# Share your ZK plans for 26 June - 02 July - Mid Year

The truth is, I'm just winging it.
Take five minutes and say something, anything. Let the community know what you are up to. We're interested, and maybe we can learn a thing or two. Maybe we can help out or commiserate. We promise not to laugh unless you want us to.

Please share in this thread what ideas excite you. Use this thread to start a conversation, socialize your understanding, and as a public accountability tool.

DON'T BE SHY!

Week 26 of 2022 Already! The year is half over!

#### This week, I'll be…

1. We had visitors all last week. I took refuge in reading, and now that the visitors have left, I am left with 'tons' of notes to process from_ The Solace of Open Spaces_ by Gretel Ehrlich and James Webb Young's classic 1939 — A Technique for Producing Ideas. Such joy and riches to be loaded with gobs of ideas to process into my ZK.
2. I'll continue procrastinating, working up the nerve to make a planned Poetry of Zettelkasting presentation on advanced search techniques for quickly finding high-quality links in a large ZK.
3. I'm thinking about software lock-in, obsolescence, feature creep, development cycles, owning vs. subscription. The subscription model strikes me as a trap. If the developers vanish, so does the app.

–––

#### Trivia.

These are the titles of a few recent notes I'm excited about.
Show us yours! We are interested in seeing what you are up to!

B-Techniques For Producing Ideas 202206251631
U-ENGL463 Geographies of Nonfiction 202206251726
B-The Solace of Open Spaces 202206211042
B-Four Thousand Weeks 202205311624
Options in Treating Parkinson's Disease 202206231656
B-The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse 202206222000
–––

Will Simpson
The quality of our thinking is directly proportional to the quality of our reading. To think better, we must read better. - Rohan
kestrelcreek.com

• edited June 2022

This past week, wrote up a few zettels about my paternal grandparents, as part of my personal history. They hailed from a tiny town in Galicia (Galizien, Austria, at the time; now part of the Ukraine). It's amazing how much you can remember, once you sit down and think about things for a while. I find the process of writing loosens up and prompts the memory.

I'm getting past the busy "real work" time of the year, and with summer and no formal work to do, I'm hoping to focus more on remembering and writing items for my personal history. There are so many memories locked away in my brain; it's going to take some contemplation to tease them out. Putting them in a ZK is a great way of organizing the writing process, as I don't have to follow a particular timeline. I just write what comes to mind and will connect items and put them in a time sequence later.

• edited June 2022
1. Modification of Zettel PDF and $(\LaTeX)$ export templates and update of the latest Pandoc markdown $(\LaTeX)$ template for Zettlr. This is documented in my Zettel wiki on github under Zettlr configuration files. The latest modifications to the export templates required setting the top-level-division: variable to default from chapter in the configuration file export.latex.yaml so that abstracts would work correctly. The setting of chapter causes the documentclass to become book, which does not include the $(\LaTeX)$ abstract package.

2. Additional ZK workflow notes pertaining to LaTeX macros, citekeys, etc.

3. Some progress on a project. A small excerpt

A typo! The last occurrence of the inner horn in the excerpt should be $(\Lambda^2_1)$, not $(\Lambda^2)$, which has no denotation.

My software configuration is motivated by the need to produce $(\LaTeX)$ articles. I use Zettlr, Pandoc, MikTeX, WinEDT, Zotero, BetterBibTeX. I also use VSCode for yaml and to maintain a github repository (read: suppository) of my ZK. Previously Zettlr was too slow--this has been rectified as of 2.2.5. The current version is 2.2.6.

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.

• @ZettelDistraction said:

A typo! The last occurrence of the inner horn in the excerpt should be $(\Lambda^2_1)$, not $(\Lambda^2)$, which has no denotation.

Another correction: "Since every simplex is either non-degenerate or the image of a degeneracy, ..." (cf Riehl, E. 2011. A Leisurely Introduction to Simplicial Sets).

...The current version is 2.2.6.

The current version of Zettlr is version: 2.3.0. It still runs fast enough.

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.

• Adding simple tables to a few zettels in my Archive using TableFlip . After creating the tables, discovered that I can edit the data of the rendered table on the fly using Typora.

• Putting back together the fragmented manscript for a final final version.
• Learned quite a bit on the Zettelkasten Method for physics and process some debriefing notes

I am a Zettler

• @Will said:
The subscription model strikes me as a trap. If the developers vanish, so does the app.

Or, e.g. if their country forbids operations with your country. Piracy is the only practical answer for that (that is, if one wants to keep using software in question).
Subscription is intended to transform software from good into infrastructure-like service. Devs who do this want to acquire some qualities of monopoly without having necessary market power to obtain a de facto monopoly. They succeed if markets don't have proper instruments of consumer protection, i.e. they're legally flawed.

• Somewhat related: Recent "Dead Game News" by Ross Scott:

His 2019 video "Games as a service is fraud":
https://www.accursedfarms.com/posts/other-videos/gaasfraud/

Publishers are shutting down game services left and right. Keeping up the infrastructure is costly, so this makes sense. But they also built the games to not work without this infrastructure. So people """"buy"""" games, love to play them, and then they're being taken away.

The law is not yet picking this up. There's some development in France, if I remember correctly, but in the meantime all the expensive 'game licenses' that were bought, plus even more expensive in-game purchases, they all go away.

Unlike abandonware games from the olden days, resurrecting triple-A titles that are tied to an online service, even if it's just for DRM/copy protection, is getting harder and harder and requires reverse engineering of complex server software just to make an abandoned game title boot up again.

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

• edited July 2022

@ctietze said:
Somewhat related: Recent "Dead Game News" by Ross Scott

It's a guy who made Freeman's mind! I completely forgot about him... It's an interesting coincidence that I've thought about his rant on interface recently (that one was good as well) without realising that it's the same person.
He focuses on games, but there're definitely more cases of this "infrastructure-like proliferation". Software with limits on number of installations (MS). Agri tractors that the seller forbids the owner to service (John Deere and others). Geographical limits on usage (Boeing and Airbus... and Steam, if we get back to games). Big pharma patent cheats. Freeze/confiscation of Russian assets by the West. Weapons that can't be freely resold (the majority of complex systems).
They're all used to break property rights. Modern businesses and governments disregard those routinely.

• As a software developer, the idea of perpetual payment for a service is attractive because it combines security from recurring income with building an interesting thing that evolves continuously and which to which users provide feedback via their subscription ("I still want this").

And as a user, I personally still despise this

In order to justify recurring payments, as a user, I need to get something of value in return. (Like online sync of data, my favorite example. Or continuous, optional updates for e.g. a year.)

But trend of transforming products into services, tangible and digital, is easily justifiable for the business: lose some customers but gain recurring revenue so you end up net positive. It hardly (or at least: not always) a good deal for the user. @emps Your examples are examples of bad deals for the customer and user

In software-space, it's invigorating to see popular extortion schemes from virtually monopols like Adobe be disrupted by smaller competitors that offer more attractive pricing options and good products.

Meanwhile, we're also seeing tech intended to disrupt all but fall flat. Open, no-spyware, repairable Android smartphone producers exist, but they haven't taken over. Linux hasn't taken over personal desktop computing. Neither Open Source nor "Free as in GNU" apps have replaced closed source applications outside of 'nerd space'. There are great examples (LibreOffice, Blender, Godot, ...), but we're still not there, and it's not certain we'll get there anytime soon. So subscriptions for everything will likely continue to proliferate.

It's all super weird, but also intellectually interesting: does the notion of "property" change, and if so, how? Or will we fall back to an older sense of ownership and fight the transition that's underway?

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

• As a software end user, the idea of perpetual payment for a service is repulsive because it hides the actual cost of the software. $5.00 per month to the irrational human mind sounds like the cost of a coffee or two but is$600.00 over ten years. When I think of "subscribing" to software, I should consider the 10-year cost instead of the monthly cost.

Many software leases cost more than $5.00 per month. I just canceled my lease on RealPython, a great tutorial site, and I did learn and use it a lot at first. After six months at$19.95 a month, I canceled because I wasn't using it near as much. I might go back, which triggered another idea. What if there was a micropayment option rather than a subscription? I could dip into other tutorial sites and spread learning all over the place.

This would be different in the software as a service world. I think a metered payment structure would work better than the current per-month leasing. Charging on the level of a micropayment of so much a click or a view.

This is a nuanced situation. There are plenty of situations where I'm happy to pay a monthly fee. Syncing between multiple machines, heavy use, and a rich ecosystem seems to be the reason. What also helps is some sort of connection to other parts of my life like reading (Scribd), entertainment (Netflix), or shopping (Amazon Prime).

@ctietze said:
It's all super weird, but also intellectually interesting: does the notion of "property" change, and if so, how? Or will we fall back to an older sense of ownership and fight the transition that's underway?

Ultimately, I'm a "cog in the wheel" of the future. It will be what it is, no matter how much I complain. This is the profound lesson one learns (or doesn't) as one gets old.

Will Simpson
The quality of our thinking is directly proportional to the quality of our reading. To think better, we must read better. - Rohan
kestrelcreek.com

• edited July 2022

@ctietze said:

In order to justify recurring payments, as a user, I need to get something of value in return. (Like online sync of data, my favorite example. Or continuous, optional updates for e.g. a year.)

I don't mind paying a subscription fee if I see there is value in doing so, as I believe that software developers should be supported in their efforts to continue progressing their work. Basically, the cost needs to be matched by the value, which will vary depending on the user.

For example, I elected to pay a not inconsequential subscription fee for one piece of software, even though I could access it "for free" through SetApp (to which I already subscribe), because I really like what the developer is doing. I wanted to personally support her to the extent that she provided value to me, with the hope that she would continue to "live long and prosper" and support/evolve her product. Hence, I will pay for quality and value. In the long run, it both saves money and avoids frustration. It is why I switched from the MS world to the Mac world 15 years ago, when it was not so trendy, and I've never regretted it.

I worry about developers that don't get what I consider to be a reasonable return for their work; I worry that they will eventually lose interest and go onto something different. In fact, that is one of the weaknesses of The Archive - I don't understand your plan for longevity. I love the product and want to keep using it forever. That is probably an unrealistic desire.

The above situation is sometimes helped along by various levels of subscription tied to different levels of functionality in a program. I would welcome a situation where the level of functionality/service could be dialed in with greater detail and the subscription cost reflect that. I'm not sure this is exactly what @Will had in mind with "metered payment", but perhaps close.

However, it's not a perfect world and thus we are often faced with a decision regarding whether we want to subscribe at all. Do we really want that service for the price demanded? If not, find an alternative. I'm constantly looking for alternatives - for software that better meets my needs but not at 0 price, which is unrealistic.

Meanwhile, we're also seeing tech intended to disrupt all but fall flat. Open, no-spyware, repairable Android smartphone producers exist, but they haven't taken over. Linux hasn't taken over personal desktop computing. Neither Open Source nor "Free as in GNU" apps have replaced closed source applications outside of 'nerd space'. There are great examples (LibreOffice, Blender, Godot, ...), but we're still not there, and it's not certain we'll get there anytime soon. So subscriptions for everything will likely continue to proliferate.

I have Linux on my computer and I use LibreOffice. I don't use Linux much because it doesn't provide a sufficiently rich selection of software, at least given my needs. I don't use LibreOffice much because, if I'm just doing my own work, I use the tools that are natively built into the Mac OS (such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote for office applications) or tools built specifically for the Mac OS (that come with a modest cost, such as GreenBooks). However, I still have to interact with the larger world around me and that sometimes forces me to use products that I don't like for some reason - too expensive, too bloated, too buggy, etc.

I don't know how many of you remember the world of Quattro Pro and Wordperfect - sad was the day those (superior) products died because Microsoft wormed its way into ubiquitous corporate use.

So a discussion of what software flourishes and what software dies or languishes, must take the practicalities of corporate use into account, in addition to the vagaries of base cost and recurring cost. And it must also take into account the developers' need to put food on their table and clothes on their back. Let's not expect to get quality or longevity for zero or little cost - that's a philosophy that impoverishes both the producer and the user.

To the forum and the community supporting The Archive, what can we do to ensure that @ctietze and @Sascha keep this wonderful product going for many years to come?

Post edited by GeoEng51 on
• edited July 2022

@GeoEng51 sayeth: I have Linux on my computer and I use LibreOffice. I don't use Linux much because it doesn't provide a sufficiently rich selection of software, at least given my needs.

Linux is almost enough for me--for mathematics software and writing it is sufficient.
Alas, I have Windological ties to the external world, or else I would be free of the spectre of Bill Gates...

I don't know how many of you remember the world of Quattro Pro and Wordperfect - sad was the day those (superior) products died because Microsoft wormed its way into ubiquitous corporate use.

Weaseled. Amoeba-like into our boot sectors. I remember them, and XyWrite. I too hail from the 20th Century.

To the forum and the community supporting The Archive, what can we do to ensure that @ctietze and @Sascha keep this wonderful product going for many years to come?

Would you believe cryogenics? I purchased a license, although my old iMac can't run it...

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.

• @ZettelDistraction said:
Would you believe cryogenics? I purchased a license, although my old iMac can't run it...

And maybe at the bottom of the "General Preferences" tab, where the license information resides, there could be a button for making random contributions to the cause?