The Zettelkasten Method Applied to Systems Thinking
Oops, I have started a few threads in this forum without having first introduced myself. I didn’t see this section before now. I will try to make amends.
My name is Robert, and the GreenBeing (or Thinking Earth) avatar is just to promote an attitude for environmental responsibility and justice, which I see as the raison d'être for my writing interests in science, science fiction, and metaphysics. The unifying thought in all of this is the study of the human condition … Science fiction, I find, is a great resource for this. Short articles, not books, would be the anticipated literary products of my endeavors.
Since university (engineering, operations research, business, and statistics) and professionally, I have always been a systems guy. So, after retiring with over thirty years of researching, analyzing, modeling, optimizing, and reporting about man-made technological systems, I wanted to turn my attention to the complex, natural systems that have emerged without Man, especially biological, geological, and cosmological systems. In this endeavor, I approach these systems as a journalist rather than an engineer or scientist.
My writing objective is to bridge the cognitive distance between the interested non-scientist and the work done by the scientists, metaphysicists, and philosophers studying these systems.
Otherwise, I enjoy reading and learning about science and want to communicate that enjoyment to others in a way that promotes science as the foundational structure of humanism--an emerging and promising new ethos for the planet--and ultimately increases the per capita happiness on this planet through an understanding or epistemology of what we know and how we know it. I know what you are thinking ...
In a less superhuman way , I also do web development now as it has both technical and creative components. I am establishing a few blog sites, which will all need feeding. Drawing also interests me as an expressive outlet where words won’t work.
Productivity toward accomplishing these, perhaps lofty, objectives ...
This is where my Zettelkasten fits in. Perhaps, systems-thinking is why I (ill-advisedly?) started my initial archive as project-oriented. However, after reading a lion’s share of this forum and from Sonke Ahrens’ How to Take Smart Notes, I see merits in maintaining three kinds of loosely interrelated archives to manage the workflow for accomplishing these objectives:
- Kitchen-sink (Ahrens’ “permanent” archive)
- Project (Ahrens’ “literature” archive)
- Journaling (Ahren’ “fleeting” archive)
And, like @sfast, I would be intent on moving anything substantial to the Kitchen-Sink archive: the Zettelkasten, to be sure. This is why I have joined this forum.
@rene’s Sublime-zk and/or Sublimeless-zk would be the target engines for this and the Project archive. There are so many great suggestions in this Forum for add-ons to an already superb implementation of a Zettelkasten engine.
I am considering finding a place for the open-source Atom editor as well and the conditionally free, multi-platform PhraseExpress (for the Forum’s need recommendation for autotext and text autocompletion functionality). Perhaps, Atom may be better for project-oriented archives as this editor can search entire directories, which is another thing I read in this forum as being a good thing for project-oriented archives.
However, I am still wrestling with how to implement a Reference Management System and how, perhaps, to do as Ahrens suggests and keep literature notes within the RMS.
So far, Zotero seems to lead the pack in terms of what I think I would need in an RMS (e.g., Scrivener compatibility being one consideration), though I am considering hosting one of three free web-based RMS solutions that have no volume-bracketed pay models.
Okay. Likely, much more than anyone needs or wants to know about me, but this is me in a context nutshell … emphasis on the nut.
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