, blends the diverse extracts to make a single flavor; with the result that, even if the sources are evident, what we get in the end is still something clearly different from those known sources."

      (cross reference: https://hyp.is/mCsl9voQEeuP3t8jNOyAvw/maggieappleton.com/echo-narcissus)

    5. Longer passages, such as a paragraph or chapter comprising composites of such lemmata, are also legitimately reproducible either approximately or verbatim, according to Tibetan norms. Some Hebraists would call such reproducible composites that are not yet a complete work ‘microforms’.

      "Microforms" are combinations of lemmata which could often be reproduced verbatim, but are longer and similar to our modern ideas of paragraphs or even a chapter.

    6. Talmudic scholars no longer depend on the conventional modernist language of ‘authorship’ and ‘work’. Instead, they can speak of ‘tradents’, who  ‘re-anthologise’ existing ‘lemmata’ and ‘microforms’, sometimes anonymously, within the context of a culture of extraordinary textual memorisation and the ubiquitous synchronous interactions of written and oral modes of text.  We have a lot to learn from them, because Tibetan religious literature is in some important respects closer to Medieval Hebraic literature than to modern literature.

      The idea of tradents, authors who re-anthologize prior work and scholarship, explicitly without attribution of authorship, is incredibly similar to the ideas behind oral mnemonic traditions seen in Greek epic poetry and Yugoslavian guslars as discovered by Milman Parry.

    7. Much is also recycled, within a literary culture that normatively envisions contributors as tradents rather than innovators: in other words, the person producing a text sees himself as passing on existing knowledge, rather than creating new knowledge from nothing (I will elaborate further on the term tradent below).

      Tradents in Tibetan religious literature often copied unattributed texts forward and backward in time without attribution. They often weren't inventing new material, but copying it forward.

      This seems incredibly similar to the traditions of oral cultures as explored by Milman Parry and Albert Lord in the work on orality which was followed up by Walter Ong and others. Examples include the poets known as Homer in the Greek Tradition and the guslars of Yugoslavia.

    8. Texts can be substantially modified by other hands in subsequent re-publications, even while still retaining their original authorial (or revelatory) attribution. At other times, modification can be generated silently and less deliberately via the subtly transformative medium of memorisation: we must recall that Tibetan scholars carry huge tracts of literature around in their minds, which they can access instantly without recourse to a written book, but sometimes it comes out in a form ever so slightly different from other or previous iterations. I think one can even say that the Buddhist tradition often understands authorial attributions as a conventional shorthand indicating the accepted presiding spiritual authority in a given literary instance, rather than as the sole or exclusive literary agency that created it.

      Tibetan literature seems to exhibit strong signs of a prior oral tradition despite having the technology of literacy. Tibetan scholars have memorized huge amounts of literature, but when written down it can vary slightly from other versions.

  13. Nov 2021
    1. Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember,”

      The Western word "ceremony" is certainly not the best word for describing these traditions. It has too much baggage and hidden meaning with religious overtones. It's a close-enough word to convey some meaning to those who don't have the cultural background to understand the underlying orality and memory culture. It is one of those words that gets "lost in translation" because of the dramatic differences in culture and contextual collapse.

      Most Western-based anthropology presumes a Western idea of "religion" and impinges it upon oral cultures. I would maintain that what we would call their "religion" is really an oral-based mnemonic tradition that creates the power of their culture through knowledge. The West mistakes this for superstitious religious practices, but primarily because we can't see (or have never been shown) the larger structures behind what is going on. Our hubris and lack of respect (the evils of the scala naturae) has prevented us from listening and gaining entrance to this knowledge.

      I think that the archaeological ideas of cultish practices or ritual and religion are all more likely better viewed as oral practices of mnemonic tradition. To see this more easily compare the Western idea of the memory palace with the Australian indigenous idea of songline.

    1. In the early 1930s, Milman Parry, a professor of Classics at Harvard, sought to test his theories regarding the composition of the Homeric poems by observing living traditions of oral poetry in then-Yugoslavia.

      The songs he collected, on phonograph discs and in notebooks, form the core of the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.

      In addition to being one of the world’s most comprehensive archives of South Slavic oral traditions, the Parry Collection also contains uniquely important subsidiary collections documenting numerous other Balkan oral traditions. These include:

      • the collection of Albanian epics gathered by Albert Lord in the mountains of northern Albania in the fall of 1937;
      • Lord’s own collection of South Slavic materials made in 1950 and 1951, including some recordings of singers Lord had met in the company of Parry in the 1930s;
      • the Whitman-Rinvolucri Collection, which contains a variety of materials relating to the Greek tradition of shadow puppet theater as practiced in the 1960s;
      • and the James A. Notopoulos Collection, which includes hundreds of recordings from the 1950s of folk music and narrative poetry from the Greek mainland and the Greek islands.
    1. While the advent of printing is commonly thought to have resulted in the demise of the manuscript, Bouza upholds that the progress of textual culture in all its forms did not undermine the importance of other mediums of knowledge.

      What sorts of forms does this take?

      It's obviously true from a cultural perspective, but it's much more difficult to do this from a historical perspective for things which happened 2000 years ago, for example.

    2. Seeking to address the reductive opposition both between written and oral texts and between script and print in the Early Modern period, Fernando Bouza, one of Spain's most influential cultural historians, makes an elegant case for the equality and complementary natures of the various modes of communication.

      This may prove an interesting perspective given my own desire to explore some of the same sorts of dynamics in Celtic texts at the border of orality and literacy in the early centuries of the common era.

    1. from the river and lay down again in the rushes and kissed the grain-givingsoil.

      Odysseus staggered from the river and lay down again in the rushes and kissed the grain-giving soil.

      This reference to "grain-giving soil" reminds me of this quote:

      History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the ploughed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of king's bastards, but cannot tell us the origin of wheat. That is the way of human folly.<br/>—Les Merveilles de l'Instinct Chez les Insectes: Morceaux Choisis (The Wonders of Instinct in Insects: Selected Pieces) by Jean-Henri FabreJean-Henri Fabre (Librairie Ch. Delagrave (1913), page 242)

      ref: quote

      Culturally we often see people kneeling down and kissing the ground after long travels, but we miss the prior references and images and the underlying gratitude for why these things have become commonplace.

      "Grain-giving" = "life giving" here specifically. Compare this to modern audiences see the kissing of the ground more as a psychological "homecoming" action and the link to the grain is missing.

      It's possible that the phrase grain-giving was included for orality's sake to make the meter, but I would suggest that given the value of grain within the culture the poet would have figured out how to include this in any case.

      By my count "grain-giving" as a modifier variously to farmland, soil, earth, land, ground, and corn land appears eight times in the text. All these final words have similar meanings. I wonder if Lattimore used poetic license to change the translation of these final words or if they were all slightly different in the Greek, but kept the meter?

      This is an example of a phrase which may have been given an underlying common phrasing in daily life to highlight gratitude for the life giving qualities, but also served the bard's needs for maintaining meter. Perhaps comparing with other contemporaneous texts for this will reveal an answer?

    2. It may seem unreasonable to distinguish the Great Wanderings (Troy toKalypso's island) from the Homecoming (Kalypso's island to Ithaka). The reasonfor the distinction is Homer's way of recounting these two stages. The GreatWanderings are told by Odysseus in the first person; the Homecoming by thepoet in his own person. This makes a great difference. For instance, whenOdysseus is made to report divine intervention unseen by him, he has to find aplausible explanation (xii.389-390); when the poet tells the story in his ownperson, he can do as he pleases. Thus the change of technique, if nothing else,puts the two stages of wandering on different levels.

      Interesting to note this shift in narrative style. How can one interpret this from the perspective of orality versus literacy?

    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/books/review/hearing-homers-song-milman-parry-robert-kanigel.html

      Short overview of Parry's biography. One could do better reading the Wikipedia article.

    2. There was no ancient poet called “Homer,” he argued. Nor were the poems attributed to him “written” by any single individual. Rather, they were the product of a centuries-long tradition of poet-performers.

      Are there possibly any physical artifacts in physical archaeology that may fit into the structure of the thesis made by Lynne Kelly in Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies?

      What would we be looking for? Small mnemonic devices? Menhir? Standing stones? Wooden or stone circles? Other examples of extended ekphrasis similar to that of the shield of Achilles?

      cf: Expanding Ekphrasis to the Broader Field of Mnemotechny: or How the Shield of Achilles Relates to a Towel, Car, and Water Buffalo

    1. How can these modern translations and related translations be compared and contrasted to the original passage of the stories in their original bardic traditions?

      Cross reference the orality work of Milman Parry, et al.

    1. One seventeenth-century teacher concluded thatnote taking must have been practiced even by the followers of thepriscasapientiafamous for their reliance on memory and their contempt of writ-ing: “How else would their writings survive to us?

      However from examples in oral cultures we know that there are other mnemonic traditions which allow the preservation of knowledge.

      cross-reference: Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power

    2. wn oral cultures the sorting function canbe performedW for exampleW by integration into a narrative Sstorytelling orbardic poetryTY

      The sorting function is also done by mental links from one space to another similar to the method of loci in Western culture. cross reference the idea of songlines

    3. ́herange of storage media operative in different historical contexts includesthe marked stone tokenW the clay tabletW the knotted cord or quipuW the paX

      pyrus scroll and the sheet of parchment.

      Which others is she missing from a mnemonics perspective? I'm impressed that she indicates the khipu, but there are certainly other indigenous methods from oral cultures.

  14. Sep 2021
    1. Our efforts at education and training, as well as management and leadership, are aimed principally at promoting brain-bound thinking.

      In many areas of human life including education and business, we limit ourselves too heavily by too exclusively promoting and preferring brain-bound thinking. If we could begin to re-center our external thinking as many oral and indigenous cultures have, we might be able to go further and farther.

    1. Ratson and Ben-Dov found that the scroll lays out the most important dates in the Qumran sect’s 364-day calendar, including the festivals of New Wine and New Oil, which are not mentioned in the Bible. It also reveals for the first time the name given to the special days on which the sect would celebrate the transition between seasons, four times a year. The days were referred to as “Tekufah”, which translates as “period”.

      Given their focus on dates and calendars, what other evidence of mnemonic traditions might we draw from a culture that was likely near the transition from oral to written transmission?

      Would they have had standing stones, stone circles, handheld mnemonic devices?