Zettelkasten Forum


Link types

Hello, I'm a psychology student from an Eastern European country. Currently I'm using the method to learn more about the neuroscience of emotions and personality psychology and how they are related to each other.

I was reading some neuroscience textbooks in the past few days and I wanted to take notes from them, because I know little to nothing about neuroscience. However, I have some trouble with finding connections between the notes in my Zettelkasten (probably because there are only two dozen notes and because I have deleted my previous Zettelkästen a few times).

I thought that knowing the types of links would help me with making the connections. These are the types of connections I know of yet:
1) Similarity between different ideas.
2) Difference between similar ideas.
3) Supporting evidence.
4) Contradicting evidence.
5) Argument (in my Zettelkasten there are argument notes which contain the premises taken from regular notes, plus a conclusion. The argument links link the argument note with the premise notes).

So, do you think that having a personal typology of link types is helpful in making more meaningful connections between ideas?

(P.S. Stupid me deleted my previous Zettelkästen because I wasn't satisfied with the connections I made. Most of them were of the type "This is a note about object X, this is another note about object X, I can sense a connection!", which is a link type better encapsulated with a tag. Because of that I got few insights over the months I had been using the method.)

Comments

  • I have also studied psychology, though mostly social.

    Personally, I don't use link types at all. A link is a link for me, and that is that. When you have several hundred or several thousand notes there is a lot of labour involved in keeping up such categories. I'd sooner just write a comment in the body of a note saying "this idea is challenged by xyz" and put a plain link to a note that has more detail about the challenge.

  • Out of necessity I follow what @MartinBB mentioned -- this is also logical: a link pointing A -> B brings back content from B into A. Thus the logical place to discuss the relation is within A (which luckily is where the link text resides)

    I'll confess I have been experimenting with a "Link Note" for occasional link annotation: Suppose I have a link A->B....I'll create a "note" L so that A->L->B as well as just A->B.

    The note is of type ::link and the content simply describes the relationship implied by the relational association.

    Primarily I do this in linking mathematical results and sub-problems etc.

    I could use a suggestion on the id's. I'd like to be able to extract the source and target id from the id of L while keeping the same length as YYYYMMDDHHmmss.

  • @Helen_Shepherd said:
    I thought that knowing the types of links would help me with making the connections. These are the types of connections I know of yet:
    1) Similarity between different ideas.
    2) Difference between similar ideas.
    3) Supporting evidence.
    4) Contradicting evidence.
    5) Argument

    I'm not sure I'd call these "types of links." They are more reasons and the logic used to link. This is where a structure note comes in handy.


    Psych Structure Note

    Similarities between risk behaviors and Dopamine.

    Note 1 Link
    - Verbiage describing the connection
    Note 2 Link
    - Verbiage describing the connection
    Note 3 Link
    - Verbiage describing the connection

    Differences between Jung and Freud

    Note 1 Link
    - Verbiage describing the connection
    Note 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9....


    In the structure note format, nothing stops us from adding an S or a C to the links signifying a supporting or contradicting connection. Other types of notation are easily added in a structure note. Different notations could accompany the same note when applied in different contexts within different structure notes. The is the power of automaticity, allowing the same notes to build ideas in different thought streams.

    So, do you think that having a personal typology of link types is helpful in making more meaningful connections between ideas?

    Yes, any tool for thought that fosters meaningful connection is worth leaning on. My 'personal typology' is ad hoc, used with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The best time I spend zettelkasting is when I'm in the flow of milking my ideas for meaningful connections. After the fact, once the flow subsides and analytical thinking returns, I become concerned with documenting similarities, evidence, and arguments. This is probably a fault and not something to emulate.

    Will Simpson
    “Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Welcome, @Helen_Shepherd!

    I thought that knowing the types of links would help me with making the connections. These are the types of connections I know of yet:
    1) Similarity between different ideas.
    2) Difference between similar ideas.
    3) Supporting evidence.
    4) Contradicting evidence.
    5) Argument (in my Zettelkasten there are argument notes which contain the premises taken from regular notes, plus a conclusion. The argument links link the argument note with the premise notes).

    I'd like to suggest (re)reading @sfast's introduction to the Zettelkasten Method here, where he writes about connecting notes: https://zettelkasten.de/introduction/#connecting-zettel

    You do identify important types of relations. But to express them, you don't need anything special -- This was refuted 20 years later by B. Gonnarsdottir.[[202111071351]] can to the trick sufficiently.

    If you process a lot of similarly structured information, collecting arguments pro and contra, then you'll no doubt find for yourself some kind of convention or template or structure to make navigation between these pieces easier.

    Also "reading is searching" for arguments, evidence, etc:

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @Helen_Shepherd

    Doubling down on @ctietze:

    Link types naturally emerge when you connect the knowledge embedded in you links. They are a posteriori (after it already happened) descriptions of what happens to pieces of knowledge when you bring them together.

    You don't need any knowledge on the Zettelkasten Method to connect a claim with evidence for or against it other than how to create a connection with your software. This is the exact reason the Zettelkasten Method as it is layed out on this page is more concerned with knowledge work than it is with workflows or other superficial stuff.

    If the stuff you are learning is new and hard for you link creation will not happen very often because you are not making so much connections either. If you use your Zettelkasten to work on something you know a lot you can make a lot of connections.

    But you can fascilitate finding connections, if it is something that solves a problem you have, by actively looking for something you already know well and trying to make connection to the new you are currently learning.

    I am a Zettler

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