362 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. For the sake of simplicity, go to Graph Analysis Settings and disable everything but Co-Citations, Jaccard, Adamic Adar, and Label Propogation. I won't spend my time explaining each because you can find those in the net, but these are essentially algorithms that find connections for you. Co-Citations, for example, uses second order links or links of links, which could generate ideas or help you create indexes. It essentially automates looking through the backlinks and local graphs as it generates possible relations for you.
  2. Aug 2022
  3. Jul 2022
    1. Not only is such thought beyond representation (and therefore beyond personware) possible,Weaver suggests but its occurrence constitutes a fundamental encounter which brings forth into existenceboth the world and the thinker. As such, thought sans image is deeply disturbing the stability andcontinuity of whatever personware the individual thinker may have been led to identify with andopens wide horizons of cognitive development and transformation ([13]: p. 35).

      !- similar to : Gyuri Lajos idea of tacit awareness !- implications : thought sans image !- refer : Gyuri Lajos https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343523812_Augmenting_Tacit_Awareness_Accepting_our_responsibility_for_how_we_shape_our_tools When one becomes cognizant of thought sans image, then one realizes the relative construction of one's social identity and that offers a freedom to take on another one * therefore, realization of thought sans image opens the door to authentic transformation

      !- question : thought sans image * If, as Weaver suggests, thought sans image is a primordial encounter which brings forth both the thinker and the world thought by the thinker, then this has strong similiarities to a spiritual awakening or enlightenment experience.

    2. though personwareis intrinsic to being a complete person it can be continuously modified, evolve or otherwise developed([5 ]: p. 201). More importantly, it can, to a significant extent, at least theoretically, be dynamicallygoverned and authored by the human individual. Hence, the human takeover.

      !- definition : human takeover * The ability for an individual to dynamically govern and author one's own personware. * The takeover gives us agency, rather than victimhood * the takeover can be triggered through realization of the difference between the thought sans image state and the conditioning into the symbolosphere

      !- question : spiritual enlightenment and personware * An interesting question is: "How does enlightenment impact the personware? " * Obviously, enlightenment cannot be an act of removing the personware. Language once learned cannot simply be meditated away. * Does the act of enlightenment then make the personware dramatically known to the individual as if it were indeed like a suit that we are wearing and not our fundamental nature? * Does enlightenment allow us to get more in contact with the prelinguistic and prepersonal

    3. David Bohm [ 31 ]: “Thinking’ implies the present tense (...) ‘Thought’is the past participle of that. We have the idea that after we have been thinking something, it justevaporates. But thinking doesn’t disappear. It goes somehow into the brain and leaves something—atrace—which becomes thought. And thought then acts automatically.

      !- follow up : David Bohm's ideas on thinking and thoughts * Thinking implies the present tense because it is an act we can only do in the present * When the present act of thinking is finished, it leaves traces in our consciousness * Those traces we refer to as "thoughts" * Thoughts act automatically - this is quite a pithy observation. We become thought automatons because once the thought is associated with all the other ideas, it alters the entire network of other thoughts on its own * "Thinking beyond the image of thought" may mean penetrating the existing automatized associations of thoughts with one that is quite novel and does not necessarily fit in, so is disruptive and can bring about a paradigm shift. * Read the reference to gain clarity

    4. While, as we propose, the symbolically constructed personware, seeking to reassert and reinforceitself, selects objects already recognized, thoughts already conceived and sentences already pronounced,the living human being can breathe and utter a voice that is new [5 ]. A human being can thus ‘take over’language. It can ‘take over’ thoughts—by thinking beyond the image of thought ([13 ]: chap.2).

      !- Insight : thought sans image * the symbolically constructed personware continually validates itself * The living, spontaneous, present human INTERbeing can generate something new * "Thinking beyond the image of thought" may mean penetrating the existing automatized associations of thoughts with one that is quite novel and does not necessarily fit in, so is disruptive and can bring about a paradigm shift.

    5. Can they reshape the contours and boundaries of their socialsituations instead of being shaped by them?

      !- key insight : can an individual reshape the contours of their social situations instead of being shaped by them? * This realization would open up the door to authentic inner transformation * This is an important way to describe the discovery of personal empowerment and agency via realization of the bare human spirit, the "thought sans image"

    6. Underneath whatever threads they have already identified with, there isalways a pregnant potentiality of thoughts yet to be shaped.

      !- Insight : thought sans image * If we recognize our intrinsic bare human spirit, it opens up possibilities to leave our identity behind like a suit we can take off * Nothing is socially predestined and in that recognition, there is a new-found freedom to replace our current personware

    7. Human beings are different from what they seem to be thinking, perceiving, or saying asmediated by social symbolic systems [29 ]. They are different from how they are represented intheir own narratives, they are different from language itself. Interestingly, learning to consciouslybecome aware to that difference—the bare human spirit, the preindividual, or being as becoming asSimondon [30 ] puts it—appears to be the state of mind towards which many spiritual traditionsare guiding. David R. Weinbaum (Weaver) refers to this state as thought sans image [ 13], offering itscontemporary conceptualisation via the metaphysical theories of Henri Bergson, Gilbert Simondon andGilles Deleuze, in combination with the enactive theory of cognition [14 ] and inputs from complexityscience

      !- key insight : thought sans image !- definition : thought sans image * human beings are NOT defined by what they are thinking, perceiving or saying as mediated by social symbolic systems * They are also NOT defined by their own narratives or language itself - the symbolosphere is culturally imposed upon the bare human being * That primordial nature is described as the bare human spirit, the preindividual, being-as-becoming (Simondon) * Many spiritual traditions guide practitioners to experience this primordial state, the nondual state, stripped of all cultural embellishments * David R. Weinbaum (Weaver) calls this state thought sans image based on the metaphysical theories of Henri Bergson, Gilbert Simondon and Gilles Deleuze and 4E theory of cognition

    8. instead of worrying that ArtificialIntelligence will soon come to dominate and govern the human world, let us think of how it couldhelp the human being to finally be able to do it.
  4. bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link
    1. e. I found it tricky to try to shed lighton the processes that constitute what can be termed unsupported thought, becausethere is no straightforward way to reflect on these processes without conceptualiz-ing and objectifying them and by that making them supported.

      !- example : strange loop * the thinking mind that tries to analyze itself is the epitome of a strange loop!

      !- question : unsupported thought * Exactly what is an unsupported thought?

    2. thought when making itself its own object remains, atleast in part, intrinsically unsupported, which affirms its incompleteness and open-ended nature. These two inseparable problems constitute together the problem ofthe freedom of the mind.

      !- question : intrinsically unsupported * This needs a lot of unpacking to understand * How does one validate the claim that when thinking thinks about its own process, it is unsupported? * What does it mean to claim that it is open ended? * What are the two problems and why do they together make up the freedom of the mind?

    1. This process serves a similar purpose in sociology to that of theblow-pipe and the balance in chemistry, or the prism and the electro¬scope in physics. That is to say, it enables the scientific worker to breakup his subject-matter, so as to isolate and examine at his leisure itsvarious component parts, and to recombine them in new and experi¬mental groupings in order to discover which sequences of events have acausal significance

      Beatrice Webb analogized the card index (or note taking using slips of paper) as serving the function of a scientific tool for sociologists the way that chemists use blow pipes and balances or physicists use the prism or electroscope. These tools all help the researcher examine small constituent parts and then situate them in other orderings to provide insight into the subject areas.

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

      TRIZ (/ˈtriːz/; Russian: теория решения изобретательских задач, teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadatch), literally: "theory of inventive problem solving " is “the next evolutionary step in creating an organized and systematic approach to problem solving. The development and improvement of products and technologies according to TRIZ are guided by the objective Laws of Engineering System Evolution. TRIZ Problem Solving Tools and Methods are based on them.” In another description, TRIZ is "a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature".

      It was developed by the Soviet inventor and science-fiction author Genrich Altshuller (1926-1998) and his colleagues, beginning in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as the theory of inventive problem solving, and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.

    1. Here are some glimpses into my tool collection. Many things are still experimental. At present, I use sticky notes of 7.5cm x 7.5cm size. Many of the notes are divided into 4x4 or 4x8 very small boxes with a tool name of one or two words in it. Other notes are small diagrams or mind maps, or they show sheet layouts I found useful. The frequencies of tool use vary wildly - some rarely used tool items went into the tool collection as part of a bundle of similar tools. Next, here are some tool bundles - for this posting, I choose those tools that I have found most useful. Basics: The tools I use most often are simple things like the following: Describe the situation / describe the problems / describe goals / make a list of questions. The Feynman technique: I imagine the A4 sheet and its boxes as a deck of slides, where I try to explain things to a skeptical audience. Focus on difficulties: What are the problems? / Where are conflicts? / Where are gaps? / Where could this fail? Concatenation tools: These tools help me to develop thoughts from one box to the next to the next. Examples: What is crucial here? / Probe deeper. / What are the problems here? / What are my options now? - These tools can have a compound effect when used in iterations - in one single step, their benefit is small, but used over ten or twenty steps, they can actually make a dent. Focus on progress: MIMX = make it more X = make it more powerful / larger / faster / simpler / more complex / ... / What would the founders of Microsoft do? / Make a model with many building blocks and parameters and play around. Representations: Describe your topic and your ideas as a concept map / a mind map / a diagram / in ordinary text / in a proto-math notation. Diagram types: timelines / transitions between states / input-output diagrams / graphs / trees / boxes / tables. TRIZ principles: It's a selection from the 40 canonical items - I found the more physics-based principles less useful, so I left them out. SCAMPER: Substitute / combine / adapt / maximize or minimize / put to other uses / eliminate / rearrange. Creativity tools: Brainstorming / formulate negations and opposites to the ideas you've tried so far / po! = provocative operation, by Edward de Bono / transfer key concepts from a similar domain. Stimuli for ideas from inventions: This is largely a personal list of inventions I find impressive. Stimuli for ideas from geometrical concepts: I find concepts useful like points / lines / curves / circles / spirals / ... Lists of prefixes for concepts and ideas: anti- / proto- / pseudo- / a- / counter- / co- / cluster- / super- / trans- / ... Provocations and challenges: You are wrong. / You have the wrong focus. / What would the opposite look like? / What would John von Neumann say? / ... I use most of the tools for idea generation in the 4 column or the 4x4 sheet layout, with one stimulus in each box, where I can jump between boxes with ease. Typically, many stimuli do not yield remarkable germinal ideas, but on a good evening, some do.
    1. Unfortunately, many corporate software programsaim to level or standardise the differences betweenindividual workers. In supporting knowledgeworkers, we should be careful to provide tools whichenable diversification of individuals’ outputs.Word-processors satisfi this criterion; tools whichembed a model of a knowledge worker’s task in thesoftware do not.

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

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

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

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

    2. Kidd, Alison. “The Marks Are on the Knowledge Worker.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 186–91. CHI ’94. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery, 1994. https://doi.org/10.1145/191666.191740.

    1. Thanks for all the fantastic literature tips! Added to the list 😊

      If these are the types of things that are interesting, you might also try a shared bibliography that a handful of readers/researchers share and contribute to: https://www.zotero.org/groups/4676190/tools_for_thought

    1. At the same time, like Harold, I’ve realised that it is important to do things, to keep blogging and writing in this space. Not because of its sheer brilliance, but because most of it will be crap, and brilliance will only occur once in a while. You need to produce lots of stuff to increase the likelihood of hitting on something worthwile. Of course that very much feeds the imposter cycle, but it’s the only way. Getting back into a more intensive blogging habit 18 months ago, has helped me explore more and better. Because most of what I blog here isn’t very meaningful, but needs to be gotten out of the way, or helps build towards, scaffolding towards something with more meaning.

      Many people treat their blogging practice as an experimental thought space. They try out new ideas, explore a small space, attempt to come to understanding, connect new ideas to their existing ideas.

      Ton Zylstra coins/uses the phrase "metablogging" to think about his blogging practice as an evolving thought space.

      How can we better distill down these sorts of longer ideas and use them to create more collisions between ideas to create new an innovative ideas? What forms might this take?

      The personal zettelkasten is a more concentrated form of this and blogging is certainly within the space as are the somewhat more nascent digital gardens. What would some intermediary "idea crucible" between these forms look like in public that has a simple but compelling interface. How much storytelling and contextualization is needed or not needed to make such points?

      Is there a better space for progressive summarization here so that an idea can be more fully laid out and explored? Then once the actual structure is built, the scaffolding can be pulled down and only the idea remains.

      Reminiscences of scaffolding can be helpful for creating context.

      Consider the pyramids of Giza and the need to reverse engineer how they were built. Once the scaffolding has been taken down and history forgets the methods, it's not always obvious what the original context for objects were, how they were made, what they were used for. Progressive summarization may potentially fall prey to these effects as well.

      How might we create a "contextual medium" which is more permanently attached to ideas or objects to help prevent context collapse?

      How would this be applied in reverse to better understand sites like Stonehenge or the hundreds of other stone circles, wood circles, and standing stones we see throughout history.

    1. Beyond the cards mentioned above, you should also capture any hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry on separate cards. Regularly go through these to make sure that you are covering everything and that you don’t forget something.I consider these insurance cards because they won’t get lost in some notebook or scrap of paper, or email to oneself.

      Julius Reizen in reviewing over Umberto Eco's index card system in How to Write a Thesis, defines his own "insurance card" as one which contains "hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry". These he would keep together so that they don't otherwise get lost in the variety of other locations one might keep them

      These might be akin to Ahrens' "fleeting notes" but are ones which may not easily or even immediately be converted in to "permanent notes" for one's zettelkasten. However, given their mission critical importance, they may be some of the most important cards in one's repository.

      link this to - idea of centralizing one's note taking practice to a single location

      Is this idea in Eco's book and Reizen is the one that gives it a name since some of the other categories have names? (examples: bibliographic index cards, reading index cards (aka literature notes), cards for themes, author index cards, quote index cards, idea index cards, connection cards). Were these "officially" named and categorized by Eco?

      May be worthwhile to create a grid of these naming systems and uses amongst some of the broader note taking methods. Where are they similar, where do they differ?

      Multi-search tools that have full access to multiple trusted data stores (ostensibly personal ones across notebooks, hard drives, social media services, etc.) could potentially solve the problem of needing to remember where you noted something.

      Currently, in the social media space especially, this is not a realized service.

  5. 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. surveys indicate that screens and e-readers interfere with two other important aspects of navigating texts: serendipity and a sense of control.

      Based on surveys, readers indicate that two important parts of textual navigation are sense of control and serendipity.


      How does the control over a book frame how we read? What does "power over" a book look like compared to "power with"?

      What are the tools for thought affordances that paper books provide over digital books and vice versa?

      I find myself thinking about people publishing books in index card/zettelkasten formats. Perhaps Scott Scheper could do this with his antinet book presented in a linear format, but done in index cards with his numbers, links, etc. as well as his actual cards for his index so that readers could also see the power of the system by holding it in their hands and playing with it.

    1. Giving Your First Brain a New Job

      This entire chapter thus far (to the end of this section at minimum) sounds like it would have been better motivating material.

      It also has a more touchy-feely and less concrete nature which puts in the self-help category and not so much in the tools for thought space.

    2. Chefs use mise en place—a philosophy and mindset embodied ina set of practical techniques—as their “external brain.”1 It gives thema way to externalize their thinking into their environment

      Dan Charnas, Work Clean: The Life-Changing Power of Mise-en-Place to Organize Your Life, Work, and Mind (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books, 2016)

      mise-en-place is an example of a means of thinking externally with one's environment

      link to - similar ideas in Annie Murphy Paul's The Extended Mind

    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.

    1. Tiago's book follows the general method of the commonplace book, but relies more heavily on a folder-based method and places far less emphasis and value on having a solid index. There isn't any real focus on linking ideas other than putting some things together in the same folder. His experience with the history of the space in feels like it only goes back to some early Ryan Holiday blog posts. He erroneously credits Luhmann with inventing the zettelkasten and Anne-Laure Le Cunff created digital gardens. He's already retracted these in sketch errata here: https://www.buildingasecondbrain.com/endnotes.

      I'll give him at least some credit that there is some reasonable evidence that he actually used his system to write his own book, but the number and depth of his references and experience is exceptionally shallow given the number of years he's been in the space, particularly professionally. He also has some interesting anecdotes and examples of various people including and array of artists and writers which aren't frequently mentioned in the note taking space, so I'll give him points for some diversity of players as well. I'm mostly left with the feeling that he wrote the book because of the general adage that "thought leaders in their space should have a published book in their area to have credibility". Whether or not one can call him a thought leader for "re-inventing" something that Rudolphus Agricola and Desiderius Erasmus firmly ensconced into Western culture about 500 years ago is debatable.

      Stylistically, I'd call his prose a bit florid and too often self-help-y. The four letter acronyms become a bit much after a while. It wavers dangerously close to those who are prone to the sirens' call of the #ProductivityPorn space.

      If you've read a handful of the big articles in the note taking, tools for thought, digital gardens, zettelkasten space, Ahren's book, or regularly keep up with r/antinet or r/Zettelkasten, chances are that you'll be sorely disappointed and not find much insight. If you have friends that don't need the horsepower of Ahrens or zettelkasten, then it might be a reasonable substitute, but then it could have been half the length for the reader.

    1. Harness collective intelligence augmented by digital technology, and unlock exponential innovation. Beyond old hierarchical structures and archaic tools.


      The words "beyond", "hierarchical", and "archaic" are all designed to marginalize prior thought and tools which all work, and are likely upon which this broader idea is built. This is a potentially toxic means of creating "power over" this prior art rather than a more open spirit of "power with".

    1. https://kumu.io/

      Make sense of your messy world. Kumu makes it easy to organize complex data into relationship maps that are beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use.


      The art of mapping is to create a context in which others can think.

      Tool mentioned on [[2022-06-02]] by Jerry Michalski during [[Friends of the Link]] meeting.

  6. May 2022
    1. However, what if we replace “ human face ” in this decisive quotewith “interface,” that is, the interface between man and apparatus?

      This wording seems quite profound.

      It means that by creating a personification of our tools, we can more easily communicate with them.

      Do people personify their computers? I remember in the late 80s and early 90s computer workstations, especially in university settings, having personified names.

      Link this to the personification of rocks w.r.t. talking rocks and oral traditions.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/KosdVt1qEeykU2dTuVZT3Q

    2. In a word thatKleist borrows from Kant: a “midwifery of thought.”45
      1. Immanuel Kant, Metaphysik der Sitten, Zweiter Teil, II. Ethische Methodenlehre, 1st Section, §50: “He is the midwife of his thoughts,” on the teacher-student relationship.
    3. a constellation already described in 1805 by Heinrich von Kleist in his fascinat-ing analysis of the “Midwifery of Thought”: “If you want to know something and cannotfind it through meditation, I advise you, my dear, clever friend, to speak about it withthe next acquaintance who bumps into you.” 43 The positive tension that such a conversa-tion immediately elicits through the expectations of the Other obliges one to producenew thought in the conversation. The idea develops during speech. There, the sheeravailability of such a counterpart, who must do nothing further (i.e., offer additionalstimulus through keen contradiction of the speaker) is already enough; “There is a specialsource of excitement, for him who speaks, in the human face across from him; and agaze which already announces a half-expressed thought to be understood often givesexpression to the entire other half.”44
      1. Heinrich von Kleist, “Ü ber die allm ä hliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden,” in Sämtliche Werke und Briefe. Zweiter Band, ed. Helmut Sembdner (M ü nchen: dtv, 1805/2001), 319 – 324, at 319.
      2. Ibid., 320.

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

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

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

    1. a society-wide hyperconversation. This hyperconversation operationalizes continuous discourse, including its differentiation and emergent framing aspects. It aims to assist people in developing their own ways of framing and conceiving the problem that makes sense given their social, cultural, and environmental contexts. As depicted in table 1, the hyperconversation also reflects a slower, more deliberate approach to discourse; this acknowledges damaged democratic processes and fractured societal social cohesion. Its optimal design would require input from other relevant disciplines and expertise,

      The public Indyweb is eminently designed as a public space for holding deep, continuous, asynchronous conversations with provenance. That is, if the partcipant consents to public conversation, ideas can be publicly tracked. Whoever reads your public ideas can be traced.and this paper trail is immutably stored, allowing anyone to see the evolution of ideas in real time.

      In theory, this does away with the need for patents and copyrights, as all ideas are traceable to the contributors and each contribution is also known. This allows for the system to embed crowdsourced microfunding, supporting the best (upvoted) ideas to surface.

      Participants in the public Indyweb ecosystem are called Indyviduals and each has their own private data hub called an Indyhub. Since Indyweb is interpersonal computing, each person is the center of their indyweb universe. Through the discoverability built into the Indyweb, anything of immediate salience is surfaced to your private hub. No applications can use your data unless you give exact permission on which data to use and how it shall be used. Each user sets the condition for their data usage. Instead of a user's data stored in silos of servers all over the web as is current practice, any data you generate, in conversation, media or data files is immediately accessible on your own Indyhub.

      Indyweb supports symmathesy, the exchange of ideas based on an appropriate epistemological model that reflects how human INTERbeings learn as a dynamic interplay between individual and collective learning. Furthermore, all data that participants choose to share is immutably stored on content addressable web3 storage forever. It is not concentrated on any server but the data is stored on the entire IPFS network:

      "IPFS works through content adddressibility. It is a peer-to-peer (p2p) storage network. Content is accessible through peers located anywhere in the world, that might relay information, store it, or do both. IPFS knows how to find what you ask for using its content address rather than its location.

      There are three fundamental principles to understanding IPFS:

      Unique identification via content addressing Content linking via directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) Content discovery via distributed hash tables (DHTs)" (Source: https://docs.ipfs.io/concepts/how-ipfs-works/)

      The privacy, scalability, discoverability, public immutability and provenance of the public Indyweb makes it ideal for supporting hyperconversations that emerge tomorrows collectively emergent solutions. It is based on the principles of thought augmentation developed by computer industry pioneers such as Doug Englebart and Ted Nelson who many decades earlier in their prescience foresaw the need for computing tools to augment thought and provide the ability to form Network Improvement Communities (NIC) to solve a new generation of complex human challenges.

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

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

    1. In §§ 4–5, I examine the socio-evolutionary circumstances under which a closed combinatory, such as the one triggered by the Llullian art, was replaced by an open-ended combinatory, such as the one triggered by a card index based on removable entries. In early modernity, improvement in abstraction compelled scholars to abandon the idea that the order of knowledge should mirror the order of nature. This development also implied giving up the use of space as a type of externalization and as the main rule for checking consis-tency.

      F*ck! I've been scooped!

      Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed this, though I notice that he doesn't cite Frances A. Yates, which would have certainly been the place for having come up with this historical background (at least that's where I found it.)

      The Llullian arts can be more easily practiced with ideas placed on moveable index cards than they might be with ideas stored in one's own memory. Thus the index card as a tool significantly decreases the overhead and provides an easier user interface for permuting one's ideas and combining them. This decrease in mental work appearing at a time of information overload also puts specific pressure on the older use of the art of memory to put it out of fashion.

    1. Active reading to the extreme!

      What a clever innovation building on the ideas of the art of memory and Raymond Llull's combinatoric arts!

      Does this hit all of the areas of Bloom's Taxonomy? I suspect that it does.

      How could it be tied more directly into an active reading, annotating, and note taking practice?

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

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

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

      I want to know the source of the quote.

    1. There are four essential capabilities that we can rely on a SecondBrain to perform for us:1. Making our ideas concrete.2. Revealing new associations between ideas.3. Incubating our ideas over time.4. Sharpening our unique perspectives.

      Does the system really do each of these? Writing things down for our future selves is the thing that makes ideas concrete, not the system itself. Most notebooks don't reveal new associations, we actively have to do that ourselves via memory or through active search and linking within the system itself. The system may help, but it doesn't automatically create associations nor reveal them. By keeping our ideas in one place they do incubate to some extent, but isn't the real incubation taking place in a diffuse way in our minds to come out later?

    1. Who can integrate bidi links into a larger system, expand in concentric circles, and take them to their logical conclusion — ubiquity across all information surfaces. ... Across Closed Worlds (Chat, Notes, Projects) to Open Worlds (Twitter, Blogs, Feeds) & everything in between The [[wiki link]] is just like #'s and @'s — public-domain innovations in hypertext. But just cause your social app has @'s and #'s doesn't mean people will use it.

      This is a fine sentiment, but a networked version of wikilinks is bound to cause conflicts in folksonomies and issues with sourcing and verifiability. The potential for context collapse is potentially too great to have these scale for this type of knowledge production. One would need to have trusted groups to create usefulness. Search at scale for these is likely to be at issue as well.

      Are the affordances beyond the local scale really any better than current web technologies? What about the potential effects on the commons?

    1. $L(#&$'&$+-41,[*$4'2'+18$081**)--C*Y$*+=4#&+*$=*#$+"#*#$+--8*$+-$8#1)&$"-H$+-$H)'+#Y$4)1HY$1&4$0180=81+#$-&$*"##+*$-.$919#)$+"1+Y$H"#&$08'99#4Y$*+198#4Y$-)$28=#4$+-2#+"#)Y$7#0-C#$1$&-+#7--@V

      What are the differences in the affordances of handwritten notes versus digital notes? Worth making a complete list.

  7. Apr 2022
    1. using rome as a almost a tool to convey information to your future self

      One's note taking is not only a conversation with the text or even the original author, it is also a conversation you're having with your future self. This feature is accelerated when one cross links ideas within their note box with each other and revisits them at regular intervals.

      Example of someone who uses Roam Research and talks about the prevalence of using it as a "conversation with your future self."

      This is very similar to the same patterns that can be seen in the commonplace book tradition, and even in the blogosphere (Cory Doctorow comes to mind), or IndieWeb which often recommends writing on your own website to document how you did things for your future self.

    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.


      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.

    2. In 2019, Smolyansky co-founded Connected Papers, one of a new generation of visual literature-mapping and recommendation tools.



      Something about the name Connected Papers reminds me of the same sort of linking name that Manfred Kuehn gave to his note taking software ConnectedText.

    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?

    2. Not unlike Duchamp’s door that is both open and closed at thesame time, the card file resists the syntagmatic closure of the sentence by sustain-ing the openness of the paradigm.

      Resisting syntagmatic closure

      Ideas placed into a card file or zettelkasten resist syntagmatic closure. Even well-formed structures in a card file can accept, expand, and integrate new ideas.

      Is a zettelkasten ever done?

    1. As Derrida writes ofthe computer, ‘I don’t feel the interposition of the machine as a sortof progress in transparency, univocity, or easiness. Rather, we areparticipating in a partly new plot’ (2005: 21). H
    2. Furthermore,combinatorial logic dictates that the card index is also the wellspringof creativity insofar as it permits expansive possibilities for futureintellectual endeavours (see Hollier, 2005: 40; cf. Krapp, 2006:367).
    3. the card indexis the quintessential structuralist tool in that it simultaneouslycombines the paradigmatic (selection) with the syntagmatic(combination) in one mechanism.
    4. 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.

    5. The filing cards or slipsthat Barthes inserted into his index-card system adhered to a ‘strictformat’: they had to be precisely one quarter the size of his usualsheet of writing paper. Barthes (1991: 180) records that this systemchanged when standards were readjusted as part of moves towardsEuropean unification. Within the collection there was considerable‘interior mobility’ (Hollier, 2005: 40), with cards constantlyreordered. There were also multiple layerings of text on each card,with original text frequently annotated and altered.

      Barthes kept his system to a 'strict format' of cards which were one quarter the size of his usual sheet of writing paper, though he did adjust the size over time as paper sizes standardized within Europe. Hollier indicates that the collection had considerable 'interior mobility' and the cards were constantly reordered with use. Barthes also apparently frequently annotated and altered his notes on cards, so they were also changing with use over time.

      Did he make his own cards or purchase them? The sizing of his paper with respect to his cards might indicate that he made his own as it would have been relatively easy to fold his own paper in half twice and cut it up.

      Were his cards numbered or marked so as to be able to put them into some sort of standard order? There's a mention of 'interior mobility' and if this was the case were they just floating around internally or were they somehow indexed and tethered (linked) together?

      The fact that they were regularly used, revise, and easily reordered means that they could definitely have been used to elicit creativity in the same manner as Raymond Llull's combinatorial art, though done externally rather than within one's own mind.

    1. Many famous antique texts are misunderstood and many others have been completely dismissed, all because the literary style in which they were written is unfamiliar today. So argues Mary Douglas in this controversial study of ring composition, a technique which places the meaning of a text in the middle, framed by a beginning and ending in parallel. To read a ring composition in the modern linear fashion is to misinterpret it, Douglas contends, and today’s scholars must reevaluate important antique texts from around the world.Found in the Bible and in writings from as far afield as Egypt, China, Indonesia, Greece, and Russia, ring composition is too widespread to have come from a single source. Does it perhaps derive from the way the brain works? What is its function in social contexts? The author examines ring composition, its principles and functions, in a cross-cultural way. She focuses on ring composition in Homer’s Iliad, the Bible’s book of Numbers, and, for a challenging modern example, Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, developing a persuasive argument for reconstruing famous books and rereading neglected ones.

      Mary Douglas has a fascinating looking text on ring composition, a literary style which puts the meaning of the text in the middle and frames it with the beginning and end which are in parallel.

      Texts like the Bible, Homer, and even Tristram Shandy might be looked at from a different perspective with this lens.

      Suggested to me by Ann Bergin within the context of The Extended Mind

  8. Mar 2022
    1. Orality is a technology or as a tool for thinking.

    2. but i i think the first couple of hundred notes are more like a collection and you look 00:34:29 for um connections and there are some but you remember them because yes the amount where it's where it doesn't surprise you 00:34:43 uh it's more you know where they are and i think the from 500 on um there's a shift um and then you need to uh figure out how to um 00:34:58 find them again so the index or some kind of system becomes more important and i think a couple of thousand notes and uh you're 00:35:12 automatically turning to your set of custom [Music] as the place where you will likely find some kind of connection

      Q: How many permanent notes did it take before you felt you had a communication partner?

      Sönke Ahrens has indicated that the first couple hundred notes are more of a static collection. Then from five hundred notes onward there is a shift and having an index becomes more important. It's only at about one thousand notes that one begins automatically turning to the zettelkasten to find connections. Perhaps it's at this point that the tool begins to look like a communication partner.

      link this to the few other examples from others.

    3. it is a tool for productivity um but i think it's a technology that forces you to [Music] engage more deeply with 00:29:06 the text you're reading

      The zettelkasten is a tool for thought that forces you to engage more deeply with what you're reading.

    1. Democratic processes take time. The goal of a legislation-writing genex is not necessarily to speed the process or increase the number of bills, but to engage a wider circle of stakeholders, support thoughtful deliberation, and improve the quality of the resulting legislation.

      What are the problems here in such a democratic process online or even in a modern context?

      People who aren't actually stakeholders feel that they're stakeholders and want to control other's actions even when they don't have a stake. (eg: abortion)

      People don't have time to become properly informed about the ever-increasing group of topics and there is too much disinformation and creation of fear, uncertainty and doubt.

      Thoughtful deliberation does not happen.

      The quality of legislation has dropped instead of increased.

      Bikeshedding is too easy.

      What if instead of electing people who run, we elected people from the electorate at random? This would potentially at least nudge us to have some representation by "one of the least of these". This would provide us to pay more attention to a broader swath of society instead of the richest and most powerful. What might the long term effects of this be?

    2. Powerful tools can support creativity: Innovation can be facilitated by powerful tools that supply templates and support exploratory processes such as brainstorming (offering links to related concepts), state-space expl oration (trying out all permutations), idea combining (systematic pairings), rapid prototyping, and simulation modeling.

      State-space exploration and idea combining (systematic pairings) are just modern reimaginings of ideas going back to Raymond Llull and possibly earlier.

    1. Hands can be a prompt, a window, a way station—butwhat they ought never have to be is still.

      Missing reference in this chapter on encouraging gestures as a tool for thought: "idle hands are the devil's workshop".

      Could the Bible have been encouraging the use of one's hands for communication??

    2. “It is from the attempt of expressing themselves thatunderstanding evolves, rather than the other way around,” he maintains.

      —Woff-Michael Roth

      Actively attempting to express oneself is one of the best methods of evolving one's understanding.

      Link this to the ideas related to being forced to actively manufacture the answer to a question is one of the best ways to learn.

    3. Research shows that people who are asked to write on complex topics,instead of being allowed to talk and gesture about them, end up reasoning lessastutely and drawing fewer inferences.

      Should active reading, thinking, and annotating also include making gestures as a means of providing more clear reasoning, and drawing better inferences from one's material?

      Would gestural movements with a hand or physical writing be helpful in annotation over digital annotation using typing as an input? Is this related to the anecdotal evidence/research of handwriting being a better method of note taking over typing?

      Could products like Hypothes.is or Diigo benefit from the use of digital pens on screens as a means of improving learning over using a mouse and a keyboard to highlight and annotate?

    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?

  9. Feb 2022
    1. 9/8g Hinter der Zettelkastentechnik steht dieErfahrung: Ohne zu schreiben kann mannicht denken – jedenfalls nicht in anspruchsvollen,selektiven Zugriff aufs Gedächtnis voraussehendenZusammenhängen. Das heißt auch: ohne Differenzen einzukerben,kann man nicht denken.

      Google translation:

      9/8g The Zettelkasten technique is based on experience: You can't think without writing—at least not in contexts that require selective access to memory.

      That also means: you can't think without notching differences.

      There's something interesting about the translation here of "notching" occurring on an index card about ideas which can be linked to the early computer science version of edge-notched cards. Could this have been a subtle and tangential reference to just this sort of computing?

      The idea isn't new to me, but in the last phrase Luhmann tangentially highlights the value of the zettelkasten for more easily and directly comparing and contrasting the ideas on two different cards which might be either linked or juxtaposed.

      Link to:

      • Graeber and Wengrow ideas of storytelling
      • Shield of Achilles and ekphrasis thesis

      • https://hypothes.is/a/I-VY-HyfEeyjIC_pm7NF7Q With the further context of the full quote including "with selective access to memory" Luhmann seemed to at least to make space (if not give a tacit nod?) to oral traditions which had methods for access to memories in ways that modern literates don't typically give any credit at all. Johannes F.K .Schmidt certainly didn't and actively erased it in Niklas Luhmann’s Card Index: The Fabrication of Serendipity.

    1. The Internet is a giant mental network. In theory, it would be possible to create a miniature version of the web by creating one node with some content (an idea, a thought) and to ask people to create a branch off that node with a label of their own—based on what the initial node made them think about. People would keep on adding nodes, which would create interesting stories, like a non-linear cadavre exquis.
    1. In fact, my allegiance to Scrivener basically boils down to just three tricks that the software performs, but those tricks are so good that I’m more than willing to put up with all the rest of the tool’s complexity.Those three tricks are:Every Scrivener document is made up of little cards of text — called “scrivenings” in the lingo — that are presented in an outline view on the left hand side of the window. Select a card, and you see the text associated with that card in the main view.If you select more than one card in the outline, the combined text of those cards is presented in a single scrolling view in the main window. You can easily merge a series of cards into one longer card.The cards can be nested; you can create a card called, say, “biographical info”, and then drag six cards that contain quotes about given character’s biography into that card, effectively creating a new folder. That folder can in turn be nested inside another folder, and so on. If you select an entire folder, you see the combined text of all the cards as a single scrolling document.

      Steven Johnson identifies the three features of Scrivener which provide him with the most value.

      Notice the close similarity of these features to those of a traditional zettelkasten: cards of text which can be linked together and rearranged into lines of thought.

      One difference is the focus on the creation of folders which creates definite hierarchies rather than networks of thought.

    2. 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.

    3. Two things are worth noting here: the nests and the non-linearity. The different layers are nested in structure. Hunches come together to form ideas which come together to form stories. But sequence only becomes critical in the top layers: stories, arguments, chapters. The different between the two stages is like the difference between the pushpin evidence board from The Wire — a scattered network of clues and potential connections—and a prosecutor’s closing statement in a criminal trial.
    1. https://every.to/superorganizers/the-fall-of-roam

      A user talks about why they've stopped using Roam Research.

      I suspect that a lot of people have many of the same issues and to a great extent, it's a result of them not understanding the underlying use cases of the problems they're trying to solve.

      This user is focusing on it solving the problem of where one is placing their data in hopes that it will fix all their problems, but without defining the reason why they're using the tool and what problems they hope for it to solve.

      Note taking is a much broader idea space than many suppose.

    1. Working with the slip-box, therefore, doesn’t mean storinginformation in there instead of in your head, i.e. not learning. On thecontrary, it facilitates real, long-term learning

      The forms of thinking, writing, and elaboration that go into creating permanent notes for a slip box are natural means of facilitating actual, long-term learning.

    2. he best-researched and mostsuccessful learning method is elaboration. It is very similar to whatwe do when we take smart notes and combine them with others,which is the opposite of mere re-viewing (Stein et al. 1984)Elaboration means nothing other than really thinking about themeaning of what we read, how it could inform different questions andtopics and how it could be combined with other knowledge

      Elaboration is thinking deeply about the meaning of what we've read, how it could inform or answer different questions, and how it can be linked or combined with other knowledge. It is one of the best-researched and most successful learning methods. While it seems to have some subtle differences, it sounds broadly similar to the Feynman technique and is related to the idea of writing questions based on one's notes in the Cornell note taking method.

    3. Bjork, Robert A. 2011. “On the Symbiosis of Remembering,Forgetting and Learning.” In Successful Remembering andSuccessful Forgetting: a Festschrift in Honor of Robert A. Bjork,edited by Aaron S. Benjamin, 1–22. New York, NY: PsychologyPress.
    4. This is why choosing an external system that forces us todeliberate practice and confronts us as much as possible with ourlack of understanding or not-yet-learned information is such a smartmove.

      Choosing an external system for knowledge keeping and production forces the learner into a deliberate practice and confronts them with their lack of understanding. This is a large part of the underlying value not only of the zettelkasten, but of the use of a commonplace book which Benjamin Franklin was getting at when recommending that one "read with a pen in your hand". The external system also creates a modality shift from reading to writing by way of thinking which further underlines the value.

      What other building blocks are present in addition to: - modality shift - deliberate practice - confrontation of lack of understanding

      Are there other systems that do all of these as well as others simultaneously?

      link to Franklin quote

    5. While it is obvious that familiarity is not understanding, we have nochance of knowing whether we understand something or just believewe understand something until we test ourselves in some form.

      The Cornell notes practice of writing questions in the empty left column as a means of testing knowledge can be an effective tool after taking notes to ensure that one has actually learned and understood the broad concepts. They can also be used for spaced repetition purposes as well.

      Valuable though they may be as teaching and learning tools, they don't figure directly into the idea of permanent notes from a zettelkasten perspective.

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

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

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

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

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

    7. Separate and Interlocking Tasks

      Chapter 9 of How to Take Smart Notes looks at some of the psychology research involving attention, multitasking, decision making, willpower, concentration, expertise, planning, to highlight the value of the design and structure of the zettelkasten as a positive tool for helping one to be more productive in their thinking and writing work.

    8. The slip-box provides not only a clear structure to work in, but also forces usto shift our attention consciously as we can complete tasks inreasonable time before moving on to the next one.

      Ahrens provides a quick overview of some research on distraction, attention, and multi-tasking to make the point that:

      The simple structure and design of the zettelkasten forces one's focus and attention on small individual tasks that cumulatively build into better thinking and writing.

      (Summary of Section 9.2)

    9. Our brains work not that differently in terms of interconnectedness.Psychologists used to think of the brain as a limited storage spacethat slowly fills up and makes it more difficult to learn late in life. Butwe know today that the more connected information we alreadyhave, the easier it is to learn, because new information can dock tothat information. Yes, our ability to learn isolated facts is indeedlimited and probably decreases with age. But if facts are not kept

      isolated nor learned in an isolated fashion, but hang together in a network of ideas, or “latticework of mental models” (Munger, 1994), it becomes easier to make sense of new information. That makes it easier not only to learn and remember, but also to retrieve the information later in the moment and context it is needed.

      Our natural memories are limited in their capacities, but it becomes easier to remember facts when they've got an association to other things in our minds. The building of mental models makes it easier to acquire and remember new information. The down side is that it may make it harder to dramatically change those mental models and re-associate knowledge to them without additional amounts of work.

      The mental work involved here may be one of the reasons for some cognitive biases and the reason why people are more apt to stay stuck in their mental ruts. An example would be not changing their minds about ideas of racism and inequality, both because it's easier to keep their pre-existing ideas and biases than to do the necessary work to change their minds. Similar things come into play with respect to tribalism and political party identifications as well.

      This could be an interesting area to explore more deeply. Connect with George Lakoff.

    10. There is one reliable sign if you managedto structure your workflow according to the fact that writing is not alinear process, but a circular one: the problem of finding a topic isreplaced by the problem of having too many topics to write about.

      Writing is a circular generative process and not a finite, linear one.

    11. Theseemingly pragmatic and down-to-earth-sounding advice – to decidewhat to write about before you start writing – is therefore eithermisleading or banal.

      Properly framed note taking methods are themselves a hermeneutic circle for thinking and creating.

    12. Every intellectual endeavour starts from an already existingpreconception, which then can be transformed during further inquiresand can serve as a starting point for following endeavours. Basically,that is what Hans-Georg Gadamer called the hermeneutic circle

      (Gadamer 2004).

      All intellectual endeavors start from a preexisting set of ideas. These can then be built upon to create new concepts which then influence the original starting point and may continue ever expanding with further thought.

      Ahrens argues that most writing advice goes against the idea of the hermeneutic circle and pretends as if the writer is starting with a blank page. This can prefigure some of the stress and difficulty Ernest Hemingway spoke of when he compared writing to "facing the white bull which is paper with no words on it."

      While it can be convenient to think of the idea of tabula rasa, in practice it really doesn't exist. As a result the zettelkasten more readily shows its value in the writing process.

    13. Project-related notes can be: · comments in the manuscript· collections of project-related literature· outlines· snippets of drafts· reminders· to-do lists· and of course the draft itself.

      Project notes can be kept in folders either inside or outside of the zettelkasten itself, but they technically shouldn't be a permanent part of it. Perhaps it's better to think of them as a workbench or play space for ideas as they're forming into a finished piece of writing. Once the piece is done, the play space has served its purpose and can be cleaned up.

    14. Even ifyou decide never to write a single line of a manuscript, you willimprove your reading, thinking and other intellectual skills just bydoing everything as if nothing counts other than writing.

      Is there evidence that this is true?

    15. As the only way to find outif something is worth reading is by reading it (even just bits of it), itmakes sense to use the time spent in the best possible way. Weconstantly encounter interesting ideas along the way and only afraction of them are useful for the particular paper we started readingit for. Why let them go to waste? Make a note and add it to your slip-box. It improves it. Every idea adds to what can become a criticalmass that turns a mere collection of ideas into an idea-generator.

      Even if the paper or book you're reading doesn't answer the particular question you're researching, you're bound to come across other novel ideas and potential questions. Don't let these go to waste, but instead note them down and save them into your note taking system. They may be useful in the future, particularly if you found them interesting or intriguing.

      It turns out "waste not, want not" is applicable to ideas as well.

      I can't help but also thinking "waste note, want note" as an interesting turn of expression.

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

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

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

    17. By adding these links between notes, Luhmann was able to addthe same note to different contexts.

      By crosslinking one's notes in a hypertext-like manner one is able to give them many different contexts. This linking and context shifting is a solid method for helping one's ideas to have sex with each other as a means of generating new ideas.

      Is there a relationship between this idea of context shifting and modality shifting? Are these just examples of building blocks for tools of thought? Are they sifts on different axes? When might they be though of as the same? Compare and contrast this further.

    18. you will have to deal with anincreasingly complex body of content, especially because it is notjust about collecting thoughts, but about making connections andsparking new ideas

      Collecting thoughts is great, but there is more value in linking them, encouraging them to have sex, and making new and more exciting ideas.

      Cross reference: Matt Ridley's When Ideas Have Sex https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex

    19. a system is neededto keep track of the ever-increasing pool of information, which allowsone to combine different ideas in an intelligent way with the aim ofgenerating new ideas.

      The point of good tools of thought is to allow one to keep track of the ever increasing flood of information that also allows them to juxtapose or combine ideas in novel and interesting ways. Further, this should provide them with a means of generating and then improving upon their new ideas.

    20. A good structure is something you can trust. It relieves you fromthe burden of remembering and keeping track of everything. If youcan trust the system, you can let go of the attempt to hold everythingtogether in your head and you can start focusing on what isimportant:

      Whether it's for writing, to do lists, or other productivity spaces, a well designed system is something that one can put their absolute trust into. This allows one to free themselves from the burden of tracking and dealing with minutiae so they can get serious work done.

    1. https://reallifemag.com/rank-and-file/

      An interesting example of someone who fell into the trap of thinking that a particular tool or tools would magically make them smarter or help them do a particular line of work without showing any deep evidence of knowing what they were doing. The discussion here flows over a number of mixed note taking domains with no clear thrust for what they were using it pointedly for. The multiple directions and lack of experience likely doomed them to failure here.

    2. This is a widespread mistake among those who think that a sexy note-taking app like Roam will suddenly free their minds, or that they can train themselves into geniuses with enough spaced repetition, or that they can build a zettelkasten capable of thinking original thoughts for them.

      Thinking that the tool will solve a particular problem without knowing what the tool does or how to use it properly will surely set one up for failure. You can use a screwdriver like a hammer, but your results won't be as good as using a hammer and using it properly.

    1. As much as I automate things, though,none of my thinking is done by a tool.Even with plugins like Graph Analysis, I never feel like I'm being presented with emergent connections — tho this is what the plugin is intended for, and I believe it works for other people.

      At what point could digital tools be said to be thinking? Do they need to be generative? It certainly needs to be on the other side of serendipitously juxtaposing two interesting ideas. One can juxtapose millions of ideas, it's the selection of a tiny subset of these as "better" or more interesting than the others and then building off of that that constitutes this sort of generative thought.

    1. Informal observations include direct observations of our own and others’ behavior as well as secondhand observations from non-scientific sources such as newspapers, books, blogs, and so on. For example, you might notice that you always seem to be in the slowest moving line at the grocery store. Could it be that most people think the same thing? Or you might read in a local newspaper about people donating money and food to a local family whose house has burned down and begin to wonder about who makes such donations and why. Some of the most famous research in psychology has been inspired by informal observations.

      Tenicia Daniels: This is interesting. Informal observations have guided me in curiosity and lead to exploration in random fields of interest. Like signing up to run the 2017NYC marathon. Therefore, connecting research inspiration with day-to-day life decision making, seems to resemble the same thinking.

  10. Jan 2022
    1. names of diseases.

      ok, wierd one to choose, but im listening

    2. here is nothing to these so-called "mental" events and entities but certain processes in our all-too-material heads.


    3. certainly to the advantage of the progress of scientific knowledge that these imitation jewels in the coffer of scientific problems

      jesus.. what a roast

    4. It is in exactly the same way that abbreviating symbols are introduced into the language of physics

      literal abbreviations XD



    1. https://vimeo.com/232545219

      from: Eyeo Conference 2017


      Robin Sloan at Eyeo 2017 | Writing with the Machine | Language models built with recurrent neural networks are advancing the state of the art on what feels like a weekly basis; off-the-shelf code is capable of astonishing mimicry and composition. What happens, though, when we take those models off the command line and put them into an interactive writing environment? In this talk Robin presents demos of several tools, including one presented here for the first time. He discusses motivations and process, shares some technical tips, proposes a course for the future — and along the way, write at least one short story together with the audience: all of us, and the machine.


      Robin created a corpus using If Magazine and Galaxy Magazine from the Internet Archive and used it as a writing tool. He talks about using a few other models for generating text.

      Some of the idea here is reminiscent of the way John McPhee used the 1913 Webster Dictionary for finding words (or le mot juste) for his work, as tangentially suggested in Draft #4 in The New Yorker (2013-04-22)

      Cross reference: https://hypothes.is/a/t2a9_pTQEeuNSDf16lq3qw and https://hypothes.is/a/vUG82pTOEeu6Z99lBsrRrg from https://jsomers.net/blog/dictionary

      Croatian acapella singing: klapa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sciwtWcfdH4

      Writing using the adjacent possible.

      Corpus building as an art [~37:00]

      Forgetting what one trained their model on and then seeing the unexpected come out of it. This is similar to Luhmann's use of the zettelkasten as a serendipitous writing partner.

      Open questions

      How might we use information theory to do this more easily?

      What does a person or machine's "hand" look like in the long term with these tools?

      Can we use corpus linguistics in reverse for this?

      What sources would you use to train your model?


      • Andrej Karpathy. 2015. "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neural Networks"
      • Samuel R. Bowman, Luke Vilnis, Oriol Vinyals, et al. "Generating sentences from a continuous space." 2015. arXiv: 1511.06349
      • Stanislau Semeniuta, Aliaksei Severyn, and Erhardt Barth. 2017. "A Hybrid Convolutional Variational Autoencoder for Text generation." arXiv:1702.02390
      • Soroush Mehri, et al. 2017. "SampleRNN: An Unconditional End-to-End Neural Audio Generation Model." arXiv:1612.07837 applies neural networks to sound and sound production
    1. “One cannot think without writing.” (Luhmann 1992, 53)

      Similar statements have been made by others:

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

      I think this was Luhmann's full quote:

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

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

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

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

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

    1. If we follow the caper star clockwise, starting with “checklist” and signifying just the facts as they are presented, we have ready at hand a way to begin rethinking the types of inquiry proper to certain areas of thought [FIGURE 7]. On the first of the five points then, “checklist,” let us hang journalism, objective accounts, and the raw data of scientific research. On the second, concerning “characters” and their relations, let us place psychology, sociology, anthropology, and politics. The third, at the bottom left, concerning “words,” let us imagine linguistics, philology, rhetoric, and dialectic. The fourth point, “questions,” accommodates philosophy broadly speaking, and the generating of topics and concepts, as well as modes of inquiry, whether inductive or deductive, proper to law and medical research. And finally, the top point, concerning “U” (a tag which stands for “you” as well as the first letter of “universal”), let us place ethics, religion, theology, and practices conducive to reflection and self realization—any means of understanding your place in the world and your stake in the matter under consideration. As the crossing lines of the five-pointed star indicate, all points are interrelated. As for the center, whatever one wants to place there can be illuminated by the five categories broadly conceived as just outlined.