I agree this is a powerful approach to focus one's reading for capture of what is important. When studying my past zettels for the purpose of connecting one to others, I notice that many are about "concepts" or "ideas". These often contain more than one of your 6 elements. For instance, one of my zettels could include one or more metaphors plus an argument and a counterargument. I notice the concept, then only later recognize the elements within it. In that sense, could not "concept" be a sort of container for more than one of the elements in your list? Or, does this imply that my zettels are not sufficiently "atomized"?

Thanks Sascha for an excellent primer on the internal machinations of our favorite machines beyond the usual focus on the storage/memory and indexing portions of the process.

Said another way, a zettelkasten is part of a formal logic machine/process. Or alternately, as Markus Krajewski aptly demonstrates in Paper Machines (MIT Press, 2011), they are early analog storage devices in which the thinking and logic operations are done cerebrally (by way of direct analogy to brain and hand:manually) and subsequently noted down which thereby makes them computers.

Just as mathematicians try to break down and define discrete primitives or building blocks upon which they can then perform operations to come up with new results, one tries to find and develop the most interesting "atomic notes" from various sources which they can place into their zettelkasten in hopes of operating on them (usually by juxtaposition, negation, union, etc.) to derive, find, and prove new insights. If done well, these newly discovered ideas can be put back into the machine as inputs to create additional newer and more complex outputs continuously. While the complexity of Lie Algebras is glorious and seems magical, it obviously helps to first understand the base level logic before one builds up to it. The same holds true of zettelkasten.

Now if I could only get the printf portion to work the way I want...

No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them. โUmberto Eco

@chrisaldrich You can't drop "Lie Algebra" like that!!1 -- I don't see the connection you imply from skimming the Wikipedia entry and now I'm curious: what kind of connection did you have in mind there?

which they can place into their zettelkasten in hopes of operating on them (usually by juxtaposition, negation, union, etc.) to derive, find, and prove new insights.

Don't read too much into it. The Lie Algebra reference was just a surface level analogy as I don't expect anyone here to have any experience in the topic beyond knowing that it's a complex and beautiful area of mathematical theory. As you may know it's got some powerful and interesting results, but it's a difficult subject to even begin delving into as it requires a reasonably high level understanding of the areas of analysis, complex analysis, abstract algebras, topology, matrix theory and linear operators. All of these may take several years of graduate study before you can begin to dip your toes into the complexities of Lie Algebras. I think that most are still just trying to get some of the basics of zettelkasten much less the deeper implications it may have. Perhaps one day we'll run across the Sophus Lie or รvariste Galois of the advanced zettelkasten space? Or maybe the Langlands-Zettelkasten program?!

No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them. โUmberto Eco

## Comments

Do you tag zettels by the type of information they have in them? Or at intra-textual tags?

Dear physicians, please...

It's physicists

Haha. @ctietze

I am a Zettler

Fixed Thanks!

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

I agree this is a powerful approach to focus one's reading for capture of what is important. When studying my past zettels for the purpose of connecting one to others, I notice that many are about "concepts" or "ideas". These often contain more than one of your 6 elements. For instance, one of my zettels could include one or more metaphors plus an argument and a counterargument. I notice the concept, then only later recognize the elements within it. In that sense, could not "concept" be a sort of container for more than one of the elements in your list? Or, does this imply that my zettels are not sufficiently "atomized"?

Thanks Sascha for an excellent primer on the internal machinations of our favorite machines beyond the usual focus on the storage/memory and indexing portions of the process.

Said another way, a zettelkasten is part of a formal logic machine/process. Or alternately, as Markus Krajewski aptly demonstrates in

Paper Machines(MIT Press, 2011), they are early analog storage devices in which the thinking and logic operations are done cerebrally (by way of direct analogy to brain and hand:manually) and subsequently noted down which thereby makes them computers.Just as mathematicians try to break down and define discrete primitives or building blocks upon which they can then perform operations to come up with new results, one tries to find and develop the most interesting "atomic notes" from various sources which they can place into their zettelkasten in hopes of operating on them (usually by juxtaposition, negation, union, etc.) to derive, find, and prove new insights. If done well, these newly discovered ideas can be put back into the machine as inputs to create additional newer and more complex outputs continuously. While the complexity of Lie Algebras is glorious and seems magical, it obviously helps to first understand the base level logic before one builds up to it. The same holds true of zettelkasten.

Now if I could only get the

`printf`

portion to work the way I want...website | digital slipbox ๐๏ธ๐๏ธ

@chrisaldrich You can't drop "Lie Algebra" like that!!1 -- I don't see the connection you imply from skimming the Wikipedia entry and now I'm curious: what kind of connection did you have in mind there?

Your enumeration of basic operations spawned a couple of new ideas for my recent atomicity explanation project:

https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/2646/more-programmer-nonsense-re-atomicity-writing-and-thinking

Thanks!

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

Don't read too much into it. The Lie Algebra reference was just a surface level analogy as I don't expect anyone here to have any experience in the topic beyond knowing that it's a complex and beautiful area of mathematical theory. As you may know it's got some powerful and interesting results, but it's a difficult subject to even begin delving into as it requires a reasonably high level understanding of the areas of analysis, complex analysis, abstract algebras, topology, matrix theory and linear operators. All of these may take several years of graduate study before you can begin to dip your toes into the complexities of Lie Algebras. I think that most are still just trying to get some of the basics of zettelkasten much less the deeper implications it may have. Perhaps one day we'll run across the Sophus Lie or รvariste Galois of the advanced zettelkasten space? Or maybe the Langlands-Zettelkasten program?!

website | digital slipbox ๐๏ธ๐๏ธ