451 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Mark: Cathy Marshall at Xerox PARC originally started speaking about information gardening. She developed an early tool that’s the inspiration for the Tinderbox map view, in which you would have boxes but no lines. It was a spatial hypertext system, a system for connecting things by placing them near each other rather than drawing a line between them. Very interesting abstract representational problem, but also it turned out to be tremendously useful.

      Cathy Marshall was an early digital gardener!

    1. Whenever I read about the various ideas, I feel like I do not necessarily belong. Thinking about my practice, I never quite feel that it is deliberate enough.

      https://readwriterespond.com/2022/11/commonplace-book-a-verb-or-a-noun/

      Sometimes the root question is "what to I want to do this for?" Having an underlying reason can be hugely motivating.

      Are you collecting examples of things for students? (seeing examples can be incredibly powerful, especially for defining spaces) for yourself? Are you using them for exploring a particular space? To clarify your thinking/thought process? To think more critically? To write an article, blog, or book? To make videos or other content?

      Your own website is a version of many of these things in itself. You read, you collect, you write, you interlink ideas and expand on them. You're doing it much more naturally than you think.


      I find that having an idea of the broader space, what various practices look like, and use cases for them provides me a lot more flexibility for what may work or not work for my particular use case. I can then pick and choose for what suits me best, knowing that I don't have to spend as much time and effort experimenting to invent a system from scratch but can evolve something pre-existing to suit my current needs best.

      It's like learning to cook. There are thousands of methods (not even counting cuisine specific portions) for cooking a variety of meals. Knowing what these are and their outcomes can be incredibly helpful for creatively coming up with new meals. By analogy students are often only learning to heat water to boil an egg, but with some additional techniques they can bake complicated French pâtissier. Often if you know a handful of cooking methods you can go much further and farther using combinations of techniques and ingredients.

      What I'm looking for in the reading, note taking, and creation space is a baseline version of Peter Hertzmann's 50 Ways to Cook a Carrot combined with Michael Ruhlman's Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. Generally cooking is seen as an overly complex and difficult topic, something that is emphasized on most aspirational cooking shows. But cooking schools break the material down into small pieces which makes the processes much easier and more broadly applicable. Once you've got these building blocks mastered, you can be much more creative with what you can create.

      How can we combine these small building blocks of reading and note taking practices for students in the 4th - 8th grades so that they can begin to leverage them in high school and certainly by college? Is there a way to frame them within teaching rhetoric and critical thinking to improve not only learning outcomes, but to improve lifelong learning and thinking?

    1. https://untools.co/

      Tools for better thinking Collection of thinking tools and frameworks to help you solve problems, make decisions and understand systems.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Howard Rheingold</span> in Howard Rheingold: "Y'all know about "Tools for …" - Mastodon (<time class='dt-published'>11/13/2022 17:33:07</time>)</cite></small>


      Looks similar to Project Zero https://pz.harvard.edu/thinking-routines

  2. Nov 2022
    1. It seemed to me that you could understand cultures by analyzing their interconnected components. Cultures have their own language, objects, and knowledge; their own stories, aesthetics, practices, people, and places that all make sense together in a coherent way. They have behaviors they condone and reward, and behaviors they deem unworthy. And each has its own moral sensibility.

      A Systems Thinking approach to understand culture.

    1. 5 Core Principles Of Design Thinking Process

      Design thinking is a process that starts with empathy, curiosity and imagination to create solutions. By following the core principles and steps of design thinking, you can learn how to think like a designer and develop creative solutions to the challenges you face in your life. In this blog we have shared 5 Core Principles Of Design Thinking Process. https://bit.ly/3E8zyx5

    1. subspace topology

      This definition can be used to demonstrate why the following function is continuous:

      \(f: [0,2\pi) \to S^1\) where \(f(\phi)= (\cos\phi, \sin\phi)\) and \(S^1\) is the unit circle in the cartesian coordinate plane \(\mathbb{R}^2\).

      Intuition

      The preimage of open (in codomain) is open (in domain). Roughly, anything "close" in the codomain must have come from something "close" in the domain. Otherwise, stuff got split apart (think gaps, holes, jumps) on the way from our domain to our codomain.

      Formalism

      For some \(f: X \to Y\), for any open set \(V \in \tau_Y\), there exists some open set \(U \in \tau_X\) so that it's image under \(f\) is \(V\). In math, \(\forall V \in \tau_Y, \exists U \in \tau_X \text{ s.t. } f(U) = V\)

      Demonstration

      So for \(f: [0,2\pi) \to S^1\), we can see that \([0,2\pi)\) is open under the subspace topology. Why? Let's start with a different example.

      Claim 1: \(U_S=[0,1) \cup (2,2\pi)\) is open in \(S = [0,2\pi)\)

      We need to show that \(U_S = S \cap U_X\) for some \(U_X \in \mathbb{R}\). So we can take whatever open set that overlaps with our subspace to generate \(U_S\text{.}\)

      proof 1

      Consider \(U_X = (-1,1) \cup (2, 2\pi)\) and its intersection with \(S = [0, 2\pi)\). The overlap of \(U_X\) with \(S\) is precisely \(U_S\). That is,

      $$ \begin{align} S \cap U_X &= [0, 2\pi) \cap U_X \ &= [0, 2\pi) \cap \bigl( (-1,1) \cup (2,2\pi) \bigr) \ &= \bigl( [0, 2\pi) \cap (-1,1) \bigr) \cup \bigl( [0,2\pi) \cap (2,2\pi)\bigr) \ &= [0, 1) \cup (2, 2\pi) \ &= U_S \end{align} $$

    1. Nobody ever says rubber ducky debugging involves writing memos to your preferred duck, after all.

      Seemingly both rubber duck debugging and casual conversations with acquaintances would seem to be soft forms of diffuse thinking which may help one come to a heuristic-based decision or realization.

      These may be useful, but should also be used in combination with more logical, system two forms of decision making. (At least not in the quick, notice the problem sort of issues in which one may be debugging.)

    1. social historian G. M. Trevelyan (1978) put theissue some time ago, ‘Education...has produced a vast population able to readbut unable to distinguish what is worth reading.’
    1. The random process has outcomes

      Notation of a random process that has outcomes

      The "universal set" aka "sample space" of all possible outcomes is sometimes denoted by \(U\), \(S\), or \(\Omega\): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_space

      Probability theory & measure theory

      From what I recall, the notation, \(\Omega\), was mainly used in higher-level grad courses on probability theory. ie, when trying to frame things in probability theory as a special case of measure theory things/ideas/processes. eg, a probability space, \((\cal{F}, \Omega, P)\) where \(\cal{F}\) is a \(\sigma\text{-field}\) aka \(\sigma\text{-algebra}\) and \(P\) is a probability density function on any element of \(\cal{F}\) and \(P(\Omega)=1.\)

      Somehow, the definition of a sigma-field captures the notion of what we want out of something that's measurable, but it's unclear to me why so let's see where writing through this takes me.

      Working through why a sigma-algebra yields a coherent notion of measureable

      A sigma-algebra \(\cal{F}\) on a set \(\Omega\) is defined somewhat close to the definition of a topology \(\tau\) on some space \(X\). They're both collections of sub-collections of the set/space of reference (ie, \(\tau \sub 2^X\) and \(\cal{F} \sub 2^\Omega\)). Also, they're both defined to contain their underlying set/space (ie, \(X \in \tau\) and \(\Omega \in \cal{F}\)).

      Additionally, they both contain the empty set but for (maybe) different reasons, definitionally. For a topology, it's simply defined to contain both the whole space and the empty set (ie, \(X \in \tau\) and \(\empty \in \tau\)). In a sigma-algebra's case, it's defined to be closed under complements, so since \(\Omega \in \cal{F}\) the complement must also be in \(\cal{F}\)... but the complement of the universal set \(\Omega\) is the empty set, so \(\empty \in \cal{F}\).

      I think this might be where the similarity ends, since a topology need not be closed under complements (but probably has a special property when it is, although I'm not sure what; oh wait, the complement of open is closed in topology, so it'd be clopen! Not sure what this would really entail though 🤷‍♀️). Moreover, a topology is closed under arbitrary unions (which includes uncountable), but a sigma-algebra is closed under countable unions. Hmm... Maybe this restriction to countable unions is what gives a coherent notion of being measurable? I suspect it also has to do with Banach-Tarski paradox. ie, cutting a sphere into 5 pieces and rearranging in a clever way so that you get 2 sphere's that each have the volume of the original sphere; I mean, WTF, if 1 sphere's volume equals the volume of 2 sphere's, then we're definitely not able to measure stuff any more.

      And now I'm starting to vaguely recall that this what sigma-fields essentially outlaw/ban from being possible. It's also related to something important in measure theory called a Lebeque measure, although I'm not really sure what that is (something about doing a Riemann integral but picking the partition on the y-axis/codomain instead of on the x-axis/domain, maybe?)

      And with that, I think I've got some intuition about how fundamental sigma-algebras are to letting us handle probability and uncertainty.

      Back to probability theory

      So then events like \(E_1\) and \(E_2\) that are elements of the set of sub-collections, \(\cal{F}\), of the possibility space \(\Omega\). Like, maybe \(\Omega\) is the set of all possible outcomes of rolling 2 dice, but \(E_1\) could be a simple event (ie, just one outcome like rolling a 2) while \(E_2\) could be a compound(?) event (ie, more than one, like rolling an even number). Notably, \(E_1\) & \(E_2\) are NOT elements of the sample space \(\Omega\); they're elements of the powerset of our possibility space (ie, the set of all possible subsets of \(\Omega\) denoted by \(2^\Omega\)). So maybe this explains why the "closed under complements" is needed; if you roll a 2, you should also be able to NOT roll a 2. And the property that a sigma-algebra must "contain the whole space" might be what's needed to give rise to a notion of a complete measure (conjecture about complete measures: everything in the measurable space can be assigned a value where that part of the measurable space does, in fact, represent some constitutive part of the whole).

      But what about these "random events"?

      Ah, so that's where random variables come into play (and probably why in probability theory they prefer to use \(\Omega\) for the sample space instead of \(X\) like a base space in topology). There's a function, that is, a mapping from outcomes of this "random event" (eg, a role of 2 dice) to a space in which we can associate (ie, assign) a sense of distance (ie, our sigma-algebra). What confuses me is that we see things like "\(P(X=x)\)" which we interpret as "probability that our random variable, \(X\), ends up being some particular outcome \(x\)." But it's also said that \(X\) is a real-valued function, ie, takes some arbitrary elements (eg, events like rolling an even number) and assigns them a real number (ie, some \(x \in \mathbb{R}\)).

      Aha! I think I recall the missing link: the notation "\(X=x\)" is really a shorthand for "\(X(\omega)=x\)" where \(\omega \in \cal{F}\). But something that still feels unreconciled is that our probability metric, \(P\), is just taking some real value to another real value... So which one is our sigma-algebra, the inputs of \(P\) or the inputs of \(X\)? 🤔 Hmm... Well, I guess it has the be the set of elements that \(X\) is mapping into \(\mathbb{R}\) since \(X\text{'s}\) input is a small omega \(\omega\) (which is probably an element of big omega \(\Omega\) based on the conventions of small notation being elements of big notation), so \(X\text{'s}\) domain much be the sigma-algrebra?

      Let's try to generate a plausible example of this in action... Maybe something with an inequality like "\(X\ge 1\)". Okay, yeah, how about \(X\) is a random variable for the random process of how long it takes a customer to get through a grocery line. So \(X\) is mapping the elements of our sigma-algebra (ie, what customers actually end up experiencing in the real world) into a subset of the reals, namely \([0,\infty)\) because their time in line could be 0 minutes or infinite minutes (geesh, 😬 what a life that would be, huh?). Okay, so then I can ask a question like "What's the probability that \(X\) takes on a value greater than or equal to 1 minute?" which I think translates to "\(P\left(X(\omega)\ge 1\right)\)" which is really attempting to model this whole "random event" of "What's gonna happen to a particular person on average?"

      So this makes me wonder... Is this fact that \(X\) can model this "random event" (at all) what people mean when they say something is a stochastic model? That there's a probability distribution it generates which affords us some way of dealing with navigating the uncertainty of the "random event"? If so, then sigma-algebras seem to serve as a kind of gateway and/or foundation into specific cognitive practices (ie, learning to think & reason probabilistically) that affords us a way out of being overwhelmed by our anxiety or fear and can help us reclaim some agency and autonomy in situations with uncertainty.

    1. I never immediately read an article then make a notecard.

      By waiting some amount of time (days/weeks/a few months) between originally reading something and processing one's notes on it allows them to slowly distill into one's consciousness. It also allows one to operate on their diffuse thinking which may also help to link ideas to others in their memory.

    2. This reminded me of Robert Greene’s definition of creativity, which is that creativity is a function of putting in lots of tedious work. “If you put a lot of hours into thinking and researching and reading,” Robert says, “hour after hour—a very tedious process—creativity will come to you.” 

      Robert Green's definition of creativity sounds like it's related to diffuse thinking processes. read: https://billyoppenheimer.com/august-14-2022/

      Often note taking, and reviewing over those notes is more explicit in form for creating new ideas.

      Come back to explore these.

  3. Oct 2022
    1. only by examining a constellation of metrics in tension can we understand and influence developer productivity

      I love this framing! In my experience companies don't generally acknowledge that metrics can be in tension, which usually means they're only tracking a subset of the metrics they ought to be if they want to have a more complete/realistic understanding of the state of things.

    1. The transition to Python was mostly motivated by a desire togive the students experience in a language that will be used for other courses in the following semesters.

      Perhaps that should be addressed, rather than treating it as bedrock upon which to build.

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    1. You are all computer scientists. You know what FINITE AUTOMATA can do. You know what TURING MACHINES can do. For example, Finite Automata can add but not multiply. Turing Machines can compute any computable function. Turing machines are incredibly more powerful than Finite Automata. Yet the only difference between a FA and a TM is that the TM, unlike the FA, has paper and pencil. Think about it. It tells you something about the power of writing. Without writing, you are reduced to a finite automaton. With writing you have the extraordinary power of a Turing machine.
    1. if you're thinking without 00:03:26 writing chances are you're fooling yourself we're only

      If you're thinking without writing, you only think you're thinking. —Leslie Lamport.“Thinking Above the Code.” Lecture presented at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, Microsoft Research, July 15, 2014. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/video/leslie-lamport-thinking-code/. Timestamp: 03:26

      Link to:<br /> https://hypothes.is/a/rvisgFDXEe2s-SuJJGw3cA<br /> https://hypothes.is/a/yEFMHoCkEeyl34fItJe__w

      Note that the spoken quote is different from the written quote.

    1. https://www.loom.com/share/a05f636661cb41628b9cb7061bd749ae

      Synopsis: Maggie Delano looks at some of the affordances supplied by Tana (compared to Roam Research) in terms of providing better block-based user interface for note type creation, search, and filtering.


      These sorts of tools and programmable note implementations remind me of Beatrice Webb's idea of scientific note taking or using her note cards like a database to sort and search for data to analyze it and create new results and insight.

      It would seem that many of these note taking tools like Roam and Tana are using blocks and sub blocks as a means of defining atomic notes or database-like data in a way in which sub-blocks are linked to or "filed underneath" their parent blocks. In reality it would seem that they're still using a broadly defined index card type system as used in the late 1800s/early 1900s to implement a set up that otherwise would be a traditional database in the Microsoft Excel or MySQL sort of fashion, the major difference being that the user interface is cognitively easier to understand for most people.

      These allow people to take a form of structured textual notes to which might be attached other smaller data or meta data chunks that can be easily searched, sorted, and filtered to allow for quicker or easier use.

      Ostensibly from a mathematical (or set theoretic and even topological) point of view there should be a variety of one-to-one and onto relationships (some might even extend these to "links") between these sorts of notes and database representations such that one should be able to implement their note taking system in Excel or MySQL and do all of these sorts of things.

      Cascading Idea Sheets or Cascading Idea Relationships

      One might analogize these sorts of note taking interfaces to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). While there is the perennial question about whether or not CSS is a programming language, if we presume that it is (and it is), then we can apply the same sorts of class, id, and inheritance structures to our notes and their meta data. Thus one could have an incredibly atomic word, phrase, or even number(s) which inherits a set of semantic relationships to those ideas which it sits below. These links and relationships then more clearly define and contextualize them with respect to other similar ideas that may be situated outside of or adjacent to them. Once one has done this then there is a variety of Boolean operations which might be applied to various similar sets and classes of ideas.

      If one wanted to go an additional level of abstraction further, then one could apply the ideas of category theory to one's notes to generate new ideas and structures. This may allow using abstractions in one field of academic research to others much further afield.

      The user interface then becomes the key differentiator when bringing these ideas to the masses. Developers and designers should be endeavoring to allow the power of complex searches, sorts, and filtering while minimizing the sorts of advanced search queries that an average person would be expected to execute for themselves while also allowing some reasonable flexibility in the sorts of ways that users might (most easily for them) add data and meta data to their ideas.


      Jupyter programmable notebooks are of this sort, but do they have the same sort of hierarchical "card" type (or atomic note type) implementation?

    1. Goutor defines self-help notes as notes which one would use to refresh their memory about what remains to be done or researched, problems that remain to be solved, or information which is needed to be researched or found. (p26) These are akin in some sense to what I call "open questions". He also indicates that these notes might be triggered by one's daily activities or occasional musings which relate to one's project but occur outside of its active pursuit. In this sense, they have a similar feel to the idea of Ahrens' fleeting notes, but in Goutor's practice they aren't defined as occurring while one is doing active reading or research.

      He suggests that one keeps these notes in a separate area so that they might be systematically and regularly visited for review, further research, or answering as the opportunities to do so present themselves. Once the questions have been answered and appropriate notes updated or added, these self-help notes can be discarded.

    1. Thinking is a simultaneous struggle for conceptualorder and empirical comprehensiveness. You must notclose it up too soon---or you will fail to see all that youshould; you cannot leave it open forever----or you yourselfwill burst. It is this dilemma that makes reflection, onthose rare occasions when it is more or less successful, themost passionate endeavor of which a man is capable
    2. Thinking is a simultaneous struggle for conceptualorder and empirical comprehensiveness.
    3. here are several ways I havefound useful to invite the sociological imagination:

      C. Wright Mills delineates a rough definition of "sociological imagination" which could be thought of as a framework within tools for thought: 1. Combinatorial creativity<br /> 2. Diffuse thinking, flâneur<br /> 3. Changing perspective (how would x see this?) Writing dialogues is a useful method to accomplish this. (He doesn't state it, but acting as a devil's advocate is a useful technique here as well.)<br /> 4. Collecting and lay out all the multiple viewpoints and arguments on a topic. (This might presume the method of devil's advocate I mentioned above 😀)<br /> 5. Play and exploration with words and terms<br /> 6. Watching levels of generality and breaking things down into smaller constituent parts or building blocks. (This also might benefit of abstracting ideas from one space to another.)<br /> 7. Categorization or casting ideas into types 8. Cross-tabulating and creation of charts, tables, and diagrams or other visualizations 9. Comparative cases and examples - finding examples of an idea in other contexts and time settings for comparison and contrast 10. Extreme types and opposites (or polar types) - coming up with the most extreme examples of comparative cases or opposites of one's idea. (cross reference: Compass Points https://hypothes.is/a/Di4hzvftEeyY9EOsxaOg7w and thinking routines). This includes creating dimensions of study on an object - what axes define it? What indices can one find data or statistics on? 11. Create historical depth - examples may be limited in number, so what might exist in the historical record to provide depth.

    4. (2) A second technique which should be part of theintellectual workman's way of life consists of a kind ofrelaxed browsing in libraries, letting the mind play overbooks and new periodicals and encyclopedias. Of course,I have in mind the several problems on which I am activelyworking, and try to be passively receptive to unforeseenand unplanned linkages.

      "Relaxed browsing and allowing the mind to wander" as a method of thinking and work is stated differently, but is highly related to the idea of diffuse thinking or working as a flâneur.

  4. Sep 2022
    1. Oftentimes they even refered to one another.

      An explicit reference in 1931 in a section on note taking to cross links between entries in accounting ledgers. This linking process is a a precursor to larger database processes seen in digital computing.

      Were there other earlier references that are this explicit within either note making or accounting contexts? Surely... (See also: Beatrice Webb's scientific note taking)


      Just the word "digital" computing defines that there must have been an "analog' computing which preceded it. However we think of digital computing in much broader terms than we may have of the analog process.

      Human thinking is heavily influenced by associative links, so it's only natural that we should want to link our notes together on paper as we've done for tens of thousands of years (at least.)

    1. In his view, to know nothing about an important subject is to invite problems. Both Munger and Buffett set aside plenty of time each day to just think. Anyone reading the news is provided with constant reminders of the consequences of not thinking. Thinking is a surprisingly underrated activity.

      Es verdad que tiene bastante mala prensa pensar. Por ejemplo: falta de acción, pasivo. poco práctico. aislado de los verdaderos problemas, etc..

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2HegcwDRnU

      Makes the argument that note taking is an information system, and if it is, then we can use the research from the corpus of information system (IS) theory to examine how to take better notes.

      He looks at the Wang and Wang 2006 research and applies their framework of "complete, meaningful, unambiguous, and correct" dimensions of data quality to example note areas of study notes, project management notes (or to do lists) and recipes.

      Looks at dimensions of data quality from Mahanti, 2019.


      What is the difference between notes and annotations?

    1. Before asking the question, how do I build AGI, you first must ask the question, what would I recognize as AGI?

      Wrong. Here, I'll show you:

      Forget about AGI for a moment. Instead, pretend we're talking about pecan pie. Most people probably can't answer the question, "What would I recognize as a pecan pie?" (or a sandwich). And yet thousands of people are able to make (and thousands more people are able to enjoy) pecan pie all the time—probably every day.

    1. The Field Notes journal serves as RAM, the index cards as HDD, metaphorically speaking...(brain is CPU).

      Den analogizes their note taking system to computing on 2010-11-11 8:43 PM.

    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?

    2. Critical reading methods, such asCERIC, make hidden expectations of doctoral programs explicit.

      Are some of the critical reading methods they're framing here similar to or some of the type found at Project Zero (https://pz.harvard.edu/thinking-routines)?

    1. In fact, every timeone combines and recordsfacts in accordance withestablished logical process-es, the creative aspect ofthinking is concerned onlywith the selection of thedata and the process to beemployed, and the manip-ulation thereafter is repeti-tive in nature and hence afit matter to be relegatedto the machines

      I am not sure if I agree with this statement, since for every discipline, the details of manipulating the data, refining, and creatively thinking may be vastly different. Can one really confidently declare that after the selection of data, the manner of thinking and manipulation of specific data can be generalized?

    1. I have found that the "size of a thought" is usually not much larger than 500 words. Nicholson Baker, who has written an essay on "The Size of Thoughts" thinks that "most are about three feet tall, with the level of complexity of a lawnmower engine, or a cigarette lighter, or those tubes of toothpaste that, by mingling several hidden pastes and gels, create a pleasantly striped product." Mine are a lot smaller. It takes between 50 and 500 words for me to express one thought or one idea (or perhaps better a fragment of a thought or an idea, because thoughts and ideas usually are compounds of such fragments). See also Steven Berlin Johnson on his experiences with an electronic outliner, called Devonthink: http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/movabletype/archives/000230.html.

      What is the size of a single thought?

      500 words is about the size of a typical blog post. It's also about the size of a minimum recommended post for SEO purposes.

      Nice to see his link to Steven Johnson here as I think this is where I've seen similar thoughts recently myself.

    1. https://lu.ma/az338ptc

      Joey Cofone: Are there laws to creativity?

      Joey Cofone, author of the upcoming book The Laws of Creativity, is selling the idea of "float" (in comparison to Mihaly Csikzentmihaly's "flow"), which is ostensibly similar to Barbara Oakley's diffuse thinking framework, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's flâneur framing, and a dose of the Zeigarnik effect.

      I'm concerned that this book will be broadly prescriptive without any founding on any of the extant research, literature, or science of the past. I'll think more highly of it if it were to quote/reference something like Merton and Barber's The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity: A Study in Sociological Semantics and the Sociology of Science.


      Following on the above:

      David Allen (of GTD fame) indicates that one should close all open loops to free up working memory, but leaving some open for active thought, follow up, and potential future insight creation can be a useful pattern too. (2022-09-09 9:05 AM)

  5. Aug 2022
    1. The discussion above implies that a new explanation or theory can only be justified if it is seen as different from, and possibly opposed to, established knowledge. Without such differentiation, there is no way of determining whether it illuminates things better than previous research. The detection of unexpected difference – of tensions in the empirics or how they are interpreted – indicates the need for new research.
    1. Second-order thinking is more deliberate. It is thinking in terms of interactions and time, understanding that despite our intentions our interventions often cause harm. Second order thinkers ask themselves the question “And then what?” This means thinking about the consequences of repeatedly eating a chocolate bar when you are hungry and using that to inform your decision. If you do this you’re more likely to eat something healthy.

      Second-order thinking

    1. A studentshould learn not to be alarmed by conflicting evidence, con-troversial views, and the mass of detailed information. H eshould rather seek to learn how to deal with them.
    1. 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.
    1. have really rapidly moving creatures and rapidly thinking creatures, which is a form of movement

      Ward in the context of Rare Earth hypothesis says this. An intriguing notion seeing thinking as a form of (deliberate) movement. How is this meant / to be understood? Chemically, in terms of what it requires in an animal (ie us)? The remark is made in the context of the need for oxygen for complex life to be possible. (based on David Catling Univ of Washington) after all. Or environmentally/contextually, as both deliberate physical movement and brain activity are response to outside impulses?

    1. Every book I read is also broken up and digested on these cards, which are all loosely by themed.

      Holiday analogizes his reading and note taking practice as a means of digesting books into his note card collection.

      Link to: - https://hypothes.is/a/OZ2r9rOfEeu9oFPzd3bMlw - Reader's Digest as a popular example

      How do the ideas of "digesting books" and "ruminant machines" relate to the psychology phenomenon of diffuse thinking over time?

    1. In Michael Ondaatje’s novel, The English Patient, the word “thinkering” was coined, linking the way we create and understand concepts in our mind with “tinkering”.

      https://happiful.com/what-is-thinkering/

      thinkering<br /> a portmanteau of thinking and tinkering<br /> It describes the sort of mindful thinking and exploration one does when interacting with objects using one's hands.

      quoted here as first appearing in Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient

      link to: Barbara Oakley and ideas of diffuse thinking

  6. Jul 2022
    1. Is anyone practicing sketchnotes like patterns in their notes?

      I've noticed that u/khimtan has a more visual stye of note taking with respect to their cards, but is anyone else doing this sort of visualization-based type of note taking in the vein of sketchnotes or r/sketchnoting? I've read books by Mike Rohde and Emily Mills and tinkered around in the space, but haven't actively added it to my practice tacitly. For those who do, do you have any suggestions/tips? I suspect that even simple drollery-esque images on cards would help with the memory/recall aspects. This may go even further for those with more visual-based modes of thinking and memory.

      For those interested in more, as well as some intro videos, here are some of my digital notes: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=sketchnotes

      https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/wc63sw/is_anyone_practicing_sketchnotes_like_patterns_in/

    1. You have three options:Continue fighting fires with hordes of firefighters (in this analogy, fact-checkers).Focus on the arsonists (the people spreading the misinformation) by alerting the town they're the ones starting the fire (banning or labeling them).Clear the kindling and dry brush (teach people to spot lies, think critically, and ask questions).Right now, we do a lot of #1. We do a little bit of #2. We do almost none of #3, which is probably the most important and the most difficult. I’d propose three strategies for addressing misinformation by teaching people to ask questions and spot lies. 
  7. bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link
    1. My interest goes yet further, to the metaphysical ground of cognition andmental processes and how they reflect on existence, meaning and value. There is anobvious and unavoidable strange loop (Hofstadter, 2013) here: the cognitive think-ing agent trying to make sense of these same sense-making processes that bring forthboth her as a subject and the objects of her observation while these are being broughtforth.

      !- key insight : making sense of making sense is a strange loop! * This sentence deeply resonates

    1. innovation communications tactics such as:• Building visibility with “tips from the lab” newsletters, blogs, guides, or tools. Skip the jargon. Put something tangible into the hands of staff.• Helping managers by creating team briefs, case studies and articles for team meetings.• Inviting executives for briefings to build your pool of champions.• Packaging presentations for staff meetings and manager conferences.• Creating basic education programs to help staff and teams solve problems on the job.

      A good list of tactics to communicate about innovation. For example,

      • publish blogs, guides, videos with concrete tips,
      • create a pool of champions
      • basic education programs that help solve problems on the job

      One could also think about a "virtual innovation" lab approach ...

    2. Labs can be a useful piece of the innovation puzzle if managers adopt a systems-thinking strategy, thinking more about their role within the wider government, department or company. They need to shape a culture within the whole organisation that is more open to new ideas, and this could be addressed by focusing more on communication.

      This seems to be the key element here: systems-thinking approach and thinking about our role within our departments.

    3. Government policy innovationPublic services innovation (including service design and digital)Science and technology — governments employ thousands of scientists, engineers and researchers. Labs can think of ways for them to become more effective.Management systems innovation — “innovate” how government innovates to build skills, capacity and culture.
      • Government policy innovation
      • Public services innovation (including service design and digital)
      • Science and technology — governments employ thousands of scientists, engineers and researchers. Labs can think of ways for them to become more effective.
      • Management systems innovation — “innovate” how government innovates to build skills, capacity and culture.

      The article speaks about that "Management systems innovation" -- the way howe we build skills, capacity and culture -- is a key element for successful attempts for governments to innovation.

      Concentrating on these aspects -- howe we work together, how we develop skills and capacity -- might be the key ingredients for a future for the OpenLab -- and the future of the innovation activities.

      Maybe we could start offering "services" from the "OpenLab" to managers and teams ...?

    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. Dogen is constantly and repeatedly trying to knock us off our intellectual center and interrupt our thinking.  He does not confirm any one solid view of so-called reality. He doesn’t want us to get stuck to one side or the other in the dynamic pivoting of life’s opposite. Do not cling to the absolute or the relative truth. They dynamically and mutually work with each other. Dogen would describe this interaction as “The Whole Works.”

      This is a nice way to describe this process...."repeatedly trying to knock us out of our intellectual center and interrupt our (one sided) thinking."

      We should observe this inherent property of our thinknig process, its one-sided nature.

    1. Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind and learned about what he calls Symphonic Thinking, or the ability to find connections between seemingly disparate entities, as a key thinking pattern for the future of work,

      Dan Pink's book A Whole New Mind lays out an idea he call's "Symphonic Thinking" which is a practice of finding connections between unrelated ideas. He suggests that this practice is an important key to the future of work.


      Link this to other incarnations of this pattern in history: - Raymond Llull - Llullan combinatorial arts - Niklas Luhmann - linked zettelkasten - Marshall Kirkpatrick - triangle thinking - Dan Pink - symphonic thinking - etc...


      Dan Pink A Whole New Mind #books/wanttoread

  8. Jun 2022
    1. The trending topics on Twitter can be used as a form of juxtaposition of random ideas which could be brought together to make new and interesting things.

      Here's but one example of someone practicing just this:

      Y’all, imagine Spielberg’s Sailor Moon pic.twitter.com/xZ1DEsbLTy

      — Matty Illustration (@MN_illustration) June 30, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      cc: https://twitter.com/marshallk

    1. Explore more Thinking Routines at pz.harvard.edu/thinking-routines
    2. Compass Points, a routine for examining propositions.

      via https://pz.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/Compass%20Points_0.pdf

      • E- excited
      • W- worrisome
      • N - need to know
      • S - stance or suggestion for moving forward

      These could be used as a simple set of rules for thumb for evaluating and expanding on ideas in note taking or social annotation settings.

      Compare these with the suggestions of Tiago Forte in his book Building a Second Brain. Which is better? More comprehensive? Are there any ideas missing in a broader conceptualization? Is there a better acronymization or analogy for such a technique?

    1. so that your human,fallible, endlessly creative first brain can do what it does best.Imagine. Invent. Innovate. Create.

      Is this really what our brain does best?

      What about on evolutionary timescales? Is this what brains were meant to do?

    2. the time you sit down tomake progress on something, all the work to gather and organize thesource material needs to already be done. We can’t expectourselves to instantly come up with brilliant ideas on demand. Ilearned that innovation and problem-solving depend on a routine thatsystematically brings interesting ideas to the surface of ourawareness.

      By writing down and collecting ideas slowly over time, working on them in small fits and spurts, when one finally comes to do the final work on their writing project or other work, the pieces only need minor shaping to take their final form. This process allows for a much greater level of serendipity, creativity, and potential sustained genius of connecting ideas across time to take shape in a final piece.


      How does this relate to diffuse thinking? How can slow diffuse thinking be leveraged into this process?

      Writing down fleeting notes while walking around can be valuable as one's ideas brew slowly in the mind (diffuse thinking) in combination with active combinatorial creativity, thus a form of Llullan combinatorial diffusion.


      Many business books seem so shallow and often only have one real insight which is repeated multiple times, perhaps to drive the point home or perhaps just to have enough filler to seem being worth the purchase of a book.

      Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is an example of this, though it shows a different form of genius in expanding the idea from a variety of perspectives so that eventually everyone will absorb the broader idea which is distilled to great effect into the title.

    3. the Cathedral Effect.2Studies have shown that the environment we find ourselves inpowerfully shapes our thinking

      Our surroundings can have a profound effect on our thinking.

      Want to read: Joan Meyers-Levy and Rui Zhu, “The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing That People Use,” Journal of Consumer Research 34, no. 2 (2007): 174–86, https://doi.org/10.1086/519146.

      This is a whole different area than "thought spaces" but somehow relevant all the same.

      cross reference this with Annie Murphy Paul's thinking with built spaces

      Did Forte find this source on his own or borrow from Annie Murphy Paul? Likely the later given his reliance on other small bits which overlap.

    4. Tharp calls her approach “the box.”

      In The Creative Habit, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp has creative inspiration and note taking practice which she calls "the box" in which she organizes “notebooks, news clippings, CDs, videotapes of me working alone in my studio, videos of the dancers rehearsing, books and photographs and pieces of art that may have inspired me”. She also calls her linking of ideas within her box method "the art of scratching" (chapter 6).

      related: combinatorial creativity triangle thinking


      [[Twyla Tharp]] [[The Creative Habit]] #books/wanttoread

    5. Perhaps the most immediate benefit of capturing content outsideour heads is that we escape what I call the “reactivity loop”—thehamster wheel of urgency, outrage, and sensationalism thatcharacterizes so much of the Internet. The moment you firstencounter an idea is the worst time to decide what it means. Youneed to set it aside and gain some objectivity.

      Not sure I agree wholly with

      The moment you first encounter an idea is the worst time to decide what it means

      Sometimes your fleeting reactions are incredibly useful upon first encounter as they won't return as easily. However this is also a space where setting things aside for diffuse thinking apparatus to work can be highly useful.

      Either way, one should always return to ideas in their notebook for future processing.

    6. 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. https://hybridpedagogy.org/ethical-online-learning/

      An interesting perspective on ethical and supportive online learning. More questions and explorations than answers, but then framing is a majority of the battle.

      I'm generally in agreement with much of the discussion here.

      This was a fabulous piece for "thinking against". Thanks Sean Michael Morris, and Lora Taub.

      I definitely got far more out of it by reading and annotating than I ever would in its original keynote presentation version.

    1. To solve creative problems with TRIZ, there are three elements you need to know: It’s been solved before.There are consistent patterns of solutions.Solving contradictions creates breakthrough innovation
    2. TRIZ (a Russian acronym for the ‘Theory of Inventive Problem Solving”). Through TRIZ, Altshuller was now able to demonstrate the science behind creative innovation, not only paving the way for new breakthroughs in technology but establishing a framework of immense value to countless other fields.
    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. before you can think out of the box, you have tostart with a box

      Can it be?! Twyla Tharp has an entire chapter in her book on creativity that covers a variation of the zettelkasten note taking concept!!!


      Does the phrase "thinking outside of the box" make a tacit nod to the idea of using a card index (or the German zettelkasten) for note taking, sense making, and thinking?

    1. Marshall’s method for connecting which he calls Triangle Thinking (26:41)

      Marshall Kirkpatrick describes a method of taking three ostensibly random ideas and attempting to view each from the others' perspectives as a way to create new ideas by linking them together.

      This method is quite similar to that of Raymond Llull as described in Frances Yate's The Art of Memory (UChicago Press, 1966), though there Llull was memorizing and combinatorially permuting 20 or more ideas at a time. It's also quite similar to the sort of meditative practice found in the lectio divina, though there ideas are generally limited to religious ones for contemplation.

      https://content.blubrry.com/thrivingonoverload/THRIVING_013_Marshall_Kirkpatrick.mp3#t=1559,1745

      Other examples: - https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22combinatorial+creativity%22 - https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22Llullan%20combinatorial%20arts%22

    1. If Luhmann’s notebox system was not dynamic and fluid and not one of pure order, either, how can one think of Luhmann’s notebox system? In my experience using an Antinet Zettelkasten, I find it to be more organic in nature. Like nature, it has simple laws and fundamental rules by which it operates (like the laws of thermodynamics in physics); yet, it’s also subject to arbitrary decisions. We know this because in describing it, Luhmann uses the word arbitrary to describe its arbitrary internal branching. We can infer that arbitrary, means something that was decided by Luhmann outside of some external and strict criteria (i.e., strict schemes like the Dewey Decimal Classification). (12)12 This arbitrary, random structure contributes to one of its most distinctive aspects of the system–the aspect of surprises. Because of its unique structure, the Antinet is noted as “a surprise generator,” and a system that develops “a creativity of its own.” (13)

      There's some magical thinking involved here. While the system has some arbitrary internal branching, the surprises come from the system's perfect memory that the human user doesn't have. This makes it appear that the system creates its own creativity, but it is really the combinatorics of the perfect memory system with use over time.

      Link to: serendipity of systems based on auto-complete

    1. the human brain is an energy hog like and you can learn a lot about a lot of our uh biases and problems from the kinds of shortcuts that the brain takes 00:06:41 in the name of energy conservation well it looks like estimating group consensus is one of those shortcuts right because all it's equal your brain tends to assume that the loudest voices repeated 00:06:53 the most are the majority and and i think about that i think wow that doesn't seem like a good a good shortcut at all but i guess if you go back and f through evolution and when most of our time was spent and like 00:07:05 seeing like the dumbar number kind of you know groups it probably it obviously had to work well enough right to just be here with us but now when you think about with social media 00:07:18 and these massive imaginary communities like nations where you're never going to meet more than a tiny tiny percentage of the people in your group that shortcut becomes problematic um and 00:07:31 we can talk about it like i mean social media in particular makes it very very easy to distort perceived group consensus

      This is the key problem that makes current social media dangerous, it can be easily gamed due to this evolutionary shortcut of the brain, the fast system of biases aka Daniel Kahneman's research.

  9. 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. Sharpen Our Unique Perspectives

      Perhaps better: Provide fodder for thinking and creating?

    1. “ 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.
    1. Tools for Thought Rocks!

      Related to talking rocks (for me), but also completely opposite to talking and thinking rocks altogether.

    1. When you say “Élan vital!” it feels like you know why your hand moves. You have a little causal diagram in your head that says:But actually you know nothing you didn’t know before. You don’t know, say, whether your hand will generate heat or absorb heat, unless you have observed the fact already; if not, you won’t be able to predict it in advance. Your curiosity feels sated, but it hasn’t been fed. Since you can say “Why? Élan vital!” to any possible observation, it is equally good at explaining all outcomes, a disguised hypothesis of maximum entropy, et cetera.

      This reminds me of Feynman's observation:"It's a brown-throated thrush, but in Germany it's called a halzenfugel, and in Chinese they call it a chung ling and even if you know all those names for it, you still know nothing about the bird."

      Sometimes knowing a name stops our curiosity to push our understanding further because we cheat ourselves into thinking that we know more than the mere name. This is a fallacy.

  10. multidimensional.link multidimensional.link
    1. Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room, in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.

      No product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Think through all of the stages of a product or service - from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly. That's systems thinking.

  11. Apr 2022
    1. It is difficult to see interdependencies This is especially true in the context of learning something complex, say economics. We can’t read about economics in a silo without understanding psychology, sociology and politics, at the very least. But we treat each subject as though they are independent of each other.

      Where are the tools for graphing inter-dependencies of areas of study? When entering a new area it would be interesting to have visual mappings of ideas and thoughts.

      If ideas in an area were chunked into atomic ideas, then perhaps either a Markov monkey or a similar actor could find the shortest learning path from a basic idea to more complex ideas.

      Example: what is the shortest distance from an understanding of linear algebra to learn and master Lie algebras?

      Link to Garden of Forking Paths

      Link to tools like Research Rabbit, Open Knowledge Maps and Connected Papers, but for ideas instead of papers, authors, and subject headings.


      It has long been useful for us to simplify our thought models for topics like economics to get rid of extraneous ideas to come to basic understandings within such a space. But over time, we need to branch out into related and even distant subjects like mathematics, psychology, engineering, sociology, anthropology, politics, physics, computer science, etc. to be able to delve deeper and come up with more complex and realistic models of thought.Our early ideas like the rational actor within economics are fine and lovely, but we now know from the overlap of psychology and sociology which have given birth to behavioral economics that those mythical rational actors are quaint and never truly existed. To some extent, to move forward as a culture and a society we need to rid ourselves of these quaint ideas to move on to more complex and sophisticated ones.

    1. Another visual-mapping tool is Open Knowledge Maps, a service offered by a Vienna-based not-for-profit organization of the same name. It was founded in 2015 by Peter Kraker, a former scholarly-communication researcher at Graz University of Technology in Austria.

      https://openknowledgemaps.org/

      Open Knowledge maps is a visual literature search tool that is based on keywords rather than on a paper's title, author, or DOI. The service was founded in 2015 by Peter Kraker, a former scholarly communication researcher at Graz University of Technology.

    1. The way technologies like fMRI are applied is aproduct of our brainbound orientation; it has not seemed odd or unusual toexamine the individual brain on its own, unconnected to others.

      In part because of modalities of studying the brain using methods like fMRI where the images are of an individual's head, we focus too much and too exclusively on single brains bound to individuals rather than on brains working in concert.

      Greater flexibilities in tools and methods should help do studies of humans working in concert.


      Link this to the anecdote:

      I recall a radiology test within a medical school setting in which students were asked to diagnose an x-ray of a human patient's skull. Most either guessed small hairline fractures in the skull or that there was nothing wrong with the patient.

      Can you diagnose the patient?

      Almost all the students failed the question, and worse felt like idiots when the answer was revealed: the patient must be dead because the spinal column and the rest of the body are not attached. Compare:

    2. 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.

    3. solo thinking isrooted in our lifelong experience of social interaction; linguists and cognitivescientists theorize that the constant patter we carry on in our heads is a kind ofinternalized conversation. Our brains evolved to think with people: to teachthem, to argue with them, to exchange stories with them. Human thought isexquisitely sensitive to context, and one of the most powerful contexts of all isthe presence of other people. As a consequence, when we think socially, wethink differently—and often better—than when we think non-socially.

      People have evolved as social animals and this extends to thinking and interacting. We think better when we think socially (in groups) as opposed to thinking alone.

      This in part may be why solo reading and annotating improves one's thinking because it is a form of social annotation between the lone annotator and the author. Actual social annotation amongst groups may add additonal power to this method.

      I personally annotate alone, though I typically do so in a publicly discoverable fashion within Hypothes.is. While the audience of my annotations may be exceedingly low, there is at least a perceived public for my output. Thus my thinking, though done alone, is accelerated and improved by the potential social context in which it's done. (Hello, dear reader! 🥰) I can artificially take advantage of the social learning effects even if the social circle may mathematically approach the limit of an audience of one (me).

    4. the development of intelligent thinking is fundamentally a social process

      great quote


      How can social annotation practices take advantage of these sorts of active learning processes? What might be done in a flipped classroom setting to get students to use social annotation on a text prior to a lecture and have the questions and ideas from these sessions brought into the lecture space for discussion, argument, and expansion?

    1. A filing system is indefinitely expandable, rhizomatic (at any point of timeor space, one can always insert a new card); in contradistinction with the sequen-tial irreversibility of the pages of the notebook and of the book, its interiormobility allows for permanent reordering (for, even if there is no narrative conclu-sion of a diary, there is a last page of the notebook on which it is written: its pagesare numbered, like days on a calendar).

      Most writing systems and forms force a beginning and an end, they force a particular structure that is both finite and limiting. The card index (zettelkasten) may have a beginning—there's always a first note or card, but it never has to have an end unless one's ownership is so absolute it ends with the life of its author. There are an ever-increasing number of ways to order a card index, though some try to get around this to create some artificial stability by numbering or specifically ordering their cards. New ideas can be accepted into the index at a multitude of places and are always internally mobile and re-orderable.

      link to Luhmann's works on describing this sort of rhizomatic behavior of his zettelkasten


      Within a network model framing for a zettelkasten, one might define thinking as traversing a graph of idea nodes in a particular order. Alternately it might also include randomly juxtaposing cards and creating links between ones which have similarities. Which of these modes of thinking has a higher order? Which creates more value? Which requires more work?

    1. 2. What influence does annotating with an audience have on how you annotate? My annotations and notes generally are fragile things, tentative formulations, or shortened formulations that have meaning because of what they point to (in my network of notes and thoughts), not so much because of their wording. Likewise my notes and notions read differently than my blog posts. Because my blog posts have an audience, my notes/notions are half of the internal dialogue with myself. Were I to annotate in the knowledge that it would be public, I would write very differently, it would be more a performance, less probing forwards in my thoughts. I remember that publicly shared bookmarks with notes in Delicious already had that effect for me. Do you annotate differently in public view, self censoring or self editing?

      To a great extent, Hypothes.is has such a small footprint of users (in comparison to massive platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that it's never been a performative platform for me. As a design choice they have specifically kept their social media functionalities very sparse, so one also doesn't generally encounter the toxic elements that are rampant in other locations. This helps immensely. I might likely change my tune if it were ever to hit larger scales or experienced the Eternal September effect.

      Beyond this, I mostly endeavor to write things for later re-use. As a result I'm trying to write as clearly as possible in full sentences and explain things as best I can so that my future self doesn't need to do heavy work or lifting to recreate the context or do heavy editing. Writing notes in public and knowing that others might read these ideas does hold my feet to the fire in this respect. Half-formed thoughts are often shaky and unclear both to me and to others and really do no one any good. In personal experience they also tend not to be revisited and revised or revised as well as I would have done the first time around (in public or otherwise).

      Occasionally I'll be in a rush reading something and not have time for more detailed notes in which case I'll do my best to get the broad gist knowing that later in the day or at least within the week, I'll revisit the notes in my own spaces and heavily elaborate on them. I've been endeavoring to stay away from this bad habit though as it's just kicking the can down the road and not getting the work done that I ultimately want to have. Usually when I'm being fast/lazy, my notes will revert to highlighting and tagging sections of material that are straightforward facts that I'll only be reframing into my own words at a later date for reuse. If it's an original though or comment or link to something important, I'll go all in and put in the actual work right now. Doing it later has generally been a recipe for disaster in my experience.

      There have been a few instances where a half-formed thought does get seen and called out. Or it's a thought which I have significantly more personal context for and that is only reflected in the body of my other notes, but isn't apparent in the public version. Usually these provide some additional insight which I hadn't had that makes the overall enterprise more interesting. Here's a recent example, albeit on a private document, but which I think still has enough context to be reasonably clear: https://hypothes.is/a/vmmw4KPmEeyvf7NWphRiMw

      There may also be infrequent articles online which are heavily annotated and which I'm excerpting ideas to be reused later. In these cases I may highlight and rewrite them in my own words for later use in a piece, but I'll make them private or put them in a private group as they don't add any value to the original article or potential conversation though they do add significant value to my collection as "literature notes" for immediate reuse somewhere in the future. On broadly unannotated documents, I'll leave these literature notes public as a means of modeling the practice for others, though without the suggestion of how they would be (re-)used for.

      All this being said, I will very rarely annotate things privately or in a private group if they're of a very sensitive cultural nature or personal in manner. My current set up with Hypothesidian still allows me to import these notes into Obsidian with my API key. In practice these tend to be incredibly rare for me and may only occur a handful of times in a year.

      Generally my intention is that ultimately all of my notes get published in something in a final form somewhere, so I'm really only frontloading the work into the notes now to make the writing/editing process easier later.

    1. Krapp argues that, despite its ‘respectablelineage’, the card index generally ‘figures only as an anonymous,furtive factor in text generation, acknowledged – all the way into thetwentieth century – merely as a memory crutch’ (361).2 A keyreason for this is due to the fact that the ‘enlightened scholar isexpected to produce innovative thought’ (361); knowledgeproduction, and any prostheses involved in it, ‘became and remaineda private matter’ (361).

      'Memory crutch' implies a physical human failing that needs assistance rather than a phrase like aide-mémoire that doesn't draw that same attention.

  12. Mar 2022
    1. Beyond cognitive biases and preconceived opinions, common sense is based on linear thinking. “I experience A, therefore I can directly explain it by B.”
    2. Networked thinking is an explorative approach to problem-solving, whose aim is to consider the complex interactions between nodes and connections in a given problem space. Instead of considering a particular problem in isolation to discover a pre-existing solution, networked thinking encourages non-linear, second-order reflection in order to let a new idea emerge.
    1. The Future is Vast: Longtermism’s perspective on humanity’s past, present, and futureIf we manage to avoid a large catastrophe, we are living at the early beginnings of human historyby Max RoserMarch 15, 2022The point of this text is not to predict how many people will ever live. What I learned from writing this post is that our future is potentially very, very big. This is what I try to convey here.If we keep each other safe – and protect ourselves from the risks that nature and we ourselves pose – we are only at the beginning of human history.
    1. The study’s authors suggest that this discrepancy may emerge fromdifferences in boys’ and girls’ experience: boys are more likely to play withspatially oriented toys and video games, they note, and may become morecomfortable making spatial gestures as a result. Another study, this oneconducted with four-year-olds, reported that children who were encouraged togesture got better at rotating mental objects, another task that draws heavily onspatial-thinking skills. Girls in this experiment were especially likely to benefitfrom being prompted to gesture.

      The gender-based disparity of spatial thinking skills between boys and girls may result from the fact that at an early age boys are more likely to play with spatially oriented toys and video games. Encouraging girls to do more spatial gesturing at an earlier age can dramatically close this spatial thinking gap.

    2. People who are fluent in sign language, as Cooke is, have beenfound to have an enhanced ability to process visual and spatial information. Suchsuperior performance is exhibited by hearing people who know sign language, aswell as by the hearing impaired—suggesting that it is the repeated use of astructured system of meaning-bearing gestures that helps improve spatialthinking.

      Evidence indicates that those who are have experience or fluency in sign language (both hearing and non-hearing) have increased visual-spatial intelligence and reasoning. Practice using gesturing directly improves spatial thinking.

    3. “penetrative thinking.” This is the capacity to visualize and reason about theinterior of a three-dimensional object from what can be seen on its surface—acritical skill in geology, and one with which many students struggle.

      Penetrative thinking is the ability to abstractly consider and internally visualize or theorize about the inside of a three dimensional object based on what can be seen on its surface.

      Penetrative thinking can be useful in areas like geology and anatomy.

      Improvements in penetrative thinking can be exercised, encouraged, and improved by using gestures.

    4. Research demonstrates that gesture can enhance our memory by reinforcing thespoken word with visual and motor cues.

      Research shows that gesture can impact our memories by helping to associate speech with visual cues.

      References for this?

      Link this to the idea that our visual memories are much stronger than our verbal ones.

    5. Researchers who study embodiedcognition are drawing new attention to the fact that people formulate and conveytheir thoughts not only with words but also with the motions of the hands and therest of the body. Gestures don’t merely echo or amplify spoken language; theycarry out cognitive and communicative functions that language can’t touch.

      Embodied cognition is a theory in psychology that a the mind is shaped by entire body of an organism. The mind is not only attached to the body, but the body influences the mind. Movement of the body doesn't just amplify one's spoke language, for humans, but it helps to create cognitive and communicative functions that language cannot, and these extend not only to viewers, but the communicator themself.

    1. Also like most people, we are not experts on military strategy or international diplomacy.

      Interesting question: should non-experts debate a topic they care about?

      Pros: Thinking more and consuming less, valuing the topic by talking about it, maybe morals are personal and can be debated by everyone? Cons: Easy to overstate confidence and be misinformed, supporting existing views may be more useful overall.

    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?

    2. RichardFeynman once had a visitor in his office, a historian who wanted tointerview him. When he spotted Feynman’s notebooks, he said howdelighted he was to see such “wonderful records of Feynman’sthinking.”“No, no!” Feynman protested. “They aren’t a record of my thinkingprocess. They are my thinking process. I actually did the work on thepaper.”“Well,” the historian said, “the work was done in your head, but therecord of it is still here.”“No, it’s not a record, not really. It’s working. You have to work onpaper, and this is the paper.”[33]

      Genius: The Life And Science of Richard Feynman,” James Gleick, Pantheon Books, 1992 (see pg. 409).

    3. The educational psychologist Kirsti Lonka compared the readingapproach of unusually successful doctoral candidates and studentswith those who were much less successful. One difference stood outas critical: The ability to think beyond the given frames of a text(Lonka 2003, 155f).

      In comparison to less successful students unusually successful doctoral students have the ability to think beyond the frames of a given text.

      Kirsti Lonka 2003, 155f

  13. Feb 2022
    1. Learnings: - It's easy to assume people in the past didn't care or were stupid. But people do things for a reason. Not understanding the reason for how things are is a missed learning opportunity, and very likely leads to unintended consequences. - Similar to having a valid strong opinion, one must understand why things are as they are before changing them (except if the goal is only signaling).

    1. Something about Scrivener elicits a lot of strong feelings from people who have used it, both positive and negative. It has a growing community of writers who swear by it, and a parallel community that is tired of hearing all the Scrivener-heads raving about their magic tool.

      Scrivener and its community are an example of a tool for thought being thought of as a magical tool potentially without people thinking about what the tool is doing that makes things so dramatically different.

      This article is written in 2017 just before the expansion of the zettelkasten craze in various social media spaces.

    1. “Good manners can replace intellect by providing a set of memorized responses to almost every situation in life,” he wrote. “Memorized responses eliminate the need for thought. Thought is not a very worthwhile pastime anyway. Thinking allows the brain, an inert and mushy organ, to exert unfair domination over more sturdy and active body parts.”
    1. Conversely, we can use the Zeigarnik effect to our advantage bydeliberately keeping unanswered questions in our mind. We canruminate about them, even when we do something that has nothingto do with work and ideally does not require our full attention. Lettingthoughts linger without focusing on them gives our brains theopportunity to deal with problems in a different, often surprisinglyproductive way. While we have a walk or a shower or clean thehouse, the brain cannot help but play around with the last unsolvedproblem it came across. And that is why we so often find the answerto a question in rather casual situations.

      One can use the Zeigarnik effect to their advantage by keeping specific unanswered questions in their mind so that it can use the diffuse thinking effect to solve them while doing other activities like walking, doing the dishes, etc.