Zettelkasten Forum


A fresh take on Folgezettel

My comment:

  1. The issue of creating fiction into the system is that you deligate an ability to an external system that can and should be a skill of the person, you prevent the development of this skill. That decreases or perhaps even inhibits the training effect working with a ZK has or could have.
  2. Folgezettel is a very valid and perhaps necessary technique that makes working as if you have a project you are working on. However, the most important counter-argument against the validity of Folgezettel is that you can achieve this with a better technique which is the structure note. Folgezettel allows to code for two different directions: lateral and horizontal. That means that you can't map meaning on Folgezettel or are limited to two (or four if you count the opposite directions) categories of meaning. Structure notes on the other hand allow for as much of connection as you are able to produce on the canvas you use. What would been a cluster of Folgezettel can be a single drawn image on a Structure Note. Even when using a analog Zettelkaten my recommendation is the heavy use of Structure Notes since they pull together thoughts and their relationships on one single canvas.
  3. In theory, the "good enough relations" are awesome. But in practice, from what I see, the good enough is mostly an in the moment idiosyncratic idea that you will forget in the future. When the future is now, many people have quite some difficulties to understand the relation or to see a relation at all. That is intrinsic to the concept of "most what you produce is garbage". This includes the connections, direct and via Folgezettel. If you actually make it a point to get a grasp on the nature of connection you'll build more robust (even antifragile) edges in your network.

I am a Zettler

Comments

  • edited December 2022

    Nice video, thank you for this. One of the first things I do every day is open the Zettelkasten.
    I agree with much of what the author says. Here are some minor corrections in boldface of typos. I needed to listen to the video to see that the author was discussing eufriction. It's nice that he quotes Bob Doto.

    @Sascha said:
    (link to above video)
    My comment:

    1. The issue of creating friction into the system is that you delegate an ability to an external system that can and should be a skill of the person,

    Why should it be? We interact with external systems all the time to develop skills with them.

    you prevent the development of this skill.

    You don't prevent the development of your gorilla-like strength by using weights, an external device that introduces resistance (the good kind of friction if you know what you are doing) and which builds muscle--a technique in an area, body building, with which you are very experienced.

    That decreases or perhaps even inhibits the training effect working with a ZK has or could have.

    Now that depends on the skill. When writing was introduced, the complaint was that this would impede the development of memory. No one would bother to memorize the Illiad. The whole oral tradition would vanish from the Earth.

    There are tradeoffs. To make sense of this, we'll need to know what skill you're referring to, and what the tradeoff is.

    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.

  • @Sascha said:

    1. In theory, the "good enough relations" are awesome. But in practice, from what I see, the good enough is mostly an in the moment idiosyncratic idea that you will forget in the future.

    I strongly agree with this. Everyone I've worked with throws one zettel next to another based on a vague gut feeling. One of the main functions of the Zettelkasten, as I see it and as the video suggests, is to push forwards a lot of the cognitive load of writing into the note-making process. If that is the case, then you should have a very clear, precise reason why a zettel comes after its predecessor and before its successor. If you don't, then you are not saving yourself any trouble on the back end when you are producing your own content.

    @Sascha said:
    1. The issue of creating friction into the system is that you delegate an ability to an external system that can and should be a skill of the person, you prevent the development of this skill. That decreases or perhaps even inhibits the training effect working with a ZK has or could have. [spelling edited by nido]

    It's hard for me to know what to make of this without getting additional information.

    I adhere to the principle of Robert Bjork that many kinds of difficulties (read, "frictions") enhance learning. Since a Zettelkasten method is a method for, in the broadest sense, learning enhancement, it is not clear to me what human ability would atrophy by using Folgezettel.

    Every technology has costs and benefits. We are not so good these days at narrating epic poetry by memory. One hundred years ago, schoolchilren were a lot better at calculating quotients with pencil and paper. So, if the Folgezettel's friction causes some human skill to deteriorate, can we describe in greater detail exactly what the skill is that we are losing?

    I myself do not use Folgezettel, as I understand it from Ahrens's book, primarily because of reason 3 that you give. But I would like to understand reason 1 better.

  • One of the enduring lessons of the ZK forum discussion is the capacity of some its participants to repeat without citation the points of preceding posts as if one were the original author.

    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.

  • edited December 2022

    @ZettelDistraction said:
    One of the enduring lessons of the ZK forum discussion is the capacity of some its participants to repeat without citation the points of preceding posts as if one were the original author.

    Wow! Our posts must have crossed. I am seeing yours for the first time right now. I will delete mine if you want.

  • edited December 2022

    @Nido said:

    @ZettelDistraction said:
    One of the enduring lessons of the ZK forum discussion is the capacity of some its participants to repeat without citation the points of preceding posts as if one were the original author.

    Wow! Our posts must have crossed. I am seeing yours for the first time right now. I will delete mine if you want.

    A crossed posting seems unlikely, since mine is dated Dec 26 and yours is dated Dec 27 at 1:33PM. Nevertheless, on the principles that 1) great minds think alike, yours being the much greater one; 2) I could be mistaken: maybe your browser wasn't refreshed while my post came in, so I should apologize (why not--it's unconditional); and 3) I have virtually no stake in this subject--I would be mortified to learn that these posts were my greatest contribution to humanity--leave yours up.

    Hope springs eternal: Sascha might listen to you.

    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.

  • edited December 2022

    How to foment Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about your Zettelkasten:

    @Sascha said:

    1. In theory, the "good enough relations" are awesome. But in practice, from what I see, the good enough is mostly an in the moment idiosyncratic idea that you will forget in the future. When the future is now, many people have quite some difficulties to understand the relation or to see a relation at all. That is intrinsic to the concept of "most what you produce is garbage".

    Likewise :trollface:

    This includes the connections, direct and via Folgezettel. If you actually make it a point to get a grasp on the nature of connection you'll build more robust (even antifragile) edges in your network.

    Not to be outdone:

    @Nido said:

    @Sascha said:

    1. In theory, the "good enough relations" are awesome. But in practice, from what I see, the good enough is mostly an in the moment idiosyncratic idea that you will forget in the future.

    I strongly agree with this. Everyone I've worked with throws one zettel next to another based on a vague gut feeling.

    Thank you for identifying a potential problem while withholding the mind-bogglingly simple solution--which I offer for no charge whatsoever. I will quote FP from YouTube

    By contrast, when I create Folgezettel, in most cases I do not simply drop a new card into the sequence and hope that I remember the connection between it and the card preceding it. Instead, at the beginning of what I write on the new card, I (often) use some of the words from the preceding card so as to establish a clear connection between what is written on both cards.
    -- FP, #8 Folgezettel - why it's important to create them in your Zettelkasten

    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.

  • I will prepare a more thought out write-up of my position.

    @ZettelDistraction has one important point: Folgezettel and Structure Notes are not mutually exclusive. I think that I never fleshed out my point of why I put them in opposition even though you can have both at the same time.

    I am a Zettler

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