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    1. What's your opinion on the note card system? Do you personally use it? .t3_ugqnle._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; }

      https://www.reddit.com/r/commonplacebook/comments/ugqnle/whats_your_opinion_on_the_note_card_system_do_you/

      For commonplace items, I've found notebooks with good indices more valuable. Note cards are better if you're taking atomic notes that you plan on actively reusing in your writing work which is more of a zettelkasten feature/functionality cards are easier to move around, re-arrange, and create outlines for your writing when you get to that point. Historically it was the ability to re-arrange and reuse one's commonplace items that helped to spawn and popularize the idea of zettelkasten, which are often more frequently used by writers, researchers, and academics for creating new content. Historically it was the ability to re-arrange and reuse one's commonplace items that helped to spawn and popularize the idea of zettelkasten, which are often more frequently used by writers, researchers, and academics for creating new content.

      Some of the difference can be personal choice, practicality, ease-of-use, and the functionality you hope to get out of one method or the other. Honestly there's no reason you couldn't do both if you chose, but it may help to have a common index which will allow you to search for and find things you need. A set of useful historical examples can be found in the mid-twentieth century comedians including Bob Hope (pages he kept in files), Phyllis Diller (index cards), Joan Rivers (index cards), and actor/politician Ronald Reagan who maintained what some might call a commonplace book of quotes which he kept on index cards, but held in a notebook-like binder similar to a photo album with pages that he could place the cards in, but still allow him to move them around (both from slot to slot, or move whole pages at a time). The loosest system I've yet seen is that of Eminem who kept ideas and lyrics written on hotel stationery or random slips of paper which he kept wholly unorganized and unindexed in a cardboard box in a method he called "stacking ammo." Do what you think will work best for you and try it out for a while. You can always change methods later on if your needs change.

    1. What is that tool under the pencil?

      Sorry, just seeing this now. It's assuredly a sliderule, which would have been a common tool for engineers and mathematicians of his era to have had. They became less common with the advent and proliferation of calculators.

    1. ZK II: Zettel 9/8j 9/8j Im Zettelkasten ist ein Zettel, der dasArgument enthält, das die Behauptungenauf allen anderen Zetteln widerlegt. Aber dieser Zettel verschwindet, sobald manden Zettelkasten aufzieht. D.h. er nimmt eine andere Nummer an,verstellt sich und ist dann nicht zu finden. Ein Joker.

      9/8j In the slip box is a slip containing the argument that refutes the claims on all the other slips.

      But this slip disappears as soon as you open the slip box.

      Ie he assumes a different number, disguises himself and then cannot be found.

      A joker.

      An example of a jokerzettel.


      Link this to the Claude Shannon's useless machine (based on an idea of Marvin Minsky) of a useless machine whose only function is to switch itself off. see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useless_machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNa9v8Z7Rac

    1. Direct access to the list box: table of contents , directly to ZK I: List 1 or ZK 2: List 1 – or to the "Jokerzettel" ?

      Niklas Luhmann kept a portion of his note taking system (ZK II Note 9/8j) specifically for joke related slips. It has been referred to as his jokerzettel.

      This would seem to be in keeping with other examples kept in America by Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, George Carlin, and a wide variety of comics like Adam Sandler et al. who have moved to using notebooks.


      This is the first time I've seen the word/phrase jokerzettel in print.

    1. Are you scanning all your analogue note cards?

      I do scan them, though in a somewhat different workflow than the batch processing that some might imagine. The broad outline and some of the specific details can be found here: Handwriting my Website with a Digital Amanuensis. The comments section of that post has some useful tips for folks on other platforms.

    2. If you're in software development, start your zettelkasten by documenting the step-by-step instructions to fresh install your development environment. Windows Utilities, Dev Tools, IDE, all those config options not already in your dotfiles, etc...I promise it'll be useful and get you started

      I tend to take a much narrower view of the use and function of a zettelkasten for the reuse of atomic ideas. As a result, from experience I'd recommend these sorts of details are probably better suited for future search in your blog, a personal wiki, or even a commonplace book format than for use in your zettelkasten. I've outlined some of the broad idea for this in an article: Zettelkasten Overreach. On the other hand, if an outline form of these things is imminently abstractable for future very active reuse in other programming environments, then perhaps it's worthwhile, but then you'd need to reach the appropriate level of abstraction for this reuse and you may have lost the more specific details for direct recreation needed as reminders for your future self.

    3. For Eco on using something like a ZK, see his short book How to Write an Essay. Basically, he writes about making something that we could say is like a ZK, but one card system for each writing assignment.

      Umberto Eco's book How to Write a Thesis (MIT Press, 2015, #) can broadly be thought of as a zettelkasten system, but it advises a separate system for each project or writing assignment. This is generally good advice, and potentially excellent for students on a one-time basis, but it prevents one from benefitting from the work over multiple projects or even a lifetime.

      In some sense, a more traditional approach, and one seen used in Niklas Luhmann's example is to keep different sections separated by broad topics.

      Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten #1 had 108 broad topics (along with a bibliography and a subject index), and zettelkasten #2 had 11 broad topics. (Cross reference: https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/inhaltsuebersicht)

      The zettelkasten structure allowed a familiar "folder" like top level structure, but the bibliographic and subject indices allowed them to interlink ideas from one space to the next for longer term work on multiple projects simultaneously.

    1. No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them. -- Umberto Eco. Foucault's Pendulum p. 190.

      This is a stunning quote with respect to the idea of note taking and creating connections between pieces of information or knowledge.

      It's highlighted to an even greater degree that this quote appears in someone's online digital commonplace book!

    1. https://www.otherlife.co/pkm/

      The PKM space has gotten crazy, but mostly through bad practice, lack of history, and hype. There are a few valid points I see mirrored here, but on the whole this piece is broadly off base due to a lack of proper experience, practice and study. I definitely would recommend he take a paid course to fix the issue, but delve more deeply into recommended historical practices.

    2. But the current discourse has gotten out of hand.

      The current discourse around personal knowledge management is out of hand, but not necessarily for all the reasons stated here. There are many issues and we have a lot of history and practice to recover. We also have lost sight of the "why are we doing this?" question before jumping into some of these practices with both feet.

    3. The singular written work is a brute force attack, not a bureaucratic spider web. It is preciously rare—always has been and always will be. The ability to create singular written works is mostly impervious to education and technical supplementation; it is overwhelmingly what we used to call gifted or God-given and today call either genetic or inspired.

      This perspective is the same sort of hero worship that has too often been beaten into people (and especially students) over the centuries.

      You have to be an absolute genius to be able to create work like that of Francis Bacon, Conrad Gessner, John Locke, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Carl Linnaeus, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Marcel Mauss, Isaac Newton, Umberto Eco, Philip Melanchthon, Erasmus Darwin, Rudolphus Agricola, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Burns right?

      Here's the secret: all of them kept extensive notebooks, commonplace books, or zettelkasten-like note collections. Small little pieces aggregated over time allowed them to create great things.

      I suspect that if one looks at famous creators/writers throughout history they will discover that some sort of personal knowledge management system at the core of their practice.

    4. Everything that I learn, I learn for a particular task, and once it’s done, I immediately forget it, so that if ten years later, I have to—and this gives me great joy—if I have to get involved with something close to or directly within the same subject, I would have to start again from zero, except in certain very rare cases... (The ABC Primer)

      I'm definitely not like this and suspect that most people are not either.

    5. To produce meaningful work, and then forget about it, so you can move on to another and hopefully greater act of linear will.

      This completely loses the fact that two different areas of work can be used fruitfully in combinatorically creative ways to expand insight and knowledge. While you can loosely forget what is in your notes, the fact that they exist and are interlinked helps you resurface and reuse them. If you're not reusing and constantly linking them, then you're failing.

    6. The most important thing about writing is discovering novel and non-trivial truths, and determining which of your truths is most important—then imposing order, hierarchy, and linearity—through judgment, decisiveness, and will.

      I can be on board with this. Lovely quote.

    7. Apps and courses that help you make these pretty pictures are not helping you to advance your knowledge or to write increasingly insightful works.

      Based on my preliminary reading of Tiago Forte's forthcoming book, this seems broadly true.

    8. That people show off these illegible globs in public only makes sense from a signaling perspective: They are saying, “look at how many nodes I have in my brain, amazing nodes, I have so many nodes that a peon such as yourself can’t even guess what’s going on here!”

      I have tongue-in-cheek posted a massive graph indicating that it was only a "few days work" to see what sort of reaction it would get. No one batted an eyelash, which makes me think that too many are "collectors" and aren't actually building something or using their system correctly.

      There is a dearth of solid examples of these systems online for people to look at and evaluate critically. This is killing the space slowly.

    9. and link me to a paid course, no doubt

      I will agree that there are far too many "influencers" and "gurus" out there selling something in the note taking space. Almost none of them know what the hell they're talking about.

    10. I tried using Roam for about two weeks once. I used Roam and only Roam, diligently. After only two weeks, my knowledge graph was utterly unintelligible and distressing.

      While one can take a lot of notes in two weeks, even just six quality notes a day (Niklas Lumann's pace was six per day while Roland Barthes was closer to 1 and change per day) only provides about 84 cards or zettels. This isn't enough to make anything distressing or unintelligible. It's also incredibly far short of creating any useful links to create anything. He should have trimmed things down and continued for about 24 weeks to see any significant results. (Of course this also begs the question: what was his purpose in pursuing such a system in the first place?)

    11. The single most widely shared marketing image for Roam Research

      This useless knowledge graph is one of the worst parts about Roam Research. It is bad UI and wholly unusable.

    12. The concept of the Knowledge Graph deserves the classification of bullshit because its allure derives primarily from the false impression that it can mechanistically deliver—or substitute for—the brute, linear willfulness that defines all non-trivial writing.

      In watching the space and seeing the sorts of conversations and questions I see online in Twitter, Reddit, and other fora, I too often see people talking about the system(s) and not actually using the systems. Very few get to a critical mass of well written notes, which I estimate to be about 500 to 1000 before they give up. Most aren't taking good notes and are imposing far more structure on them as if they're writing wiki articles instead of taking notes. Too many things go wrong in their processes before they're giving up and moving on. This has the effect of making the enterprise appear to be a failure.

      I suspect that the author of this piece is in this last group and instead of thinking about why they're failing, they're lashing out about the hype in the space. Certainly there is way too much hype, and that isn't necessarily a good thing. But there's also not nearly enough practice and that is far worse.

    13. Many writers have devised lots of little systems, and the fact that everyone into PKM mentions this one guy supports my argument. What percentage of history's greatest and most prolific writers did not use a Zettelkasten? More than 99%, probably. Luhmann is an exception that proves the rule.

      There is a heavy availability heuristic at play here. Most people in the recent/modern PKM space are enamored with the idea of zettelkasten and no one (or very few) have delved in more deeply to the history to uncover more than Luhmann. There definitely are many, many more. If we expand the circle to include looser forms like the commonplace book then we find that nearly every major thinker since the Renaissance kept some sort of note taking system and it's highly likely that their work was heavily influenced by their notes, notebooks, and commonplace books.

      Hell, Newton invented the calculus in his waste book, a form of pre-commonplace book from which he apparently never got his temporary notes out into a more personal permanent form.

      A short trip to even the scant references on the Wikipedia pages for commonplace book and zettelkasten will reveal a fraction of the extant examples.

    14. The point of writing—and what the greatest authors have always done—is to cut through the knowledge graph with a bold and forceful line.

      While the truly greatest authors may have "cut through the knowledge graph with a bold and forceful line", the vast majority of them are just re-tracing the same lines over again in crayon.

      Rarely do articles or books contain more than one or two insights, new or otherwise.

    15. All you have to do is take cute little notes all the time, and the hard work is magically done for you!

      This sounds clever, but it belies the amount of work that can go into such systems on the font end instead of on the back end. It also sounds as if the author hasn't used such a system to even a low level of critical mass to begin discovering any serendipity or finding any insight in their links.

    16. Everyone is overloaded with information thanks to the digital revolution, so—the PKM people tell us—we need new software and systems to survive and thrive.

      Information overload goes back much further in history than the digital revolution. I might argue that information managers have tamed large portions of the beast already and we've forgotten many of the methods and as a result we're now either reinventing or rediscovering them as we transfer them to the digital space.

    1. Villar-Onrubia, Daniel, and Victoria I. Marín. “Independently-Hosted Web Publishing.” Internet Policy Review 11, no. 2 (April 26, 2022). https://doi.org/10.14763/2022.2.1665.

      https://policyreview.info/glossary/independently-hosted-web-publishing

      Fun to see the IndieWeb wiki cited in academic literature.

    2. The term independent is considered more appropriate than self, as in self-hosted, considering the latter can give the wrong impression that it only refers to situations where the owners of a website decided to physically host it on hardware that is physically controlled and managed by them.

      This idea of independently hosted versus self-hosted comes up frequently in IndieWeb chat. The IndieWeb doesn't generally participate in the "purity test" of requiring full self-hosting as a result.

    3. Projects like the Open Journal System, Manifold or Scalar are based on a distributed model that allow anyone to download and deploy the software (Maxwell et al., 2019), offering an alternative to the commercial entities that dominate the scholarly communication ecosystem.

      Might Hypothes.is also be included with this list? Though it could go a bit further toward packaging and making it more easily available to self-hosters.

    4. For example, Campbell talks about personal cyberinfrastructures when he suggests providing students with hosting space and their own domain as soon as they start their studies: Suppose that when students matriculate, they are assigned their own web servers […] As part of the first-year orientation, each student would pick a domain name […] students would build out their digital presences in an environment made of the medium of the web itself. […] In short, students would build a personal cyberinfrastructure— one they would continue to modify and extend throughout their college career—and beyond. (Campbell, 2013, p. 101–102)

      Giving a student their own cyberinfrastructures, a set of digital tools, is not too dissimilar from encouraging them to bring tools like notebooks, paper, index cards, pens, and paper in the early 20th century or slate and chalk generations earlier.

      Having the best tools for the job and showing them how to use them is paramount in education. Too often we take our tools for thought for granted in the education space. Students aren't actively taught to use their pens and paper, their voices, their memories, or their digital technologies in the ways that they had been in the past. In the past decade we've focused more on digital technologies, in part, because the teachers were learning to use them in tandem with their students, but this isn't the case with note taking methods like commonplacing, card indexes (or zettelkasten). Some of these methods have been taken for granted to such an extent that some of them are no longer commonplace within education.


      I'll quickly note that they don't seem to have a reference to Campbell in their list. (oops!) Presumably they're referencing Gardner Campbell, though his concept here seems to date to 2009 and was mentioned heavily in the ds106 community.

    5. (sic)

      ha!

    6. the decentralised and open source nature of these systems, where anyone can host an instance, may protect their communities from the kinds of losses experienced by users of the many commercial platforms that have gone out of business over the last decades (e.g. Geocities, Wikispaces or Google + to name just a few).

      https://indieweb.org/site-deaths names a large number of others

    7. The idea of Public Service Internet platforms is one of those alternatives, where “users manage their data, download and re-use their self-curated data for reuse on other platforms [… which] minimise and decentralise data storage and have no need to monetise and monitor Internet use” (Fuchs & Unterberger, 2021, p. 13).
    8. emancipatory communication seeks “to circumvent the politics of enclosure and control enacted by states, regulators, and corporations” (Milan, 2019 , p. 1)
    9. We propose ‘independently-hosted web publishing’ as a term that can appropriately describe “affirmative disruption” (Hall, 2016) in relation to practices enabling a diverse range of individuals, collectives and initiatives to adopt alternatives to centralised modes of sharing content online.

      Is there a need for a word to describe this? Does indieweb have baggage to warrant using 'independently-hosted web publishing'?

      I like the idea of affirmative disruption--it's got a positive connotation and takes back the idea of disruption which has been co-opted by "big social".

    1. One of its main features is “local only posting,” which gives users the option of not federating their posts.

      One of the main features of Darius Kazemi's Hometown, a fork of Mastodon from 2019, is that it allows "local only posting". This gives the users an option to post their content only with a small, limited group of people instead of spreading it widely outside of their social group. In addition to helping to tummel a smaller conversation this also prevents those who are more likely to suffer from context collapse of the groups social norms from engaging and potentially souring the conversation.

      This feature could also be well leveraged for small private classroom conversations between teachers and students without leaking their personal/private data or conversations that ought to be small as they learn.

      Could also be fun to limit the level of federation to the level of an academic department, academic discipline, or even a university. How might one define a group or groups of publics within Mastodon so that one could choose a level at which to share their content?

    2. “It was 2017, I would say, when Twitter started really cracking down on bots in a way that they hadn’t before — taking down a lot of bad bots, but also taking down a lot of good bots too. There was an appeals process [but] it was very laborious, and it just became very difficult to maintain stuff. And then they also changed all their API’s, which are the programmatic interface for how a bot talks to Twitter. So they changed those without really any warning, and everything broke.

      Just like chilling action by political actors, social media corporations can use changes in policy and APIs to stifle and chill speech online.

      This doesn't mean that there aren't bad actors building bots to actively cause harm, but there is a class of potentially helpful and useful bots (tools) that can make a social space better or more interesting.

      How does one regulate this sort of speech? Perhaps the answer is simply not to algorithmically amplify these bots and their speech over that of humans.

      More and more I think that the answer is to make online social interactions more like in person interactions. Too much social media is giving an even bigger bullhorn to the crazy preacher on the corner of Main Street who was shouting at the crowds that simply ignored them. Social media has made it easier for us to shout them back down, and in doing so, we're only making them heard by more. We need a negative feedback mechanism to dampen these effects the same way they would have happened online.

    3. He and his fellow bot creators had been asking themselves over the years, “what do we do when the platform [Twitter] becomes unfriendly for bots?”

      There's some odd irony in this quote. Kazemi indicates that Twitter was unfriendly for bots, but he should be specific that it's unfriendly for non-corporately owned bots. One could argue that much of the interaction on Twitter is spurred by the primary bot on the service: the algorithmic feed (bot) that spurs people to like, retweet, and interact with more content and thus keeping them on the platform for longer.

    1. “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.” ― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

      A longer form of the idea:

      The answer to any question about doing something is either HELL YES!, or no.

    1. Leave a Reply

      Just a note to say that there are a handful of us who have "quietly" read and enjoyed this piece Matthew, see: https://via.hypothes.is/https://finiteeyes.net/pedagogy/extending-the-mind/

      Thanks for your work.

    1. You may find this book in the “self-improvement” category, but in adeeper sense it is the opposite of self-improvement. It is aboutoptimizing a system outside yourself, a system not subject to you

      imitations and constraints, leaving you happily unoptimized and free to roam, to wonder, to wander toward whatever makes you feel alive here and now in each moment.

      Some may categorize handbooks on note taking within the productivity space as "self-help" or "self-improvement", but still view it as something that happens outside of ones' self. Doesn't improving one's environment as a means of improving things for oneself count as self-improvement?

      Marie Kondo's minimalism techniques are all external to the body, but are wholly geared towards creating internal happiness.

      Because your external circumstances are important to your internal mental state, external environment and decoration can be considered self-improvement.


      Could note taking be considered exbodied cognition? Vannevar Bush framed the Memex as a means of showing associative trails. (Let's be honest, As We May Think used the word trail far too much.)

      How does this relate to orality vs. literacy?

      Orality requires the immediate mental work for storage while literacy removes some of the work by making the effort external and potentially giving it additional longevity.

    2. I’ve had my fair share of challenges, but at eachstage of my journey, treating my thoughts as treasures worthkeeping has been the pivotal element in everything I’ve overcomeand achieved.

      He uses the phrase "thoughts as treasures", but I'm reasonably sure that he doesn't do so with the same intention as the centuries of rhetoricians which preceded him.

    3. I had discovered somethingvery special

      Notice the creation myth being born here? Does he really believe that no one has noticed this before?

      What about all the handbook writers who encouraged commonplacing in the 1500s, much less their predecessors?

    4. I found that virtually all of them already usedvarious productivity tools, such as paper notepads or the apps ontheir smartphones, but that very few did so in a systematic,intentional way. They tended to move information around from placeto place haphazardly, reacting to the demands of the moment, neverquite trusting that they’d be able to find it again. Every newproductivity app promised a breakthrough, but usually ended upbecoming yet another thing to manage

      Anecdotal evidence that not centralizing one's work is a road to failure.

      Centralized note taking for easy search is key!

    5. As the information tide receded, I started to gain a sense ofconfidence in my ability to find exactly what I needed when I neededit. I became the go-to person in the office for finding that one file, orunearthing that one fact, or remembering exactly what the client hadsaid three weeks earlier. You know the feeling of satisfaction whenyou are the only one in the room who remembers an importantdetail? That feeling became the prize in my personal pursuit tocapitalize on the value of what I knew.

      I had this same sense early on, but it involved a capacious memory rather than a reliance on written notes that I needed to consult.

    6. In the digital realm, informationcould be molded and shaped and directed to any purpose, like amagical, primordial force of nature.

      He does build a sense of excitement and magic around the idea of taking notes here, though sadly he's covering up the amount of work that maintaining such a system entails.

    7. Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done

      David Allen has apparently not acquainted himself with any of the arts of memory.

    8. I’ve spent years studying how prolific writers, artists, and thinkersof the past managed their creative process. I’ve spent countlesshours researching how human beings can use technology to extendand enhance our natural cognitive abilities. I’ve personally

      experimented with every tool, trick, and technique available today for making sense of information. This book distills the very best insights I’ve discovered from teaching thousands of people around the world how to realize the potential of their ideas.

      All this work just for this? When some basic reading of historical note taking, information management, and intellectual history would have saved him the time and effort? Looking through the references I'm not seeing much before even 2010, so it seems as if he's spent most of his time reinventing the wheel.

    9. the lessons you will find within thesepages are built on timeless and unchanging principles

      The ideas behind knowledge management are largely timeless, but they are far from unchanging. They have evolved slowly over 2000+ years until we broadly threw many of them away in the early 20th century.

      One only need read a few pages of Ann M. Blair's Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age to see some of the changes and shifts within the space from the 1400s on.

    10. Other popular terms for such a system include Zettelkasten (meaning “slipbox” in German, coined by influential sociologist Niklas Luhmann), Memex (aword invented by American inventor Vannevar Bush), and digital garden(named by popular online creator Anne-Laure Le Cunff)

      Zettelkasten existed prior to Niklas Luhmann, who neither invented them nor coined their name.

      The earliest concept of a digital garden stems from Mark Bernstein's essay Hypertext Gardens: Delightful Vistas in 1998.

      Anne-Laure Le Cunff's first mention of "digital garden" was on April 21, 2020

      Progress on my digital garden / evergreen notebook inspired by @andy_matuschak🌱<br><br>Super grateful for @alyssaxuu who's been literally handholding me through the whole thing — thank you! pic.twitter.com/ErzvEsdAUj

      — Anne-Laure Le Cunff (@anthilemoon) April 22, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Which occurred after Maggie Appleton's mention on 2020-04-15 https://twitter.com/Mappletons/status/1250532315459194880

      Nerding hard on digital gardens, personal wikis, and experimental knowledge systems with @_jonesian today.<br><br>We have an epic collection going, check these out...<br><br>1. @tomcritchlow's Wikifolders: https://t.co/QnXw0vzbMG pic.twitter.com/9ri6g9hD93

      — Maggie Appleton 🧭 (@Mappletons) April 15, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      And several days after Justin Tadlock on 2020-04-17 https://wptavern.com/on- digital-gardens-blogs-personal-spaces-and-the-future

      Before this there was Joel Hooks by at least 2020-02-04 https://web.archive.org/web/20200204180025/https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden, though he had been thinking about it in late 2019: https://github.com/joelhooks/joelhooks-com/blob/36c21b34f02ade14d4e67915ff412462030282cd/content/blog/2019-12-08--on-writing-more~~qG38AKqxq/index.mdx

      He was predated by Tom Critchlow on 2018-10-18 https://tomcritchlow.com/blogchains/digital-gardens/ who quotes Mike Caulfield's article from 2015-10-17 as an influence https://hapgood.us/2015/10/17/the-garden-and-the-stream-a-technopastoral/amp/

      Archive.org has versions going back into the early 2000's: https://web.archive.org/web/*/%22digital%20garden%22

    11. The only problem is that you’re often consuming it at thewrong time.

      I might argue that you're consuming in in the wrong way and thus not able to re-use it at the correct time.

    12. Now, this eye-opening and accessible guide shows how you caneasily create your own personal system for knowledge management,otherwise known as a Second Brain.

      Marketing speech to convert an old idea (commonplacing) into a new siloed service one needs to pay for.

    13. For the first time in history, we have instantaneous access to theworld’s knowledge.

      While we may have the impression of instant access to the world's knowledge, this is really far from the truth. It's all there, but being able to search through it for what we want or being able to find or generate insight from it involves a massive mountain of hidden work that no one really wants to do in practice.

    14. A revolutionary approach to enhancing productivity,creating flow, and vastly increasing your ability tocapture, remember, and benefit from the unprecedentedamount of information all around us.

      Some great marketing copy, but I'm anticipating a book that is going to lay out some general techniques that go under the topic of commonplace book, a concept that goes back over 2,000 years. This is the opposite of revolutionary.

    15. Forte, Tiago. Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential. Atria Books, 2022. https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Building-a-Second-Brain/Tiago-Forte/9781982167387.

    1. The Sydney researchers were able to confirm this theory by analyzing dried blood samples taken from newborns who died from SIDS and other unknown causes. Each SIDS sample was then compared with blood taken from healthy babies. They found the activity of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) was significantly lower in babies who died of SIDS compared to living infants and other non-SIDS infant deaths. BChE plays a major role in the brain’s arousal pathway, explaining why SIDS typically occurs during sleep. 
    1. name means a slit box in german as in like a slip of paper a box containing such slips of paper it was invented or at least the modern form was described by a sociologist 00:02:32 named nicholas lumon

      Another example of someone misattributing the invention of the zettelkasten to Niklas Luhmann. At least Soren Bjornstad modifies the attribution to say modern form, but I suspect that this is more of a verbal hedge more than being backed up with actual evidence, though perhaps the video will bear out more detail?

      The availability heuristic is so strong in Luhmann's case, that he is attributed the invention. I find that few people can point to or ever mention any others who used the method.

    1. Luhmann realised his note-taking was not leadinganywhere. So he turned note-taking on its head.

      Here Ahrens doesn't say that Luhmann invented the zettelkasten, but he comes pretty close and is heavily implying it rather than delving into the ways which Luhmann may have been taught this practice.

    1. This is all too correct. Sadly the older methods for writing, note taking, thinking, and memory have fallen by the wayside, so most literate moderns don't have the tradition most of (elite educated) Western culture has had for the past 2000+ years. The long tradition of commonplace books and their related versions including waste books, florilegium, sudelbücher, scholia, glossae, notebooks, anthologies, sylvae, table books, vade mecum, memoranda books, diaries, miscellanies, pocket books, thesauruses, etc. underlines your thesis well. The Zettelkasten, exactly like almost all of these others, is simply an iteration of the commonplace book instantiated into index card form. One of the reasons that Umberto Eco's advice on writing seems so similar to the zettelkasten method is that he was a medievalist scholar who was aware of these long traditions of writing, note taking, and memory and leveraged these for himself, though likely in a slightly different manner. Would anyone suggest that he didn't have a voluminous output or an outsized impact on society and culture? If one really wants to go crazy on the idea of backlinks and the ideas of creativity and invention, perhaps they ought to brush up on their Catalan and read some Ramon Llull? He was an 11th century philosopher and polymath who spent a lot of time not only memorizing much of his personal knowledge, but who invented combinatorial creative methods for juxtaposing his volumes of information to actively create new ideas. I guarantee no backlinking system held a match to his associative methods. Now if someone wanted to mix some mysticism into the fray, then perhaps there might be a competition... Many who are now writing so positively about Zettelkasten or backlinks are doing so in much the same way that humanist scholars like Desiderius Erasmus, Rodolphus Agricola, and Philip Melanchthon did when writing about and re-popularizing commonplace books in the 1500s. The primary difference being that the chance that they leave as lasting a legacy is much smaller. Worse many of them are crediting Luhmann for the actual invention of the Zettelkasten when his is but one instantiation on a long evolution of many note taking devices over literal millennia. I'm still waiting for folks to spend more time talking about Carl Linnaeus' revolutionary invention and use of the index card. Or John Locke's system for creating a new indexing system for commonplace books. Generally we don't talk about these innovations because their users spent more of their time using their systems to get other more important things done for their legacies. In the end, the message seems clear, anyone can be incredibly productive; most of it boils down to having some sort of system of reading, thinking, note taking, and new production and sticking with it for a while. Have a system; use your system; evolve it slowly to work well for you and the way you think and work.

    1. for personal wiki and how to build knowledge (and even creation) out of streams you might want to check into @fortelabs's stuff. possibly a good link between streams and gardens and back.

      Evidence that Tiago should be aware that Le Cunff didn't coin "digital garden" in 2020.

    1. notes that when you don't tend to your digital garden, people come along, think your work is weeds, and pull it from existence.

      Oldest reference to digital garden on Twitter

      notes that when you don't tend to your digital garden, people come along, think your work is weeds, and pull it from existence.

      — Matthew Oliphant (@matto) February 19, 2007
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. tending to the digital garden.

      Second earliest reference to digital garden on Twitter

      tending to the digital garden.

      — seansalmon.ugh 🤷‍♂️ (@seanaes) October 1, 2007
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. Consequently, we cannot understand the history of science if we take a narrow (that is, modern) viewof its content, goals, and practitioners.5. Such a narrow view is sometimes called “Whiggism” (an interest only in historical developments thatlead directly to current scientific beliefs) and the implementation of modern definitions andevaluations on the past.

      Historians need to be cautious not to take a whiggist and teleological view of historical events. They should be careful to place events into their appropriate context to be able to evaluate them accurately.

      The West, in particular, has a tendency to discount cultural contexts and view human history as always bending toward improvement when this is not the case.

      link to Dawn of Everything notes

    2. The term “scientist” is aneologism, coined jocularly by William Whewell in 1834.

      "Scientist" is a neologism coined in 1834, by William Whewell and was originally meant tongue-in-cheek.


      Who coined the word "scientist" in 1834? :: William Whewell

    3. Chief among these is the need to understand scientific study and discoveryin historical context. Theological, philosophical, social, political, and economic factors deeply impact thedevelopment and shape of science.

      Science needs to be seen and understood in its appropriate historical context. Modern culture (and even scientists themselves) often forget the profound impact of theological, philosophical, social, political, and economic factors on how science develops and how we perceive it.

    4. Principe, Lawrence M. (2013, July 8). History of Science: Antiquity to 1700 (Vol. 1200) [.mp3]. https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/history-of-science-antiquity-to-1700

    1. Whig history (or Whig historiography), often appearing as whig history, is an approach to historiography that presents history as a journey from an oppressive and benighted past to a "glorious present".[1] The present described is generally one with modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy: it was originally a satirical term for the patriotic grand narratives praising Britain's adoption of constitutional monarchy and the historical development of the Westminster system.[2] The term has also been applied widely in historical disciplines outside of British history (e.g. in the history of science) to describe "any subjection of history to what is essentially a teleological view of the historical process".[3] When the term is used in contexts other than British history, "whig history" (lowercase) is preferred.[3]

      Stemming from British history, but often applied in other areas including the history of science, whig history is a historiography that presents history as a path from an oppressive, backward, and wretched past to a glorious present. The term was coined by British Historian Herbert Butterfield in The Whig Interpretation of History (1931). It stems from the British Whig party that advocated for the power of Parliament as opposed to the Tories who favored the power of the King.


      It would seem to be an unfortunate twist of fate for indigenous science and knowledge that it was almost completely dismissed when the West began to dominate indigenous cultures during the Enlightenment which was still heavily imbued with the influence of scholasticism. Had religion not played such a heavy role in science, we may have had more respect and patience to see and understand the value of indigenous ways of knowing.

      Link this to notes from The Dawn of Everything.

    1. https://wordpress.org/plugins/slippy/

      This WordPress plugin looks like it's a solid custom post type for creating a digital zettelkasten. Looks like it relies on tags/categories for linking, though has a custom link function. This in combination with Webmention could be a useful bi-directional link set up.

    1. According to the “Korean age” system, a person turns one the day they are born and they then become a year older on New Year’s Day, irrespective of the date on which they were born.   This traditional method of determining age was used in a number of east Asian nations in the past, including China and Japan, and is believed to stem from the concept that time inside the mother’s womb counts as the first year of a child’s life.
    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?

    2. Bidirectional links are a feature, not a product. Every productivity software will have them in 10 years. We saw this happen already with Kanban boards via Trello. Notion took them. Airtable took them. GitHub took them.

      Create a list of tools that feature [[wikilink]] functionality.

      • WikiMedia
      • TiddlyWiki
      • other wikis...
      • Roam Research
      • Obsidian
      • other note taking apps...
      • Trello
      • Notion
      • Airtable
      • GitHub
    1. V$A*$*=0"$1&$10+'('+,Y$0)#1+'&2$1&4$=*'&2$1$&-+#7--@$0-&*+'+=+#4$1$C-4#$-.$)#18+'C#$'&+#).10#V
    2. S-)$+"#$91*+$+H-$0#&+=)'#*$*0"-81)*$"1(#$0-&0#9+=18'O#4$+"#$4"#$%"&3"("$9)'C1)'8,$1*$1&$-7Z#0+Y$4)1H'&2$0-C91)I'*-&*$7#+H##&$1$*"##+$-.$919#)$1&4$-+"#)$-7Z#0+I$71*#4$C#+19"-)*$+"1+$8'@#&$+"#$C'&4$+-$1$017'&#+Y$1$+"#1+#)Y$1$)--CY$-)$1$"-=*#Vf

      Most of the object-based metaphors for the mind over the past two centuries are spaces or location-based: a cabinet, a theater, a room, or a house. This would seem to show a close association of our prior uses of mnemotechniques, particularly the method of loci, for remembering anything with the mind.

      Are there any non-object/non-location based metaphors other than the tabula rasa mentioned by Matthew Daniel Eddy?

    3. R=)'&2$+"#$#'2"+##&+"$0#&+=),Y$+"#$51+'&$+#)C$]4"#$%"^$_1&4$'+*$(#)&10=81)$.-)C$-.$]+178#^b$H1*$=*#4$+-$4#*0)'7#$1&,$('*=18'O1+'-&$C14#$-&$1$*P=1)#$-)$)#0+1&2=81)$*=).10#Va
    4. A*$#M981'&#4$'&$+"#$\ff\$#4'+'-&$-.$+"#$)*+,+%-."/01"&2314"**1+"Y$1&$]1)+^$H1*$=&4#)*+--4$+-$7#$]1$*,*+#C$-.$)=8#*$*#)('&2$+-$.10'8'+1+#$+"#$9#).-)C1&0#$-.$0#)+1'&$10+'-&*V^g
    5. +#@##9'&2$H1*$1&$1)+Y$1$9#).-)C1&0#Y$+"1+$+--@$9810#$-&Y$1)-=&4Y$1&4$10)-**$919#)V

      ... notekeeping was an art, a performance, that took place on, around, and across paper. —Matthew Daniel Eddy


      I'm also reminded of this in the framing of lack of performance as students I didn't know regularly asked me in college why I didn't take notes.

      Only years on now do I realize it was because they and I had been taking the wrong types of notes.


      Odd that this .pdf is garbling the highlighted text...

    6. $L(#&$'&$+-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. Eddy, Matthew Daniel (anticipated 2022). Media and the Mind: Art, Science, and Notebooks as Paper Machines, 1700-1830. University of Chicago Press. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo173084820.html

    1. https://x28newblog.wordpress.com/2022/05/08/curating-my-blog-archive/

      I like the overall look and effect done here to create a table of contents in WordPress, but it seems like some quirky gymnastics to pull it off. How might this be done in a more straightforward way? Are there any plugins for WordPress that could create a page that keeps the categories and the descriptions? And particularly a page that primarily only shows articles and not other content types?

      Link this to my work on my own index at https://boffosocko.com/about/index/

    1. Amanda CAARSON I've been a web developer since 1999, and I've been on the indieweb since 2015. This site is a commonplace book for all my online activity and will eventually be a home for archives of all of my online content.

      https://arush.io/

      Example of a personal website indicating that it's a commonplace book. (Highly likely through my own influence.)

    1. #webmention is just...magic. Instead of getting comments on twitter, substack, your blog, etc etc. It just all comes to one place? I'm actually surprised @SubstackInc doesn't have support already: anytime someone blogs or substacks about your newsletter, you get a mention?

      #webmention is just...magic. Instead of getting comments on twitter, substack, your blog, etc etc. It just all comes to one place? I'm actually surprised @SubstackInc doesn't have support already: anytime someone blogs or substacks about your newsletter, you get a mention? 👌👌

      — person72443 (@person72443) May 9, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      The linguist in me notes that the tweet above from @person72443 is the first time I've seen someone verbify Substack as "substacks"

    1. Does anyone know of someone's public Zettelkasten somewhere on the internet? I am trying to write literature notes and permanent notes, and am trying to refine my own system but do not really think I am doing things all too well. I have read a decent amount of content on how one should write literature and permanent notes, but I think I am at the point where reading through someone else's Zettelkasten to get inspiration for how I create my own would be useful. However, I cannot find a good specific Zettelkasten one. I saw on github a list of digital gardens but most did not seemed geared towards the Zettelkasten approach, and the only one I saw that fit the bill was in Spanish...

      There are lots of people writing/saying they've got a digital zettelkasten online, but few actually are in the mold you're actively looking for. Most are wikis, digital gardens, commonplace books, or simply webpages or more blog-like in form.

      This IndieWeb wiki page has some of the few useful digital examples I'm aware of: https://indieweb.org/Zettelk%C3%A4sten

      I've got the start of a potential online site with some sample cards, though they're not all properly interlinked, online at https://notes.boffosocko.com. My Hypothes.is account is relatively zettelkasten-like in many of the ways you might be considering, though individual notes aren't heavily interlinked in the way one would like, though they are reasonably well indexed with keywords: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich. Many notes may be more fleeting in nature, so look for the journal articles/books that have 10 or more annotations versus documents with under 5. Generally these all get moved into a digital system where they're further refined and interlinked.

    1. https://colinwalker.blog/?date=2022-03-08#p2

      Some interesting looking female bloggers listed here.

    1. Where there wasn’t a local real Mari Lwyd to hand, the flat-pack Mari designed by David Pitt has been incredibly useful.

      Modern celebrations of the Mari Lwyd which haven't had easy access to a horse skull to decorate have used a flat-pack cardboard version of a skull designed by David Pitt.

    2. of all the horse customs found in the British Isles, only the Mari Lwyd has a poetry competition at its heart. The Pwnco might be a challenge for some parts of 21st century Wales now that village bards are scarcer, but learned or improvised, the lyrics and the contest give scope for local and topical references, and showcase the traditional Welsh love of language and poetry.

      Worth looking into the tradition of village bards in Wales.

      What is a Pwnco?

    3. People learned about the background, the songs associated with the tradition and about the ‘pwnco’ verse contest, with some writing their own new verses.
    1. It's a little hard to tell if "IndieWeb" is in practice just its own community of people who like to talk about #indieweb things. (That's what gets surfaced when I try to learn more, but of course it is.) I like the idea more than most "fediverse" incarnations, though.

      The Logos, Ethos, and Pathos of IndieWeb

      Where is the IndieWeb?

      Logos

      One might consider the IndieWeb's indieweb.org wiki-based website and chat the "logos" of IndieWeb. There is a small group of about a hundred actove tp very active participants who hang out in these spaces on a regular basis, but there are also many who dip in and out over time as they tinker and build, ask advice, get some help, or just to show up and say hello. Because there are concrete places online as well as off (events) for them to congregate, meet, and interact, it's the most obvious place to find these ideas and people.

      Ethos

      Beyond this there is an even larger group of people online who represent the "ethos" of IndieWeb. Some may have heard the word before, some have a passing knowledge of it, but an even larger number have not. They all act and operate in a way that either seemed natural to them because they grew up in the period of the open web, or because they never felt accepted by the thundering herds in the corporate social enclosures. Many are not necessarily easily found or discovered because they're not surfaced or highlighted by the sinister algorithms of corporate social media, but through slow and steady work (much like the in person social space) they find each other and interact in various traditional web spaces. Many of them can be found in spaces like Tilde Club or NeoCities, or through movements like A Domain of One's Own, some can be found through a variety of webrings, via blogrolls, or just following someone's website and slowly seeing the community of people who stop by and comment. Yes, these discovery methods may involve a little more work, but shouldn't health human interactions require work and care?

      Pathos

      The final group of people, and likely the largest within the community, are those that represent the "pathos" of IndieWeb. The word IndieWeb has not registered with any of them and they suffer with grief in the long shadow of corporate social media wishing they had better user interfaces, better features, different interaction, more meaningful interaction, healthier and kinder interaction. Some may have even been so steeped in big social for so long that they don't realize that there is another way of being or knowing.

      These people may be found searching for the IndieWeb promised land on silo platforms like Blogger, Tumblr or Medium where they have the shadow on the wall of a home on the web where they can place their identities and thoughts. Here they're a bit more safe from the acceleration of algorithmically fed content and ills of mainstream social. Others are trapped within massive content farms run by multi-billion dollar extractive companies who quietly but steadily exploit their interactions with friends and family.

      The Conversation

      All three of these parts of the IndieWeb, the logos, the ethos, and the pathos comprise the community of humanity. They are the sum of the real conversation online.

      Venture capital backed corporate social media has cleverly inserted themselves between us and our interactions with each other. They privilege some voices not only over others, but often at the expense of others and only to their benefit. We have been developing a new vocabulary for these actions with phrases like "surveillance capitalism", "data mining", and analogizing human data as the new "oil" of the 21st century. The IndieWeb is attempting to remove these barriers, many of them complicated, but not insurmountable, technical ones, so that we can have a healthier set of direct interactions with one another that more closely mirrors our in person interactions. By having choice and the ability to move between a larger number of service providers there is an increasing pressure to provide service rather than the growing levels of continued abuse and monopoly we've become accustomed to.

      None of these subdivisions---logos, ethos, or pathos---is better or worse than the others, they just are. There is no hierarchy between or among them just as there should be no hierarchy between fellow humans. But by existing, I think one could argue that through their humanity they are all slowly, but surely making the web a healthier, happier, fun, and more humanized and humanizing place to be.

  2. May 2022
    1. https://community.reclaimhosting.com/t/mastodon-on-reclaim-cloud/3225

      For those interested in doing it for edtech/classroom settings, it might be worth looking at the Hometown fork of Mastodon: https://github.com/hometown-fork/hometown/wiki/Local-only-posting

      The link is to a special feature that most Mastodon instances don't have: local only posting which would allow students a level of privacy and separation from the rest of the federated timeline if they choose.

    1. : low land that is covered wholly or partly with water unless artificially drained and that usually has peaty alkaline soil and characteristic flora (as of sedges and reeds)

      fen

      often heard in the phrase forests and fens

    1. We’ve updated the default Tumblr Official blog theme to be compatible with Microformats 2, which allows blogs using the Official theme to be parsed more easily as part of the IndieWeb. Follow the ongoing work on this here!

      Huzzah! Kevin Marks for the win!

    1. https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/what-language-s-are-you-studying/73190

      I've been studying Welsh on and off now for just over a year.

      I've been using a mix of Duolingo for it's easy user interface and it's built in spaced repetition. I like the way that it integrates vocabulary and grammar in a holistic way which focuses on both reading, writing, and listening.

      However, I've also been using the fantastic platform Say Something in Welsh. This uses an older method of listening and producing based teaching which actually makes my brain feel a bit tired after practice. The focus here is solely on listening and speaking and forces the student to verbally produce the language. It's a dramatically different formula than most high school and college based courses I've seen and used over the years having taken 3 years of Spanish, 2 of French, and 2 of Latin.

      The set up consists of the introduction of a few words which are then used in a variety of combinations to create full sentences. The instructors say a sentence in English and the listener is encouraged in just a few seconds to attempt to produce it in the target language (Welsh, in my case), then the instructor says the sentence in Welsh with a pause for the student to repeat it properly, another instructor says it in Welsh with a pause for a third repeat. This goes on for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. The end result is that the learner gets into the language much more quickly and can begin both understanding the spoken language as well as produce it much more rapidly than older school based methods (at least in my experience, though I have known some college language labs to use a much more limited version of a similar technique). Each lesson adds new material, but also reviews over older material in a spaced repetition format as well so you're always getting something new mixed in with the old to make new and interesting sentences for conversation.

      SSiW also has modules for Manx, Cornish, Dutch, and Spanish.

      I find that the two done hand in hand has helped me produce much faster results in language acquisition in an immersive manner than I have done previously and with much less effort.

    1. https://www.robinsloan.com/lab/lost-thread/

      Twitter may have felt like the dial tone of the internet for several years, but I'm starting to feel like the tide has changed. Twitter has started a decline and ideas and energy are now slowly flowing to new growth on the internet. It may take a while, but unless Twitter does something drastic and amazing, they're going to slowly bleed out and die.

    2. Arguing about the future of Twit­ter is a loser’s game; a dead end. The plat­form’s only con­clu­sion can be abandonment: an over­due MySpace-ification.

      I love the verbifification of MySpace here. Its one of the earliest and most popular social media platforms which is now primarily known for its spectacular collapse and death as a social platform.

    1. The minute we saw his frantic, hand-lettered presentation of the Field Notes credo — “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now” — we knew just what to do.

      https://fieldnotesbrand.com/apparel/remember-it-now-tee

      Field Notes, a manufacturer of notebooks, uses the credo "I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now." This is an fun restatement of the idea behind the power of the Feynman technique.

      Link to Ahrens' version of this idea.

    1. Nate Angell as our new Director of Communications and Community.

      Congratulations Nate! I'm sure Hypothes.is will miss you desperately, but Creative Commons will be all the better for your work and contribution.

      https://creativecommons.org/2022/05/03/cc-welcomes-nate-angell/