# 2nd Edition of the book (German) gets rewritten

• I am changing all exercises to demonstrations. The nature of the matter does not seem to allow for exercises because exercises need feedback. Either they are self-correcting or somebody is correcting (or reinforcing). But its fine. Just a change of presentation of what I already wrote.

I am a Zettler

• I decided to reduce the variety of texts for the demonstrations. My priority is to make sure that the connection between the source text and the note text is understandable for any reader. So, I can't process texts which need special background knowledge. (neuro science will not be demonstrated)

Some examples however will be from all kinds of source texts.

But I'd think it is more rational to trust a neuro scientist to adapt the ZKM to his/her needs than to burden first semester students, novel writers etc.

I am a Zettler

• @Sascha said:
I decided to reduce the variety of texts for the demonstrations. My priority is to make sure that the connection between the source text and the note text is understandable for any reader. So, I can't process texts which need special background knowledge. (neuro science will not be demonstrated)

It makes sense and it's reasonable. Are you covering the need of a non-specialist trying to capture the essence (for them) out of a specialist paper?
What if I am not an Artificial Intelligence expert but I've found a paper talking about a breakthrough in neural network algorithms and I want to capture it? How could your book help them?
Thanks.

• @Massimo_Curatella said:

@Sascha said:
I decided to reduce the variety of texts for the demonstrations. My priority is to make sure that the connection between the source text and the note text is understandable for any reader. So, I can't process texts which need special background knowledge. (neuro science will not be demonstrated)

It makes sense and it's reasonable. Are you covering the need of a non-specialist trying to capture the essence (for them) out of a specialist paper?
What if I am not an Artificial Intelligence expert but I've found a paper talking about a breakthrough in neural network algorithms and I want to capture it? How could your book help them?
Thanks.

I can't. If you want to capture the essence out of specialist's papers you need either trust a specialist who explains it to you and attribute the explanation to him or become enough of an expert to capture the essence yourself.

So, I won't and the book (no book!) won't help neither.

I am a Zettler

• @Sascha said:

I can't. If you want to capture the essence out of specialist's papers you need either trust a specialist who explains it to you and attribute the explanation to him or become enough of an expert to capture the essence yourself.

So, I won't and the book (no book!) won't help neither.

Let me try from another angle.

If I don't know something, I have to first understand it so I can memorize the key concepts and connect them to what I already know. And the best outcome should be my improved decision-making skills.

How can I use the ZKM to improve my learning process when I am reading an information source about which I am not an expert?

I can imagine the answer "study the field, take a specialization, etc." so I would ask "can I use the ZKM to study?".

The answer is, "yes, of course, but it is just a method to capture and connect knowledge, if you don't build a foundation before facing advanced concepts, how a "simple" workflow could help you?

So I would try to focus better my question: what are the techniques the ZKM offers to improve my learning process?

(I think I am not convincing my self, either, I was about to delete this post. Let's make it rest a few hours to see if it is worth or not. Thanks for your exchange, let me know if I am bothering you. 8-)

• Ah. This is a completely different thing.

Then the answer is yes. Using the Zettelkasten Method is identical with learning. Technically, the ZKM is not so much about capturing but about processing. The capturing is rather an obligatory mean and not so much the point and aim of the ZKM.

So, implicitely the answer to the question is already in the book: Set up the raw structure (notes) in your Zettelkasten and use it as a canvas. But I anticipate people smacking my head because I didn't give the templates for "structural learning zettel" or something like that.

I'll give more explicit details in the Q&A section.

Today, I am writing a template for a type of note that regular emerges in my own work: Structure note on a archtype. This reminded me of the issue of templates. The template for a note is already given. It is the three part picture (header, content, references) in the introduction.

Useful templates are based on models that map specific parts of the world. I am writing a template for archetypes based on my own model that I use to analyse archetypes which is based on quite some background work:

• Theory on mythologems
• Archetypology
• Ikonography
• Some basics on attention and behavioral science
• Some of my earliest work on metaphysics (I was 18/19. So, this work is *raw" (~sloppy..)

The model is very simple. This is a scheme for the archetype:

2021-02-10-archetyp-mythologem-eigenschaft.png

This is how it looks in my Zettelkasten:

The template is rather simple:

Archetype
Mythologems
Traits


This simple three item list is a reminder for me to use the three-level-model of mine. I follow the method I developed to guide my work. To make this template really shareable, I'd have to give all the background explanation and even then the template would be useful to just a small fraction of people. Additionally, the template is just a reminder for something that can be recalled with confidence. Not a helpful tool for something that is barely understood.

I have a general template for notes but its rather a teaching tool that is not practical for the daily work. But still, it is based on models of knowledge and surely not based on some Zettelkasten Orthodoxy. That means that you need to understand the flow of truth (e.g. how an argument transfers truth from one set of statements to another), the intimate relationship between arguments and evidence (e.g. How to marry rationalism and empiricism to breed beautiful children of knowledge).

That is the reason I am quite critical of note templates. I think is the solution is to develop a process of teaching people to develop their own templates. This poses quite some set of challenges.

I am a Zettler

• Manuscript is finished. Now, it is on Christian's table to be edited. (I know he likes editing "VERY MUCH"..)

I am a Zettler

I am a Zettler

• @Sascha

Another ZK noob here......

And another person that is very excited about getting your book (English version) and taking your course.

Hope to see both in near future.

Thank you for doing this!

Mark

• @ArchiMark said:
@Sascha

Another ZK noob here......

And another person that is very excited about getting your book (English version) and taking your course.

Hope to see both in near future.

Thank you for doing this!

Mark

Thanks for the kind words. If you subscribe to our newsletter you might have the opportunity to be part of the beta-phase of the course which is basically planned as an extensive seminar/workshop with in person teaching (not 1on1, though) by me.

I processed the first comments by @ctietze and I am happy to say that the quality seems to be highly improved compared to the first version. At least he seems to be happy.

Overly dramatic mode:

Saving one person means saving the whole world.

I am a Zettler

• @Sascha

You're welcome.

I subscribed to the newletter.....so glad to be part of beta phase!

• edited April 2021

I finished proof-reading 9/28 chapter files (of varying length) thus far. In the last one, processing was the main topic, aka creating notes from books. I really liked how @Sascha described the process of note-taking in a linear fashion, and created my own Zettel from it with the following ASCII art to show that you can process a book from start to finish in a linear fashion and still get a systematic overview through iterations on the Zettel you create in the process:

                   Book from page 1 to page N

╠════●═════════════◊════════●════════════════════●════□═════════════╣
│             │        │             │      │    │
│             │        │             │      │    │
│             │        │             │      │    │
│             ▽        │             ▽      │    ▽
create       ┌─────┐     │          ┌─────┐   │ ┌─────┐
│          │  B  │     │          │  C  │   │ │  D  │
│          └─────┘     │          └─────┘   │ └─────┘
│                      │                    │
▼                      │                    │
┌─────┐◀──extend & rename─┘                    │
│  A  │◀──────extend───────────────────────────┘
└─────┘


Note A is created early on and then rewritten and renamed and extended in the process with info from much later in the book.

Post edited by ctietze on

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

• Dang. This illustration will be included in the book!

It drives the point home.

I am a Zettler

• 10/28 done. The things in this chapter produced a couple questions for my own ZK practice: how much of the relevancy of this note do I need to explicitly point out? "This recipe is relevant because I like to not starve" is probably too much, but maybe some notes would benefit from a short explanation why they exist.

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

• Relevancy is, btw., one of the key elements in transforming information into knowledge.

This is one of my primary observations from my coaching practice: The majority of people do not lack in understanding the Zettelkasten Method per se. They miss the part of actually producing and working with knowledge instead of information. It is like to learn to build a brick wall but with no bricks around and no intention to learn to craft bricks out of clay.

I am a Zettler

• 11/28 done, and then some. (Entered the part where best practices apparently start, but am not through, so not much to report, yet.)

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

• edited May 2021

13/28 done. This part was about good practices of writing Zettel. One of the tips that stood out to me had to do with atomicity; in recent years, I found practicing the separation of observation and interpretation to be fruitful, for example. It made writing concise notes easier, and it also made re-use of notes easier, because even if I didn't agree with someone's interpretation, I could reference their observations. Can't stress that enough!

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

• What is the latest regarding an English translation? I lost track in amongst all the interesting conversations.

I remember a discussion about you both getting someone else to do the translation. In my humble opinion, in reading the comments on this forum about the German version you both write in English, I think that working on the translation yourself would be perfect. In fact, I would encourage you not to have anyone in between what you want you have thought about and written in German. The translation has her/his interpretation of your text in German. I, as the reader, want to get inside of your head.

Just my two cents or pfennig or Euros.

• the issue is not that we couldn't translate the book ourselves. The issue is that we both see it not as the best use of our time. You can estimate the extend of my English capactiy if you compare my blogpost with my forum posts. My written English is definetely not good enough and it is time consuming as duck for me.

The current iteration is to create a machine translation, proof read it and then go into a beta phase.

But in fact, if a publisher would offer me a good deal, I'd take it because I try to maximise my time spent on actually writing (creating) and editing (improving on what is created) instead of filling my day with auxiliary work.

I am a Zettler

• Hi @Sascha

Thanks for the explanation and for bringing me up to date about the translation project. As a Japanese>English translator myself, I appreciate that translation is no easy task and requires a lot of time and effort.

I think your written English is very clear and enjoyable to read - both in the forum posts and blog. In fact, much of what I have learned about Zettelkasten is from your writing. I am sure others in this would agree. Though, as you explained, English is not the main concern.

I am glad you are open to a publishing deal to enable you to spend time on the writing and editing of the book. In place of offering information about possible publishers, I have bought books by donating to the book's crowd-funded project.

• Finished a section about good links. Nothing no-spoiler-y to share here

A demo is next, and I'm 50% done with it. We talked about demonstrations for the video course a while back, and it's not that hard to actually record something on video, cut it, and insert it into the course material. People can follow along, pause, rewind, and always see the full picture of everything. But writing is much harder, I find. Focus on the content that is written, then readers have to translate this into "what does this mean in my app?"; focus on the app, then the actual intention gets muddier.

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

• edited June 2021

@Sascha said:
I have a general template for notes but its rather a teaching tool that is not practical for the daily work. But still, it is based on models of knowledge and surely not based on some Zettelkasten Orthodoxy. That means that you need to understand the flow of truth (e.g. how an argument transfers truth from one set of statements to another), the intimate relationship between arguments and evidence (e.g. How to marry rationalism and empiricism to breed beautiful children of knowledge).

That is the reason I am quite critical of note templates. I think is the solution is to develop a process of teaching people to develop their own templates. This poses quite some set of challenges.

Hi @Sascha, aside from the upcoming material, where can we learn about this? (note: I don't have background in philosophy) I've started to hate my notes for having links that only contain "This is similar to..."

Post edited by alkhan on
• @alcantal

I pulled many sources together and still push to learn about this topic since this is basic knowledge and skill for my work. My sources are from the following fields

• Philosophy of science
• Philosophy of knowledge
• Neurology
• Sociology of science
• History of science
• Logic
• Psychology

When I studied philosophy of science I was disappointed that those academics didn't want to learn about science to create tools and work with scientists, engineers etc. to get some practice. So, I developed practical tools (to test coherence of theories, underlying truth definitions, use time in an abstract ontological sense to test strength of claims etc.) on my own. Those are tools to use ontological categories like time, space and category (inception..) with the psychological states of the thinker in mind.

Example: You can approach a matter with a mechanistic-analytic mindset or with a more organic-holistic one. If you can marry both you can utilise both sides of the brain instead of pushing all your chips to the left (what the majority of scientists and western people do).

A very great example on a man who manages to have a balanced approach (I assume that this is just the way he thinks and no conscious decision) is Pavel Tsatsaouline:

He is perfectly capable of separating the phenomenon (the optimal sets and reps) from any theoretical reasoning behind it. He is very capable of doing it but he doesn't which is the right choice in this situation. He is a skilled thinker. (Is awesome accent helps with his presentation )

I think my personal tools (with obscure names like the "lindy-test" or "the hill-model") will never get published since I don't have time for this.

So, what can I say? Dive deep into the above mentioned fields, analyse other peoples texts and thoughts by it and always try to create something useful instead of just collecting theories. Then you'll be fine.

I am a Zettler

• edited June 2021

The last chapter was about examples, from text to notes. That's a topic that's severely lacking all over the web, so I really enjoyed these -- esp. since I didn't know the texts that were processed. That's all I can say without spoilers

16/28 parts finished. @Sascha is also catching up resolving my comments. (Drumroll to stress the excitement)

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

• I started reading Theory and Reality based on your (@Sascha) list, and have started to (roughly) see what you mean by "mechanistic-analytic," but have yet to grasp the meaning — and especially the practical implication — of "organic-holistic" approach, as well as the other tools you talked about.

Can you give a few specific examples of applying these approaches and tools? (e.g. mechanistic-analytic vs organic-holistic)

• What is Theory and Reality?

I am a Zettler

• Just a little teaser:

This is a sketch for one of the visualisations in the book. Each pilar represents one quadrant of the Luhmann-Matrix (Barbell Method of Reading). I use it to demonstrate why and how the Barbell Method leads to major improvements of energy and time allocation when introduced into ones workflow.

The front pilars are easy/unuseful and difficult/unuseful. The pilars in the back are difficult/useful and easy/useful. Explanations how these ratios emerge are give, of course.

I am a Zettler

The manuscript has grown to 70k words.

I am a Zettler

• Teaser of the day:

If we initially created the systematics outside of the slip box, we were actually doing exactly what we wanted to avoid: We took care of the systematization of knowledge ourselves instead of using the integrated thinking environment.

I am a Zettler

• I like the statement. It's not that different, though, than those who start each zettel from a structure note - setting up the systemization of their knowledge before they even write their zettels. However, they seem to get by just fine, later connecting zettels in a more "organic" manner, and their ZK presumably evolves despite the early systemization.