The first session of my Art of Memory course went well this morning.

My favorite part: a student suggested doing a project to memorize knowledge related to (urban) foraging (what’s available, safe, identification, etc.)! Its a fantastic example because this is exactly the sort of practical knowledge many indigenous (primarily oral) peoples have used these techniques for over time.

If you’re late to the game, I think you can still register (and I’m happy to catch people up) before our next session in two weeks on July 24th.

A quick note to the personal knowledge management fanatics: Niklas Luhmann positively did NOT invent the Zettelkasten. The idea predates him by quite a bit and had even earlier forms. He’s also not the only significant example.

It was so smooth I had to think about it for a second.

Flancian has set up a wiki-bot in such a way that apparently when he includes [[wikilinks]] to his system and at mentions his wiki bot, it tweets back the full URLs for the resources.

This is such a clever way to integrate one’s digital garden into an external stream while simultaneously getting around the issue of Twitter character limits.

This seems like such a useful thing to have in conjunction with one’s wiki.

Happy 10th Anniversary to the Smallest Federated Wiki! Congratulations Ward Cunningham! And thanks as well to Mike Caulfield and all those who’ve worked on, iterated, and expanded on its foundations since.
If you haven’t read their book Annotation yet, today’s keynote #⁠AnnoConvo: A Conversation about Annotation, Literacy, and Learning at I Annotate 2021 promises to be the next best thing. It’s a must see for readers, note takers, and thinkers of all stripes.

Free registration is still open for those who’d like to attend remotely.

Antero Garcia (Stanford University) and Remi Kalir (University of Colorado Denver) will discuss their recently published book Annotation (MIT Press) and the literary, scholarly, civic, and everyday significance of annotation across historical and contemporary contexts. Their conversation will focus on social annotation contributing to learners’ digital and civic literacies, how annotation enables creative and critical learning, as well as implications for teacher education and professional learning.
If it helps, I’ve got three copies of the book in various formats, one for each time I’ve read it. My biggest disappointment of remote attendance for IAnno21 is that I was hoping to get the title page of my copy of the book annotated by the authors.
Promo card for I Annotate 2021 with the subtitle Reading Together and featuring a drawing of a book with two hands writing on each other in an ouroboros-like style
Who else at #I⁠Anno21 has a practice of public annotation using Or perhaps on your own website, or other platform? Please share your usernames, URLs, and feeds so we can all have a richer group of examples.

For example, you can find me at, much of which is mirrored on my personal website in various ways as bookmarks, read posts, notes, and even a custom annotation post. Here are a few others I follow:

Many annotation tools have scant social features, but there are ways to follow others’ work.


Just days before the 10th anniversary of the Smallest Federated Wiki, Ward Cunningham will be talking about the future of note taking tomorrow morning.

Free registration for the event at I Annotate 2021 should still be open.

There are also expected appearances by Daniel Doyon, Co-Founder of Readwise; Tienson Qin, Creator/Founder of LogSeq; Oliver Sauter, Founder of WorldBrain/Memex, and Flancian of the Anagora.

With any luck, it may help mark a resurgence of digital versions of the commonplace book on the order of magnitude represented by the works of Rudolphus Agricola, Desiderius Erasmus, and Philip Melanchthon during the Renaissance.

Promo card for I Annotate 2021 with the subtitle Reading Together and featuring a drawing of a book with two hands writing on each other in an ouroboros-like style

Curious that I’ve seen ramify as a verb within commonplace book settings, but not seen it in regard to zettelkasten or digital gardens in the context of Obsidian, Roam Research, Notion, et al.

I half expected to see Petrus Ramus‘s name in the etymology of the word. If nothing else, it’s a fitting word. Perhaps it was a bit of nominative determinism?

other forms: ramify; ramifies; ramified; ramifying

Yes, somehow this is the sort of Wikipedia entry I find myself editing at 10 on a Monday night:

A Catholicized version of the Theatrum entitled the Magnum theatrum vitae humanae (1631) by Lawrence Beyerlinck was one of the largest printed commonplace books of the early modern era. These two works “may fairly be described as the early modern ancestors of the great dictionnaire raisonné of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the Encyclopédie of Diderot.”[9]

9. Havens, Earle (2001). Commonplace Books: A History of Manuscripts and Printed Books from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century (first ed.). Yale University. p. 52.