170 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. in Luhmann’s mind theprocess of writing things down enables disciplined thinking in the first place: “Underlying the filing tech-nique is the experience that without writing, there is no thinking.”22
      1. Luhmann, Zettelkasten II, index card no. 9/8g (my translation).

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

  2. Jan 2022
    1. If we remembered everything, we should on most occasions be as ill off as if we remembered nothing.
    2. When Simonides offered to teach the Athenian statesman Themistocles the art of Memory, Cicero reports that he refused. "Teach me not the art of remem- bering," he said, "but the art of forgetting, for I remember things I do not wish to remember, but I cannot forget things I wish to forget."
    3. And pundits quipped, "Nothing is more common than a fool with a strong memory."
    4. In 1580 Montaigne declared that "a good memory is generally joined to a weak judgment."
    5. The English common law was "immemorial" custom which ran to a "time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." "In the profound ignorance of letters which formerly overspread the whole west- em world," Sir William Blackstone noted in 1765, "letters were intirely traditional, for this plain reason, that the nations among which they pre- vailed had but little idea of writing. Thus the British as well as the Gallic druids committed all their laws as well as learning to memory; and it is said of the primitive Saxons here, as well as their brethren on the conti- nent, that leges

      sola memoria et usu retinebant.

    6. "Memory," agreed Cicero, "is the treasury and guardian of all things."
    7. "Memory," said Aeschylus, "is the mother of all wis- dom."
    1. You know you have to read "between the lines" to get the most out of anything. I want to persuade you to do something equally important in the course of your reading. I want to persuade you to write between the lines. Unless you do, you are not likely to do the most efficient kind of reading.

      -Mortimer J. Adler

    1. As John Palmer points out in his brilliant posts on Spatial Interfaces and Spatial Software, “Humans are spatial creatures [who] experience most of life in relation to space”.

      This truism is certainly much older than John Palmer, but an interesting quote none-the-less.

      It could be useful to meditate on the ideas of "spatial interfaces" and "spatial software" as useful affordances within the application and design spaces.

    1. Any Negro who wishes to live must live with danger from his first day, and no experience can ever be casual to him, no Negro can saunter down a street with any real certainty that violence will not visit him on his walk.

      Norman Mailer

    2. The hipster is an enfant terrible turned inside out.

      “Born 1930: The Unlost Generation” by Caroline Bird, Harper’s Bazaar, Feb. 1957

      Definition of the "hipster"

    1. First and foremost, I do it for me. The memex I've created by thinking about and then describing every interesting thing I've encountered is hugely important for how I understand the world. It's the raw material of every novel, article, story and speech I write.

      On why Cory Doctorow keeps a digital commonplace book.

    1. What Alexander had found is that we’ve fundamentally misunderstood what addiction is. It isn’t a moral failing. It isn’t a disease. Addiction is an adaptation to your environment. It’s not you; it’s the cage you live in.”

      This is a fascinating thesis to follow up on. How about digital distractions and addictions to the internet and social media?

      We'll need some harder science to follow up on it than this piece.

    1. As Wilson quips, “an unregulated organism is a dead organism.”

      We definitely need aphorisms like this embedded into our political and economic spheres.

    2. Indeed, as David Haskell, a biologist and writer, notes, a tree is “a community of cells” from many species: “fungus, bacteria, protist, alga, nematode and plant.” And often “the smallest viable genetic unit [is] … the networked community.”

      Explore this idea....

      What does it look like quantitatively?

    1. Mr. West added, “The normal path to holiness in marriage is to sanctify the marriage bed, not to sacrifice the marriage bed.”

      I really wouldn't have expected to read a sentence like this.

    1. We should be careful that we do not become our own tools.

      Compare and contrast this admonition and extension with

      Life imitates art. We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us. — John M. Culkin, “A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan” (The Saturday Review, March 1967) (Culkin was a friend and colleague of Marshall McLuhan)

    1. We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us. —Winston Churchill


      Life imitates art. We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us. — John M. Culkin, “A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan” (The Saturday Review, March 1967) (Culkin was a friend and colleague of Marshall McLuhan)

    1. Francis Bacon, for instance, thought that "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."

      An interesting classification of books which fits a fair amount of my own views, particularly looking at the difference between fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

      Source?

    1. Serious reading will require just as much effort as it has always required.

      Reading is hard to disrupt.

      Speeding up and dramatically improving the reading process is incredibly difficult. No one has yet made really huge strides in this space. Google has made it imminently more accessible to the masses, but it still requires a lot of physical work and processing on our part.

    1. He also quotes another scientist, who speaks of "controlled sloppiness" as a principle that "permits the occurrence of fruitful accidents", tracing this idea to the fact that scientific work is never without loose ends and that in the absence of a rigid plan it is possible to pay attention to the untidy ends, which ultimately "may turn out to be of considerable importance." Indeed, "compulsive tidiness in experimentation" may be even more crippling than in other areas of life (193).

      Merton, Robert King and Barber, Elinor (2004) The Travels And Adventures Of Serendipity : A Study In Sociological Semantics And The Sociology Of Science Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2004

    2. The crowning reward of general planning is that it will preserve a freedom of inquiry, a freedom of opportunity, that it is not only rational and efficient, but is also a part of a good way of life" (192).

      Merton, Robert King and Barber, Elinor (2004) The Travels And Adventures Of Serendipity : A Study In Sociological Semantics And The Sociology Of Science Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2004

    1. St. Bonaventura (1221-1274) found that there are basically four ways of 'making books' (modi faciendi librum):"A man might write the work of others, adding and changing nothing in which case he is simply called a 'scribe' (scriptor).""Another writes the work of others with additions which are not his own; and he is called a 'compiler (compilator).""Another writes both others’ work and his own, but with others’ work in principal place, adding his own for purposes of explanation; and he is called a 'commentator' (commentator) …""Another writes both his own work and others' but with his own work in principal place adding others' for purposes of confirmation; and such a man should be called an 'author' (auctor).’"
  3. Dec 2021
    1. “One of the vital things for a writer who’s writing a book, which is a lengthy project and is going to take about a year, is how to keep the momentum going. It is the same with a young person writing an essay. They have got to write four or five or six pages. But when you are writing it for a year, you go away and you have to come back. I never come back to a blank page; I always finish about halfway through. To be confronted with a blank page is not very nice. But Hemingway, a great American writer, taught me the finest trick when you are doing a long book, which is, he simply said in his own words, “When you are going good, stop writing.” And that means that if everything’s going well and you know exactly where the end of the chapter’s going to go and you know just what the people are going to do, you don’t go on writing and writing until you come to the end of it, because when you do, then you say, well, where am I going to go next? And you get up and you walk away and you don’t want to come back because you don’t know where you want to go. But if you stop when you are going good, as Hemingway said…then you know what you are going to say next. You make yourself stop, put your pencil down and everything, and you walk away. And you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next and that’s lovely and you have to try and do that. Every time, every day all the way through the year. If you stop when you are stuck, then you are in trouble!” ― Roald Dahl
    1. Even so, new inventions have always influenced literary production, as Friedrich Nietzsche, who struggled with a semi-spherical typewriter, once lyrically observed: “The writing ball is a thing like me: made of / iron / yet easily twisted on journeys.”

      Probably overbearing, but this is also the exact sort of thing a writer faced with a blank page is apt to focus on as they stare at the type ball in front of them. Their focus isn't on the work its on the thing immediately in front of them that isn't working for them.

    2. I’d fallen into the trap that the philosopher Jacques Derrida identified in an interview from the mid-nineties. “With the computer, everything is rapid and so easy,” he complained. “An interminable revision, an infinite analysis is already on the horizon.”

      This also ignores the context of a writing space that is optimized for the reading, thinking and writing process.

      Digital contexts often bring in a raft of other problems and issues that may provide too much.

    1. The slip box provides combinatorial possibilities which were never planned, never preconceived, or conceived in this way.

      This is a reframing of some of Raymond Llull's work into the zettelkasten context.

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

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

    1. “Any large room looks wrong without the appropriate number of people in it,” Mr. Byers writes. “An unused living room looks empty. An empty ballroom is absolutely creepy; it looks as if it is waiting desperately for something to happen. A library, on the other hand, is delightful when full but still especially attractive when empty.”

      on the coziness of libraries

    1. When we simply guess as to whathumans in other times and places might be up to, we almostinvariably make guesses that are far less interesting, far less quirky– in a word, far less human than what was likely going on.

      Definitely worth keeping in mind, even for my own work. Providing an evidential structure for claims will be paramount.

      Is there a well-named cognitive bias for the human tendency to see everything as nails when one has a hammer in their hand?

    2. ‘Security’ takes manyforms. There is the security of knowing one has a statistically smallerchance of getting shot with an arrow. And then there’s the security ofknowing that there are people in the world who will care deeply if oneis.
    3. Oscar Wilde declared he was an advocateof socialism because he didn’t like having to look at poor people orlisten to their stories

      Original reference for this? actual quote?

    4. Among the most eloquent commentaries on this wholephenomenon is to be found in a private letter written by BenjaminFranklin to a friend:When an Indian Child has been brought up among us,taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet ifhe goes to see his relations and make one Indian Ramblewith them there is no persuading him ever to return, andthat this is not natural merely as Indians, but as men, isplain from this, that when white persons of either sexhave been taken prisoner young by the Indians, and livedawhile among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, andtreated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail withthem to stay among the English, yet in a Short time theybecome disgusted with our manner of life, and the careand pains that are necessary to support it, and take thefirst opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, fromwhence there is no reclaiming them. One instance Iremember to have heard, where the person was to bebrought home to possess a good Estate; but finding somecare necessary to keep it together, he relinquished it to ayounger brother, reserving to himself nothing but a gunand match-Coat, with which he took his way again to theWilderness.30

      Franklin, Benjamin. 1961 [1753]. Letter to Peter Collinson, 9 May 1753. In Leonard W. Labaree (ed.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, vol. 4, pp. 481–3.

      Is Stockholm syndrome a temporary or permanent condition? Likely that it's not permanent and that basic lifeways may win out in a switch of lifeways.

    5. The framers of the US Constitution, for example, were quiteexplicitly anti-democratic and made clear in their own publicstatements that they designed the Federal Government in largepart to head off the risk of ‘democracy’ breaking out in one ofthe former colonies (they were particularly worried aboutPennsylvania). Meanwhile, actual direct democratic decision-making had been practised regularly in various parts of Africaor Amazonia, or for that matter in Russian or French peasantassemblies, for thousands of years; see Graeber 2007b.

      To most Americans today, this in an incredibly radical statement. Worth pulling up the reference and seeing the evidence on this.

      Given the reference, this is more attributable to David Graeber.

    6. We are projects of collective self-creation. What if we approached human history that way? What if wetreat people, from the beginning, as imaginative, intelligent, playfulcreatures who deserve to be understood as such? What if, instead oftelling a story about how our species fell from some idyllic state ofequality, we ask how we came to be trapped in such tight conceptualshackles that we can no longer even imagine the possibility ofreinventing ourselves?
    1. Yet the existence of an independent and goodwill-based web is endangered : threatened by the never-ending technology race which makes the websites more difficult and expensive to set up, by the overwhelming commercial advertising pressure, and soon by dissymetric networks, Network Computers, proprietary networks, broadcasting, all aiming at the transformation of the citizen into a basic consumer.

      An early notice of the rise of consumerism on the web and potentially prefiguring the rise of surveillance capitalism.

    1. there's an expectation that in "good history" (or probably good anything else) reading and understanding primary sources precedes interpretation.

      —Dan Allosso

    1. “That’s one of the exciting things about math,” said Jack Morava, a mathematician at Johns Hopkins University and the inventor of Morava K-theory. “You can go through a door and you wind up in a completely different universe. It’s very much like Alice in Wonderland.”
    1. And the well-known jurist Jacques Cujas stated that ‘hee is a Learned Man non qui multa legit sed qui can fitly turne to Authors et use them according to his occasions. Non qui multa memoria teneat sed qui optima in libris optimis posset inve-nire’ (he is a learned man not the one who reads a number of books but the one who can fitly turn to authors and use them according to his occasion. [He is a learned man] not the one who keeps in mind a number of things but the one who can find the best passages in the best books).21

      21 Hartlib Papers 29/2/49A, Ephemerides 1634, Part 5 (italics added).

    2. Johannes Sturm, for example, admitted that it was not important after all to remember; it was far more important to know how to retrieve what in the meantime had been forgotten.20

      20 Johannes Sturm[ius], Linguae Latinae resolvendae ratio (Strasburg, 1581), 51: ‘Scire enim ubi possis invenire, quae memoriae non mandas, satis est’ (italics added).

    3. Drexel, for instance, held those teach-ers ridiculous who taught students to build up houses and rooms by means of imagination and stock them with images of memorable subjects (imagines agentes).16 According to the German Jesuit, the effort was not only huge but students wasted their time because images escape from these artificial places

      much as prisoners escape from jails without guards.17 16 Drexel, Aurifodina, 258 17 Drexel, Aurifodina, 3–4.

      Jeremias Drexel (1581 – 1638) recommended against the method of loci during the explosion of information in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.


      Add Drexel to the list of reformers against the ars memoria in the early 1600s.)


      While dealing with the information overload, educators may have inadvertently thrown out the baby with the bath water. While information still tends to increase and have increased complexity, some areas also show compression and concatenation and new theories subsume old information into their models. This means that one might know and understand Einstein which means that memorizing Newton's work is no longer needed at some point. Where should one draw the line of memorization for subsuming the knowledge of their culture? Aren't both old and new methods for memory usable? Keep the ars memoria while also using written methods.

    4. an inquiry into filing systems is an inquiry into how society manages its own memory.11
    5. Through an inner structure of recursive links and semantic pointers, a card index achieves a proper autonomy; it behaves as a ‘communication partner’ who can recommend unexpected associations among different ideas. I suggest that in this respect pre-adaptive advances took root in early modern Europe, and that this basic requisite for information pro-cessing machines was formulated largely by the keyword ‘order’.

      aliases for "topical headings": headwords keywords tags categories

    6. The card index appeared to be simply what it was: a wooden box for paper slips. On one of these file cards, Luhmann once summarized his own reflections on just such an experience: ‘People come, they see everything and nothing more than that, just like in porn movies; consequently, they leave disappointed’ (Figure 1).8
      1. Cf. Schmidt, ‘Luhmanns Zettelkasten’, 7. The heading of this file card is formulated in form of a question: ‘Geist im Kasten?’ (‘Does Spirit hide in the filing cabinet?’). Obviously, the answer is no. Many thanks to Johannes Schmidt for providing the image of this file card.

      In a zettel in his system entitled "Does Spirit hide in the filing cabinet", Niklas Luhmann wrote the note: "People come, they see everything and nothing more than that, just like in porn movies; consequently, they leave disappointed." This is a telling story about the simplicity of the idea of a slip box (zettelkasten, card catalog, or commonplace book).

      yellowed index card with the identifier 9/8,3 with almost illegible handwriting in German Niklas Luhmann, Zettelkasten II, index card no. 9/8,3

      It's also a testament to the fact that the value of it is in the upfront work that is required in making valuable notes and linking them. Many end up trying out the simple looking system and then wonder why it isn't working for them. The answer is that they're not working for it.

    1. “It does illustrate a good point,” he said. “Which is that all drama is about wanting something very badly and not getting what you want.”
    2. Recently, Strong, concerned about press reports suggesting that he was “difficult,” sent me a text message saying, “I don’t particularly think ease or even accord are virtues in creative work, and sometimes there must even be room for necessary roughness, within the boundaries dictated by the work.”

      An interesting take on creative work by Jeremy Strong

    1. “ The library is the treasury of all wealth of the human mind in which one takes refuge, ” Leibniz writes in a letter to Friedrich of Steinberg in October 1696. 5
    2. “ There are so many books that we lack the time even to read the titles, ” notes the Italian bibliographer Anton Francesco Doni in 1550, already pointing toward the increasing reading of titles and footnotes as a principal reaction to too many texts.
    3. appropriate metaphors open our eyes to more than denotation: they produce a surplus of meaning that stimulates thought.
    4. “ Card catalogs can do anything ” — this is the slogan Fortschritt GmbH

      What a great quote to start off a book like this!

  4. aworkinglibrary.com aworkinglibrary.com
    1. books are a means of listening to the thoughts of others so that you can hear your own thoughts more clearly.
  5. Nov 2021
    1. Lexicographers often show more credulity in positing origins of phrases than they ever would in reporting the etymologies of individual words.
    2. er the years, writers (and speakers) have experimented with numer- ous images in expressions with the same general structure and probable meaning as worse end of the staff and short end of the stick

      Not mentioned here is the idea of the "fuzzy end of the lollipop" as heard (twice?) by the character Sugar Kane Kowalczyk played by Marylin Monroe in Some Like it Hot (United Artists, 1959).

      It's the story of my life: I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop."

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

      The urban dictionary has an unsourced reference for Abraham Lincoln as the source, but I'm loathe to believe it without more direct sourcing.

    1. Like Creation stories every where, cosmologies are a source of identity and orientation to the world. They tell us who we are. We are inevitably shaped by them no matter how distant they may be from our consciousness. One story leads to the generous embrace of the living world, the other to banish-ment. One woman is our ancestral gardener, a cocreator of the good green world that would be the home of her descendants. The other was an exile, just passing through an alien world on a rough road to her real home in heaven.
    1. when I browse from someone’s blog over to their Substack it feels like going from a sweet little neighborhood into a staid corporate park. A little piece of joy dies in me when that happens because it’s another reminder of the corporatization of the web.

      --Ray

    1. it must be acknowledged that conservatism is never more respectable than in education, for nowhere are the risks of change greater.

      —Charles W. Eliot

      And here I thought I was original in thinking this... :)

    1. He goes on to warn that “the broader evangelical population has increasingly heeded populist leaders who dismiss the results of modern learning from whatever source.”

      he = Mark Noll

    2. “There have always been mean people who cloak their unkindness in religious devotion,” one minister in a conservative denomination told me.

      I love the phrasing of this.

    3. In his words, “The gentleness of Jesus was utterly discarded” by those who felt he wasn’t championing their cultural and political agendas aggressively enough.

      Height of hypocrisy...

    4. “People come to believe what they are most thoroughly and intensively catechized to believe, and that catechesis comes not from the churches but from the media they consume, or rather the media that consume them. The churches have barely better than a snowball’s chance in hell of shaping most people’s lives.”
      • Alan Jacobs
    1. None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. - Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar
    1. I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Not only do words infect, ergotise, narcotise, and paralyse, but they enter into and colour the minutest cells of the brain, very much as madder mixed with a stag’s food at the Zoo colours the growth of the animal’s antlers.

      [...] words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.<br/> —Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) in "Surgeons and the Soul" address at the annual dinner of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, February 14, 1923.

      See Also

    1. The liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill, writing at about the same time as Hawthorne, made a similar argument. Much of his most famous book, On Liberty, is dedicated not to governmental restraints on human liberty but to the threat posed by social conformism, by “the demand that all other people shall resemble ourselves.”
    2. But the real, and nonpartisan, lesson is this: No one—of any age, in any profession—is safe. In the age of Zoom, cellphone cameras, miniature recorders, and other forms of cheap surveillance technology, anyone’s comments can be taken out of context; anyone’s story can become a rallying cry for Twitter mobs on the left or the right. Anyone can then fall victim to a bureaucracy terrified by the sudden eruption of anger. And once one set of people loses the right to due process, so does everybody else. Not just professors but students; not just editors of elite publications but random members of the public.
    3. “It’s not that everybody’s famous for 15 minutes,” Tamar Gendler, the dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at Yale, told me. “It’s that everybody gets damned for 15 seconds.”

      The modern day version of Andy Warhol's, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

    4. Twitter, the president of one major cultural institution told me, “is the new public sphere.” Yet Twitter is unforgiving, it is relentless, it doesn’t check facts or provide context.
    5. The censoriousness, the shunning, the ritualized apologies, the public sacrifices—these are rather typical behaviors in illiberal societies with rigid cultural codes, enforced by heavy peer pressure.

      I'd highlighted this from a pull quote earlier, but note that the full context also includes the phrase:

      enforced by heavy peer pressure.

    6. The censoriousness, the shunning, the ritualized apologies, the public sacrifices—these are typical behaviors in illiberal societies with rigid cultural codes.
    7. Nobody is perfect; nobody is pure; and once people set out to interpret ambiguous incidents in a particular way, it’s not hard to find new evidence.

      Wouldn't it be better for us to focus our efforts and energies on people who are doing bigger mass scale harms on society?

      Surely the ability to protect some of these small harms undergird ability to build up protection for much larger harms.

      Why are we prosecuting these smaller harms rather than the larger (especially financial and) institutional harms?

      It is easier to focus on the small and specific rather than broad and unspecific. (Is there a name for this as a cognitive bias? There should be, if not. Perhaps related to the base rate fallacy or base rate neglect (a form of extension neglect), which is "the tendency to ignore general information and focus on information only pertaining to the specific case, even when the general information is more important." (via Wikipedia)

      Could the Jesuits' descent into the particular as a method help out here?

    8. Nicholas Christakis, the Yale professor of medicine and sociology who was at the center of a campus and social-media storm in 2015, is also an expert on the functioning of human social groups. He reminded me that ostracism “was considered an enormous sanction in ancient times—to be cast out of your group was deadly.” It is unsurprising, he said, that people in these situations would consider suicide.
    9. Lily Hajdú-Gimes, a celebrated Hungarian psychoanalyst of that era, diagnosed the trauma of forced conformity in patients, as well as in herself. “I play the game that is offered by the regime,” she told friends, “though as soon as you accept that rule you are in a trap.”
    10. Nuance and ambiguity are essential to good fiction. They are also essential to the rule of law: We have courts, juries, judges, and witnesses precisely so that the state can learn whether a crime has been committed before it administers punishment. We have a presumption of innocence for the accused. We have a right to self-defense. We have a statute of limitations.

      Great quote by itself.


      How useful is the statute of limitations in cases like slavery in America? It goes against a broader law of humanity, but by pretending there was a statue of limitations for going against it, we have only helped to institutionalize racism in American society. The massive lack of a level playing field makes it all the harder for the marginalized to have the same freedoms as everyone else.

      Perhaps this is why the idea of reparations is so powerful for so many. It removes the statue of limitations and may make it possible to allow us to actually level the playing field.

      Related:

      Luke 12:48 states, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Is this simply a statement for justifying greater taxes for the massively wealth?

    1. I want a [[community]], not an [[audience]]. Audience is stuff like reach, personality/celebrity, spectacle, anxiety, alienation, competition. Community is more like voice, discussion, comradery.

      I love this sentiment.

      It's an analogy that reminds me of a quote by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington:

      Suppose that we were asked to arrange the following in two categories– distance, mass, electric force, entropy, beauty, melody. I think there are the strongest grounds for placing entropy alongside beauty and melody and not with the first three.

    1. "The Zettelkasten takes more of my time than the writing of books." —Niklas Luhmann (via vimeo.com/173128404)

      Some people complain about the amount of time that working in their zettelkasten or notes may take, and it may take a while, but it is exactly the actual work of creation that takes the longest. The rest of the process is just the copying over and editing.

  6. Oct 2021
    1. Order is a necessity, but it must serve us, not we it.
    2. it is already clear in this case that the plan will spring from the materials, not the materials from the plan.
    3. I am reflected in my work; J must also be reflected in the means I use, if I have adapted them wisely to the work and to my- self.

      —A.D. Sertillanges, O.P.

    4. A new idea acts retrospectively; a torch throws its light behind as well as before. Materials that were laid aside take on a new aspect when they are classified by means of an idea. Then everything within us is reborn and animated with a new life. But for that to happen, the paths of light must be open, our thoughts must be in order and linked consecutively one with another.
    5. Fifty data are no better than one, if they all stand only in the same relation to the fundamental idea; un- coordinated they remain fruitless,

      The style is dramatically different, but this easily could appear in pieces on zettelkasten today.

    6. On the pretext that you may have to catch any train, you do not learn the Railway Guide by heart.

      Generally good advice, but some people in modern times take this too far. Perhaps we ought to memorize more that could be useful in our everyday lives.

    7. We do not live by memory, we use our memory to live.
    8. It might seem that St. Thomas recommends this, when he writes in his Sixteen Precepts: “Lay up in the treasury of your mind all that you can, like a man aiming at fill- ing a vessel.”
    1. The movement against public shaming had gained momentum in 1787, when Benjamin Rush, a physician in Philadelphia and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote a paper calling for its demise — the stocks, the pillory, the whipping post, the lot. “Ignominy is universally acknowledged to be a worse punishment than death,” he wrote.
  7. Sep 2021
    1. The willingness to trade other peoples' fundamental rights for preferential tax treatment fits neatly into all three of these, as does the delusion that somehow this can be resolved with sufficient "personal responsibility."

      We know enough about psychology and behavioral economics to know that "personal responsibility" is not going to save us.

      This is in even higher relief when we see laws applied in unclosed systems or where other loopholes exist to help the privileged. Frank Wilhot's idea sums things up fairly well:

      "Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."

    2. Steven Brust's (quoted in my novel Walkaway): "Ask what's more important, human rights or property rights. If they say 'property rights ARE human rights' they're on the right." https://craphound.com/category/walkaway/
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ7CyM1Zrqc

      An interesting experiment to change one's schedule this way.

      I feel like I've seen a working schedule infographic of famous writers, artists, etc. and their sample work schedules before. This could certainly fit into that.

      One thing is certain thought, that the time of waking up is probably more a function of the individual person. How you spend your time is another consideration.

      “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” ― Picasso

      “Everybody has the same energy potential. The average person wastes his in a dozen little ways. I bring mine to bear on one thing only: my paintings, and everything else is sacrificed to it...myself included.” ― Picasso

      Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. —Picasso

      see also: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/03/07/child-art/

    1. n. Dickens saw the emblem of Thomas Gradgrind ("ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to") as the "deadly statistical clock" in his observatory, "which measured every second with a beat like a rap upon a coffin-lid". B

      What a great quote to include in the closing!

    2. em ? Puritanism, in its marriage of convenience with industrial capitalism, was the agent which converted men to new valuations of time; which taught children even in their infancy to improve each shining hour; and which saturated men's minds with the equation, time is money.128 O
    3. ing world. What needs to be said is not that one way of life is better than the other, but that this is a place of the most far-reaching conflict; that the historical record is not a simple one of neutral and inevitable 124

      technological change, but is also one of exploitation and of resistance to exploitation; and that values stand to be lost as well as gained.

    4. ethodists, the Evangelicals took up the theme. Hannah More contributed her own imperishable lines on "Early Rising": Thou silent murderer, Sloth, no more My mind imprison'd keep; Nor let me waste another hour With thee, thou felon Sleep.10

      The number of quotes and passages here makes me wonder what his sources were and how he came to them?

      Did he keep a commonplace book and collect references on time? Find them via other's or from published collections? The number and types of them, particularly in the non-technical literature he's citing makes me think that something like a commonplace pattern is being leveraged here.

  8. minus.social minus.social
    1. Just like life, Minus has limits. Try it out today and see what online interaction feels like on a social network designed for less.
    1. “I never understand anything until I have written about it.” Supposedly Horace Walpole (1717-1797) wrote that, but Google can't help me pin down where he might have done so. Frankly, it doesn't sound to me like a sentence written in the eighteenth century. But it may be a useful hyperbole.

      Track down the source of this for future use.

      Related to the idea of the Feynman Technique.

    1. “We don’t need to bend over backwards to give mathematics relevance. It has relevance in the same way that any art does: that of being a meaningful human experience.”

      Paul Lockhart in Lockhart's Lament

    2. “What other subject is routinely taught without any mention of its history, philosophy, thematic development, aesthetic criteria, and current status? What other subject shuns its primary sources—beautiful works of art by some of the most creative minds in history—in favor of third-rate textbook bastardizations?”

      ---Paul Lockhart

    3. There are two types of people in the world: those who enjoyed mathematics class in school, and the other 98% of the population.
    1. Schopenhauer made easy

      Schopenhauer made easy:

      There are two kinds of people in this world. Avoid both of them.

    2. I was walking down Fifth Avenue today and I found a wallet, and I was gonna keep it, rather than return it, but I thought: ‘Well, if I lost a hundred and fifty dollars, how would I feel?’ And I realized I would want to be taught a lesson. —Emo Phillips
    3. I did all the major vices—gambling, drugs, pornography and public schools. —Bernard Williams ( speaking of the government committees he served on)
    1. What motivates the characters or the author? What are they seeking? What is their purpose? Here’s how Kurt Vonnegut described the importance of incentives in books: “When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away—even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.”
    2. “The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book.” —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
    3. “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” —Fran Lebowitz
    1. ‘Assert nothing audaciously, deny nothing frivolously.’

      ---Michel de Montaigne

    2. Zweig continues: “This weakness, which Montaigne endlessly bemoans, is in fact his strength. An inability to remain fixed at a certain point allows him always to go further. With him nothing is ever set in stone. He never stops at the boundary of past experiences; he does not rest on his empiricism; he amasses no capital; before properly consuming them his spirit must acquire experiences over and again. So his life becomes an operation of perpetual renewal: ‘Unremittingly we begin our lives anew.’

      Stefan Zweig on the benefit of Montaigne's lack of a good memory.

  9. Aug 2021
    1. Let us take down one of those old notebooks which we have all, at one time or another, had a passion for beginning. Most of the pages are blank, it is true; but at the beginning we shall find a certain number very beautifully covered with a strikingly legible handwriting….here we have copied out fine passages from the classics;…here, most interesting of all, lists of books that have actually been read, as the reader testifies with some youthful vanity by a dash of red ink. ~ Virginia Woolf, “Hours in a Library”
    1. I could quote Luhmann on this as well, who thought that "without writing one cannot think," But there is nothing peculiarly "Luhmannian" about this idea. Isaac Asimov is said to have said "Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers." And, to give one other example, E. B. White (of "Strunk and White" fame) claimed that "writing is one way to go about thinking." In other words, writing is thinking. And since I do almost all my significant writing in ConnectedText these days, it might be called my "writing environment."

      Various quotes along the lines of "writing is thinking".

      What is the equivalent in oral societies? Memory is thinking?

    1. A wiki allows one to build increasingly more complex relationships between what might appear to be at first unrelated bits and pieces of information. The motto that characterizes this approch is: "It's not the data, it's the relationship" and it certainly rings true for me in the context of note-taking.
    1. "If the Reagans' home in Palisades (Calif.) were burning," Brinkley says, "this would be one of the things Reagan would immediately drag out of the house. He carried them with him all over like a carpenter brings their tools. These were the tools for his trade."

      Another example of someone saying that if their house were to catch fire, they'd save their commonplace book (first or foremost).

  10. Jul 2021
    1. “It is a curious thing, but the ideas of one generation become the instincts of the next,” D. H. Lawrence wrote.
    2. “If we have to give up either religion or education, we should give up education,” said Bryan, in whom populist democracy and fundamentalist Christianity were joined until they broke him apart at the Scopes “monkey trial” in 1925.
    3. Making money didn’t violate the spirit of equality, but an air of superior knowledge did, especially when it cloaked special privileges.
    4. In April 2000, Clinton hosted a celebration called the White House Conference on the New Economy. Earnest purpose mingled with self-congratulation; virtue and success high-fived—the distinctive atmosphere of Smart America. At one point Clinton informed the participants that Congress was about to pass a bill to establish permanent trade relations with China, which would make both countries more prosperous and China more free. “I believe the computer and the internet give us a chance to move more people out of poverty more quickly than at any time in all of human history,” he exulted.

      This is a solid example of the sort of rose colored glasses too many had for technology in the early 2000s.

      Was this instance just before the tech bubble collapsed too?

      What was the state of surveillance capitalism at this point?

    5. The most durable narratives are not the ones that stand up best to fact-checking.
    1. Reading and listening are thought of as receiving communication from someone who is actively engaged in giving or sending it. The mistake here is to suppose that re­ceiving communication is like receiving a blow or a legacy or a judgment from the court. On the contrary, the reader or listener is much more like the catcher in a game of baseball. Catching the ball is just as much an activity as pitching or hitting it. The pitcher or batter is the sender in the sense that his activity initiates the motion of the ball. The catcher or fielder is the receiver in the sense that his activity terminates it. Both are active, though the activities are different.

      Reading is a receptive active undertaking in the same way as a catcher receiving a pitch in baseball.

    2. One reader is better than another in proportion as he is capable of a greater range of activity in reading and exerts more effort. He is better if he demands more of himself and of the text before him.
    1. As Berry says, “We arespeaking where we stand, and we shall stand afterwards in thepresence of what we have said.”

      A great quote to be sure. Perhaps a definition of having a personal website for online communication?

    1. “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.

    1. Society can’t understand itself if it can’t be honest with itself, and it can’t be honest with itself if it can only live in the present moment.
    1. “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” ― Dom Helder Camara, Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings
    1. Ohne zu schreiben, kann man nicht denken; jedenfalls nicht in anspruchsvoller, anschlussfähiger Weise.

      You cannot think without writing; at least not in a sophisticated, connectable way. —Niklas Luhmann

      (Source of the original??)

      This is interesting, but is also ignorant of oral traditions which had means of addressing it.

    2. Dafür spricht das Credo des Literaten Walter Benjamin: Und heute schon ist das Buch, wie die aktuelle wissenschaftliche Produktionsweise lehrt, eine veraltete Vermittlung zwischen zwei verschiedenen Kartotheksystemen. Denn alles Wesentliche findet sich im Zettelkasten des Forschers, der's verfaßte, und der Gelehrte, der darin studiert, assimiliert es seiner eigenen Kartothek.

      The credo of the writer Walter Benjamin speaks for this:

      And today, as the current scientific method of production teaches, the book is an outdated mediation between two different card index systems. Because everything essential is to be found in the slip box of the researcher who wrote it, and the scholar who studies it assimilates it in his own card index.

      Here's an early instantiation of thoughts being put down into data which can be copied from one card to the next as a means of creation.

      A similar idea was held in the commonplace book tradition, in general, but this feels much more specific in the lead up to the idea of the Memex.

    1. Seeing how his system worked is enough to inspire anyone not to let thoughts go to waste, notes Carlin estate archivist Logan Heftel. “A good idea,” Heftel says Carlin learned early, “is not of any use if you can’t find it.”
  11. Jun 2021
    1. a good friend of mine says i don't answer questions i kind of respond to them

      I love this quote by Christopher R. Rogers referring to a friend (and himself).

      Sometimes this may be more interesting, especially when questions may not have "answers".

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

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

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

      I want to know the source of the quote.

  12. May 2021
    1. So the truth is that the influencer economy is just a garish accentuation of the economy writ large. As our culture continues to conflate the private and public realms—as the pandemic has transformed our homes into offices and our bedrooms into backdrops, as public institutions increasingly fall prey to the mandates of the market—we’ve become cheerfully indentured to the idea that our worth as individuals isn’t our personal integrity or sense of virtue, but our ability to advertise our relevance on the platforms of multinational tech corporations.
    2. A few years ago, our Republican governor proposed amending the Wisconsin state system’s mission statement to suggest that the university’s purpose wasn’t to “seek the truth” or “improve the human condition,” but was instead, according to the legislature, “to meet the state’s workforce needs.”
    1. Lezing: De eigen blik door Margo Neale Tijdens deze editie van Framer Framer mede georganiseerd door de Australische tijdschrift Artlink ter gelegenheid van de publicatie van de speciale uitgave Blak op blak, hield dr. Margo Neale, Senior Research Fellow van het National Museum of Australia, een inleiding over de historische positie van de Aboriginal kunstenaars in Australië. Deze lezing werd gehouden tijdens het programma De eigen blik / Blak op blak bij het ​​AAMU – Museum voor hedendaagse Aboriginal kunst in Utrecht, 30 mei 2010. Links Artlink Magazine AAMU - Museum voor Hedendaagse Aboriginal Kunst Netwerk Margo Neale Onderzoeker, adjunct-professor Magazine Hedendaagse Aboriginal kunst / Videoverslag: The view of Self / Blak on blak

      Quote from the video:

      here for the unaware, rather than the ignorant —Margo Neale

    1. As one of the authors recently pointed out [2], the cognitive demands on a person in a low-tech, paleolithic environment equal or exceed the cognitive loads placed on members of industrialized societies.

      I'll have to bump up Tyson Yunkaporta's work on my reading list, particularly the cited text:

      Yunkaporta T. Sand talk: how Indigenous thinking can save the world. Melbourne, Victoria: Text Publishing Company; 2019.

    2. students found both the training and the technique enjoyable, interesting, and more useful than rote memorization.

      Good news on all measures.

    1. “Sibi scribere: The reasonable author writes for no other posterity than his own, for his own old age, in order to take pleasure in himself even then,” Blumenberg quotes Nietzsche (here, 83).
    2. “He who hasn’t lost anything in his head can’t find anything in there either,” Lichtenberg joyfully declared (a few days after praising the word ‘nonsense’ over weightier notions such as ‘chaos’ or ‘eternity’).
    3. Filed on a card under the key word cogitare, Blumenberg quotes Kant: “Thinking is conversation with oneself… Listening inside.”
  13. Apr 2021
  14. Feb 2021
    1. Trousers should shiver on the shoe but not break. —Arnold Bennett’s tailor

      A gentleman: superficially perhaps, a man who never looks as if he’d just had his hair cut.

      No gentleman can be without three copies of a book; one for show (and this he will probably keep at his country house), another for use, and a third at the service of his friends. —Richard Heber

      Some great examples from Geoffrey Madan's notebooks