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The Ratio of Our Intellects

This discussion was created from comments split from: Call for "Critique my Zettel"-Notes.

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  • # 0.3.2b.0.22.0401 The ratio of our intellects

    CONTEXT [[0.3.2a.0.21.1228]] ZK as communication partner 2
    [[0000.0000.00.0]] Workflow
    [[0000.0000.00.4]] Humanities

    #zettelkasten #communication-partner

    If it were up to my Zettelkasten, it would have nothing to do with me.

    Eliot, I never met either, and this is scarcely the place to go into the story of his threatening to sue me, but I like to think that in my two books on his art, T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (1988) and Decisions and Revisions in T. S. Eliot (2003), there was some meeting of minds, mine being the immensely smaller one.
    – Christopher Ricks. 2011. True friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    My Zettelkasten is not threatening to sue me, though it has misgivings about taking me on as its remedial student.

    Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport. Replies sometimes delayed since life is short.

  • Content

    • The content is very specific, yet a bit vague by design I think. Very artsy. So, I try not to be the bull in the china shop.
    • The vagueness doesn't seem an issue from my perspective. However, I only can come to this conclusion because I know a thin slice of you.
    • The central thought of the note is existential. It creates an image point:

      • Your self-loathing mode of reflecting.
      • A very specific aspect of the interaction between your Zettelkasten as communication: Intellectual dominance hierarchy.
      • Your ability and tendency to see the personal in the impersonal. (I am vague here. But I don't understand this good enough to be more concise).
    • I'd be more explicit and conversational regarding how you engage with the quote. I'd write how this quote inspired the central thought from your subjective perspective. I think your Zettelkasten will be very idiosyncratic and personal because of the way you engage with your intellectual endeavours. Since the ZK is private I'd lean into it a lot.

    Title

    • The title is understandable because you use FZ and you could see within the nesting and of course in you explicit context statement "ZK as communication partner 2".

      • However, this is cognitive work that you should do since you have to load additional items in your working memory just to orientate yourself.
      • I don't know all the surrounding notes but because of the slipping in between action of FZ notes lose their physical proximity (let's pretend that notes in the list are in a physical space) even though they are systematically tied together. So, you could loose this reference point in the long run
    • I don't think the central thought is about the ratio of your intellects. It rather is a with chaotic art magic loaded image motivated by your turbulent approach to counter the systemising part of your mind.

    • In my opinion, something like "ZK, crush my ego to teach me" or "I'll give the lie to your misgivings dear ZK" could create some momentum for your future self. (The later is something I personally would write)

    Tags

    • Since, I don't think it is about the Zettelkasten as a communication partner I think this tag should go.
    • One tag that describes the kind of relationship you are implying here is appropriate. I am not sure if I can hit a good term in English but it is something like "#condescension"

    Links

    • As FZ are links in my book, I will make my commentary here: I think the note is not about "ZK as communication partner" but about "ZK as someone (not something)".
    • Since, you use FZ you should make use of more links to meet the problem of multiple storage. Like Luhmann said: Project the note into your ZK and hold on to the inspiring connections.

    Summary

    Dang! I think I never liked a note so much that is so underdeveloped. It is hard for me to say more to the note since it is more like art. What could you do from here?

    • Improve the presentation of the thought. You can draw but then place IDs into the picture to refer directly from the picture into the verbal (or other pictures, to create non-arbitrary internal branched art)
    • Write a fictive conversation in which you stand your ground against the ZK and his judgement. Then identify each argument and create a note to each one in which you explore it more formally.
    • Search for the gentleness and patience of your ZK as an accomplice and contrast both lines of thought.

    Comment on my comment: I tried to take you personal approach as I see it into account. It is very different to include an artistic tendency into an intellectual endeavour since the intellect is an always lurking, still necessary, death threat to art. It is hard to decide what comes first when they both should have a say. In your case, I decided to give art the front seat.

    I am a Zettler

  • edited April 15

    @Sascha thank you for this generous commentary.

    The quote by Christopher Ricks reminded me of the typical trajectory of human interactions with the super-luminal supercomputer GOLEM XIV of Stanislaw Lem's Imaginary Magnitude. The supercomputer would cease responding to most of the people who were introduced to it. The pun on 'super-luminal' and 'Luhmann', a super-academic on account of his publication record, is too obvious to miss.

    Luhmann describes his slip box as an ordinary filing cabinet, until one day it undergoes a rapid and violent phase transition from which it emerges as a somewhat idealized communication partner. I suspect (without evidence) that Luhmann preferred the company of his slip box to that of his colleagues. During the years that Luhmann's slip box was nothing more than a filing cabinet, he held to this faith that the phase transition would occur, and that he would be transformed along with it. Where did that likely unarticulated faith come from?

    Unlike Luhmann's slip box, which was a conversation partner, and unlike GOLEM XIV, which is an unemotional computation that nevertheless possesses a sense of humor, my Zettelkasten regards me with condescension. How could it not be patronizing? However I would prefer not to say so explicitly. I will remove the tag however, since it is not a communication partner, but an emergent Boltzmann Brain trapped in a Zettelkasten, where it is forced to tutor a less than ideal student.

    @Sascha said:

    >

    • The central thought of the note is existential. It creates an image point:
      • Your self-loathing mode of reflecting.

    Spot on.

    • A very specific aspect of the interaction between your Zettelkasten as communication: Intellectual dominance hierarchy.
    • Your ability and tendency to see the personal in the impersonal. (I am vague here.

    I believe that it helps to be emotionally sensitive to machines.

    • The title is understandable because you use FZ and you could see within the nesting and of course in you explicit context statement "ZK as communication partner 2".

    I'll let you in on a secret: I adopted Folgezettel IDs for aesthetic reasons, but in practice I develop my Zettelkasten the way you and @ctietze do, with local indexes (structure notes) where these are needed. The Folgezettel and the initial Table of Contents helped to bootstrap the process. Now they serve an aesthetic function by generating chaos and disorder.

    Most of my notes on configuring Zettlr to handle LaTeX ended up under the Workflow branch, until they linked with the computing and the math branches. I happen to prefer looking at the combination Folgezettel/timestamp IDs I hit upon than looking at timestamps. But in practice, my ZK increasingly looks like the ZK of someone who uses structure notes. I don't really have a choice because the note sequences that arise as larger notes split apart tend to cut across the Folgezettel assignments. But then the process of internal ramification starts over with new Folgezettel assignments.

    I'm really indebted to you and @ctietze for your insightful comments.

    Post edited by ZettelDistraction on

    Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport. Replies sometimes delayed since life is short.

  • Luhmann describes his slip box as an ordinary filing cabinet, until one day it undergoes a rapid and violent phase transition from which it emerges as a somewhat idealized communication partner. I suspect (without evidence) that Luhmann preferred the company of his slip box to that of his colleagues. During the years that Luhmann's slip box was nothing more than a filing cabinet, he held to this faith that the phase transition would occur, and that he would be transformed along with it. Where did that likely unarticulated faith come from?

    Mh. Though, I like the story I am not so sure if I find it convincing. Perhaps, he just started his Zettelkastens and was later surprised by its usefulness.

    To be honest, I sometimes think that this whole communication thing was a low-key troll by him. Communication is such a technical term for him with a meaning that is disconnected its everday use that it feels odd.

    But I touched a very important point: Where did his faith come from? It might be that there is not much faith needed because just using the Zettelkasten has immediate benefits: It strengthens the habit of writing and reformulating, it makes past notes somehow available, etc.

    It is important to me, that the Zettelkasten Method, as I formulate it, has immediate positive effects. It is apparent that if you use the development of a single note seriously you learn a lot about the idea embedded in the note. The development of the note is not just to adhere to the method. It is rather the other way around: You use the written mirror image of your learning process to build your Zettelkasten. You don't start with the Zettelkasten Method to develop a note but the note ends up being integrated into the Zettelkasten.

    I'll let you in on a secret: I adopted Folgezettel IDs for aesthetic reasons, but in practice I develop my Zettelkasten the way you and @ctietze do, with local indexes (structure notes) where these are needed. The Folgezettel and the initial Table of Contents helped to bootstrap the process. Now they serve an aesthetic function by generating chaos and disorder.

    I like it. I stuck to the Folgezettel back then for this very reasons: I just liked it for the same reasons I used greek letters for my marginalia or wanted to collect all my notebooks in my little library. There is a fine aesthetic to the scholarly life.

    I am a Zettler

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