Am I putting too much in my notes?
Hi, I am Wanderley and that is my first time here in the forum. I failed to implement Zettelkasten few times, until I read How to Take Smart Notes from Ahrens. Things clicked in mind and (at least) I feel comfortable with my notes.
I wrote 4 notes and I would like some feedback in my last one. My questions are: (1) Am I putting too much in my notes? (2) Should I break this type of note in a small summary of the idea and other notes with applications?
Separation of Concerns
Separation of concerns is a method to deal with complexity by breaking it into pieces that individually have less complexity than the original one.
The method dates back from ancient Greece. In the book Measurement of a Circle, Archimedes (287-212 BE) proves the area of a circle by slicing it into an infinite series of triangle, and then reassembling them to form an (approximated) rectangle (strogatz_infinite_2019, 7). This method is called "The Infinity Principle" and lives in the heart of differential and integral calculus.
For Dijkstra (dijkstra_thought_1974), separation of concerns is a characteristic of "intelligent thinking" where a subject is analyzed one aspect at a time. It doesn't mean that the other aspects aren't important, but rather from one aspect's point of view the other aspect is irrelevant. The method brings order to thoughts and facilitates discovery of helpful and useful concepts.
In computer programming, the separation of concerns is a design principle to attempt reducing complexity of programs. A program is separated into smaller sections that deal with specific concerns of the program (Computerworld Oct 12, 1981, Wikipedia). Divide and conquer algorithms (Wikipedia), another application of the method, use the same idea with the restriction that the parts are instances of the original problem but smaller. The smaller parts, at some point, become trivial to solve and combine them to solve bigger ones.
In politics and military strategy the method is called divide and rule. Both are concerned of gaining and maintaining power by breaking large concentration of power into pieces that individually have less power than the original one.
The method is the base of structured processes for management and creative thinking:
Getting Things Done (GTD) is a time management method that breaks the complex execution of projects in well-defined steps (concerns): capture, process and execution.
Feynam's method (Internet) breaks the process of learning (complexity) a concept in four distinct steps (concerns): select a concept you want to learn, pretend you are teaching it, find the gaps, review and simplify.
In How to Take Smart Notes, Ahrens argues that the best way to deal with complexity is to break things down on simple parts (ahrens2017htsn, 9 and 130). He explains a process for note-taking that breaks knowledge acquisition (complexity) into and easier and well-defined steps (concerns): read, write and connect.
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