Zettelkasten Forum


Share with us what is happening in your ZK this week. June 23, 2024

edited June 24 in Your Current Projects

Swimming with Ideas

This is yet another opportunity to share with your friends what you are working on. Add to this discussion by telling us about your zettelkasten journey. Share with us what you're learning. Sharing helps me and, hopefully, you, too. It helps us clarify our goals and visualize our thinking. And sometimes, a conversation sparks a magical moment where we can dive into an idea worth exploring. I'd love to hear more from you. 🫵🏼

In homage to @jiwonac's idea.

  • "I posit that writing for an audience with a background similar to mine is a valuable exercise. This insight comes from my recent experience of writing short reports to communicate findings for research projects. I found that these reports forced me to clarify my thoughts and became a staple of my research strategy."
  • These short reports that I post have become one of the high points of my zettelkasting journey.

Here is my report on the ideas I'm exploring with my ZK and why I'm here:

  • An avalanche of ideas poured into my archive, and they are helping clarify my writing practice. Last week, I was excited about John McPhee's notion of Draft No. 4. As I assimilated the ideas into notes and deep linked them into my archive, I was confronted by an entry in an old note that is now its own note titled "Mapping the Unmappable with Dichotomies." An idea introduced by William Kittredge, who wrote about the vast environments of the Western US, dichotomies can create a web of inferences mapping to an unspeakable conclusion. This ties in with the idea of using a "Texture of Metaphor" to help shape the mapping. This should make clear the value of linking and refactoring old notes. In ransacking the 30 or so notes I have on Kittredge, I was reminded of another friend, Scott Slovic. I've got to send him a text and see how retirement is treating him.

  • Sometimes, my workflow requires a deep dive into how a note or idea fits into a stream of ideas. For this, I use a tool called the Idea Explorer. In the example pictured below, I can see how "Awareness of Place—Biophony," which involves noting Bernie Krause's work with recording natural soundscapes, fits with the concept of "environmental ambiance."

    • I'm coding a new tab that will gather a list of all the second-tier links. This one tool will let me view a rich selection of links from the structure, incoming, outgoing, and bilateral notes, along with the second-level links from the incoming, outgoing, and bilateral notes.

  • 4000 notes! It snuck up on me.

  • I've been synthesizing IBIS (Issue-Based Information System) methods into my zettelkasting workflow. Some parts fit in the capture phase, some in the drafting phase, and some in the refactoring stage. I'm getting ideas that I can apply, tweaking each step.

Books I'm reading or read this week:

  • Brooks, David. How To Know A Person [[202405260654]]: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. First edition, Random House, 2023. BookShare
  • Scdoris, R., & Steber, R. (2006). No end in sight: My life as a blind Iditarod racer (1st rev. ed). St. Martin’s Press. [[202406102027]] BookShare #YAL_research
  • Bauermeister, Erica. The School of Essential Ingredients. Berkley Books, 2013. Libby Audio Food themed. Libby Audio #food ★★★★★
  • Bauermeister, Erica. The Lost Art of Mixing. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013. Libby Audio #food

Ear Candy - Music I'm listening to:

★★★★★

The "My rolling ten-day zettel production" is produced by a script for attachment to my daily journaling template. I do my journaling in Bear to keep personal journaling separate from my knowledge work.

Let me know if you would like to see, discuss, or critique any of these notes.


My ten-day zettel production

I hope my contribution is helpful, and I hope someone has even better ideas.

Post edited by Will on

Will Simpson
My zettelkasten is for my ideas, not the ideas of others. I will try to remember this. I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon, I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.
kestrelcreek.com

Comments

  • I've been playing with Logseq this past week, primarily to see what it can do, but I'm also curious about whether I could use it instead of NotePlan or (perish the thought) The Archive. I only contemplate the latter idea because I'd love to have iOS and MAC laptop apps that sync my ZK seamlessly so I could work on it while on the road. I'd also like to do my planning and other work organization in the same software. NotePlan came close, but there is too much friction converting all of my zettels to a format that NotePlan can easily import. If I had @Will 's Python skills, I might get there faster.

    My evaluation is still in its early days. Here are a few ideas that occurred to me:

    1. Logseq is a very fancy outliner, among other things. Using an outliner with multiple levels of indenting is a powerful way of writing atomic notes. And each bullet can be easily moved around (with its "children").
    2. In Logseq, the basic unit is each bullet point - you can link to any bullet point at any level. This is also a powerful idea. You are not limited to linking to pages or notes but can link to individual bullet points (or paragraphs) within those notes. So the bullet point could become the zettel.
    3. Logseq uses tags differently; it creates a new page for each tag. When you look at a particular tag's page, you see all the items that have used it and can immediately access those items. So, you don't use tags in searches; they are a part of your linking system.
    4. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around whether or not I even need a unique ID for each zettel - more to come on that later. Perhaps the debate about whether or not to use Luhmann's ID system will become moot.

    It also became clear, as I was watching various YouTube videos of people trying to create a ZK with Logseq, that many of them do not understand what a ZK is or how to create or use one. They are just talking in a dark room. They think they know everything about ZK if they simply read Sonke Ahrens' book. I guess I've been spoiled by reading all the discussions on this site by people who understand the subject well and have been using the method for knowledge management for many years.

  • edited June 24

    I am perpetually in a limbo state where I attempt to marry the benefits of analog and digital mediums together, yet can't quite get there. For the past six months I have been trying out a digital system where I incorporate some constraints borrowed from analog slip boxes.

    Although it functions, I have my complaints. I don't know if it's that I'm from the tail end of paper generation, my personality, or something to do with mathematics, that I simply think better on paper laid out on my desk. I have been tempted to dust off my old shoe box. I might end up with two systems that aren't completely integrated, and switch back and forth as needed. With this context, I remind myself:

    • Notes are instrumental goals.
    • Life is, by definition, a constant battle against entropy; some mess is okay.

    As far as content goes, I am working on navigable graphs, data shapley, and textual fluency in video game genres. It's a quiet week in the system due to pressing tasks that fall outside the realm of a Zettelkasten.

    (Add:) I am also trying to figure out a deliberate practice ritual for mathematics. There aren't any problems sets with answers at this level, so I think writing a single slip's worth of mathematics from textbooks or papers can be a measurable unit of progress.

  • jbzjbz
    edited June 24

    Hi there,

    As a beginner in writing thought and explore my inner-self I will try to do a few things this week.

    • Pounder how I can manage to write a journal (daily ? weekly ?)
    • Think about how I can use my zk with previous pieces I wrote on my website. (Longer form kind of notes, texts and short stories)
    • Explore concepts about caring/curing and relations between nursing staff and patient
    • Try to write my thought and build upon it regarding non-medication approach and dementia (working in it for seven years) and various concepts around it. (Validation therapy, empathy, sympathy etc...)

    I imported my previous files and rewrote them to use Luhmann-style ID (don't know if it's a good way for now but I quite enjoy the possibility to identify ideas branches by just looking at the filename.

    I currently use Obsidian (Logseq tried but slow as hell on my tiny raspberry laptop) mainly on my smartphone but try to use small tools on my desktop and so I ended on Acme editor.

    Within Acme, everything is a text unit so It can be manipulated quite easily and so I'm writing some scripts for my zk:

    Acme editor and a structure script

    In the previous screenshot the script azh displays the idea branch in the bottom-right corner, right-clicking on the filename opens it in a new window.

    Currently listening to: Gift from the Trees - Mammal Hands (Jazz)

    Have a good day,
    Justin

  • @jbz Oooh, a Plan 9 reference! That's exciting. The 'plumber' sounded like such a cool concept, to tie everything on the computer together via text, sending commands between programs and processes that way. A universal scripting tool of the whole OS!

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

  • Working on discourse graph theory :smiley:

  • @ctietze said:
    Oooh, a Plan 9 reference! That's exciting. The 'plumber' sounded like such a cool concept, to tie everything on the computer together via text, sending commands between programs and processes that way. A universal scripting tool of the whole OS!

    Yeah quite pleasing. I even got wikilinks (without .md file extension) to open when clicking.

    And without too much efforts I got:
    - grammar and spelling checkers upon the whole file or juste the current selection
    - backlinks
    - quick access to structure notes.

    What I really like it's the level of customisation, to craft upon your (evolving) workflow.

  • My Zettelkasten now has over 800 Zettels. Logseq, which I have also been playing with, counts 850, but some aren't Zettels. This Zettel is more of an essay than a note.

    Game2024062409 Dream jobs for libertarians

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but the ideal job for a libertarian is tenured-professor.

    The system has been good to me. Very good. I have a dream job for life. I’m expected to teach five hours of class, thirty weeks per year. Unlike many professors, I love teaching; but even if I hated it, 150 hours a year is a light burden. The rest of the time, I think, read, and write about whatever interests me. That’s called “research.” My salary doesn’t make me wealthy, but I wouldn’t trade places with Bill Gates. — (Caplan, 2019)

    Having a dream job for life interests Professor Caplan enough to write about it.

    I have a dream job for life. I get paid to think my thoughts, share my ideas with students, and eat lunch with my best friends. I owe this job to my education; without my Ph.D., I would not be at George Mason University. If I never went to grad school, I might earn more in another line of work, but my job satisfaction would crash.

    I’m apparently atypical. More educated workers are marginally happier with their jobs. For the most part, however, this stems from higher income. When you compare workers with equal incomes but unequal educations, education has no clear effect on job satisfaction. — (Caplan, 2019, p. 134)

    It’s often rational to put your feelings aside, but not at the expense of your career. Following Bernard Gert but pace Immanuel Kant, it can be logical not to be moral.

    Seriously, I harbor no hate for education. Why would I? The system has been exceedingly kind to me. My teachers praised me, top schools accepted me, and a fine university gave me a dream job for life. To fairly evaluate education, I must put personal feelings aside. When I do, education looks grossly overrated. — (Caplan, 2019, p. 275)

    Market forces can transform plums into prunes.

    Strangely, the scariest scenario for me is that my case prevails in the court of public opinion. I teach at Virginia’s largest public university and love what I do. Though I call my academic position a “dream job for life,” it’s not absolutely guaranteed. If taxpayers elected politicians as committed to education austerity as I am, I wouldn’t just say goodbye to a plum job; my beloved circle of nerds would scatter to the four winds. — (Caplan, 2019, p. 287).

    Most authors don’t have the luxury of knowing where their books will be published, even after the first draft. The fix is in.

    You’ll notice this book was published by Oxford University Press, not Nowhere State University Press. That’s no accident—our employers expect us to hit the best presses. — (Brennan & Magness, 2019, p. 26)

    Job protections are for socialists and Политбюро central planners.

    Tenured professors enjoy fabulous job security. They generally can only be fired “for cause,” such as misconduct on the job, or during gross financial emergencies (and then only after all the nontenured faculty and a bunch of administrators have been fired). They also enjoy full rights to faculty governance, the highest status, and the best package of pay and perks. A full professor might make more per week than an adjunct makes per class per semester. — (Brennan & Magness, 2019, p. 26).

    I don’t get it. Wouldn’t libertarians prefer to let the market decide their fate? Am I somehow lacking in “nuance”? It’s fashionable to ascribe this intellectual virtue to oneself.

    Research is even freer. The job description: Research anything you find interesting so long as you can publish it in a good enough peer-reviewed outlet. For instance, our deans didn’t ask us to write this book. We work on this topic because we find it interesting. We can switch to another topic as soon as we get bored. How’s that for a job? — (Brennan & Magness, 2019, pp. 28–29).

    Don’t tell me this employment experience isn’t typical. Status signaling may be involved.

    One reason to target non-buyers is to create envy. As Miller argues, this is the case for many luxury products. “Most BMW ads,” he says, “are not really aimed so much at potential BMW buyers as they are at potential BMW coveters.” When BMW advertises during popular TV shows or in mass-circulation magazines, only a small fraction of the audience can actually afford a BMW. But the goal is to reinforce for non-buyers the idea that BMW is a luxury brand. To accomplish all this, BMW needs to advertise in media whose audience includes both rich and poor alike, so that the rich can see that the poor are being trained to appreciate BMW as a status symbol. — (Simler & Hanson, 2018, pp. 184–185)

    Let’s set aside the need to create envy. As long as we’re on the subject of hidden motives, that is.

    Professors don’t have bosses the way most workers do. Department heads are less like managers and more like suckers working for everyone else’s benefit. Officially, above each professor is a dean, a provost, and/or a president/chancellor. However, faculty contracts contain academic freedom clauses that limit administrative power over faculty research. — (Brennan & Magness, 2019, pp. 28–29)

    That’s why libertarians love markets, the last stage of production. There is no mention of market mechanisms operating during the working day in these dream jobs. Given the catallactic bias that privileges gain from trade in competitive markets over other mechanisms of cooperative benefit, the pronounced emphasis on markets elsewhere in libertarian thought would seem to understate the working conditions of most people. Some of those conditions could be inferred by omission. Most workers don’t enjoy democratic control over their workplaces or freedom from bosses.

    Our authors lament the cost of education, but honest, costly signals in nature are wasteful. If education is eighty percent (80%) costly signaling (and 20% “human capital”), then why wouldn’t it be wasteful, even to the tune of one trillion dollars per year? Employers rationally wouldn’t want to foot that bill—who wants to pay the total cost of production? Proposals to cut the cost of signaling conformity, conscientiousness, and the ability to see pointless struggle through to the end will be marginal at best.

    Honest, costly signals are inevitably subject to arms races. Take grade inflation, a deal between students who don’t want to work that much and professors whose incentives lead them to prefer research to teaching and grading. Our libertarian authors dislike grade inflation, but the student experience of grade inflation exposes students to multi-player games of strategy, an experience that signals to employers a valuable skill that college graduates bring to the workplace. There will typically be more than two players in such games, and coalitions will naturally form, as was evident to von Neumann and Morgenstern in their foundational work on game theory (Von Neumann & Morgenstern, 2007). Employers can’t monitor everything their employees do, but it will benefit employers to know that their employees have experience with cooperative games with transferrable utility. The agreement to do less work for a higher grade is an example. Employers also want their employees to have prior experience with the arms races that accompany costly signals. Our authors have misinterpreted grade inflation.

    SEE ALSO

    [[Game.0000.0000]] Strategic Interaction

    References

    Brennan, J., & Magness, P. W. (2019). Cracks in the ivory tower: the moral mess of higher education. Oxford University Press.

    Caplan, B. D. (2019). The case against education: why the education system is a waste of time and money (First Paperback Edition). Princeton University Press.

    Simler, K., & Hanson, R. (2018). The elephant in the brain: hidden motives in everyday life. Oxford University Press.

    Von Neumann, J., & Morgenstern, O. (2007). Theory of games and economic behavior (60. anniversary ed., 4. printing, and 1. paperback printing). Princeton University Press.

    GitHub. Erdős #2. CC BY-SA 4.0. Problems worthy of attack / prove their worth by hitting back. -- Piet Hein.

  • edited June 24

    @ZettelDistraction said:

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but the ideal job for a libertarian is tenured-professor.

    The system has been good to me. Very good. I have a dream job for life. I’m expected to teach five hours of class, thirty weeks per year. Unlike many professors, I love teaching; but even if I hated it, 150 hours a year is a light burden. The rest of the time, I think, read, and write about whatever interests me. That’s called “research.” My salary doesn’t make me wealthy, but I wouldn’t trade places with Bill Gates. — (Caplan, 2019)

    Penn Jillette (via David Schraub): "Many times when I identified as Libertarian, people said to me, 'It’s just rich white guys that don't want to be told what to do,' and I had a zillion answers to that — and now that seems 100 percent accurate."

  • I am pondering once again whether to switch to a digital method. Like a lot of people, I think in paper best, both because of the tactile nature of it and because to edit something on paper you essentially re-write it, which forces you not to dally with the draft.

    However, it's my intention to (eventually) become either a health librarian or an academic librarian in a university's psychology/social sciences/neuroscience library. This will include returning to university for a master's, as well as refreshing and expanding my psychology/neuroscience knowledge. I also want to compile my existing knowledge on teaching and learning. I think that over the next few years a paper system might become unwieldy very quickly.

    On the other hand, as Luhmann knew and practiced, everything in the social sciences runs into each other all the time, and it's often important to know which branch an idea originally came from in order to interrogate it properly, or explain context within a piece of work. This is where I think the categorization used in the original version would be useful. The system is mutable enough to link Skinner's pigeon experiments with the ironic success of games like Cookie Clicker or why people don't wash their hands despite signs, but it's fixed enough to know that I'll always FIND Skinner under Psychology, Behaviourists (for example). If I'm understanding the original system correctly, which I am probably not.

    I like the paper system because it improves my memory, both in the writing and retrieval, but I have three conditions which affect my memory, so I do see the value of having a portable digital system which I can reference easily - particulary when it comes to art and artists, of which I can never remember the name or the title, which makes it difficult to talk about. Turns out Google can't really help you when you are after a specific abstract piece which was mainly blue and you can't remember which museum you saw it in. I can't wait for AI to read my mind.

    So I'm leaning towards a digital system, as much as I don't enjoy them for writing. Does anyone switch back to paper just for writing? I can see myself writing out the relevant cards that I've already chosen and moving them about that way. I guess I'm looking for a simple linking system that's easy to use and helps my memory.

  • edited June 27

    @hiragi : maybe you should open your own thread on the forum, it would be easier to keep track of answers and we'd keep this weekly thread clean of interference?

    Turns out Google can't really help you when you are after a specific abstract piece which was mainly blue and you can't remember which museum you saw it in. I can't wait for AI to read my mind.

    Can you describe it to me a little more? Maybe I (and other members) can help you?

    I change the subject : what happened into my ZK this week?

    Right now, I'm working to create an indie game with a friend. I create the scenario, the dialogs, the graphical identity, the marketing communication and so on. My ZK really helps me to keep everything in line. I love the "namespace" feature of logsep : the software references every page which name begins with "Name of the project/..." on the main namespace page. I don't have to make hierarchical manuel indexes of what I can find under some branches of my creative tree and it eases the anxiety of loosing tracks of things. I can easily refers to references as well.

    I'm still testing a digital Zettelkasten with Logseq. I will work with it three monthes and I will give my verdict about working with one or an other version. Writing with my fountain pen misses me, while adding medias into my notes is a game changer.

    Bagger 280

    This... monster is the Bagger 280, a Dutch machine, one of the heaviest machine in the world. It inspired some ennemies in NieR Automata, which is one of my main inspirational source for my project among a lot of things. It is higher than the Eiffel Tower (which is so choking for the French woman I am ^^) and can take as many stones than 40 000 manual workers. It is used for finding coal.

    Writing/ 240625210732 What is a good story

    To sup up : Whatever the medium is, a good story is the one which answers to the main question of the reader : "Why should I care?"

    Post edited by Loni on
  • @Loni I've worked most of my life in oil sands mining - your photo of the Bagger 280 reminded me very much of the draglines and bucket wheel excavators in that industry.

    I'm also trying out Logseq and liking it so far. Have you attempted to create a new Logseq "graph" from a directory already containing markdown files / zettels? If so, what has been your experience with that?

  • edited June 27

    So many interesting perspectives! A great benefit of having those who are deeply interested in knowledge work from disparate fields come together on a forum.

    @ZettelDistraction's writing is pointed as usual.

    @hiragi As I understand, the folgezettel is not an outline, though it can be used as such. For example, Scott Scheper is a proponent of using the first four digits of the ID to denote categories. I've personally started thinking that, at least with the technologies of today (e-ink in sorry state, digital UI design not up to my standards, etc.) I will mix and match both an analog and digital system for different purposes and embrace the chaos.

  • edited June 27

    @GeoEng51 I can't imagine of technical and how demanding this field could be. It combines technical knowledge and scientifical one, high responsabilities, knowing laws and regulation. As I am looking for inspiration, what machine or installation impressed you a lot? Do you have a remarkable impression of one of it?

    I'm also trying out Logseq and liking it so far. Have you attempted to create a new Logseq "graph" from a directory already containing markdown files / zettels? If so, what has been your experience with that?

    I use to try this method and I totaly stoped it : it was by far too much frustrating and I totaly missed the potential of Logseq. While Obsidian is more welcoming thanks to its more classical markdown format, Logseq is quite opiniated about the conventions and work more like Org-Mode than a typical markdown editor.

    As I am in a "try and see" approach, I write new notes with Logseq, trying to develop some conventions of mine and a personnal workflow. I import some of my older notes, day after day. It is quite a work, though, it allows me to separating the wheat from the chaff, or to refractor what needs to be. It is a good test of the viability of my Logseq workflow.

  • @Loni said:
    @GeoEng51 I can't imagine of technical and how demanding this field could be. It combines technical knowledge and scientifical one, high responsabilities, knowing laws and regulation. As I am looking for inspiration, what machine or installation impressed you a lot? Do you have a remarkable impression of one of it?

    The original equipment used at Syncrude were huge draglines, which pulled ore off a mine face and stacked it in windrows along the pit crest. A bucketwheel "reclaimer" (a type of excavator) then came along, picked up the ore from the windrow, and transferred it to a long conveyor belt, for transportation to an extraction plant.

    For many years now, Syncrude has used 400 tonne trucks and large hydraulic shovels for mining, but if you visit their site in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada you can still see a dragline and bucket parked beside the highway. Here are some photos:

    The above is the dragline and the bucketwheel reclaimer.

    And this is the bucket for the dragline (with people for scale; thanks to alamy for posting this image on-line). I have a similar photo with 2 pickup trucks parked side by side in the bucket, but I couldn't find it quickly.

    Have you attempted to create a new Logseq "graph" from a directory already containing markdown files / zettels? If so, what has been your experience with that?

    I use to try this method and I totaly stopped it : it was by far too much frustrating and I totaly missed the potential of Logseq. While Obsidian is more welcoming thanks to its more classical markdown format, Logseq is quite opiniated about the conventions and work more like Org-Mode than a typical markdown editor.

    As I am in a "try and see" approach, I write new notes with Logseq, trying to develop some conventions of mine and a personnal workflow. I import some of my older notes, day after day. It is quite a work, though, it allows me to separating the wheat from the chaff, or to refractor what needs to be. It is a good test of the viability of my Logseq workflow.

    I am doing both - trying to create a new "graph" using a folder of existing zettels and separately creating another graph with new material. I'm learning about tags, properties and queries - all are powerful features of Logseq. I find it interesting that tags are treated differently in Logseq than in The Archive. In the latter, the tag is a search term but in Logseq a tag is a new "page" (or note), with a link from the tag to every occurrence in your Logseq database where it is used. It's a different approach and one that works well if you store a lot of information in your daily journal as then all the tagged items are automatically date-stamped.

  • @Loni

    Sorry for any confusion - I'm not actually looking for an artwork, it was an example to demonstrate what I'm doing in my Zettelkasten this week, which is testing both digital and paper versions. I'm trying to work out which is the best for me. I could have much more concise in my comment however; I think I was thinking as I was typing. Thank you for the offer though! :)

    @jiwonac That's an interesting way to do categories. I might play with that. I like the idea of a mixed system, because I enjoy digital inputs and outputs, but the processing for me is just better on paper.

  • @Loni

    Logseq is quite opiniated about the conventions and work more like Org-Mode than a typical markdown editor

    Hmm as an org-mode user, that doesn't sound like a bad thing to me :)

    The prosaically named Bagger 280 reminds me of the surface mining in Germany that I've still not visited, but which must be truly intimidating to watch.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garzweiler_surface_mine

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

Sign In or Register to comment.