Usually once a tag on my website has more than a couple hundred entries, I convert it into a category. This one was long overdue. This morning I’ve converted the “note taking” tag into a category and moved a bunch of material on commonplace book and zettelkasten traditions over to it. 

If you’ve been following this idea here, it’s time to update your feed.

Read The Quest for a Memex 2022-07-31 by Kevin MarksKevin Marks (kevinmarks.com)
This week John Borthwick put out a call for Tools for Thinking: People want better tools for thinking — ones that take the mass of notes that you have and organize them, that help extend your second brain into a knowledge or interest graph and that enable open sharing and ownership of the “knowl...
I got stuck over the weekend, so I totally missed Kevin Marks’ memex demo at IndieWebCamp’s Create Day, but it is an interesting little UI experiment.

I’ll always maintain that Vannevar Bush really harmed the first few generations of web development by not mentioning the word commonplace book in his conceptualization. Marks heals some of this wound by explicitly tying the idea of memex to that of the zettelkasten however. John Borthwick even mentions the idea of “networked commonplace books”. [I suspect a little birdie may have nudged this perspective as catnip to grab my attention—a ruse which is highly effective.]

Some of Kevin’s conceptualization reminds me a bit of Jerry Michalski’s use of The Brain which provides a specific visual branching of ideas based on the links and their positions on the page: the main idea in the center, parent ideas above it, sibling ideas to the right/left and child ideas below it. I don’t think it’s got the idea of incoming or outgoing links, but having a visual location on the page for incoming links (my own site has incoming ones at the bottom as comments or responses) can be valuable.

I’m also reminded a bit of Kartik Prabhu’s experiments with marginalia and webmention on his website which plays around with these ideas as well as their visual placement on the page in different methods.

MIT MediaLab’s Fold site (details) was also an interesting sort of UI experiment in this space.

It also seems a bit reminiscent of Kevin Mark’s experiments with hovercards in the past as well, which might be an interesting way to do the outgoing links part.

Next up, I’d love to see larger branching visualizations of these sorts of things across multiple sites… Who will show us those “associative trails”?

Another potential framing for what we’re all really doing is building digital versions of Indigenous Australian’s songlines across the web. Perhaps this may help realize Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly’s dream for a “third archive”?

I’m curious if anyone has tried building a digital public zettelkasten on WordPress in general or using using the Slippy plugin in particular?

I’m thinking it may be an interesting experiment, particularly using it in combination with the Webmention plugin to get replies/responses for crosslinking with others’ ideas on the web. This could allow one not only to communicate with other their own slip box, but slip boxes to communicate with each other.

Replied to a thread by Bill Seitz & Tom Critchlow (Twitter)
@BillSeitz @UseCrowdWise @peterhagen_

I get @TomCritchlow’s sentiment, but… the extra “work” it currently entails for the social part dramatically ups the signal to noise ratio for me compared to Twitter.

You’d definitely want the ability to filter by your social circle, especially on popular sites. In fact this sort of discovery mechanism would be cool if it could be more broadly built into either the web or perhaps into IndieWeb social readers which would know your social graph and could surface related details.

Perhaps expanding a browser extension like Crowdwise to include Twitter support might be a potential solution? I would worry that portions wouldn’t add much other than a lot of likes and bookmark-like data. While some[1], [2] might consider Twitter as an annotation layer (not always directly linked) on the web, the overall quality isn’t necessarily going to be built in there.

It would be cool if Crowdwise also added Hypothes.is’ API to their list of sources.

I’m also reminded of Peter Hagen’s experiments with Hypothes.is seem very similar but with a different UI. His version flips the discovery question on its head.

Acquired Card Catalog: 30 Notecards from The Library of Congress (Chronicle Books (via Amazon))
  • SET OF 30 NOTECARDS – Evoking memories of book-filled libraries, the Card Catalog: 30 Notecards from The Library of Congress reproduces the original cards used to keep track of literary classics.
  • HISTORIC DESIGNS – Enclosed in a keepsake cardboard replica card catalog box with tabbed dividers, each card features a different beloved work from the storied collection of the Library of Congress.
  • INCLUDED – This vintage notecard set includes a box tray with slipcase, 30 color cards (30 different designs), 30 envelopes, and 5 tabbed dividers.
  • MAKES AN EXCELLENT GIFT – This gorgeously designed notecard set makes an inspired gift for any writer or fan of The Library of Congress.
You know you might be in deep with the area of tools for thought, note taking, zettelkasten, intellectual history et al., when your loved ones are gifting you card catalog boxes with replica author index cards from the Library of Congress for stationery use for your birthday.

This small box is made of heavy cardboard and is incredibly well done to look like actual dovetailed oak. The replica cards are quite a joy to browse through. I almost don’t want to use them as the stationery they were intended to be.

Replied to 7 steps I take to get value from what I read: Notes on note taking & review by Marshall Kirkpatrick (marshallk.com)
A friend asked me recently what some of the core principles are in my note taking and review system. I get a whole lot of value out of my note system and I love talking to notes nerds. But not notes for notes’ sake! For making an impact on the world, for the better.
Marshall, in looking at your cards, I’m curious how easy/hard you feel it is to remember longer portions of full quotes like your H.L. Menken example using only spaced repetition? I usually find it far more taxing and not as long lasting as using other more classical mnemonic methods (method of loci/songlines).

Piotr Wozniak has some material on creating/designing more concrete cards for spaced repetition that I’ve found generally helpful. I know that Andy Matuschak and Soren Bjornstad have some ideas, experience, and research in the space but I’ve yet to see more deep research on the effectiveness of these more specific practices at scale or beyond the anecdotal.

Replied to a post by Kimberly HirshKimberly Hirsh (kimberlyhirsh.com)
It’s the first day of my birthday month! I often extend the celebration beyond the day itself (July 14) and this year I’ve decided to do it all month long. I’ll let you know what that means once I figure it out. Until then, happy Kimbertide!
Happy Kimbertide! I think I ought to do the same thing. Since my birthday is on July 8th, I’m celebrating Chrismas in July! Merry Chrismas everyone. 🎅🏼🌞🎉
Watched "The Great American Recipe" If I Were a Recipe S1.E1 from PBS
If I Were a Recipe: With Alejandra Ramos, Tiffany Derry, Leah Cohen, Graham Elliot. The ten home cooks from across the US arrive in the communal kitchen in Ruther Glen, VA knowing that one will only have this one opportunity to impress the judges in being sent home at the end of the first two competitions. With only an hour for the cook, they are asked to put themselves forward in the first round called "If I Were a Recipe", namely to cook anything they want that demonstrates who they are as a cook and a person. With the judges' comments provided to them from round one, the cooks go into round two with ninety minutes to prepare not only a dish that represents them, but their home community, they who probably had to adapt whatever family recipes, many not native to the US, to use ingredients they could source where they live.
A total rip off in both style and substance of the Great British Bake Off, but for general cooking in America rather than baking. Interesting, but perhaps a bit too chipper. I like that there’s some broad representation going on here both culturally and regionally.
Annotated a tweet by Matty Illustration (@MN_illustration) (Twitter)

Y’all, imagine Spielberg’s Sailor Moon pic.twitter.com/xZ1DEsbLTy

— Matty Illustration (@MN_illustration) June 30, 2022
The trending topics on Twitter can be used as a form of juxtaposition of random ideas which could be brought together to make new and interesting things.

Here’s but one example of someone practicing just this:

Editor’s note: The now missing image attached to the tweet was of the Twitter trending topics sidebar that showed Sailor Moon trending just above Steven Spielberg

cc: @marshallk

Read CAA Closes $750M Deal for ICM Partners, Consolidating Major Agency Landscape by Alex Weprin (The Hollywood Reporter)
Some 425 ICM employees will join CAA, with 105 expected to be laid off as the Department of Justice allows the acquisition after an antitrust review.