# How to Assess the Strength of Claims in Your Zettelkasten

edited August 6
Strength of Claim

Evaluate how much trust you have in a claim as you process the information. Introducing the Lindy Filter and the Zettelkasten Method Evidence Scale as tools to do this. Your future self will thank you for better backed statements.

Post edited by ctietze on

• edited August 6

If only I had a factometer. I'm inclined to think there is no universal, subject-independent methodology for evaluating evidence. If you're evaluating a claim in a Wissenschaft [meaning a scholarly discipline committed to rigorous methods and standards of evidence, not just natural science], then one ought to know something about the methods and standards of evidence of the subject. Either you're in a position to evaluate subject-specific claims, or you place your trust in authorities and intermediaries. We don't disagree.

Now for a comment that I'm sure I'll come to regret.

ZES-($(\mathbf{-1})$). Jordan Peterson said something about lobsters, serotonin and humans.

There is something I call the serotonin-status connection that underlies confident behavior. It can be verified in humans, primates and even back to crustaceans.

The common ancestor of humans and lobsters likely did not exhibit dominance hierarchies.

If the common ancestor of humans and lobsters lacked dominance hierarchies (which seems likely, based on what we know about living animals), then our two species’ social behavior evolved independently, and the one can’t inform us about the other.
-- Jordan Peterson needs to reconsider the lobster.

The quotation is from an article by a marine biologist published in 2018. It's one of the milder critiques.

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 delayed, sometimes indefinitely since Life is short.

• @ZettelDistraction said:

If the common ancestor of humans and lobsters lacked dominance hierarchies (which seems likely, based on what we know about living animals), then our two species’ social behavior evolved independently, and the one can’t inform us about the other.
-- Jordan Peterson needs to reconsider the lobster.

1. It is wrong that independently developed mechanism can't inform each other. (It actually makes the argument stronger since the principle would be more universal)
2. The intermediary species between the common ancestor and us human on the level might be something lobster-esque itself.

I am a Zettler

• @sfast Your point about finding a confluence of sources arriving at a similar conclusion is certainly a good one. Seems like a smart guiding principle or rule of thumb.

But, it is definitionally correct that independent mechanisms can't inform each other. They could inform a third-party analysis, but they absolutely cannot inform each other. Then they're interdependent.

Obviously the crux of the issue is finding and validating that something is, in fact, independent.

Also, I think it's inaccurate to say that stoics were non-reactive. They simply emphasized the space between stimulus and response. Appearing non-reactive or "stoic" in the "observation of stereotypical external behavior sense" is often a byproduct of adhering to this tenant, but non-reactivity is hardly the point.

• But, it is definitionally correct that independent mechanisms can't inform each other. They could inform a third-party analysis, but they absolutely cannot inform each other. Then they're interdependent.

Then make your point and I will react.

Also, I think it's inaccurate to say that stoics were non-reactive. They simply emphasized the space between stimulus and response. Appearing non-reactive or "stoic" in the "observation of stereotypical external behavior sense" is often a byproduct of adhering to this tenant, but non-reactivity is hardly the point.

What definition are you using and what definition of reactivity do I use you think?

I am a Zettler

• @sfast I think we're mostly on the same page. Maybe it's a semantic difference. I was just rebutting:

1. It is wrong that independently developed mechanism can't inform each other. (It actually makes the argument stronger since the principle would be more universal)

Independent mechanisms can't interact with each other. The development of the written word in various forms in various cultures, independently of each other, certainly enhances the argument that humans are naturally meaning/narrative-driven creatures with a strong need to communicate.

But one culture coming up with a language independent of some other culture (if that's the case), means that they can't have influenced each other at all in that development. If they did influence each other, then it'd be interdependent.

That's all I was saying. My point was to clarify that independent things can't influence each other. A thing I was implying was that it's difficult to determine, in many contexts, if something is truly independent.

What definition are you using and what definition of reactivity do I use you think?

Looks like I was being a bit hasty. It seemed on a quick read that you were suggesting the point was to be non-reactive, but you say "stoic texts refer to...non-reactivity".

I should have just asked you if you thought the point/goal in stoicism was non-reactivity, which on a more careful read, I don't think you do; that the point is a carefully measured response (even if that response is no response).

• I think it is a wording issue since you agree the on the part of independent mechanisms connect to each other within an epistemic entity (e.g. we as a subject). Since any mechanism is a mental model and the knowledge on independent mechanisms depend on being aknowledged as such.

That means that technically speaking independent mechanisms are mental models that are the result of comparison and therefore the interaction between them as objects within an epistemic entity is a presupposition of the very concept of an independent mechanism.

Therefore, and technically, independent mechanism inform each other by necessity.

But that are just sophisms.

I think you know what I meant and we agree on the basic make up of the thing itself (being independent) and their representation.

I am a Zettler

• @sfast Agreed. Certainly a wording distinction. Two different frames: the mechanistic frame and the observational frame, each with necessarily opposite system definitions! Haha.