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    1. The term 'lemma' comes from the practice in Greco-Roman antiquity of using the word to refer to the headwords of marginal glosses in scholia; for this reason, the Ancient Greek plural form is sometimes used, namely lemmata (Greek λῆμμα, pl. λήμματα).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headword

      No mention here of the use of headwords within the commonplace book tradition.

    1. The financial promise of email newsletters

      the financial side is certainly subtext, but this piece doesn't play into the underlying structure of this story. Makes this a bit of clickbait within the title.

    2. What motivated my newsletter reading habits normally? In large part, affection and light voyeurism. I subscribed to the newsletters of people I knew, who treated the form the way they had once treated personal blogs. I skimmed the dadlike suggestions of Sam Sifton in the New York Times’ Cooking newsletter (skillet chicken and Lana Del Rey’s “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” — sure, okay). I subscribed briefly to Alison Roman’s recipe newsletter before deciding that the ratio of Alison Roman to recipes was much too high. On a colleague’s recommendation, I subscribed to Emily Atkin’s climate newsletter and soon felt guilty because it was so long and came so often that I let it pile up unread. But in order to write about newsletters, I binged. I went about subscribing in a way no sentient reader was likely to do — omnivorously, promiscuously, heedless of redundancy, completely open to hate-reading. I had not expected to like everything I received. Still, as the flood continued, I experienced a response I did not expect. I was bored.

      The question of motivation about newsletter subscriptions is an important one. Some of the thoughts here mirror some of my feelings about social media in general.

      Why?

    3. “Substack is longform media Twitter, for good and for ill,” wrote Ashley Feinberg in the first installment of her Substack.

      Definitely a hot take, but a truthful sounding one.

    4. This came in the context of weighing what she stood to gain and lose in leaving a staff job at BuzzFeed. She knew the worth of what editors, fact-checkers, designers, and other colleagues brought to a piece of writing. At the same time, she was tired of working around the “imperatives of social media sharing.” Clarity and concision are not metrics imposed by the Facebook algorithm, of course — but perhaps such concerns lose some of their urgency when readers have already pledged their support.

      Continuing with the idea above about the shift of Sunday morning talk shows and the influence of Hard Copy, is social media exerting a negative influence on mainstream content and conversation as a result of their algorithmic gut reaction pressure? How can we fight this effect?

    5. How can writers bridge the gap between what they want to say and what someone else understands? Eleven months later, a line from Anne Helen Petersen’s announcement of her Substack newsletter haunts me still: Writing a newsletter, Petersen wrote, meant she could publish “pieces that take ten paragraphs to get to the nut graf, if there’s one at all.”

      There's something in this quote that sounds more like old school blogging to me. Putting ideas out there and allowing the community to react and respond as a means of honing an idea can be useful and powerful. However, are writers actually doing this meaningfully over time? Are they objectively doing this and providing thoughtful updates over time?

    6. Matt Taibbi asked his subscribers in April. Since they were “now functionally my editor,” he was seeking their advice on potential reporting projects. One suggestion — that he write about Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo — swiftly gave way to a long debate among readers over whether race was biological.

      There's something here that's akin to the idea of bikeshedding? Online communities flock to the low lying ideas upon which they can proffer an opinion and play at the idea of debate. If they really cared, wouldn't they instead delve into the research and topics themselves? Do they really want Taibbi's specific take? Do they want or need his opinion on the topic? What do they really want?

      Compare and cross reference this with the ideas presented by Ibram X. Kendi's article There Is No Debate Over Critical Race Theory.

      Are people looking for the social equivalent of a simple "system one" conversation or are they ready, willing, and able to delve into a "system two" presentation?

      Compare this also with the modern day version of the Sunday morning news (analysis) shows? They would seem to be interested in substantive policy and debate, but they also require a lot of prior context to participate. In essence, most speakers don't actually engage, but spew out talking points instead and rely on gut reactions and fear, uncertainty and doubt to make their presentations. What happened to the actual discourse? Has there been a shift in how these shows work and present since the rise of the Hard Copy sensationalist presentation? Is the competition for eyeballs weakening these analysis shows?

      How might this all relate to low level mansplaining as well? What are men really trying to communicate in demonstrating this behavior? What do they gain in the long run? What is the evolutionary benefit?

      All these topics seem related somehow within the spectrum of communication and what people look for and choose in what and how they consume content.

    7. The baroque goofiness of Blackbird Spyplane’s house style can be something of a test for readers of the newsletter (the “sletter,” in Blackbird Spyplane parlance). “X out of ten people are going to show up and read that and just be like, This is impenetrable, I’m out,” Weiner told one interviewer. “But for the people who stick around, I think that it adds to a sense of, Oh, this is like an in-joke that I’m in on.” And better (at least to this reader) that clubbiness take a niche form — it is less claustrophobia-inducing than the many newsletters that seem to insist we are all wearily following the same disputes on Twitter, all inevitably watching the same shows on Netflix. Such newsletters wind up feeling like crowded rooms with too few windows on the world beyond.

      This is a great description which is roughly how I feel about the awesome uniqueness that is https://www.kickscondor.com/.

    8. Earlier this year, a group of writers with popular tech and culture newsletters expanded upon this premise; they joined together to launch a Discord server called Sidechannel where all their subscribers could meet and chat. (“So it’s just people paying for internet friends?” asked one woman I know when this arrangement was described to her. Yes, and currently Sidechannel has some 5,000 members, several hundred of whom may be active at a given time.)

      There's something a bit depressing about the idea of paying for online friends. Though creating, managing, and tummeling these sorts of community is definitely a form of social and creative "work".

      How much work do these creators do on this front? How much is the writing and creating versus the management and community building? What else goes into it all?

      Compare and contrast the work done by individuals in the IndieWeb community.

    9. Early on, circa 2015, there was a while when every first-person writer who might once have written a Tumblr began writing a TinyLetter. At the time, the writer Lyz Lenz observed that newsletters seemed to create a new kind of safe space. A newsletter’s self-selecting audience was part of its appeal, especially for women writers who had experienced harassment elsewhere online.

      What sort of spaces do newsletters create based upon their modes of delivery? What makes them "safer" for marginalized groups? Is there a mitigation of algorithmic speed and reach that helps? Is it a more tacit building of community and conversation? How can these benefits be built into an IndieWeb space?

      How can a platform provide "reach" while simultaneously creating negative feedback for trolls and bad actors?

    10. The contemporary email newsletter is not a novel form; often it amounts to a new delivery system for the same sorts of content — essays, explainers, Q&As, news roundups, advice, and lists — that have long been staples of online media. (Subscribe to enough newsletters and sort them the right way, and it’s possible to re-create something like an RSS-feed reader.)

      Email delivery apparently isn't much different than RSS. What sorts of functionality do RSS readers provide over email in terms of search, filtering, and presentation? Surely RSS is more powerful at slicing and dicing one's reader data.

      How do all these different forms of content fit into the greater set of genres in Western culture?

    11. You’re sliding into their inbox every morning or every week, and your subscribers can just hit RESPOND and tell you what they think.

      There is something to be said about the potential forms of response that newsletters can have. Some have online versions where users can respond and be a direct part of the public conversation, but many also have the ability to reply directly and privately to the author.

      How common is this private reply and conversation? Does it contribute to the ecosystem significantly? This article indicates that it's possible and I've heard one or two people mention that it happens. I've yet to see data to indicate that it's a frequent thing though.

    12. Personas are still crafted, events exhaustively narrated, just now at industrial scale. The newsletters of today can be professional editorial operations, like Politico’s Playbook (which casts its readers as fellow Beltway insiders) or The Skimm (which casts them as brunch-drunk sorority sisters). They can also be scrappier, more idiosyncratic missives akin to personal blogs. Newsletters can be like newspaper columns, cut loose from institutional authority. They can be like podcasts that you cannot absorb while running errands, like zines without the photocopy static, like Instagram with the lifestyle recommendations rendered as text instead of subtext. Many newsletters partake in the limitlessly available navel-gazing of online media commentary. Newsletter writers describe the process of writing a newsletter; creators who monetize their personalities through their newsletters report on the ways that other creators are monetizing theirs.

      This seems a reasonable description of the depth and diversity of the newsletter idea.

    13. These are emails composed for an audience not of one friend but of many fans. These emails are newsletters.

      Indication of the morphing of long emails into newsletters.

      How does blogging fit into this space and continuum? Blogging as the expansion of ideas to test them out, garner feedback and evolve ideas over time?

    14. This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.

      How meta embedded in an article about newsletters...

    1. https://theamericanscholar.org/blue-collar-brilliance/

      Acknowledging the work and art that blue collar workers do is an important thing.

    2. When we devalue the full range of everyday cognition, we offer limited educational opportunities and fail to make fresh and meaningful instructional connections among disparate kinds of skill and knowledge. If we think that whole categories of people—identified by class or occupation—are not that bright, then we reinforce social separations and cripple our ability to talk across cultural divides.
    3. If we believe everyday work to be mindless, then that will affect the work we create in the future.
    4. Joe learned the most efficient way to use his body by acquiring a set of routines that were quick and preserved energy. Otherwise he would never have survived on the line.

      Sometime in the past six months I ran across a description of how migrant workers do this sort of activity in farming contexts. That article also pointed out the fact that the average person couldn't do this sort of work and that there was extreme value in it.

    1. As I wrote in January, silence is effectively impossible on the contemporary internet, where “voids are just filled by other people’s content, and thus vanish instantly.”

      Where are the empty spaces on the internet? How can we design them into existence?

    2. Offline we exist by default; online we have to post our way into selfhood.
    3. A platform like Twitter makes our asynchronous posts feel like real-time interaction by delivering them in such rapid succession, and that illusion begets another more powerful one, that we’re all actually present within the feed.

      This same sort of illusion also occurs in email where we're always assumed to be constantly available to others.

    1. I'm currently building Lotu, a tool for intertwingled thinking. It's a space where you store your ideas as building blocks and then you compose them in arbitrary trails. I'd love to collaborate with adjacent projects.
    1. The idea behind the reference interview is for the librarian to respond to questions by asking questions in order to supply the best possible resource. Frequently, this is really useful because people will ask for the kind of information they think the librarian can find, rather than what they actually want.

      This is closely related to solving a particular well-defined problem rather than solving a more general problem.

    1. An example of a digital garden.

      One of the missing pieces for many of these is a starting point for entry. Notice that in this example he has a link to his Junk Food article to get people started.

      Tables of contents can be a useful or important UI feature that is sometimes missing in these.

    1. There is no pressure to publish a perfect post in digital gardens as notes grow over time just like plants in a garden.

      There is no "theoretical pressure", however it still exists. The goal is to minimize it, to move beyond it.

    2. Publication Dates are not important to Digital Gardeners. Posts are connected via references or common themes.

      I would argue against this. Many digital gardeners use publication dates and even last updated dates on their posts. Time in particular can be an incredibly important datum with regard to providing useful context to one's content.

    1. A quick overview of the basics and general history of critical race theory.

    2. Crenshaw and her classmates asked 12 scholars of color to come to campus and lead discussions about Bell’s book Race, Racism, and American Law. With that, critical race theory began in earnest.
    3. The late Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell is credited as the father of critical race theory. He began conceptualizing the idea in the 1970s as a way to understand how race and American law interact, and developed a course on the subject.
    1. fear, uncertainty, and doubt are not an argument

    2. How should thinkers respond to monstrous lies? Should we mostly ignore the critics as Matsuda has, as I have? Because restating facts over and over again gets old. Reciting your own work over and over again to critics who either haven’t read what they are criticizing or are purposefully distorting it gets old. And talking with people who have created a monologue with two points of view, theirs and what they impute to you, gets old.

      Too many Republicans just aren't doing the work. They're spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt in order to attempt to win their arguments. They're going to be painfully disappointed should they "win".

    3. If you want to understand why I’ve made these arguments, you first need to recognize that for decades, right-wing thinkers and judges have argued that policies that lead to racial inequities are “not racist” or are “race neutral.” That was the position of the conservative Supreme Court justices who recently upheld Arizona’s voting-restriction policies. Those who wish to conserve racial inequity want us to focus on intent—which is hard to prove—rather than the outcome of inequity, which is rather easy to prove.
    4. What happens when a politician falsely proclaims what you think, and then criticizes that proclamation? Is she really critiquing your ideas—or her own? If a writer decides what both sides of an argument are stating, is he really engaging in an argument with another writer, or is he engaging in an argument with himself?
    5. Over the past few months, I have seldom stopped to answer the critiques of critical race theory or of my own work, because the more I’ve studied these critiques, the more I’ve concluded that these critics aren’t arguing against me. They aren’t arguing against anti-racist thinkers. They aren’t arguing against critical race theorists. These critics are arguing against themselves.

      How does this compare with the idea of sealioning?

      Could the versions of argument be broken down into sub categories based on who is participating in the argument? Perhaps the way that IndieWeb has broken down syndication into sub-categories based on which direction the syndication is going: POSSE, PESOS, etc.?

    1. I suspect there's a link here to the broader idea of diffuse thinking...

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Cathie </span> in Why Your Brain Needs Idle Time.  – My Notes (<time class='dt-published'>07/22/2021 13:32:03</time>)</cite></small>

    2. https://elemental.medium.com/why-your-brain-needs-idle-time-e5d90b0ef1df

      This was exactly what I expected it would be. Down time for diffuse thinking...

      Wish they'd included links to studies.

    1. This is pretty slick and looks pretty in its published form. Great to see others are using clever set ups like this as posting interfaces.

      I have a feeling that other TiddlyWiki users would love this sort of thing. While TW may not seem as au courant, it's still got some awesome equivalent functionality and great UI which is what most of the users in the note taking space really care about.

      I do still wish that there was a micropub set up for Hypothes.is to make this sort of thing easier for the non-technical users.

    1. A satirical take on John Howard Griffin’s 1961 book Black Like Me

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alan Jacobs </span> in Writing a Life | The Hedgehog Review (<time class='dt-published'>07/22/2021 12:15:27</time>)</cite></small>

    1. https://hedgehogreview.com/web-features/thr/posts/writing-a-life

      Jacobs suggests taking the idea of "walking a mile in another's shoes" to a higher level. He takes Herman Hesse's idea in The Glass Bead Game of the Castalian community's writing a Life in which people write an autobiography about seeing themselves placed in other times/places in history.

      Similar examples he includes:

      • Flannery O'Connor's story "Revelation" in which a woman chooses being remade as "white trash" or a Black woman.
      • Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (1961)
      • White Like Me, a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Eddie Murphy
      • Soul Sister by Grace Halsell
      • Rachel Dolezal passing as black because she felt it was her identity
      • John Rawls' "veil of ignorance"

      Jacob suggests this could be a useful exercise for people to attempt, particularly as a senior exercise for university students.

    2. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alan Jacobs</span> in July Check-In · Buttondown (<time class='dt-published'>07/01/2021 09:19:13</time>)</cite></small>

    3. Hesse described each imagined Life as an “entelechy,” that is, the realization of a potential—but perhaps that assumes something like the pre-existence of souls, an Identity that somehow exists before it is embodied in, realized in, a particular culture, a particular gender, a particular ethnicity.

      :en·tel·e·chy /ənˈteləkē/ noun [PHILOSOPHY]

      ; the realization of potential.

      • the supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system or organization. plural noun: entelechies

      "such self-organization required a special biological force—entelechy"

      • the soul.
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alan Jacobs</span> in July Check-In · Buttondown (<time class='dt-published'>07/01/2021 09:19:13</time>)</cite></small>

    2. When the elder fell asleep in the Lord, Jordanes lay down on the grave, roaring with grief and beating his head against the ground.

      "fell asleep in the Lord" is an interesting euphemism for dying.

    3. Among saints remembered for their peaceful relations with dangerous animals not the least is Gerasimos, shown in icons healing a lion. The story behind the image comes down to us from John Moschos, a monk of Saint Theodosius Monastery near Bethlehem and author of The Spiritual Meadow, a book written in the course of journeys he made in the late sixth and early seventh centuries.

      Looking back on these "mythical" stories of lion tamers and people with extraordinary facility with animals, one can now see that these interactions are much more common in the modern world.

      People can earn the trust of animals, tame, and even train them. As a result, we view these people now as talented rather than magical and/or "helped by god" as they may have been in the past.

    1. A note is only as useful as the context you place it in. A note’s true value unfolds in its network of connections and relationships to others.You don’t have to use your brain anymore to find separate ideas from different books related to each other. In a Zettelkasten, you don’t file notes in the context you found them but in the context in which you want to discover them.

      Notes often require some context to give them value and more meaning, but when collecting them, placing them in contexts where they might be discovered in the future and connected to other ideas can give them additional value.

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Greg Rosalsky</span> in Products Are Shrinking. Beware Of 'Shrinkflation,' Inflation's Devious Cousin : Planet Money : NPR (<time class='dt-published'>07/22/2021 09:06:12</time>)</cite></small>

    1. For consumers seeking the best price per ounce, the most value is normally in our larger boxes of cereal," says Kelsey Roemhildt, a General Mills spokesperson. "This change also allows more efficient truck loading leading to fewer trucks on the road and fewer gallons of fuel used, which is important in both reducing global emissions as well as offsetting increased costs associated with inflation." General Mills' reframing of its shrinkflation seems to be pretty typical of Corporate America. Companies often sell downsizing as a way to help the environment, offer consumers more choice, or improve the quality of their products. When a spokesperson for Charmin, for example, was confronted by reporters at WBUR about shrinking the size of their toilet sheet squares, she suggested it was the result of "innovations" that allow consumers to, basically, wipe their butts more efficiently.

      So in addition to sketchy economic and psy-ops practices, they're also engaging in greenwashing as well.

    2. Downsizing and shrinkflation mean the same thing Dworsky is a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and longtime consumer advocate. He has spent decades tracking instances of companies shrinking products on his website Mouseprint. He refers to it by its original name, downsizing, but economist Pippa Malmgren rechristened it "shrinkflation" about a decade ago, and the term stuck. Downsizing and shrinkflation both refer to the same thing: companies reducing the size or quantity of their products while charging the same price or even more.

      The idea of shrinkflation and the fact that it works indicates that the majority of consumers are not rational actors that classical economics would indicate or they would be much more aware of these changes in pricing.

      Another example of this sort are the domed bottoms of jars/bottles which remove product while keeping the same packaging, which further hides the bait-and-switch operation.

  2. Jul 2021
    1. The objects, which he describes as cylinders, are clay tubes about the size and shape of a little finger—like elongated beads. Because of their shape, and because they were found near pottery vessels inside the tomb, he suspects they might have served as tags that could be strung on the vessels to identify something about them, whether their contents, their owner, or their origin or destination. If that is the case, he speculates that the writing could denote names, or descriptions of property.

      These archaeological objects could theoretically have been one of the first written tags in human history.

    2. "The earlier systems of writing were extremely difficult to learn," says Schwartz, the Whiting Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. "There were thousands of symbols used in very complicated ways, which meant that only a very small group of people could ever learn how to write or read. With the invention of the alphabet, it meant that a much larger number of people could, in theory, learn how to read and write. And so it ultimately led to the democratization of writing. And of course it is the system that all Western European writing systems used because Greeks, who borrowed the Semitic alphabetic system, then used it to write their own language."

      Early writing systems used thousands of symbols and were thus incredibly complex and required heavy memorization. This may have been easier with earlier mnemonic systems in oral (pre-literate societies), but would have still required work.

      The innovation of a smaller alphabetic set would have dramatically decreased the cognitive load of massive memorization and made it easier for people to become literate at scale.

    3. The generally accepted origin story of the alphabet as we know it holds that in 1800 BCE, Semitic speakers in Egypt, aware of the Egyptian writing system's mix of characters that stood for words and symbols that stood for sounds, wanted a system of their own and borrowed the Egyptians' alphabetic portion. Semitic languages are the predecessors of most of today's Middle Eastern languages.

      Generally accepted origin story of writing.

    1. The easy way to manage scientific publications and bookmarks

      BibSonomy helps you to manage your publications and bookmarks, to collaborate with your colleagues and to find new interesting material for your research.

    1. A top down view of some learning strategies to begin teasing out which may be better than others.

      Are they broadly applicable or domain specific?

      What learning methods and pedagogy piece are best and for which domains.

      How can we balance learning and doing an overview of theory versus practice?

      Which methods are better for beginners versus domain specific experts?

      Which are better for overview versus creating new knowledge?

      https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2021/07/13/against-the-real-thing/

    2. Pure discovery learning is the idea of not giving instructions at all. Simply present the pupil with the problem situation and let them figure it out for themselves. Unfortunately, the research seems to be against this.1 Discovery learning is a lot less efficient than telling people what they ought to do and then getting them to do it.

      Discovery learning is less efficient that telling people what to do and then getting them to do it.

      Reference: Kirschner, Paul, John Sweller, and Richard E. Clark. “Why unguided learning does not work: An analysis of the failure of discovery learning, problem-based learning, experiential learning and inquiry-based learning.” Educational Psychologist 41, no. 2 (2006): 75-86.

    3. Play may trump problem solving. When working on a problem without a specific goal, the student can try lots of things to figure out what works. In contrast, only one answer is needed to solve a problem with a single goal. A playful, exploratory mindset may map out the patterns of interactions better than a narrowly, solution-oriented perspective. As an example of this, Sweller asked students to solve some math problems. One group was asked to solve the problems for a particular variable, and the other group was asked to solve for as many variables as they could. The latter group did better later, which Sweller explained in terms of cognitive load.4

      exploratory play >> problem solving

      How does this compare to the creativity experience of naming white things in general versus naming white things in a refrigerator? The first is often harder for people, while the second is usually much easier.

    4. John Sweller’s cognitive load theory argues that problem solving is often inefficient.2 His studies showed that students learned to solve algebra problems faster when they were shown lots of examples of solved problems, rather than trying to solve them on their own.3

      Problem solving is often inefficient, seeing lots of solved problems may be better than solving them on one's own.

      (This was the sort of model I used in learning most of my math over the years, though solving a few problems along the way also helped to reinforce things for me.)

      Sweller, John. “Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning.” Cognitive science 12, no. 2 (1988): 257-285. Sweller, John, and Graham A. Cooper. “The use of worked examples as a substitute for problem solving in learning algebra.” Cognition and instruction 2, no. 1 (1985): 59-89.

    1. "The main lesson is that even though they were all good at recognizing letters, the writing training was the best at every other measure. And they required less time to get there," lead author Professor Robert Wiley, from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, said in a statement. "With writing, you're getting a stronger representation in your mind that lets you scaffold toward these other types of tasks that don't in any way involve handwriting." Every participant in the study was an adult but the scientists are confident that the same for children. The key, they argue, is that handwriting reinforces what is being learned about the letter, such as the sound, beyond their shape. "The question out there for parents and educators is why should our kids spend any time doing handwriting," explained senior author professor Brenda Rapp, from Johns Hopkins University. "Obviously, you're going to be a better hand-writer if you practice it. But since people are handwriting less then maybe who cares? The real question is: Are there other benefits to handwriting that have to do with reading and spelling and understanding? We find there most definitely are."

      Handwriting (as opposed to typing) has been shown to improve the speed at which one learns alphabets.

      https://www.iflscience.com/brain/writing-by-hand-most-effectively-increases-reading-skills/

      Is the effect also seen in other types of learning? What about reading and taking notes by hand versus typing them out?

    1. Created an account. Sadly it seems to be a massive data farm that either wants subscription money or your shared, and possibly copyright infringing data.

    1. https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2008/2008.12.41/

      A searing review of David R. Slavitt's translation of Lucretius.

      The "close enough" nature of the translation seems like the intellectual slide shown by too many moderns which decontextualizes our historical precedents. Perhaps fine for a quick view, but could be a slippery slope for taking as part of the basis for Western intellectual tradition.

    2. Slavitt’s volume enters a crowded field where there are praiseworthy translations of Lucretius in both prose and poetry. There was no need for yet another English version of the De Rerum Natura, and Slavitt’s attempt to compete with the likes of the venerable Bailey, the reliable Melville and the often sublime Stallings should serve as an impetus for those interested in Lucretius to learn Latin, or at least to use a translation that is more Lucretius and less David Slavitt.

      An apt summary of a scathing review.

      Also a handy ranking of some of the extant translations.

    3. Seems as if Slavitt has translated a lot of modernity into an ancient text which likely didn't have many of our modern references. This seems to be the sort of reading into a text that many moderns do to the Bible. Better would be to read it as the author intended to the audience to which it was intended rather than reading additional meanings into the text.

    4. 23-24) Latin epulis does not = “grand salons,” and Lucretius’ language is not recherché enough to warrant “gewgaws” and “garnitures.”

      I quite like the portmanteau garniture.

      [[recherché]]

    5. In general, the greatest deficiency in the translation (besides its omissions) is failure to capture Lucretius’ style: archaism and indeed repetition are part of what makes Lucretius Lucretius (and not Slavitt).

      Archaism and repetition are part of what makes Lucretius Lucretius.

    6. No indication is given of how his version might be better than Stallings’ Penguin, or the Oxford verse translation of Melville, another formidable competitor Slavitt does not equal.

      David R. Slavitt's translation isn't as solid as those of A.E. Stallings or Ronald Melville.

      I've been skimming Stallings' this morning and it is quite nice. I'll have to pull up Melville's.

      Ronald Melville, Lucretius On the Nature of the Universe. Oxford, 1997. Also Anthony M. Esolen, Lucretius On the Nature of Things. Baltimore, 1995.

    1. T.LUCRETICARI

      Not going to be the prettiest version, but at least somewhat OCR'd for annotating!

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. Cambridge,

      Hmm... the Hypothes.is interface says the paper's name is Revista 6-2 jul-dec 2007 .p65

    2. Titi Lucreti Cari De Rerum Natura Libri SexWith a Translation and NotesVolume 1Edited by H. A. J. Munro Lucretius

      Testing out the OCR functionality of docdrop.org.

      I'm noticing that the pdf fingerprint of this text somehow matches that of other texts as there are a lot of non-related annotations on this page.

      Is docdrop doing something squirrelly with the fingerprint @dwhly?

    1. The Cappers Act of 1488 forbade, on penalty of a fine, the wearing of foreign-made caps in England and Wales. A further Act of Parliament in 1571, during the reign of Elizabeth I, stated that every person above the age of six years (excepting "Maids, ladies, gentlewomen, noble personages, and every Lord, knight and gentleman of twenty marks land") residing in any of the cities, towns, villages or hamlets of England, must wear, on Sundays and holidays (except when travelling), "a cap of wool, thicked and dressed in England, made within this realm, and only dressed and finished by some of the trade of cappers, upon pain to forfeit for every day of not wearing 3s. 4d." This legislation was intended to protect domestic production, as caps were becoming unfashionable and were being challenged by new forms of imported headgear. It was repealed in 1597 as unworkable

      Example of legislating fashion as protectionism.

    2. Knit beanie hats are Welsh

    1. Geocaching is built upon the idea of bringing people to places where they wouldn’t be otherwise.

      I hadn't thought about this, but it's worth contemplating.

      What other activities cause this?

    2. And while hunting for caches, he uses some tricks to avoid unwanted attention, like carrying a clipboard. “If you look like you’re working, people don’t tend to pay attention to you.”

      Sad that this is the case.

      Good tip for espionage though...

    1. Bird sound encoding

      I was at the bookstore yesterday and ran into two new useful resources that looked interesting in this space.

      Specific to birdsong, there was

      200 Bird Songs from Around the World by Les Beletsky (Becker & Mayer, 2020, ISBN: ‎ 978-0760368831)

      Read about and listen to birds from six continents. A beautiful painting illustrates each selection along with concise details about the bird's behavior, environment, and vocalizations. On the built-in digital audio player, hear each bird as it sings or calls in nature with audio of the birds provided by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

      This could be useful in using the book itself as a memory palace in addition to the fact that the bird calls are built directly into the book for immediate playback while reading/memorizing. There are a few other related books with built in sound in this series as well.

      The other broader idea was that of

      "A bird a day"

      I saw the book A Bird A Day by Dominic Couzens (Batsford, 2021, ISBN: 978-1849945868) to help guide one towards learning about (or in our context maybe memorizing) a bird a day. It had names, photos, and other useful information which one might use to structure a palace to work at in small chunks. I know there are also many other related calendars which might also help one do something like this to build up a daily practice of memorizing data into a palace/journey/songline.

      The broader "Thing-a-day" calendar category might also be useful for other topics one might want to memorize as well as to have a structure set up for encouraging spaced repetition.

    1. What an awesome little video!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6-zzr5F2Hw

      <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i6-zzr5F2Hw" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    1. # 17:52 GWG Welcome to the Indieweb, where our dreams are limited by time

      https://chat.indieweb.org/dev/2021-07-09

      A great tagline for IndieWeb

    1. Then in your daily note Template add a tag that flags it as a daily note somewhere (eg. “#journal”. Also add an embedded query that looks like this: ```query {{date}} -"#journal" ```

      Embeddable search queries for Obsidian

    1. who’s gonna let me create a digital garden / commonplace book on the blockchain

      Registering that this was a question in the wild. Crazypants, but there it is.

      What problem would this actually be solving though?!?

    1. Has anyone read The Memory Arts in Renaissance England 16?

      @Josh I'd picked up a copy of this recently and have started into it. The opening is a quick overview of some general history, background, and general techniques.

      The subtitle is solidly accurate of the majority of the book: "A Critical Anthology". The bulk of the book are either translations or excerpts of pieces of memory treatises in English throughout the Renaissance. They also include some history of the texts, their writers, and some analysis of the pieces.

      Some of us have been digging up old editions of books and struggling with reading and creating context. These authors have done yeoman's work on a lot of this and collected some of the more interesting historical works on the memory arts and added lots of context, at least for works in English (and focused on England) during the Renaissance. It's a great text for those interested in the history as well as more readable versions of some of the (often incomprehensible) middle/late English. They also have some analysis often conflicting with statements made by Frances Yates about some of the more subtle points which her broad history didn't cover in detail.

      Given it's anthology nature, its a nice volume to pick up and read self-contained portions of at leisure based on one's interest. It isn't however comprehensive, so, for example, they've got "translated portions" of part of Peter of Ravenna's The Phoenix, but not all of it, though they do outline the parts which they skip over. (Cross reference https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/peter-of-ravenna/27737.) Other segments are only a page or so long and may contain tangential passages or even poems about the art to better situate it for scholars/students looking at it historically.

      I've corresponded a bit with Bill Engel, one of the authors who has been wonderfully helpful. He said he's got another related book Memory and Morality in Renaissance England (Cambridge) coming out later this summer as well as a few other related books and articles thereafter. Some are mentioned on his site: https://www.williamengel.org/.

    1. Has anyone here read the book Excavating the Memory Palace: Arts of Visualization from the Agora to the Computer by Seth Long? It looks interesting.

      I picked up a copy of it in April and have made it through the introduction and first chapter. He’s a professor writing from the perspective of a rhetorician and is generally extending some of the academic research started by Frances Yates. I’ll write more as I have time, but I’m in the midst of a few dozen books at the moment. I wish I could focus on this and one or two others.

      I’ll note that for those interested, it’s likely based on a shorter journal article that the same author wrote in 2017 with a similar title: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07350198.2017.1281691 A little digging around should uncover a free copy of it. If you’re desperate, I have a digital copy he emailed me a while back.

    1. Edwards did this too. He'd take notes on scraps while walking and pin them to his coat. (Zettelmantel?) Later, he'd organize them and add them to his "Miscellanies" (1,500+ topics over his career). http://edwards.yale.edu/research/misc-index

      This was the origin of my spelunking of Jonathan Edwards' commonplace book last night.

      I love the idea of pinning ideas to one's coat so as not to lose them. Fortunately good pocket notebooks these days, but it would be interesting to wear one's ideas on one's sleeves.

      (Look up the source for the note scraps on the coat.)

    1. Feature Idea: Chaos Monkey for PKM

      This idea is a bit on the extreme side, but it does suggest that having a multi-card comparison view in a PKM system would be useful.

      Drawing on Raymond Llull's combitorial memory system from the 12th century and a bit of Herman Ebbinghaus' spaced repetition (though this is also seen in earlier non-literate cultures), one could present two (or more) random atomic notes together as a way of juxtaposing disparate ideas from one's notes.

      The spaced repetition of the cards would be helpful for one's long term memory of the ideas, but it could also have the secondary effect of nudging one to potentially find links or connections between the two ideas and help to spur creativity for the generation of new hybrid ideas or connection to other current ideas based on a person's changed context.

      I've thought about this in the past (most likely while reading Frances Yates' Art of Memory), but don't think I've bothered to write it down (or it's hiding in untranscribed marginalia).

    1. For the second keynote, I took copious notes and followed the spaced interval formula. A month later, by golly, I remember virtually all of the material. And in case if you're wondering, both talks were equally interesting to me--the difference was the reversal of Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve.

      Not exactly a real scientific trial, but...

      Note also that the other part was his having taken notes and actively engaged with the material as he heard it. The notes also formed the basis of his ability to do the spaced repetition.

      Mnemonic methods could be used in place of the note taking for the properly trained. Visual memory just goes to expand on it.

      This is an awfully fluff article that's probably too prescriptive. I wonder how many people it influences to try it out? How successful will they be without a more specific prescription?

    1. A stunning little essay on a small section of the massive problems we face in America viewed through the lens of our teeth.

    2. ‘Don’t get fooled by those mangled teeth she sports on camera!’ says the ABC News host introducing the woman who plays Pennsatucky. ‘Taryn Manning is one beautiful and talented actress.’ This suggestion that bad teeth and talent, in particular, are mutually exclusive betrays our broad, unexamined bigotry toward those long known, tellingly, as ‘white trash.’ It’s become less acceptable in recent decades to make racist or sexist statements, but blatant classism generally goes unchecked. See the hugely successful blog People of Walmart that, through submitted photographs, viciously ridicules people who look like contemporary US poverty: the elastic waistbands and jutting stomachs of diabetic obesity, the wheelchairs and oxygen tanks of gout and emphysema. Upper-class supremacy is nothing new. A hundred years ago, the US Eugenics Records Office not only targeted racial minorities but ‘sought to demonstrate scientifically that large numbers of rural poor whites were genetic defectives,’ as the sociologist Matt Wray explains in his book Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness (2006). The historian and civil rights activist W E B du Bois, an African American, wrote in his autobiography Dusk of Dawn (1940) that, growing up in Massachusetts in the 1870s, ‘the racial angle was more clearly defined against the Irish than against me. It was a matter of income and ancestry more than colour.’ Martin Luther King, Jr made similar observations and was organising a poor-people’s march on Washington at the time of his murder in 1968.

      examples of upper-class supremacy

      This seems an interesting sociological issue. What is the root cause? Is it the economic sense of "keeping up with the Jonses"? Is it a zero-sum game? really?

    3. It’s a familiar trick in the privatisation-happy US – like, say, underfunding public education and then criticising the institution for struggling.

      This same thing is being seen in the U.S. Post Office now too. Underfund it into failure rather than provide a public good.

      Capitalism definitely hasn't solved the issue, and certainly without government regulation. See also the last mile problem for internet service, telephone service, and cable service.

      UPS and FedEx apparently rely on the USPS for last mile delivery in remote areas. (Source for this?)

      The poor and the remote are inordinately effected in almost all these cases. What other things do these examples have in common? How can we compare and contrast the public service/government versions with the private capitalistic ones to make the issues more apparent. Which might be the better solution: capitalism with tight government regulation to ensure service at the low end or a government monopoly of the area? or something in between?

    4. the underprivileged are priced out of the dental-treatment system yet perversely held responsible for their dental condition.

      How does this happen?

      Is it the idea of "personal responsibility" and "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" philosophy combined with lack of any actual support and/or education?

      There has to be a better phrase or word to define the perverse sort of philosophy espoused by many in the Republican party about this sort of "personal responsibility".

      It feels somewhat akin to the idea of privatize profits and socialize the losses. The social loss is definitely one that is pushed off onto the individual, but who's profiting? Is it really so expensive to fix this problem? Isn't the loss to society and public health akin to the Million Dollar Murray problem?

      Wouldn't each individual's responsibility be better tied to the collective good as well as their own outcomes? How can the two be bound together to improve outcomes for everyone all around?

    5. It was lack of insurance, lack of knowledge, lack of good nutrition – poverties into which much of the country was born.

      Poverty and thus lack of knowledge, lack of good nutrition, and lack of dental insurance are the cause of bad teeth in America. Apparently it's not drugs or sugar, though they surely don't help.

    1. I'm particularly interested here in the idea of interleaved books for additional marginalia. Thanks for the details!

      An aspect that's missing from the overall discussion here is that of the commonplace book. Edwards' Miscellanies is a classic example of the Western note taking and idea collecting tradition of commonplace books.

      While the name for his system is unique, his note taking method was assuredly not. The bigger idea goes back to ancient Greece and Rome with Aristotle and Cicero and continues up to the modern day.

      From roughly 900-1300 theologians and preachers also had a sub-genre of this category called florilegia. In the Christian religious tradition Philip Melanchthon has one of the more influential works on the system: De locis communibus ratio (1539).

      You might appreciate this article on some of the tradition: https://blog.cph.org/study/systematic-theology-and-apologetics/why-are-so-many-great-lutheran-books-called-commonplaces-or-loci

      You'll find Edwards' and your indexing system bears a striking resemblance to that of philosopher John Locke, (yes that Locke!): https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/john-lockes-method-for-common-place-books-1685

    2. Those interested in reading the contents of Edwards’ Blank Bible can either purchase the Yale print edition or read it online here. 

      Copies of print and digital editions of Jonathan Edwards' blank Bible are available.

      Apparently one can buy modern copies of interleaved bibles as well: https://www.amazon.com/Interleaved-Journal-Hardcover-Letter-Comfort/dp/078524316X/

      Video review of an interleaved bible:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6EAu3nB1vk

      What other books can be found in interleaved editions? Ayn Rand perhaps?

    3. Jonathan Edwards’s so-called “Blank Bible.” JE received as a gift from Benjamin Pierpoint, his brother in law, a unique book. Structurally, it is a strange animal. It is a small, double-column King James, unstitched and then spliced back together again inside a large blank journal. The result is a one-of-a-kind Bible that has an empty sheet between every page of Scripture text. 

      If one is serious about annotating a text, then consider making a "blank Bible" version of it.

      Jonathan Edwards apparently received bible as a gift. It had a copy of the text of the bible which interspersed blank pages between every page of text thereby allowing massive amounts of space for marginalia!

    4. The miscellanies, numbered and indexed, would often be noted in the margins of his Bible as well, especially if the note was an expansion of an exegetical point.

      Interesting to see that Jonathan Edwards cross referenced his commonplace book to his bible as well.

    5. As I studied Edwards’ writings and insights, I realized that I might be sitting at the feet of not only Edwards’ intellectual genius but his organizational genius, too. 

      For what I expect to be a coming description of Jonathan Edwards' commonplace book, I'm surprised that the page doesn't use the word or even florilegium.

      Everhard here makes in one breath a common error I'm coming to notice. While it might be true that Edwards had some organizational genius, I think it's disingenuous to attribute his output to his intellectual genius. More and more I'm seeing that throughout history those who were thought of as intellectual geniuses really relied on the organization structures of their commonplace books (or similar devices). By writing, thinking, and producing in a commonplace tradition they were able to do far more, think more clearly, and accomplish more.

      This can be linked with the idea also espoused in Robert Greene's Mastery which seems to have some of the similar flavor.

    1. Best Bible Note-Taking System: Jonathan Edwards's Miscellanies

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqq-4-LiFVs

      Overview of Jonathan Edwards Miscellanies system along with a a few wide-margin bibles. Everhard apparently hasn't heard of the commonplace concept, though I do notice that someone mentions the zettelkasten system in the comments.

    1. This reads like a content farm.... ugh. Re-encapsulates content without any real valuable context.

    2. Created by Niklas Luhmann in the 1950s, Zettelkasten helped him publish over 50 books and 600 articles.

      Example of an article that incorrectly credits Niklas Luhmann with creation of the Zettelkasten.

    1. While the programming part creates a lot of flexibility, the creation of this system seems awfully heavy and kludgy.

      I wonder about the long term stability and data ownership, but it seems so heavy I'm already turned off.