Read Create Zettel from Reading Notes According to the Principle of Atomicity (Zettelkasten Method)
I separate collecting from processing because I don’t hack everything that pops up in my mind while I read a text into my computer. Instead, I take notes on paper.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.
—Steve Jobs (via lifehacker and Zettel no. 201308301352) 

in other words, it’s just statistical thermodynamics. Eventually small pieces will float by each other and stick together in new and hopefully interesting ways. The more particles you’ve got and the more you can potentially connect or link things, the better off you’ll be.
Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 04:36PM

Read The Two Forms of a Zettel (Zettelkasten Method)
In this post I try to dig into the nature of a Zettel. When philosophers speak about the nature of something they refer to its most basic qualities. If you substract one of those you would have something different.

I’ll construct two forms of a Zettel:
The Outer Form
The Inner Form
The outer form refers to entities that are necessary for its existence.
The inner form refers to entities that compose its inner structure. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 05:16PM

Read The Difference Between Good and Bad Tags (Zettelkasten Method)
When I search in my archive for the tag I get really annoying results. I don’t only get notes on diet. I get notes on carbohydrates, insulin sensitivity and many other. “Why is that a problem?”, you might ask. “All the above topics are relevant for diet, aren’t they?” No, and here is why.

There are two different types of tags:
Tags for topics. You use tags to group notes under a topic.
Tags for objects. You use tags to group notes around an object, real or conceptual. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 05:06PM

The tags for objects are much more precise and reveal real connections. They narrow down the search way more which is hugely important if your archive grows. They only give you what you want, and not the topic which also contains what you want. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 05:07PM

Read Different Kinds of Ties Between Notes (Zettelkasten Method)
After the awesome discussion of Sascha’s latest blog post, I meditated about all the different kinds of ties between notes. Here’s what I came up with.

You can translate “Folgezettel” (literally: “subsequent note”) as “note sequence”. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 04:47PM

Our brain can only hold to so much information at a time. 

of course this is why I like mnemonics and specific techniques like the method of loci. We can not only retain more but the memories can be stored in interesting ways that increase their potentially creativity like creating a Zettelkasten in the brain.
Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 04:53PM

Read Flattening the COVID-19 Curves (Scientific American Blog Network)
Social distancing imposes hardships, but it can save many millions of lives

Bad economic times could lead to deaths of people with low income who are most vulnerable to an economic downturn. 

This is the most likely place that governments and the richer ruling elites are likely to fail their societies. Even the United States is like to do this and one need look no further than their response to the hurricane aftermath in Puerto Rico to see this.
Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 03:55PM

Read The master tapes by Robin Sloan (Robin Sloan)
“What do I miss” is the wrong question, because the feeling isn’t an absence, but a presence.

If running your own website is like operating a nuclear reactor, then, yes: let’s give up on that. But what if it’s more like cooking dinner at home? That’s an activity that many people find challenging and/or intimidating, one with all sorts of social and economic ~encumbrances~, but even so, who would argue that it’s inappropriate to hope more people might learn to cook for themselves?
Maybe, after everything, we’ve actually ended up in a healthy place. Maybe the great gluey Katamari ball of technology has served us well. In 2020, you can, using nothing but the free app provided by Instagram, publish something very close to a multimedia magazine. Or, sitting at your laptop, you can produce a lightning-fast website all by yourself, every line of code calibrated just so, and host its files at a domain of your choosing. Or! You can do something in between, using a service like WordPress or Squarespace. This is not a bad range of options! 

There’s something between the lines here that feels like it’s closer to what the idea of IndieWeb Generations should really become. Perhaps it’s the case that when even a small handful of larger competitors like micro.blog exist it will force the larger corporate silos to come into line (they’ll lose out on market share and need to offer better service) and be more IndieWeb-like over time?
Annotated on March 21, 2020 at 11:34PM

Whether their scenario is a historical reenactment (albeit with higher-res images) or a seductive counterfactual, I don’t know. Whether it “matters,” I don’t know. I do know that I am enjoying my fraidy-follows, their slow pulse—people really are blogging, doing the dang thing—and the feeling of an old instinct waking up. 

Annotated on March 21, 2020 at 11:36PM

Read What’s next for Listen Notes? (Listen Notes)
The very first official Listen Notes blog post! We used to have a mini-roadmap :)

I don’t want to build yet another Podcast player app. I don’t want to trap listeners to Listen Notes. You come to Listen Notes and find the Podcasts or Podcast Episodes that you want to listen, then you leave Listen Notes to use your favorite Podcast player app to listen.
Under this principle, Listen Notes shows RSS & brings traffic back to official websites of Podcasts. Many Podcast-related sites don’t show RSS, because they want to build a walled garden to make visitors stay there as long as possible. 

Annotated on March 12, 2020 at 08:51AM

Read How to Self-Quarantine (nytimes.com)
Thousands who may have been exposed to the coronavirus have been asked to seclude themselves. It’s harder than it sounds.

“We ought to have a social compact: If you’re sick, whether you’ve got Covid-19 or not, you should separate yourself from society,” Mr. Gostin said. “That’s your part of the bargain, you’re doing it for your neighbors, your family and your community.”“In exchange,” he said, “we as a nation owe you the right to a humane period of separation, where we meet your essential needs like medicine, health care, food and sick pay.” 

Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 06:29PM

Read How Much Can Dietary Changes and Food Production Practices Help Mitigate Climate Change? (Pacific Standard)
Food policy experts weigh in on the possibilities of individual diet choices and sustainable production methods.

Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the IPCC. 

Annotated on March 07, 2020 at 11:49AM


While there is limited data available that can confidently measure the expansion of the meatless population, societal indicators like the double-digit sales growth of plant-based food options between 2014 and 2017 reflect a growing consumer demand for vegan and vegetarian foods. Still, an analysis by Animal Charity Evaluators found that between 2 and 6 percent of Americans self-identify as vegetarians, and only 1 percent of Americans self-identify as vegetarians and report never consuming meat. 

Annotated on March 07, 2020 at 11:53AM


“The fundamental problem with climate change is that it’s a collective problem, but it rises out of lots of individual decisions. Society’s challenge is to figure out how we can influence those decisions in a way that generates a more positive collective outcome,” says Keith Wiebe, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. 

Annotated on March 07, 2020 at 11:55AM


Consumer demand is one of four important variables that, when combined, can influence and shape farming practices, according to Festa. The other three are the culture of farming communities, governmental policies, and the economic system that drives farming. 

Annotated on March 07, 2020 at 11:57AM


Festa argues that this is why organic farming in the U.S. saw a 56 percent increase between 2011 and 2016. 

A useful statistic but it needs more context. What is the percentage of organic farming to the overall total of farming?

Fortunately the linked article provides some additional data: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/10/organic-farming-is-on-the-rise-in-the-u-s/
Annotated on March 07, 2020 at 12:01PM

Read Forks used to be instruments of oppression (1843)
Forks can speed up eating. Historically, however, Ann Wroe says their role has been to slow things down.
This is an incredibly flowery piece without any of the substance I was hoping for.


plangent 

Annotated on March 09, 2020 at 10:59PM

Replied to Idea: a script to find Flickr photos being used online by Matt Maldre (Matt Maldre)
Flickr is a great place to find photos to use. Many photographers assign their photos with a Creative Commons license, so any can use the … Idea: a script to find Flickr photos being used online... Read More »

Clicking through to the photo, there is no mention of this image appearing on this important announcement. Perhaps the author privately contact the photographer about using his image. Since Ken Doctor is so incredible with his media experience (i’m being serious), I’m fairly certain someone from his team would have contacted the photographer to give him a heads up.

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I maintain that if the source of the article and the target both supported the Webmention spec, then when a piece used an image (or really any other type of media, including text) with a link, then the original source (any website, or Flickr in this case) would get a notification and could show—if they chose—the use of that media so that others in the future could see how popular (or not) these types of media are.

Has anyone in the IndieWeb community got examples of this type of attribution showing on media on their own websites? Perhaps Jeremy Keith or Kevin Marks who are photographers and long time Flickr users?

Incidentally I’ve also mentioned using this notification method in the past as a means of decentralizing the journal publishing industry as part of a peer-review, citation, and preprint server set up. It also could be used as part of a citation workflow in the sense of Maria Popova and Tina Roth Eisenberg‘s Curator’s Code[1]set up, which could also benefit greatly now with Webmention support.
Annotated on March 09, 2020 at 12:18PM

Read Thomas Piketty Turns Marx on His Head by Paul Krugman (nytimes.com)
Piketty’s latest book, “Capital and Ideology,” takes a global overview to inequality and other pressing economic issues of our time.

To have, but maybe not to read. Like Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” seems to have been an “event” book that many buyers didn’t stick with; an analysis of Kindle highlights suggested that the typical reader got through only around 26 of its 700 pages. Still, Piketty was undaunted. 

Interesting use of digital highlights–determining how “read” a particular book is.
Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 06:02PM


Piketty, however, sees inequality as a social phenomenon, driven by human institutions. Institutional change, in turn, reflects the ideology that dominates society: “Inequality is neither economic nor technological; it is ideological and political.” 

Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 06:06PM


I was struck, for example, by his extensive discussion of the evolution of slavery and serfdom, which made no mention of the classic work of Evsey Domar of M.I.T., who argued that the more or less simultaneous rise of serfdom in Russia and slavery in the New World were driven by the opening of new land, which made labor scarce and would have led to rising wages in the absence of coercion. 

Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 06:10PM


For Piketty, rising inequality is at root a political phenomenon. The social-democratic framework that made Western societies relatively equal for a couple of generations after World War II, he argues, was dismantled, not out of necessity, but because of the rise of a “neo-proprietarian” ideology. Indeed, this is a view shared by many, though not all, economists. These days, attributing inequality mainly to the ineluctable forces of technology and globalization is out of fashion, and there is much more emphasis on factors like the decline of unions, which has a lot to do with political decisions. 

Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 06:11PM

Read The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade by Audrey Watters (Hack Education)

For the past ten years, I have written a lengthy year-end series, documenting some of the dominant narratives and trends in education technology. I think it is worthwhile, as the decade draws to a close, to review those stories and to see how much (or how little) things have changed. You can read the series here: 2010201120122013201420152016201720182019.

I thought for a good long while about how best to summarize this decade, and inspired by the folks at The Verge, who published a list of “The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech,” I decided to do something similar: chronicle for you a decade of ed-tech failures and fuck-ups and flawed ideas.

I started reading this over the holidays when Audrey released it. It took me four sittings to make it all the way through (in great part because it’s so depressing). I’ve finally picked it back up today to wallow through the last twenty on the list. 

I’m hoping that at least a few people pick up the thread she’s always trying to show us and figure out a better way forward. The information theorist in me says that every student has only so much bandwidth and there’s an analogy to the Shannon Limit for how much information one can cram into a person. I’ve been a fan of Cesar Hidalgo’s idea of a personbyte (a word for the limit of information one can put into a person) and the fact that people need to collaborate to produce things bigger and greater than themselves. What is it going to take to get everyone else to understand?

If anything, the only way I suspect we’ll be able to better teach and have students retain information is to use some of the most ancient memory techniques from indigenous cultures rather than technologizing our way out of the perceived problem.

Annotations/Highlights

(only a small portion since HackedEducation doesn’t fit into my usual workflow)

In his review of Nick Srnicek’s book Platform CapitalismJohn Hermann writes,

Platforms are, in a sense, capitalism distilled to its essence. They are proudly experimental and maximally consequential, prone to creating externalities and especially disinclined to address or even acknowledge what happens beyond their rising walls. And accordingly, platforms are the underlying trend that ties together popular narratives about technology and the economy in general. Platforms provide the substructure for the “gig economy” and the “sharing economy”; they’re the economic engine of social media; they’re the architecture of the “attention economy” and the inspiration for claims about the “end of ownership.”

Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 02:35PM

It isn’t just the use of student data to fuel Google’s business that’s a problem; it’s the use of teachers as marketers and testers. “It’s a private company very creatively using public resources — in this instance, teachers’ time and expertise — to build new markets at low cost,” UCLA professor Patricia Burch told The New York Times in 2017 as part of its lengthy investigation into “How Google Took Over the Classroom.”

Annotated on March 08, 2020 at 03:04PM

Read Intentional Internet by Desirée GarcíaDesirée García (Miscelanea)

So this year I took a systems design approach to the problem. Why wasn’t I doing the things I wanted to do? At first glance, it looked like a simple matter of spending too much time online.

I was, but a lot of my goals, like re-building my website or blogging again, were dependent on the Internet. So instead, I started observing the situations I would find myself in when I self-sabotaged at home and at work, and they all had too much content. Quality content by most people’s standards, but trivial, nonetheless. They were all click-holes. From there I looked at the interaction models and behaviors encouraged by those sites or platforms, and decided to experiment with removing all triggers, digitial or otherwise. The idea was that by “controlling” for these variables, perhaps I would see some sort of change at the end that would give me the space to do the things I really wanted to do and get shit done.

And so The Year of Intentional Internet began.

After reading just a few posts by Desirée García, I’d like to nominate her to give a keynote at the upcoming IndieWeb Summit in June. I totally want to hear her give a talk on The Year of Intentional Internet.