Is there an inverse for the collector's fallacy?
Thank you for this forum. My first post here but have spent a lot of time reading the thoughtful posts by others.
I'd like to discuss the collector's fallacy, which I think is a good observation. Mindless hoarding simply creates dissonance when we need to engage with the material that we have collected.
On the other hand, can there be a case for the opposite - maybe call it The Salience Fallacy?
I've been maintaining something vaguely resembling a zettelkasten for several years. I've observed that I sometimes clip an interesting idea, that I know nothing about. I think I clip it because its novel (or perhaps I have an instinct that it is somehow related to my interests...) then I forget about it. Then something interesting happens. I start spotting the same idea in the wild, and eventually what started as a random, unknown piece of information, slowly integrates into my existing understanding of a subject.
Example: Covert Attention (psych) clipped in 2016 - which I knew nothing about, connects to a note on Attention Schema Theory, which I wrote a few days ago. I think this is more than coincidence because I see this happening often.
Does finding something I don't understand, kick off a pattern-spotting routine until I eventually collect enough pieces to grokk the subject?
Can I treat my own attention as the first level of filtration? i.e My very noticing of some idea as novel constitutes the first level of filtering from the ocean of ideas that is outside my zettelkasten. (Why did I find the idea interesting in the first place? Maybe this - https://simplicitytheory.telecom-paris.fr/ )
The second level of filtration is the act of clipping it. Intentional activity on my part, when I could have just ignored it.
Perhaps this very act primes me to recognize similar/related information when I see it out in the world, and eventually, there is a bottom-up process of the idea being fleshed out over time.
So even in 'blind' collection and hoarding, there seems to be some implicit filtration.
So the question is:
By invoking the collector's fallacy as a heuristic when collecting information, will we block out the potential for such randomness to take place? Is salience a gradient rather than binary - important/unimportant.
BTW, I understand that the point of a zettelkasten is to have a place where ideas are summed up in your own words, ideally atomised. In my case, I use a wiki like notebook (zim-wiki) and I have two folders - one called ARCHIVE which holds web-clippings, slightly annotated. The other called Zet which holds only notes written, summarised by me. I heavily link to ARCHIVE though because of the number of ideas in there.
The observation of salience is related to my ARCHIVE (web-clippings) folder. My Zet folder is very small because I really have to think through what I'm putting in there and write it out, while my ARCHIVE holds several times more information.
Also, there is a good chance I haven't thought this through yet and am hoping to use you as my external brain
Anyway, what do you think?
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