460 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. "PDF is where documents go to die. Once something is in PDF, it's like a roach motel for data."

      —Chris Pratley, Microsoft Office's general manager (in TechRadar, 2012)

      obvious bias here on part of Pratley...

      Oddly, even if this were true, I'm not seeing patterns in the wild by which Microsoft products are helping to dramatically accelerate the distribution and easy ability to re-use data within documents. Perhaps its happening within companies or organizations to some extent, but it's not happening within the broader commons of the internet.


      If .pdfs are where information goes to die, then perhaps tools like Hypothes.is are meant to help resurrect that information?

    1. you will never be ridiculous inhelping others— nobody will laugh at you
    2. Mortimer Adler (another independent scholar). “My train of thought greiout of my life just the way a leaf or a branch grows our of a tree.” His thinking and writing occurred as a regular part of his life. In one of his book;Thinking and Working on the Waterfront, he wrote:My writing is'done in railroad yards while waiting for a freight, in the fieldswhile waiting for a truck, and at noon after lunch. Now and then I take aday off to “put myself in order." I go through the notes, pick and discard.The residue is usually a few paragraphs. My mind must always have somethingto chew on. I think on man, America, and the world. It is not as pretentiousas it sounds.
    3. “I do all my own research,” she said, “though reviewers have speculatedthat I must have a band of hirelings. I like to be led by a footnote ontosomething I never thought of. I rarely photocopy research materials because, for me, note-taking is learning, distilling. That’s the whole essence ofthe business. In taking notes, you have to discard what you don’t need. If you[photocopy] it, you haven’t chewed it.”
    1. Whitehead once described the mentality of modern science as having beenforged through “the union of passionate interest in the detailed facts with equaldevotion to abstract generalization.”
    2. The moral is not to abandon useful tools; rather, it is, first, that one shouldmaintain enough perspective to be able to detect the arrival of that inevitable daywhen the research that can be conducted with these tools is no longer important;
    3. The experts have the responsibility of making clear the actuallimits of their understanding and of the results they have so far achieved,
  2. Aug 2022
    1. Quine's book Word and Object (p. 3f) made famous Neurath's analogy which compares the holistic nature of language and consequently scientific verification with the construction of a boat which is already at sea (cf. Ship of Theseus): .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.
    1. As Raymond Chandler put it, “when you have to use your energy to put those words down, you are more apt to make them count.”
    2. Montaigne once teased the writer Erasmus, who was known for his dedication to reading scholarly works, by asking with heavy sarcasm “Do you think he is searching in his books for a way to become better, happier, or wiser?” In Montaigne’s mind, if he wasn’t, it was all a waste.
    3. And if you still need a why–I’ll let this quote from Seneca answer it (which I got from my own reading and notes): “We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”
    1. David Quammen on Books

      Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.<br /> —David Quammen (1948 ― ), science, nature, and travel writer in The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder

      Syndication link: - https://boffosocko.com/2016/08/03/intellectual-wallpaper/

    1. ErnestHemingway once said that good prose is architecture,not interior decorating.
    2. Class discussion reflected onthe emphasis on “family values” in recent news coverageof politicians looking for issues near election time.Perhaps you were stimulated by what the pundits had tosay. Or maybe you were offended by the superficiality ofthe “soundbites” – after all, you had just read Odysseustelling Agamemnon in Book Eleven that “empty wordsare evil.”

      What a fantastic juxtaposition!

    3. 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.

    1. One cannot hope thus to equal the speed and flexibility with which the mind follows an associative trail, but it should be possible to beat the mind decisively in regard to the permanence and clarity of the items resurrected from storage.
  3. Jul 2022
    1. It’s so much easier to see what worked than to predictwhat might work. Sönke Ahrens

      This is similar to the IndieWeb and web standards ideas of looking back at history to see the actual patterns of work that were beneficial.

      Link to: - https://hypothes.is/a/HhAj3r1bEeyw9h_Pa4QNrA

    2. You should read with a pen in your hand andenter...short hints of what you feel...may be useful; forthis be the best method of imprinting [them] in yourmemory. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

      original source?

    3. Thewhole point of this note-making process is not only toprovide ourselves with ideas we want to pursue, but toactually show us which ideas we are most interested in.
    4. the better we can become at collecting,understanding, and remembering information, the morelikely we are to solve hard problems.
    5. ven if that reader is just future-you –and this is one of the benefits of making notes your futureself can read!
    6. AuthorW.H. Auden demystified both literature and criticismwhen he said, “Here is a verbal contraption. How doesit work?”

      Auden himself kept a commomplace book of his own notes which was published as A Certain World: A Commonplace Book #, so we can read some of his notes! :)

    7. Far more important than what these notes are calledis what they do in helping you make the transition fromacquiring information from others to making it yourown.

      This welcome point is not often seen in the broader literature on this subject! Thanks Dan!

    1. Citing Pliny’s “no book so bad,” Gesner made a point of accumulating information about all the texts he could learn about, barbarian and Christian, in manuscript and in print, extant and not, without separating the good from the bad: “We only wanted to list them, and we have left to others free selection and judgment.”202
    1. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ― Robert Collier

      Saw this yesterday at the front of an episode of of Season 8 of the History Channel series Alone (2021)

      Seems fitting of some of the underlying philosophy of the zettelkasten note taking method.

    1. The industrious apprentice will find in the Appendix (C) a short memorandumon the method of analytic note-taking, which we have found most convenient inthe use of documents and contemporaneous literature, as well as in the recording ofinterviews and personal observations.

      method of analytic note-taking from Beatrice Webb

    2. And whilst I could plan out an admirable system ofnote-taking, the actual execution of the plan was, owing toan inveterate tendency to paraphrase extracts which I in¬tended to copy, not to mention an irredeemably illegible hand¬writing, a wearisome irritation to me.
    3. CHAPTER ICHARACTER AND CIRCUMSTANCEIn the following pages I describe the craft of a social in¬vestigator as I have practised it. I give some account of myearly and crude observation and clumsy attempts at reason¬ing, and then of the more elaborated technique of note¬taking, of listening to and recording the spoken word and ofobserving and even experimenting in the life of existinginstitutions.

      While she leaves note taking specifically to Appendix C, Beatrice Webb mentions her "more elaborated technique of note-taking" in the second sentence of the book.

    4. If what is in question ”, states the most learned German methodologist, “ isa many-sided subject, such as a history of a people or a great organisation, theseveral sheets of notes must be so arranged that for each aspect of the subject thematerial can be surveyed as a whole. With any considerable work the notes mustbe taken upon separate loose sheets, which can easily be arranged in different orders,and among which sheets with new dates can be interpolated without difficulty ”(Lehrbuch der historischen Metkode, by Bernheim, 1908, p. 555).

      Note the broad similarities as well as small differences to Konrad Gessner's approach in 1548:

      1. When reading, everything of importance and whatever appears useful should be copied onto a good sheet of paper. 2. A new line should be used for every idea. 3.“ Finally, cut out everything you have copied with a pair of scissors; arrange the slips as you desire, first into larger clusters which can then be subdivided again as often as necessary.” 4. As soon as the desired order is produced, arranged, and sorted on tables or in small boxes, it should be fixed or copied directly. —Gessner, Konrad. Pandectarum sive Partitionum Universalium. 1548. Zurich: Christoph Froschauer. Fol. 19-20"

      Given that the original was in German, did the original text use the word zettelkasten?

    1. He explains the purpose of his "waste book" in his notebook E: Die Kaufleute haben ihr Waste book (Sudelbuch, Klitterbuch glaube ich im deutschen), darin tragen sie von Tag zu Tag alles ein was sie verkaufen und kaufen, alles durch einander ohne Ordnung, aus diesem wird es in das Journal getragen, wo alles mehr systematisch steht ... Dieses verdient von den Gelehrten nachgeahmt zu werden. Erst ein Buch worin ich alles einschreibe, so wie ich es sehe oder wie es mir meine Gedancken eingeben, alsdann kann dieses wieder in ein anderes getragen werden, wo die Materien mehr abgesondert und geordnet sind.[2] "Tradesmen have their 'waste book' (scrawl-book, composition book I think in German), in which they enter from day to day everything they buy and sell, everything all mixed up without any order to it, from there it is transferred to the day-book, where everything appears in more systematic fashion ... This deserves to be imitated by scholars. First a book where I write down everything as I see it or as my thoughts put it before me, later this can be transcribed into another, where the materials are more distinguished and ordered."
    2. The Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi kept a notebook, called Zibaldone, from 1817 to 1832. The idea of keeping that, which contains no fewer than 4,526 pages, was possibly suggested by a priest who fled from the French Revolution and came to live in the poet's hometown. The priest suggested that "every literary man should have a written chaos such as this: notebook containing sottiseries, adrersa, excerpta, pugillares, commentaria... the store-house out of which fine literature of every kind may come, as the sun, moon, and stars issued out of chaos."[1]

      Iris Origo, Leopardi: A Study in Solitude. Helen Marx Books. 1999. pp. 142-3.

    1. Observing the wider world, Beatrice wrote of "Russian communism and Italian Fascism" as "two sides of the worship of force and the practice of cruel intolerance" and she was disturbed that "this spirit is creeping into the USA and even ... into Great Britain."[16]

      via Muggeridge and Adam, Beatrice Webb: A Life, 1967, p.225.

    1. It is terrible to seehow a single unclear idea, a single formula without meaning, lurking in a young man's head, willsometimes act like an obstruction of inert matter in an artery, hindering the nutrition of the brain,and condemning its victim to pine away in the fullness of his intellectual vigor and in the midst ofintellectual plenty.

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    1. “To be scientifically literate is to empower yourself to know when someone else is full of shit.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
    2. “Conspiracy theory, like causality, works fantastically well as an explanatory model but only if you use it backwards. The fact that we cannot predict much about tomorrow strongly indicates that most of the explanations we develop about how something happened yesterday have (like history in general) a high bullshit content.” ― Peter J. Carroll, Psybermagick: Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick
    1. Silos, by their very nature of being centralized services under the control of the privileged, cannot be good if you look at the power structures imposed by them. Instead, we should use our privilege to lift others up, something that commercial silos, by design, are incapable of doing.
  4. 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.

    1. Even the sloppiest manuscript would bring twenty new cards for my hoard.

      This quote is similar to the broad idea (source(s)?) that one can learn something even from the worst books or the man who's a fool.

      I've excerpted the portion of the quote that appears before this in the past. See: https://hyp.is/jqug2tNlEeyg2JfEczmepw/3stages.org/c/gq_title.cgi?list=1045&ti=Foucault%27s%20Pendulum%20(Eco)

  5. Jun 2022
    1. Those who read with pen in hand form a species nearly extinct. Those who read the marginal notes of readers past form a group even smaller. Yet when we write in antiphonal chorus to what we’re reading, we engage in that conversation time and distance otherwise make impossible.
    1. Luhmann’s zettelkasten use case .t3_vlape5._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; } I was just thinking… I wonder what Luhmann’s use case for his zettelkasten was. By this I mean, was his original use for it for knowledge development, then his papers/books came as a successful bi-product? Or was his original intention to use it to actually write books/papers in the first place… Does anyone have any insight on this?

      When asked by Bielefeld University to report on his research projects, Luhmann famously replied:

      “Theory of society; duration: 30 years; costs: none”.

      In this there is a tremendously large nod to his zettelkasten to permit this work to be done.

      Though technically at the current price of $11.78 for 1,000 index cards on Amazon right now and a total of 92,000 cards, Luhmann should have better budgeted 1083.76 for the paper not to mention the cost of pens and pencils.

      Luhmann, N. (1997). Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft (2 vols). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp. Published in translation as Theory of society (2 vols.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 2012–2013.

    1. Luhmann remarked that, when the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University, newly established in 1969, asked its professors to report on the research projects they were working on, his reply was “Theory of society; duration: 30 years; costs: none” (Luhmann, 1997, p. 11).

      “Theory of society; duration: 30 years; costs: none”

      Quote from

      Luhmann, N. (1997). Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft (2 vols). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp. Published in translation as Theory of society (2 vols.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 2012–2013.

    1. I used to tell students (including PhD students) that 90% of what they will write will not be any good. But the only way they will get to the 10% that is good is by writing the 90% that isn't. So, they'd better start writing now! ;-)
    1. “Collect books, even if you don't plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.” ― John Waters
    2. “Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it's the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it.” ― John Waters, Role Models
    3. “If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't fuck 'em!” ― John Waters
    1. All this hoopla seems out of character for the sedate man who likes to say of his work: ''Whatever I did, there was always someone around who was better qualified. They just didn't bother to do it.''
    1. Just be sure to take notes along the way.

      Not a half bad sentence to end the whole enterprise with.

    2. Ryder Carroll says in The BulletJournal Method, “Your singular perspective may patch some smallhole in the vast tattered fabric of humanity.”
    3. Knowledge is the only resource that getsbetter and more valuable the more it multiplies.

      He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.<br /> —Thomas Jefferson

    4. We’ve been conditioned to view information through aconsumerist lens: that more is better, without limit.
    5. The myth of the writer sitting down before a completely blankpage, or the artist at a completely blank canvas, is just that—a myth.
    6. “The greater your ignorance the more verifiably accurate must beyour facts,” she once remarked.

      unsourced

    7. Verum ipsum factum (“We only know what we make”)—Giambattista Vico, Italian philosopher
    8. “As I was reading the book and makingthese notes and then putting them on the margins obviously themore pens I was using and the more rulers, and the more squigglylines, sort of implied the excitement of the book was higher andhigher, so that the sheer amount of ink on the page would tell melater on this is one of the most important scenes.”

      The density of annotations on a text can tell one about where the value and excitement of a work may be hiding.

    9. We know from neuroscientific research that “emotions organize—rather than disrupt—rational thinking.”8

      Dacher Keltner and Paul Ekman, “The Science of ‘Inside Out,’” New York Times, July 3, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/the-science-of-inside-out.html.

    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. Jesse Stommel and I wrote once that, In the room with our students, we can know if they’re engaged and participating, even as each of them participates in his or her own unique fashion. In an online discussion forum, it’s difficult to observe such nuance, and impossible to quantitatively evaluate it.

      The answer shouldn't necessarily be to figure out how to quantify the online unseen portions of the learning process.

      Similarly how might one assess the end results of things which are non-literate?

    3. “None of the women and men emerging from our schools in the next decade should expect to lead to purely mechanical, conforming, robotic lives. They must not be resigned to thoughtlessness, passivity, or lassitude if they are to find pathways through the nettles, the swamps, the jungles of our time.” ~ Maxine Greene, Releasing the Imagination

      I appreciate the poetry in this on top of the broader sentiment.

    4. But systems of schooling and educational institutions–and much of online learning– are organized in ways that deny their voices matter. My role is to resist those systems and structures to reclaim the spaces of teaching and learning as voice affirming. Voice amplifying.

      Modeling annotation and note taking can allow students to see that their voices matter in conversation with the "greats" of knowledge. We can and should question authority. Even if one's internal voice questions as one reads, that might be enough, but modeling active reading and note taking can better underline and empower these modes of thought.

      There are certainly currents within American culture that we can and should question authority.

      Sadly some parts of conservative American culture are reverting back to paternalized power structures of "do as I say and not as I do" which leads to hypocrisy and erosion of society.

      Education can be used as a means of overcoming this, though it requires preventing the conservative right from eroding this away from the inside by removing books and certain thought from the education process that prevents this. Extreme examples of this are Warren Jeff's control of religion, education, and social life within his Mormon sect.

      Link to: - Lawrence Principe examples of the power establishment in Western classical education being questioned. Aristotle wasn't always right. The entire history of Western science is about questioning the status quo. (How can we center this practice not only in science, but within the humanities?)


      My evolving definition of active reading now explicitly includes the ideas of annotating the text, having a direct written conversation with it, questioning it, and expanding upon it. I'm not sure I may have included some or all of these in it before. This is what "reading with a pen in hand" (or digital annotation tool) should entail. What other pieces am I missing here which might also be included?

    5. If the rule of professional academics is “publish or perish,” the rule of online teachers might be “adapt or die.”
    1. And the added bonus here is that Devonthink has a wonderful feature where you can take the entire contents of a folder and condense it down into a single text document. So that's how I launch myself into the actual writing of the book. I grab the first chapter folder and export it as a single text document, open it up in my word processor, and start writing. Instead of confronting a terrifying blank page, I'm looking at a document filled with quotes: from letters, from primary sources, from scholarly papers, sometimes even my own notes.

      The perfect antidote to Hemingway's White Bull.

    1. I will just observe that there is some­thing about this tech­nol­ogy that has seemed, over the years, to scold rather than invite; enclose rather than expand; and strip away rather than layer upon.
    1. “It’s direct, indisputable, empirical evidence that this kind of common claim that ‘the only thing that stops a bad guy with the gun is a good guy with the gun’ is wrong,” said Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, who has studied mass shootings for more than a decade. “It’s demonstrably false, because often they are stopping themselves.”
    1. He showed his famous sense of humor in a 2006 commentary for NPR's "This I Believe" series, writing: "I admire enormously the candidate able to face defeat with humor and grace. Nobody ever conceded defeat better than Dick Tuck who, upon losing a California state senate primary, said simply, 'The people have spoken ... the bastards.' "
    1. Some of his happiest moments, he said, were when he worked on political campaigns: “You think you are going to make a difference that’s going to be better for the country, and especially for widows and orphans and people who don’t even know your name and never will know your name. Boy, that’s probably as good as it gets.”
    2. “In my Irish American Massachusetts family, you were born a Democrat and baptized a Catholic,” Mr. Shields wrote in 2009. “If your luck held out, you were also brought up to be a Boston Red Sox fan.”
    3. Politics, he maintained, was “a contact sport, a question of accepting an elbow or two,” and losing was “the original American sin.”
    4. Asked in a 2013 C-SPAN interview which presidents he admired, he cited Gerald R. Ford, a Republican who took office in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Ford, he said, was “the most emotionally healthy.”“Not that the others were basket cases,” he said, but “they get that bug, and as the late and very great Mo Udall, who sought that office, once put it, the only known cure for the presidential virus is embalming fluid.”
    1. Mixup Method of Synthetic Idea Generation: Write out 3 sentences from past notes. Write a new sentence made of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd part of each respective sentence. Repeat total of 3 times. Now look at the 3 synthesized lines & ask if wrong or right and why. Clarifies a lot.

      —Marshall Kirkpatrick

      Mixup Method of Synthetic Idea Generation: Write out 3 sentences from past notes. Write a new sentence made of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd part of each respective sentence. Repeat total of 3 times. Now look at the 3 synthesized lines & ask if wrong or right and why. Clarifies a lot.

      — Marshall Kirkpatrick (@marshallk) June 14, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. This touched a nerve this week: “thinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production-oriented culture, and doing nothing is hard to do” (Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust)
    1. Think about the last time you were the only person in aroom who remembered a salient fact. What did that do for your credibility at thatprecise moment? Memory has that power.
    2. d. She puts the ideas together and tries to broker a deal for theconglomerate to acquire a radio network. At the end, she’s challenged to describehow she came up with the plan for the acquisition. It’s a telling scene. She has justbeen fired. On her way out of the building, with all her files and personal itemspacked in a box (a box just like mine!), she gets a chance to explain her thoughtprocess to the mogul:See? This is Forbes. It’s just your basic article about how you were lookingto expand into broadcasting. Right? Okay now. The same day—I’ll never forgetthis—I’m reading Page Six of the New York Post and there’s this item on BobbyStein, the radio talk show guy who does all those gross jokes about Ethiopiaand the Betty Ford Center. Well, anyway, he’s hosting this charity auction thatnight. Real bluebloods and won’t that be funny? Now I turn the page to Suzywho does the society stuff and there’s this picture of your daughter—see, nicepicture—and she’s helping to organize the charity ball. So I started to think:Trask, Radio, Trask, Radio.... So now here we are.He’s impressed and hires her on the spot. Forget the fairy-tale plot; as ademonstration of how to link A to B and come up with C, Working Girl is a primerin the art of scratching.

      The plot twist at the end of Working Girl (Twentieth Century Fox, 1988) turns on Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) explaining her stroke of combinatorial creativity in coming up with a business pitch. Because she had juxtaposed several disparate ideas from the New York Post several pages from each other in a creative way, she got the job and Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) is left embarrassed because she can't explain how she came up with a complicated combination of ideas.

      Tess McGill (portrayed by a big 80's haired Melanie Griffith) packing a brown banker's box with her office items and papers leaving her office and her job. Is this Tess McGill's zettelkasten in the movie Working Girl?

      Tess McGill has slips of newspaper with ideas on them and a physical box to put them in.

      slips with ideas+box=zettelkasten

      Bonus points because she links her ideas, right?!

    3. the true value of the box: It contains your inspirations without confiningyour creativity.
    4. No matter what system you use, I recommend having a goal and putting it inwriting. I read once that people who write down their New Year’s resolutions have agreater chance of achieving them than people who don’t. This is the sort of factoidthat is probably apocryphal but, like many urban legends, sounds as though it shouldbe true.

      This quote from Twyla Tharp seems like another instantiation of Napoleon Hill's mantra "Think and Grow Rich", but is more concrete and literate: "Write and Grow Rich" (or successful, at least.)

    5. “My family is Jewish, I grew up inan Italian neighborhood, and every girl who broke my heart was Irish.”
    6. you should never save for two meetingswhat you can accomplish in one.
    7. 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

    8. There are separate boxes for everything I’ve ever done. If you want a glimpseinto how I think and work, you could do worse than to start with my boxes.
    9. Everyone hashis or her own organizational system. Mine is a box, the kind you can buy at OfficeDepot for transferring files.I start every dance with a box. I write the project name on the box, and as thepiece progresses I fill it up with every item that went into the making of the dance.This means notebooks, news clippings, CDs, videotapes of me working alone in mystudio, videos of the dancers rehearsing, books and photographs and pieces of artthat may have inspired me.

      While she keeps more than just slips of paper (or index cards) in it, Twyla Tharp definitely falls into the pattern of creative collection related to the zettelkasten tradition.

    1. The four principles Niklas Luhmann used to build his notebox system are: Analog Numeric-alpha Tree Index The first letters of those four principles (A, N, T, I) are what comprise an Antinet. An Antinet Zettelkasten is a network of these four principles.

      The four principles Niklas Luhmann used to build his notebox system are:

      1. Analog
      2. Numeric-alpha
      3. Tree
      4. Index

      The first letters of those four principles (A, N, T, I) are what comprise an Antinet. An Antinet Zettelkasten is a network of these four principles.

    1. "Here I am on the floor showing you freaking note cards, which really means that I have made it in life." —Scott P. Scheper

    1. I strongly recommend writingahead full tilt, not stopping to correct. Cross out no more thanthe few words that will permit you to go on when you foreseea blind alley. Leave some words in blank, some sentences notcomplete: Keep going!

      When you've got motivation, write away as fast as you can and don't stop.

    2. As SherlockHolmes says to Watson on a famous occasion: "If page 534 findsus only in Chapter Two, the length of the first one must have beenreally intolerable."

      Interesting to see Barzun quote Arthur Conan Doyle here. Not surprising given his penchant for mystery novels however.

    3. The old cookbook said: " Take enough butter." I say: "Do nottake too many notes." Both recommendations are hard to inter-pret except by trial and error.
    4. The first is: always take notes inyour own words-I mean, of course, facts an1 ideas garneredfrom elsewhere, not statements to be quoted verbatim. The titleof a book, an important phrase or remark, you will copy as theystand. But everything else you reword, for two reasons: in thateffort the fact or idea passes through your mind, instead of goingfrom the page to your eye and thence to your note while you remainin a trance. Again, by rewording you mix something of yourthought with the acquired datum, and the admixture is the be-ginning of your own thought-and-writing about the whole topic.Naturally you take care not to distort. But you will find that notestaken under this safeguard are much closer to you than meretranscripts from other books; they are warm and speak to youlike old friends, becau se by your act of thought they have be-come pieces of your mind.

      Barzun analogies notes as "old friends". He, like many others, encourages note takers to put ideas into their own words.

    1. William James’s self-assessment: “I am no lover of disorder, but fear to lose truth by the pretension to possess it entirely.”
    1. “No matter how it was collected, where it was collected, when it was collected, our language belongs to us. Our stories belong to us. Our songs belong to us,” Taken Alive, who teaches Lakota to elementary school students, told the tribal council in April. 
    1. On examination, you will find this very judiciary oppressively constructed; your jury trial destroyed, and the judges dependent on Congress.

      Gerrymandering has provided exactly the idea of "judges dependent on Congress" just as Patrick Henry suggested, though it has been done more circuitously than he imagined.

    2. A bare majority in these four small states may hinder the adoption of amendments; so that we may fairly and justly conclude that one twentieth part of the American people may prevent the removal of the most grievous inconveniences and oppression, by refusing to accede to amendments. A trifling minority may reject the most salutary amendments. Is this an easy mode of securing the public liberty It is, sir, a most fearful situation, when the most contemptible minority can prevent the alteration of the most oppressive government; for it may, in many respects, prove to be such. Is this the spirit of republicanism?

      Patrick Henry railed against the idea that small minorities could hold the country hostage and subject us to "the most oppressive government".

      Little did he anticipate that gerrymandering and chicanery of just such a nature would come to pass in American History.

    1. Gall's Law is a rule of thumb for systems design from Gall's book Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail. It states: .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

      This feels like an underlying and underpinning principle of how the IndieWeb which focuses on working real world examples which are able to build up more complex systems instead of theoretical architecture astronomy which goes no where.

      Reference: John Gall (1975) Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail p. 71

    1. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. EF Schumacher
    1. Wayne LaPierre, the current executive vice president, warned members in 1995 that anyone who wears a badge has “the government’s go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.”
    1. Governor Ronald Reagan, who was coincidentally present on the capitol lawn when the protesters arrived, later commented that he saw "no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons" and that guns were a "ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will." In a later press conference, Reagan added that the Mulford Act "would work no hardship on the honest citizen."
    1. Those who are born today are not individu-ally responsible for this burdensome heritage, but we are all respon-sible for the way in which we choose or fail to take it into account inanalyzing the world economic system, its injustices, and the needfor change.

      burdensome heritage [of slavery and colonialism]

  6. May 2022
    1. new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to seewhether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, andpeople will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”

      You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a

      Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts (Boston: Birkhäuser Boston, 1997), 202.

      Richard Feynman indicated in an interview that he kept a dozen of his favorite problems at the top of his mind. As he encountered new results and tricks, he tried applying them to those problems in hopes of either solving them or in coming up with new ideas. Over time by random but combinatorial chance, solutions or ideas would present themselves as ideas were juxtaposed.

      One would suspect that Feynman hadn't actually read Raymond Llull, but this technique sounds very similar to the Llullan combinatorial arts from centuries earlier, albeit in a much more simplified form.

      Can we find evidence of Feynman having read or interacted with Llull? Was it independently created or was he influenced?

      I had an example of this on 2022-05-28 in Dan Allosso's book club on Equality in the closing minutes where a bit of inspiration hit me to combine the ideas of memes, evolution, and Indigenous knowledge and storytelling to our current political situation. Several of them are problems and ideas I've been working with over years or months, and they came together all at once to present a surprising and useful new combination. #examples

      Link this also to the idea of diffuse thinking as a means of solving problems. One can combine the idea of diffuse thinking with combinatorial creativity to super-charge one's problem solving and idea generation capacity this way. What would one call this combination? It definitely needs a name. Llullan combinatorial diffusion, perhaps? To some extent Llull was doing this already as part of his practice, it's just that he didn't know or write explicitly about the diffuse thinking portion (to my knowledge), though this doesn't mean that he wasn't the beneficiary of it in actual practice, particularly when it's known that many of his time practiced lectio divina and meditated on their ideas. Alternately meditating on ideas and then "walking away" from them will by force cause diffuse thinking to be triggered.

      Are there people for whom diffuse thinking doesn't work from a physiological perspective? What type of neurodiversity does this cause?

    2. American journalist, author, and filmmaker Sebastian Junger oncewrote on the subject of “writer’s block”: “It’s not that I’m blocked. It’sthat I don’t have enough research to write with power and knowledgeabout that topic. It always means, not that I can’t find the right words,[but rather] that I don’t have the ammunition.”7

      7 Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (New York: HarperCollins, 2017), 421.

      relate this to Eminem's "stacking ammo".

    3. It is in the power of remembering that the self’s ultimate freedomconsists. I am free because I remember.—Abhinavagupta, tenth-century Kashmiri philosopher and mystic
    4. Writer and photographer Craig Mod wrote, “There is a gapingopportunity to consolidate our myriad marginalia* into an even morerobust commonplace book. One searchable, always accessible,easily shared and embedded amongst the digital text we consume.”6

      6 Craig Mod, “Post-Artifact Books and Publishing,” craigmod.com, June 2011, https://craigmod.com/journal/post_artifact/.

      It's not just me... I might hope that someone could leverage Hypothes.is' product to create a more explicit digital commonplace book out of their product.

    5. Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done

      David Allen has apparently not acquainted himself with any of the arts of memory.

    1. Why is the title of the book “The medium is the massage” and not “The medium is the message”? Actually, the title was a mistake. When the book came back from the typesetter’s, it had on the cover “Massage” as it still does. The title was supposed to have read “The Medium is the Message” but the typesetter had made an error. When Marshall saw the typo he exclaimed, “Leave it alone! It’s great, and right on target!” Now there are four possible readings for the last word of the title, all of them accurate: “Message” and “Mess Age,” “Massage” and “Mass Age.”

      Quote from the Commonly Asked Questions (and Answers) on https://marshallmcluhan.com/common-questions/ with answers written by Dr. Eric McLuhan, Marshall McLuhan's eldest son.

    1. Thus, the sensitive seismographer of avant-garde develop-ments, Walter Benjamin, logically conceived of this scenario in 1928, of communicationwith card indices rather than books: “And even today, as the current scientific methodteaches us, the book is an archaic intermediate between two different card indexsystems. For everything substantial is found in the slip box of the researcher who wroteit and the scholar who studies in it, assimilated into its own card index.” 47
      1. Walter Benjamin, Einbahnstra ß e, in Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 4 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1928/1981), 98 – 140, at 103.

      Does Walter Benjamin prefigure the idea of card indexes conversing with themselves in a communicative method similar to that of Vannevar Bush's Memex?

      This definitely sounds like the sort of digital garden inter-communication afforded by the Anagora as suggested by @Flancian.

    2. 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.

    3. “ Communication is . . . autopoietic insofar as it can only beproduced in a recursive relationship to other communications, that is to say, only in anetwork, to the reproduction of which each individual communication contributes.”42
      1. Luhmann, Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft , 82f.
    4. Communication “is the smallest possible unit of a social system,namely that unit to which communication can still react through communication.”40
      1. Luhmann, Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft , 82.
    5. “This technique alsoexplains why I don’t think at all linearly and have trouble finding the right sequence ofchapters when writing a book, because indeed every chapter must reappear in everyother.”22
      1. Luhmann, Archimedes und wir , 145.

      Luhmann indicated that his note taking system made it difficult for him to be a linear thinker. Instead he felt that each chapter he wrote "must reappear in every other."

      This seems quite similar to Carl Linnaeus' work which he regularly recycled into future works.

    6. He excerpted continually, and everything that he read went from one book next to his head and into another.— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Sudelbü cher , Book G 181, 1779
    7. Hegel ’s absolute spirit is a hidden slip box.— Friedrich Kittler
    8. Card indexes can do anything!—Das System, Zeitschrift für Organisation , Book 1, January 1928

      Dig up this reference. English version?

    1. “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. When we enquire into any subject, the first thing we have to do is to know what books have treated of it. This leads us to look at catalogues, and at the backs of books in libraries.” ― Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel Johnson Including a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Vol 2
    1. “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” ― Samuel Johnson, Works of Samuel Johnson

      An active reader finishes an author's book by writing in its margins.

    1. https://www.hjkeen.net/halqn/index.htm

      A great example of an online commonplace book prominently featuring quotes with an index featuring authors, titles, categories, and even translators. Even more interesting, it looks like it's hand built using a large table.

    1. “By the way,” she wrote, “in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.” She went on, “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

      —Abigail Adams, March 1776, in a letter to her husband John Adams serving in the Continental Congress

      especially:

      all men would be tyrants if they could.

    1. Indeed, as David Haskell, a biologist and writer, notes, a tree is “a community of cells” from many species: “fungus, bacteria, protist, alga, nematode and plant.” And often “the smallest viable genetic unit [is] … the networked community.”

      Explore this idea....

      What does it look like quantitatively?

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

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

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

      I want to know the source of the quote.

    1. Studying, done properly, is research,because it is about gaining insight that cannot be anticipated and willbe shared within the scientific community under public scrutiny.

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    1. No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them. -- Umberto Eco. Foucault's Pendulum p. 190.

      This is a stunning quote with respect to the idea of note taking and creating connections between pieces of information or knowledge.

      It's highlighted to an even greater degree that this quote appears in someone's online digital commonplace book!

    1. The most important thing about writing is discovering novel and non-trivial truths, and determining which of your truths is most important—then imposing order, hierarchy, and linearity—through judgment, decisiveness, and will.

      I can be on board with this. Lovely quote.

    1. For example, Campbell talks about personal cyberinfrastructures when he suggests providing students with hosting space and their own domain as soon as they start their studies: Suppose that when students matriculate, they are assigned their own web servers […] As part of the first-year orientation, each student would pick a domain name […] students would build out their digital presences in an environment made of the medium of the web itself. […] In short, students would build a personal cyberinfrastructure— one they would continue to modify and extend throughout their college career—and beyond. (Campbell, 2013, p. 101–102)

      Giving a student their own cyberinfrastructures, a set of digital tools, is not too dissimilar from encouraging them to bring tools like notebooks, paper, index cards, pens, and paper in the early 20th century or slate and chalk generations earlier.

      Having the best tools for the job and showing them how to use them is paramount in education. Too often we take our tools for thought for granted in the education space. Students aren't actively taught to use their pens and paper, their voices, their memories, or their digital technologies in the ways that they had been in the past. In the past decade we've focused more on digital technologies, in part, because the teachers were learning to use them in tandem with their students, but this isn't the case with note taking methods like commonplacing, card indexes (or zettelkasten). Some of these methods have been taken for granted to such an extent that some of them are no longer commonplace within education.


      I'll quickly note that they don't seem to have a reference to Campbell in their list. (oops!) Presumably they're referencing Gardner Campbell, though his concept here seems to date to 2009 and was mentioned heavily in the ds106 community.

    1. To be on time you must be early; it’s nearly impossible to be precisely on time – time is moving too fast. For instance, if a meeting starts at 1:00 you can’t walk in 1:00 – that occurs in a milli-second and then becomes the past. You must arrive before 1:00.

      This is a fine perspective as long as you're not penalizing people who arrive at 12:59:59 — "If you are on time, you are late" is a stupid mantra that, while my sample size is low, I've only heard from people who were themselves egregious time wasters and made the remarks as a way of honoring Ra.

      (I'd argue further that anyone who arrives at any time between [13:00:00, 13:01:00) are doing okay, so long as they're wiling to accept that no one is obligated to wait for them. I.e. what "the meeting is at 1:00 PM" means is that everyone has permission to start the meeting at 13:00:00, whether you're there or not.)

    1. +#@##9'&2$H1*$1&$1)+Y$1$9#).-)C1&0#Y$+"1+$+--@$9810#$-&Y$1)-=&4Y$1&4$10)-**$919#)V

      ... notekeeping was an art, a performance, that took place on, around, and across paper. —Matthew Daniel Eddy


      I'm also reminded of this in the framing of lack of performance as students I didn't know regularly asked me in college why I didn't take notes.

      Only years on now do I realize it was because they and I had been taking the wrong types of notes.


      Odd that this .pdf is garbling the highlighted text...

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  7. Apr 2022
    1. Twitter is for shitposting, blogs are for thinking.

      -Chuck Grimmett

    2. Why public? There is something about making your posts available to the rest of the world that holds your feet to the fire and makes you commit. I’ve tried dozens of times to keep a private ongoing digital notebook in Evernote, Devonthink, Roam, and Obsidian, but they never stick. But making my notes available to the world in my digital garden keeps me coming back and updating it daily.

      -Chuck Grimmett

    1. INTERVIEWER: Could you say something of your work habits?Do you write to a preplanned chart? Do you jump from onesection to another, or do you move from the beginning throughto the end?NABOKOV: The pattern of the thing precedes the thing. I fill inthe gaps of the crossword at any spot I happen to choose. Thesebits I write on index cards until the novel is done. My schedule

      is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.

      Nabokov on his system of writing.

    2. An old Rolls Royce is not always preferable toa plain jeep.
    3. A first-rate college library with a comfortable cam-pus around it is a fine milieu for a writer.