20 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2022
    1. Drexel recommended pondering the choices of the correct subject-term (caput rei), because it is hard to foresee in the ‘present’ which ‘past’ one might search for in the ‘future’.

      Drexel, Aurifodina, 135

      The question of the correct taxonomies isn't an easy one and certainly isn't new.

    2. Placcius recommended considering the first, the second, and the third letters in the words listed in the subject index in order to avoid spending too much time in searching for an entry;

      Placcius, De arte excerpendi, 84–5;

    1. But this is not the main reason. The other three programs try to achieve the connection or linking between different topics or cards (mainly) by assigning keywords. But this is not what Luhmann's approach recommended. While he did have a register of keywords, this was certainly not the most important way of interconnecting his slips. He linked them by direct references (Verweisungen). Any slip could refer directly to the physical and unchanging location of any other slip.

      Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten had three different forms of links.

      • The traditional keyword index/link from the commonplace book tradition
      • A parent/child link upon first placing the idea into the system (except when starting a new top level parent)
      • A direct link (Verweisungen) to one or more ideas already in the index card catalog.

      Many note taking systems are relying on the older commonplace book taxonomies and neglect or forego both of the other two sorts of links. While the second can be safely subsumed as a custom, one-time version of the third, the third version is the sort of link which helps to create a lot of direct value within a note taking system as the generic links between broader topic heading names can be washed out over time as the system grows.


      Was this last link type included in Konrad Gessner's version? If not, at what point in time did this more specific direct link evolve?

  2. Dec 2021
    1. Usually it is more fruitful to look for formulations of problems that relate heterogeneous things with each other.

      A great quote, but this is likely a nebulous statement to those with out the experience of practice. Definitely worth expanding on this idea to give it more detail.

    2. Considering the absence of a systematic order, we must regulate the process of rediscovery of notes, for we cannot rely on our memory of numbers. (The alternation of numbers and alphabetic characters in numbering the slips helps memory and is an optical aid when we search for them, but it is insufficient. Therefore we need a register of keywords that we constantly update.

      Luhmann indicated that one must keep a register of keywords to assist in the rediscovery of notes. This had been the standard within the commonplacing tradition for centuries before him. The potential subtle difference is that he seems to place more value on the placement links between cards as well as other specific links between cards over these subject headings.

      Is it possible to tell from his system which sets of links were more valuable to him? Were there more of these topical heading links than other non-topical heading links between individual cards?

    1. In the 1740s, Thomas Harrison invented a wooden filing cabinet in which the file cards could be hooked on little tin plates. On each of these plates was written the name of the entry (i.e., the re-spective subject heading), and the plates were arranged in strictly alphabeti-cal order.22

      Thomas Harrison, a TK, invented a wooden filing cabinet in the 1740's for storing slips of paper. Each slip could be hooked onto tin plates which contained the topical or subject headings that were arranged in alphabetical order.

      Harrison's description was anonymously published with corrections and improvements by Vincent Placcius in De arte excerpendi. Vom gelehrten Buchhalten liber singularis (Stockholm/Hamburg, 1689), 124–59, in his hand-book on excerpting systems.

    2. Through an inner structure of recursive links and semantic pointers, a card index achieves a proper autonomy; it behaves as a ‘communication partner’ who can recommend unexpected associations among different ideas. I suggest that in this respect pre-adaptive advances took root in early modern Europe, and that this basic requisite for information pro-cessing machines was formulated largely by the keyword ‘order’.

      aliases for "topical headings": headwords keywords tags categories

  3. Nov 2021
    1. trancis pacon outlined the two principal methods ofnote taking in a letter of advice to tulke urevilleW who was seeking to hireone or more research assistants in qambridge around ]cggh “ve that shallout of his own ”eading gather [notes] for the use of anotherW must Sas wthinkT do it by spitomeW or obridgmentW or under veads and qommonfllacesY spitomes may also be of ‘ sortsh of any one ortW or part of ynowledgeout of many pooksi or of one pook by itselfY”

      Quoted in Vernon F Snow “Ftrancis Bacon's Advice to Fulke Greville on Research Techniques," Huntington Library Quarterly 23, no.4 (1960): 370.

  4. Oct 2021
    1. Holiday’s is project-based, or bucket-based.

      Ryan Holiday's system is a more traditional commonplace book approach with broad headings which can feel project-based or bucket-based and thus not as flexible or useful to some users.

  5. Aug 2021
    1. Although it is difficult at present to know the precise impact of such filing systems, it is clear thatLinnaeus’s design mirrored the ways in which he arranged heads in his notes and books. The inte-rior space of his cabinet was divided into two open-faced columns, which meant that it was a phys-ical instantiation of a bilateral table.

      The design of Carl Linnaeus' specimen cabinets mirrored that of the bilateral tables and the ways he arranged his heads in his notes and books.

    2. Like the spatial hierarchies presented in the Philosophia botanica, he wanted asimple form of linear order that allowed him to access his sheets quickly. Such a desire led himto reject the spatial divisions featured in many contemporary curiosity and medical cabinets, thatis, closed drawers that were stacked in multiple columns. This rejection was probably linked tothe fact that he had already seen a better way forward in the form of filing systems that werephysical instantiations of commonplace divisions used so often in books.

      Linnaeus used the logic of topical headings in commonplace books as an intellectual framework for designing a better filing system for his physical plant specimens. This was in marked contrast to the sorts of contemporary curiosity and medical cabinets that others were using at the time.

    3. In contrast to the sheets used by other contemporary natural-ists, he refrained from binding his into a proper book and this allowed him to stack them in abespoke cabinet (arca) in a manner that allowed him to insert, remove and reorder them as he sawfit (Figure 9).64 It was for this reason that the Philosophia botanica gave explicit instructions onhow to build the cabinet and how to organize the specimen sheets within it. He recommended thatthe internal space be split into two columns with shelves that were collectively divided intotwenty-four sections, each of which was assigned a numerical head that represented a class withinhis system.65Each class section was filled with select specimen sheets divided by bands intogenera. In his words: If the folding doors are marked with the numbers and names of the genera, with the space on the shelvescorresponding exactly, and linden bands are kept between the spaces, enclosing the same genera andthemselves marked with the number of the genera, then any plant can be pulled out and produced with-out delay.66

      Note here the idea of being able to file things away, reorder them, and find them quickly. Search was a likely motivator.

      He's essentially created an early form of zettelkasten, but for plants.

    4. Ong maintains that this type of spatialization of aphorisms into heads started in the Renaissance. See Ong, Ramus, 315
    5. Since he was writing in Latin, he could arrange the narra-tive of each aphorism so that it began with a head that cued the reader to the content of the subse-quent narrative.

      Oh the times I wish this were easier to do in English without the gymnastics.

    6. In other words, the chapter titles of the Fundamenta botanicawere effectively titularheads which were transferable from one book to another and which served as labels for textualunits that could be moved through the space of the page in a manner that split books into chap-ters and chapters into books.

      In much the way one might move around portions of ideas under heads in a commonplace book, Carl Linnaeus was moving around bigger ideas/chapters within books and moving from one book to another.

    7. when he laid out the early form of his classification method in a pamphletentitled Methodus(1736), he used heads to order the text.16

      Carl Linnaeus' classification method in Systema Naturae, his famous nomenclature system, was informed by the traditional topical headings of commonplace books.

      [16] The content of Methodus and the nature of the heads is addressed in S. Müller-Wille, ‘Introduction’, in C.Linnaeus, Musa Cliffortiana: Clifford’s Banana Plant, translated by S. Freer (Liechtenstein: A.R.G. Gantner VerlagK.G., 2007), 33

  6. Sep 2020
  7. May 2020
  8. Feb 2019
    1. If one's content is logical, it will be easy to remember.

      In this sense, can "logic" be at all subjective? By subjective I mean can the definition of logical different between individuals when organizing information? For example, I think it would be logical to organize my information chronologically, while someone else may think it is most logical to utilize a topical organizational pattern.