Replied to a thread (Twitter)
Niklas Luhmann’s idea of Zettelkasten impinges on some of this, but for a deep dive on how indigenous cultures all over the world did this in a pre-industrial setting look at Dr. Lynne Kelly‘s work. Specifically: Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory, and the Transmission of Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and When knowledge was power (2012, Latrobe University, PhD thesis). She’s got a fantastic bibliography on her website as well.

Her TED talk shows quickly how she did something similar, but with birds and bird identification. Her work has examples of how many other cultures did this as well.

Read A garden with a water feature by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas (jeremycherfas.net)
People have written some interesting things following on from the pop-up IndieWebCamp that Chris Aldrich organised a couple of weeks ago. The Garden and the Stream set out to compare and contrast wikis and weblogs and how the two might be used. It was a terrific success, and I’m sorry I wasn’t a...

Nevertheless, the very fact that I am going through my notes reflects a new habit I am trying to build, of setting time aside every week, and sometimes more often, deliberately to tend the oldest notes I have and the notes I created or edited in the past week. Old notes take longer, because I have to check old links and decide what to do if they have rotted away. Those notes also need to be reshaped in line with zettelkasten principles. That means deciding on primary tags, considering internal links, splitting the atoms of long notes and so on. At times it frustrates me, but when it goes well I do see structure emerging and with it new thoughts and new directions to follow. 

This is reminiscent of the idea that indigenous peoples regularly met at annual feasts to not only celebrate, but to review over their memory palaces and perform their rituals as a means of reviewing and strengthening their memories and ideas.
Annotated on May 09, 2020 at 07:17AM

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

As I’ve been reading about Zettlekasten for part of the evening, it dawns on me that there are some likely overlaps with both my prior work on statistical mechanics and ideas of mnemonics and techniques like the method of loci. I’ll have to think of how to better memorize and specifically tag pieces of information into such a mental Zettlekasten. I wonder what might evolve?
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 Create Zettel from Reading Notes According to the Principle of Atomicity (Zettelkasten Method)
As I said in my last post, my reading workflow consists of GTD-like phases: collect, process and write. While I wrote about collecting before, this post is about the three phases of processing notes. In the last section you’ll find a few example Zettels I wrote.
Read Overview: Zettelkasten Method (zettelkasten.de)

Using a Zettelkasten is about optimizing a workflow of learning and producing knowledge. The products are texts, mostly. The categories we find fit the process well at the moment are the following:

Knowledge Management: general information about what it means to work and learn efficiently.
Writing: posts on the production of lasting knowledge, and about sharing it with others through your own texts.
Reading: posts about the process of acquisition of new things and the organization of sources.

👓 Ponderance 8/6 – EDU 522 | Cooper Kean

Read Ponderance 8/6 by Cooper Kean (mrkean.com)
I am still working out the kinks of the Hypothes.is website, so i had trouble connecting my reading to my annotations, (I had made a hard copy in a lined notebook to feel like I had stepped back in time). I think there is a very big difference between free reading and reading for a purpose. In my cl...

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

I believe, and I try to emphasize to the students, that annotation is a deeply personal activity, my annotations may look different from yours because we think differently.  

We often think differently even on different readings. Sometimes upon re-reading pieces, I’ll find and annotate completely different things than I would have on the first pass. Sometimes (often with more experience and new eyes) I’ll even disagree with what I’d written on prior passes.

This process reminds me a bit of the Barbell Method of Reading
August 06, 2018 at 04:39PM

They did that to the point where  there were more asterisks on the page than stars in the sky. Despite all this, the annotations did not mean anything to the students.  

Keeping in mind that different people learn in different ways, there’s another possible way of looking at this.

Some people learn better aurally than visually. Some remember things better by writing them down. I know a few synaesthetes who likely might learn better by using various highlighting colors. Perhaps those who highlight everything are actually helping their own brains to learn by doing this?

This said, I myself still don’t understand people who are highlighting everything in their books this way. I suspect that some are just trying and imitating what they’ve seen before and just haven’t learned to read and annotate actively.

Helping students to discover how they best learn can be a great hurdle to cross, particularly at a young age. Of course, this being said, we also need to help them exercise the other modalities and pathways to help make them more well-rounded and understanding as well.
August 06, 2018 at 04:47PM

👓 The Barbell Method of Reading | Zettelkasten Method

Read The Barbell Method of Reading (Zettelkasten Method)
Our reading habit is one of the corner stones of our knowledge work habits. Reading is the most efficient way to create an influx of information that can transform into knowledge. Therefore, we should devote some thought and energy in the optimization of our reading habits. One decision we have to make is whether to read fast or thorough. Yes, this is a decision. There are a couple of techniques that could enhance your reading speed and don’t decrease comprehension. But most of the so-called “speed reading” techniques either decrease comprehension for the sake of speed or even involve skipping large parts of the text.