45 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2023
    1. Re"...what is it like? How does it manifest?"For me, the idea that my zettelkasten becomes an entity outside myself is most often (and most obviously) felt in two situations (tho there are probably others):When I'm importing new ideas and a connection arises that I hadn't thought of previouslyWhen following trains of thought and connections arise that I didn't overtly intend to makeIn the first instance, I come across ideas I had forgotten about, and although it's not the direction I assumed the new idea would go, it becomes an exciting and possibly more lucrative way to take it.In the second instance, where I might be tracing a thought line to develop an article, I might, for example, zoom in on the graph view in Obsidian and see an idea that, while not formally connected to the ones I'm following, happens to be in close proximity spatially, and so it triggers a new direction I might want to take the article. (You can see this happen IRL in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OUn2-h6oVc&)In both cases, my zk feels like it's offering me more than what I would have gotten had I not been communicating with it. There is a sense that I and it are working together. I import new ideas with a rough sense of how they should connect. It shows alternatives to my thinking on the matter.Obviously, in both cases, all the ideas are my own. So, the zk is not necessarily developing ideas for me. But, because of the way in which the ideas are handled—non-hierarchically, rhizomatic, cross-categorical, cross-theme, etc.—non-habituated connections come to light, connections that are less conditioned by my own conventional ways of thinking.

      A good description from Bob Doto.

    1. How do you maintain the interdisciplinarity of your zettlekasten? .t3_10f9tnk._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      As humans we're good at separating things based on categories. The Dewey Decimal System systematically separates mathematics and history into disparate locations, but your zettelkasten shouldn't force this by overthinking categories. Perhaps the overlap of math and history is exactly the interdisciplinary topic you're working toward? If this is the case, just put cards into the slip box closest to their nearest related intellectual neighbor—and by this I mean nearest related to you, not to Melvil Dewey or anyone else. Over time, through growth and branching, ideas will fill in the interstitial spaces and neighboring ideas will slowly percolate and intermix. Your interests will slowly emerge into various bunches of cards in your box. Things you may have thought were important can separate away and end up on sparse branches while other areas flourish.

      If you make the (false) choice to separate math and history into different "sections" it will be much harder for them to grow and intertwine in an organic and truly disciplinary way. Universities have done this sort of separation for hundreds of years and as a result, their engineering faculty can be buildings or even entire campuses away from their medical faculty who now want to work together in new interdisciplinary ways. This creates a physical barrier to more efficient and productive innovation and creativity. It's your zettelkasten, so put those ideas right next to each other from the start so they can do the work of serendipity and surprise for you. Do not artificially separate your favorite ideas. Let them mix and mingle and see what comes out of them.

      If you feel the need to categorize and separate them in such a surgical fashion, then let your index be the place where this happens. This is what indices are for! Put the locations into the index to create the semantic separation. Math related material gets indexed under "M" and history under "H". Now those ideas can be mixed up in your box, but they're still findable. DO NOT USE OR CONSIDER YOUR NUMBERS AS TOPICAL HEADINGS!!! Don't make the fatal mistake of thinking this. The numbers are just that, numbers. They are there solely for you to be able to easily find the geographic location of individual cards quickly or perhaps recreate an order if you remove and mix a bunch for fun or (heaven forfend) accidentally tip your box out onto the floor. Each part has of the system has its job: the numbers allow you to find things where you expect them to be and the index does the work of tracking and separating topics if you need that.

      The broader zettelkasten, tools for thought, and creativity community does a terrible job of explaining the "why" portion of what is going on here with respect to Luhmann's set up. Your zettelkasten is a crucible of ideas placed in juxtaposition with each other. Traversing through them and allowing them to collide in interesting and random ways is part of what will create a pre-programmed serendipity, surprise, and combinatorial creativity for your ideas. They help you to become more fruitful, inventive, and creative.

      Broadly the same thing is happening with respect to the structure of commonplace books. There one needs to do more work of randomly reading through and revisiting portions to cause the work or serendipity and admixture, but the end results are roughly the same. With the zettelkasten, it's a bit easier for your favorite ideas to accumulate into one place (or neighborhood) for easier growth because you can move them around and juxtapose them as you add them rather than traversing from page 57 in one notebook to page 532 in another.

      If you use your numbers as topical or category headings you'll artificially create dreadful neighborhoods for your ideas to live in. You want a diversity of ideas mixing together to create new ideas. To get a sense of this visually, play the game Parable of the Polygons in which one categorizes and separates (or doesn't) triangles and squares. The game created by Vi Hart and Nicky Case based on the research of Thomas Schelling provides a solid example of the sort of statistical mechanics going on with ideas in your zettelkasten when they're categorized rigidly. If you rigidly categorize ideas and separate them, you'll drastically minimize the chance of creating the sort of useful serendipity of intermixed and innovative ideas.

      It's much harder to know what happens when you mix anthropology with complexity theory if they're in separate parts of your mental library, but if those are the things that get you going, then definitely put them right next to each other in your slip box. See what happens. If they're interesting and useful, they've got explicit numerical locators and are cross referenced in your index, so they're unlikely to get lost. Be experimental occasionally. Don't put that card on Henry David Thoreau in the section on writers, nature, or Concord, Massachusetts if those aren't interesting to you. Besides everyone has already done that. Instead put him next to your work on innovation and pencils because it's much easier to become a writer, philosopher, and intellectual when your family's successful pencil manufacturing business can pay for you to attend Harvard and your house is always full of writing instruments from a young age. Now you've got something interesting and creative. (And if you must, you can always link the card numerically to the other transcendentalists across the way.)

      In case they didn't hear it in the back, I'll shout it again: ACTIVELY WORK AGAINST YOUR NATURAL URGE TO USE YOUR ZETTELKASTEN NUMBERS AS TOPICAL HEADINGS!!!

  2. Dec 2022
    1. I barely, if ever, looked at or refered back to the bulk of notes I had created.

      If you don't refer back to your notes for any reason, why bother taking them? Were they so boring? Was there nothing of surprise in them for having taken them in the first place?

      Often note taking (writing) for understanding can be initially useful, but reviewing over these can be less useful in a larger corpus of notes. File the boring and un-useful things away. Center the important and the surprising.

    1. “I have a trick that I used in my studio, because I have these twenty-eight-hundred-odd pieces of unreleased music, and I have them all stored in iTunes,” Eno said during his talk at Red Bull. “When I’m cleaning up the studio, which I do quite often—and it’s quite a big studio—I just have it playing on random shuffle. And so, suddenly, I hear something and often I can’t even remember doing it. Or I have a very vague memory of it, because a lot of these pieces, they’re just something I started at half past eight one evening and then finished at quarter past ten, gave some kind of funny name to that doesn’t describe anything, and then completely forgot about, and then, years later, on the random shuffle, this thing comes up, and I think, Wow, I didn’t hear it when I was doing it. And I think that often happens—we don’t actually hear what we’re doing. . . . I often find pieces and I think, This is genius. Which me did that? Who was the me that did that?”

      Example of Brian Eno using ITunes as a digital music zettelkasten. He's got 2,800 pieces of unreleased music which he plays on random shuffle for serendipity, memory, and potential creativity. The experience seems to be a musical one which parallels Luhmann's ideas of serendipity and discovery with the ghost in the machine or the conversation partner he describes in his zettelkasten practice.

  3. Nov 2022
    1. Journalists often emphasize that something is novel when they cover it because novelty supports something being newsworthy, and is appealing to audiences

      Journalists emphasize novelty because it underlines newsworthiness.

      Alternately, researchers underline novelty, particularly in papers, because it underlines technology that might be sold/transferred and thus patented, a legal space that specifically looks at novelty as a criterion. By saying something is novel in the research paper, it's more likely that a patent examiner will be primed to believe it.

    1. How do you make sure you don’t lose track of cards? I don’t make sure I don’t lose track of cards. As I said above and as some of the people below talk about, one of the joys of the system is when you surprise yourself, when you rediscover, when you find the perfect card while you were looking for something else.

      Oppenheimer doesn't keep track of specific cards (he didn't discuss how he files them, other than loosely together, potentially for specific projects) and finds that this creates a greater amount of surprise for him when searching for ideas within his system.

      Missing here is any sort of topic or subject headings.... double check this as it's a key to most systems.

  4. Jul 2022
    1. As I was reviewing these I wrote thePoint Note pictured, continuing the train of thought thatadvocates of the zettelkasten system often claim it “shows”you what some people call “hot nodes”, which can tell you(sometimes surprising) things about the topic you arepursuing.

      "hot nodes"? I've not come across this as a thing... source?

    1. I'll push back on this a bit. I suspect that even though one might create multiple links to digital notes in all directions like this, it really doesn't happen happen at scale like this in practice.

      I'd be willing to guess that very few people in the digital space are linking their ideas to more than two or three others. In fact, I suspect that if you looked at many digital ZKs you'd find a lot of orphaned notes floating around.

      Separately, even in the analog space, the two links (down or forward) isn't always correct either. I cross link all over the place. The one constant benefit of the analog is that you're generally required to create at least one link because you have to place the card somewhere, and this isn't the case in most digital contexts/tools.

      I'd posit that it's a lot of work to link a new idea into your system once much less in multiple places. Generally the more ideas you can link/cross-link it to, the more likely you'll run across it in the future and have potential to reuse it. I'd also suggest that the more links it's got, the better you'll "own" it. These addition links will also allow you to better compare/contrast various ideas by juxtaposing them in the future.

      Theorem: more (good/great) links = more complexity which yields more "life", serendipity, and surprise to be found in your slip box for future use.

  5. Jun 2022
    1. First, while using the previous retrieval methods, it is a good ideato keep your focus a little broad. Don’t begin and end your searchwith only the specific folder that matches your criteria.

      The area of serendipity becomes much more powerful when one has ideas both directly interlinked, ideas categorized with subject headings or tags, or when one can have affordances like auto-complete.

      The method Forte suggests and outlines allows for some serendipity, but not as much as other methods with additional refinements. Serendipity in Forte's method isn't as strong as in others.

      In this section he's talking about some of the true "magic of note taking" which is discussed by Luhmann and others.

      link to:<br /> Luhmann's writings on serendipity and surprise when using his zettelkasten (Communication with the Slipbox...)<br /> Ahrens mentions of this effect

    2. When you use up too much energy taking notes, you havelittle left over for the subsequent steps that add far more value:making connections, imagining possibilities, formulating theories,and creating new ideas of your own

      The most valuable work one can do in note taking is creating active links from one piece of knowledge to another, particularly if they're both surprising.

      Anecdotally I do see a lot of people putting all of their work into collecting notes, and none of it rephrasing things into their own words to improve understanding or linking ideas together to create new ideas. The latter are both far superior to the former.

    3. Your Second Brain shouldn’t be just another way of confirmingwhat you already know.

      Your notes shouldn't be a place to collect what you already know.

    4. Marianne Freiberger, “Information is surprise,” Plus Magazine, March 24,2015, https://plus.maths.org/content/information-surprise

      What a god-awful reference for Claude Shannon. Obviously he found it in his reading through serendipity and didn't bother chasing down the original quote for publication...

    5. Here are four criteria I suggest to help you decide exactly whichnuggets of knowledge are worth keeping

      Four broad criteria for collecting notes: - Is it surprising? - Is it useful? - Is it personal? - Does it inspire me?

      Forte places these in the exact reverse order, but I would prefer to place them in order of importance to me, based on experience. I don't use the inspiration portion as often, but it may be more valuable for fiction writers, artists, and other creatives.

  6. Mar 2022
    1. give the text your reading the opportunity to tell you something new and something 00:49:02 you have not expected so i'm worried a little bit of having fixed [Music] categories to look through 00:49:16 text because it might turn every text into something that is um already fitting your categories instead of expanding them 00:49:26 or adding to them

      Coming to a text with too rigid a set of questions or preconceived categories may cause you to be blinded by what you expect to get out of it rather than allowing the text to surprise you with new and interesting insights you may not have anticipated.

  7. Feb 2022
    1. And the best ideas are usually the ones we haven’t anticipatedanyway.

      If the best ideas are the ones we haven't anticipated, how are we defining "best"? Most surprising from an information theoretic perspective? One which creates new frontiers of change? One which subsumes or abstracts prior ideas within it? Others?

  8. Jan 2022
    1. This system of short annotations was conceived to de-contextualize information and free it from pre-structured meaning frames that would otherwise remove the possibility of further variety. Moreover, it could be expanded without limits in terms of both number and possible meaning combinations. Finally, it allowed a continuous (and recur-sive) improvement of open-ended combinatory performances, thereby shift-ing the burden of recollection from contents to indexing systems.74

      In a valuable article, Lorraine Daston, ‘Perché i fatti sono brevi?’, Quaderni storici 108 (2001), 745–70, esp. 756–59, noted that a clear analogy exists between these features and the art of excerpting.

      Can one trick oneself into forced context collapse with relation to the material one is reading in such a way so as to force surprise and the creation of new ideas by then re-contextualizing them into one's system of notes?

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  9. Dec 2021
    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 short, the core hypothesis that I would like to explore is that there is nothing particularly surprising in the contemporary use of a card index as a surprise generator. Indeed, the question should be instead: how it is possible to explain the evolutionary improbability of the social use of ‘machines’ as secondary memories for knowledge management and reproduc-tion?

      The key question Alberto Cevolini is exploring here.

    3. The main hypothesis is that in the use of a card index as a surprise generator, there is nothing particularly surpris-ing if one considers the evolution of knowledge management in early modern Europe.

      This is what I have been arguing all along as I've been doing my research as well.

    1. “In 2022, the fall out of the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to have an impact on manufacturing and the global supply chain. The long, erratic wait times will not go away anytime soon, especially as more variants emerge and potentially disrupt international travel and shipping routes. 
  10. Nov 2021
    1. Generate type with the index signature: interface RandomMappingWithIndexSignature { stringProp: string; numberProp: number; [propName: string]: string | number | undefined; }
  11. Jul 2021
    1. Irritation: basically, without surprise or disappointment there’s no information. Both partners have to be surprised in some way to say communication takes place.

      This is a basic tenet of information theory. Interesting to see it appear in a work on writing.

  12. Jun 2021
  13. Jan 2021
  14. Sep 2020
    1. What I believe should happen is the Svelte compiler should, when a promise is passed to onMount, realise that a promise has been passed, and await the result of the function to be used as the onDestroy function. i.e, it should behave the exact same way for an async function as it does for a non-async function (if this is possible)
    1. The main rationale for this PR is that, in my hones opinion, Svelte needs a way to support style overrides in an intuitive and close to plain HTML/CSS way. What I regard as intuitive is: Looking at how customizing of styles is being done when applying a typical CSS component framework, and making that possible with Svelte.
  15. Jul 2020
    1. It’s even worse that there’s no alternative method that does the unsurprising thing IMO.
    2. The "unsurprising" thing here would generally be to maintain the order, for instance, and subtract the first or last instance...
    3. Code doing surprising and slightly nonsensical things... I'm weary now. And that's with ruby being more consistent than most!
  16. Jun 2020
  17. May 2020
  18. Mar 2019
  19. Feb 2019
  20. Dec 2018
    1. working part-ner

      The farmer's wife is a "working partner" not his employee. That seems like an audacious statement for the time. Was it?

  21. Nov 2018
    1. We don't mind using the terms Doctor, Professor, Brother, Rev. -anything hut Mr., Mrs. or Miss.

      I found this surprising. I would think using titles like Doctor and Professor would have been considered just as objectionable as Mr., Mrs., and Miss.

  22. Sep 2018
  23. Nov 2017
    1. Nobody knew whether it would become a lasting national tradition

      another instance that surprises us since we thought Thanksgiving was a lasting national tradition since the first feast in 1692.

  24. Jan 2017
    1. The Foucault reading surprised me because I never thought of self writing as a rhetorical activity.

      It is always a pleasure to be surprised by something we are reading, and I am glad you are noting your reaction to a reading here.

  25. Nov 2016
    1. Il y a deux semaines, c’était l’anniversaire de mon meilleur ami. Elle étudie à Davidson. Deux semaines avant son anniversaire, elle m’a demandé de visiter pour son anniversaire, mais j’ai dit que je ne pouvais pas. Pendant les deux semaines, j’ai parlé avec mon autre ami à Davidson et je lui ai surprise. Elle était très heureuse et surprise! Mon ami et moi, nous avons planifié la surprise très bien. C’était un très bon weekend.

  26. Apr 2016
    1. 38% of Americans who describe themselves as “single and looking” have used an online-­dating site.

      This number seems staggeringly low compared to my experience with friends. Really? I may look this stat up or find out where it comes from.

    2. along with the sociologist Eric Klinenberg

      Aziz is doing research?! I'm visualizing him doing a focus group interviewImage Description

    3. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.

      This surprises me. Sounds like Aziz is skeptical of "natural" love. Will he be making an argument for algorithmic match-making?