Zettelkasten Forum


Share with us what is happening in your ZK this week. May 3, 2024

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. 🫵🏼

I'm still interested in connecting via Zoom for a chat if you want.

Ideas I'm exploring with my ZK and why I'm here:

  • I'm wrapping up the final project for this term. Once done, I'm going to hit the #proofing section of my zettelkasten. I'm shifting my focus from reading to writing in the fall term.
  • Food Reading - I've enjoyed a run of foodie books. They are starting to get under my skin in a good way.
  • Samu Practice is something I've done for 15 years without much reflection. I'm changing that.

Books I'm reading:

  • Sertillanges, A. G. and Ryan, Mary. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. 1987. PDF [[202402140719]]
  • Doty, M. (2010). The art of description: World into word. Graywolf Press. Kindle [[202403201942]]
  • Kear, Nicole C. Now I See You [[202405020946]]: first edition, St. Martin's Press, 2014.
  • Doczi, György. The Power Of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture. Shambhala, 1981. Physical [[202404231538]]

Ear Candy - Music I'm listening to:

Top 100 Tags.

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

  • Ideas I'm exploring with my ZK:

    • A dedicated workflow to harmonise writing a book, blogging and Zettelkasten work.
    • Branding
    • Training efficiency (how to optimise volume per minute of training time)

    Books I'm reading:

    • Dea Mortis - Andreas Gößling (Artwork by HR Giger)

    Music I'm listening to:

    • Phonk, when my daughter is throwing a fit.
    • Still going strong: Fantasy Gaming music.

    I am a Zettler

  • Zettelkasten work:

    I'm still working away at my weekly StoryWorth posts, which takes a combination of searching through and using existing zettels, and creating new ones.

    Reading:

    I'm reading "The Fourth Turning is Here" by Neil Howe, a fascinating book about cycles of behaviour and events in societies.

  • edited May 3

    Ideas I'm exploring with my ZK and why I'm here:

    • Human dignity in the teaching of John Paul II
    • Entering literature notes for my currently reading (mostly)
    • Other miscellaneous stuff as it occurs to me
    • Refining my workflow as I get ready to start a doctoral program in July.

    Books I'm reading:

    • Just finished George Weigel, Witness to Hope: the biography of John Paul II
    • Servais Pinkaers, Sources of Christian Ethics
    • Thomas Gallagher, Assault in Norway

    Ear Candy - Music I'm listening to:
    You never know with me, but today it was

    • Rich Mullins (his whole catalog on shuffle as I did some work around the house this morning)
    • Eric Genuis this evening. Just discovered this contemporary classical composer today. So far, I am impressed.
  • I've worked on the Markdown highlighter of The Archive to iron out some kinks this week. I picked that task between working on the ZK book manuscript because it's on the shorter side of things to do and is a huge enabler -- for example of semantic editing, and accessing this information in scripts/plugins later.

    I apparently learned a ton of low-level things, also about data structures and algorithms in the meantime, I notice: this change increases code clarity a lot (developer happiness :) and also long-term maintainability), reduces bugs and memory issues by avoiding certain dangerous situations altogether, and even increases performance!

    So that's all good news for the next release the app.

    Markdown highlighting is a gnarly topic, but each time I touch the code, I get a better understanding of what needs to be done to make this good, and better, over time.

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

  • edited May 5

    I have been typesetting old, handwritten math notes in LaTeX and adding them with revisions to my ZK. Now I read mathematics "top down." It would have been helpful if someone had mentioned this when I was a student. I came to it later. There is a statement in the 3rd Edition of "Foundations of Probability Theory," by Olav Kallenberg.

    The first thing you need to know is that studying any more advanced text in mathematics requires an approach different from the usual one. When reading a novel, you start reading from page 1, and after a few days or weeks, you come to an end, at which time you will be familiar with all the characters and have a good overview of the plot. This approach never works in math, except for the most elementary texts. Instead, it is crucial to adopt a top-down approach, where you first try to acquire a general overview and then gradually work your way down to the individual theorems until you finally reach the level of proofs and their logical structure. -- [@kallenbergFoundationsModernProbability2021, p. 1]

    Kallenberg also suggests learning proofs before doing exercises and that "the only way to learn how to prove your theorems is to gather experience by studying dozens or hundreds of proofs." The ZK seems suited to recording the process, though typesetting much more than the turning points of an argument in LaTeX is time-consuming.

    I have a conjecture based on computer-generated examples and probably too many projects.

    Post edited by ZettelDistraction on

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

  • I've completed the tools for quick capture into Obsidian's daily notes, from text to any kind of media, both on mobile and desktop, in an attempt to replicate Roam's daily note workflow.

    What works:

    • I'm journaling and capturing more, which is great as it helps me be more present and attentive to interesting stuff on a daily basis. This is the main win I was looking for.
    • My Shortcuts / Keyboard Maestro macros work suprisingly well thanks to Obsidian being text-based and the ability to modify files directly in the background; I am genuinely able to capture stuff on the fly.

    What doesn't work:

    • Journaling and capturing more means more processing and more time to write notes for future me. Time I do not have. That was my main worry going into this.

    What I need to do next

    • Work on my OCD / perfectionism. I have to accept that not everything is pristine, not everything is perfectly written, not everything is captured even. Raw input works.
    • For this, I have yet to find a way to make that content retrievable and actionable later (with tags possibly or links to tag pages).
    • I am hoping that this outpour of content is only due to the first days of adopting that workflow which unclogs my brain. After so many things on my mind will have been written down and parked, hopefully the flow will be reduced a little.

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    PKM: Obsidian + DEVONthink, tasks: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

  • edited May 6

    @ZettelDistraction I'm working through a text that is written like a textbook in maths. Can you maybe share more of what the naive approach and a top-down approach would look like?

    I know what reading from front to back feels like, and that it doesn't work well with the text I'm looking at :) So I believe I know the bad state of things. But I'm not sure what the ideal approach is like.

    For example I encounter paragraphs of definitions, dozens of them on 2 pages. Putting each of these into the ZK would provide me with a space to discuss implications, maybe. I have no experience with doing that, though -- as I don't have had the experience of working through the next 10 pages, say.

    What to look out for?

    What does a productive way to process mathematical texts look like?


    Edit: I found the Kallenberg book's chapter preview that include the reading tips: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-61871-1_1

    It really only two paragraphs, dang :)

    The first thing you need to know is that the study of any more advanced text in mathematics requires an approach different from the usual one. When reading a novel you start reading from page 1, and after a few days or weeks you come to the end, at which time you will be familiar with all the characters and have a good overview of the plot. This approach never works in math, except for the most elementary texts. Instead it is crucial to adopt a top-down approach, where you first try to acquire a general overview, and then gradually work your way down to the individual theorems, until finally you reach the level of proofs and their logical structure.

    The inexperienced reader may feel tempted to skip the proofs, trying instead a few of the exercises. I would rather suggest the opposite. It is from the proofs you learn how to do math, which may be regarded as a major goal of the graduate studies. If you forgot the precise conditions in the statement of a theorem, you can always look them up, but the only way to learn how to prove your own theorems is to gather experience by studying dozens or hundreds of proofs. Here again it is important to adopt a top-down approach, always starting to look for the crucial ideas that make the proof ‘work’, and then gradually breaking down the argument into minor details and eventually perhaps some calculation. Some details are often left to the reader, suggesting an abundance of useful and instructive exercises, to identify and fill in all the little gaps implicit in the text

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

  • edited May 7

    @ctietze

    How would this look? Ordinarily, you would start by outlining the theorems proved in the text to understand the statements.

    An aside. Some people believe you need to solve problems to understand the statements. Yes and no. Neither physics nor mathematics could advance very far if that were a requirement. You'll hear this in introductory undergraduate courses in physics where the professor turns to the class and says with the utmost moral conviction, "Unless you can solve the problems, you don't understand physics." This attitude is OK for getting through undergraduate physics in the professor's course but can lead to counterproductive habits later. The professor could only have done original research by puzzling over the physical and mathematical formulation of the research question (unless this was a known, open problem) and how to prove it. Does that mean the professor "didn't understand physics" while doing research? At that level, a physicist, computer scientist, theoretical engineer, or mathematician operates with a predictive framework. For that, see "How to become a successful physicist" (Physics Today 75, 9, 46 (2022); https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.5082).

    We'll need an example, though not so advanced.

    Let's assume we're reading "Primes of the form $(x^2+ny^2)$," 2nd Edition, by David A. Cox, and that we have an outline of the theorems proved in the first chapter of the book, including the first theorem, which is that for an odd prime $(p)$, $(p=x^2 + y^2)$ for integers $(x,y)$ if and only if $(p\equiv1\mod4)$. Now, we go through the proof of the first theorem.

    Prof Cox outlines the proof for the reader in two steps: a descent step and a reciprocity step. We won't have that luxury, in general. He does the descent step first and states it as a Lemma.

    Lemma. Suppose that $(N)$ is a sum of two relatively prime squares and that $(q=x^2 + y^2)$ is a prime divisor of $(N)$. Then, $(N/q)$ is a sum of two relatively prime squares.

    Suppose we go through the proof of this Lemma and come to a statement we don't follow. If we proceed top-down and are still getting a general idea of the proof, we must accept and return to the statement later. We should overcome the urge to prove the statement immediately if we don't see why it's true.

    But let's succumb to the urge anyway to illustrate the kind of thing to avoid until it's time. The proof begins with setting $(N=a^ 2+b^2)$, where $(a)$ and $(b)$ are relatively prime.

    At the descent step, suppose that $(p)$ is an odd prime and that $(p| N=a^2 + b^2)$ with $((x,y)=1)$. If we change $(a)$ and $(b)$ by multiples of $(p)$, we still have $(p|a^2+b^2)$. We cannot help thinking to ourselves, "Sure, for any $(h,k\in\mathbb{Z})$, $(p|N'= (a-hp)^2 + (b-kp)^2)$. But then we come to, "We may assume that $(|a|,|b|< p/2)$" and stop dead in our tracks.

    We're supposed to pass over this and come back to it. Instead, we spin our wheels until we nail the details, however long that takes. (Pretend it takes an embarrassingly long time.)

    At last we write, "By Euclid, $(a = hp + r)$ for $(0<r<p)$. Since $(p)$ is odd, $(r\in [1,p/2)\cup(p/2, p-1])$. If $(p/2 <r< p)$, then $(p-a=(-h)p+p-r)$ where $(0<p-r<p/2)$. Hence, we may replace $(a)$ with $(a'=p-a+hp=-a+(h+1)p)$, where $(|a'|<p/2)$. Likewise for $(|b|)$."

    Following Kallenberg's advice to turn verifications into problems, we want to do this eventually. This example may be too elementary, but it is suggestive.

    There was another description about learning advanced mathematics from the top down, but this had to do with learning algebraic topology, and I am still looking for this again.

    Post edited by ZettelDistraction on

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

  • I was in vacations this week and I've learnt a lot about making a garden into a really dry environnement. I wrote about cacti, succulent plants, citrus trees, aloes and agaves. I'm home and I just bought my first Echeveria Agavoid. I'll keep it seperate from my massive Orchid (which gives me no flower but has some little finger sized roots and leaves as big as my forearm - I call her "MyGirl") to keep it from too much humidity. His name is Smally.

    I am looking for A6 watercolor paper to add an herbarium and handmade illustrations into my ZK.

    I bought my first fountain pen, a simple Waterman Allure with a fine nib. I am pleased by the writing, comfortable and beautiful on my Bristol paper. I really want to test a Kaweco Sport and a Sailor 1911 to compare, with a better ink. I know I will end up collecting many of pens.

    I spent a wonderful bittersweet moment with Neil Gaiman, reading his "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" novel. I have some interesting notes to extract from my journal to incorpore into my ZK.

  • It's good you are aware of what you are setting yourself up for with fountain pens. They can be addicting. After about 12 years, I've calmed down and settled into 3-4 pens I use regularly.

  • @CPMoellering said:
    It's good you are aware of what you are setting yourself up for with fountain pens. They can be addicting. After about 12 years, I've calmed down and settled into 3-4 pens I use regularly.

    It's small, beautiful and, well... usefull. I know I'll trick myself, especially since I can use them for drawing. May I ask you which ones do you keep and what are their advantages?

  • edited May 14

    Another ID switch. My new IDs have a one- to five-letter alphabetic keyword followed by a timestamp. For backward compatibility in Zettlr with the previous IDs, my regex for new and old IDs is the following: the new pattern is the first alternative (\w{1,5}\d{13,}), and the old pattern is the nutty, harebrained, somewhat unhinged second alternative
    ((\w{1,5}\.)(\w{1,4}\.)+\w{4}).

    The entire, backward-compatible regex defined in my ZK editor Zettlr is:

    ((\w{1,5}\d{13,})|((\w{1,5}\.)(\w{1,4}\.)+\w{4}))

    The filename generation pattern is ID%Y%M%D%h, where I replace ID with a keyword when creating a new note. Changing the ID portion on file creation ensures that I don't have to go back and rename files. I was doing this with the previous system, which led to filename inconsistencies and overhead to fix this.

    Four Zettlr "macro snippets" handle YAML and the minimal note format. For a new note, the snippet macro has two editable fields, ${1:ID} and ${2:title}, in which the number indicates the order in which each editable field should be updated wherever it occurs in the document. This macro follows my note template, available on my GitHub at http://github.com/flengyel/Zettel.

    ---
    title: ${1:ID}$CURRENT_YEAR$CURRENT_MONTH$CURRENT_DATE$CURRENT_HOUR ${2:title}
    reference-section-title: References
    ---
    # ${1:ID}$CURRENT_YEAR$CURRENT_MONTH$CURRENT_DATE$CURRENT_HOUR ${2:title}
    
    ## SEE ALSO
    $0
    

    Notice that the complete ID matches the value of the file generation pattern.

    The remaining three macro snippets modify older notes to conform to the note template pattern above.

    1. SEE ALSO. Most of the older notes don't have a SEE ALSO section near the end, where title-only Wikilinks followed by hashtags go. The SEE ALSO section immediately precedes the References section.
    ## SEE ALSO
    $0
    
    1. References. In case the reference-section-title YAML variable is missing from the YAML header of an old note.
    reference-section-title: References
    
    1. url-to-markdown. I use this to prevent MarkdownLint from flagging URLs.
    [${1:URL}](${1:URL})
    

    In other news

    The Pandoc $(\LaTeX)$ template file template.tex now includes the YAML variable documentclass-format-options to add options to the \documentclass $(\LaTeX)$ command. I wanted equation numbers on the left instead of on the right. The updated template.tex is available on my GitHub at http://github.com/flengyel/Zettel.

    In other other news

    In addition to a mathematics crusade (you are spared the details), I'm reading Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will by Robert M. Sapolsky. Naturally, I agree with him and cannot choose otherwise.

    Did you say fountain pen?

    @Loni said:
    I bought my first fountain pen, a simple Waterman Allure with a fine nib. I am pleased by the writing, comfortable and beautiful on my Bristol paper. I really want to test a Kaweco Sport and a Sailor 1911 to compare, with a better ink. I know I will end up collecting many pens.

    I have three Lamy AL-star Fountain Pens, one black anodized aluminum, one light aluminum, and a third one I can't find. My pens tend to disappear. I don't like the identically shaped plastic LAMY Safari pens. It would be too easy to become obsessed with fountain pens, but I resist, for reasons beyond my control, such as evolution, gene expression in the brain, the wiring of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, my socio-economic status growing up, environmental effects, and other matters I had nothing to do with. I don't take credit for resisting the fleeting urge to purchase a Pilot Justus 95, which, while superior to the AL-star LAMY, a gateway fountain pen, isn't even top-of-the-line.

    Post edited by ZettelDistraction on

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

  • In the past year, I've re-acquired an old manual typewriter from my youth and begun using it again for first drafts of some writing work as well as some notes. In the past few months I've added a few new (to me) machines to the collection and have been continuing to use them in my reading and note taking practices to see what changes, if any, the modality brings to my daily practice versus computer and/or handwriting.

    Richard Polt (see below) has some interesting things to say about getting the writing out without worrying about editing or deleting when using a typewriter which makes for some interesting changes in my process.

    Currently reading:

    • Kaiser, J. Systematic Indexing. The Card System Series 2. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., 1911. http://archive.org/details/systematicindexi00kaisuoft.
    • Polt, Richard. The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century. 1st ed. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 2015.
    • Mattei, Clara E. The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2022. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/C/bo181707138.html.
    • Zakaria, Fareed. Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2024.

    website | digital slipbox 🗃️🖋️

    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. —Umberto Eco

  • @Loni said:

    It's small, beautiful and, well... useful. I know I'll trick myself, especially since I can use them for drawing. May I ask you which ones do you keep and what are their advantages?

    I have a TWSBI ECO that is my workhorse pen. It writes well and has good ink capacity. It's a little broader than I would ideally like, even in their extra-fine.

    I have a Pilot Metropolitan that I swapped a Pilot Penmanship EF nib onto that I really like. It's the finest point I have found. It can almost be too fine for some paper.

    I also have a Platinum Preppy that is a great pen for the price. Again, extra fine (notice a theme?) It really is a good writer, but it's inexpensive enough I don't fret about loaning it to someone.

    Finally, I have the Pilot Penmanship with the medium nib from my pen above that I keep inked up with red for times I need a red pen.

    I'm a pretty basic fountain pen guy. I like a smooth, fine black line.

  • @ZettelDistraction said :
    I have three Lamy AL-star Fountain Pens, one black anodized aluminum, one light aluminum, and a third one I can't find. My pens tend to disappear. I don't like the identically shaped plastic LAMY Safari pens. It would be too easy to become obsessed with fountain pens, but I resist, for reasons beyond my control, such as evolution, gene expression in the brain, the wiring of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, my socio-economic status growing up, environmental effects, and other matters I had nothing to do with. I don't take credit for resisting the fleeting urge to purchase a Pilot Justus 95, which, while superior to the AL-star LAMY, a gateway fountain pen, isn't even top-of-the-line.

    You are stronger than I am, my ancestors may have bread with squirrels, I love collecting things. But I can fight expensive urge too... For pens. My most expensive one is a Rotring Isograph, I don't intend to spend too much on every single foutains pens. I may find usefull, sturdy and smooth pens with beautiful inks, and I'll be very happy.

    However... I could not guarantee the same result regarding brushes and pigments. Did I talk about inks? This is where I will loose control.

    @CPMoellering
    I have a TWSBI ECO that is my workhorse pen. It writes well and has good ink capacity. It's a little broader than I would ideally like, even in their extra-fine.
    I have a Pilot Metropolitan that I swapped a Pilot Penmanship EF nib onto that I really like. It's the finest point I have found. It can almost be too fine for some paper.
    I also have a Platinum Preppy that is a great pen for the price. Again, extra fine (notice a theme?) It really is a good writer, but it's inexpensive enough I don't fret about loaning it to someone.
    Finally, I have the Pilot Penmanship with the medium nib from my pen above that I keep inked up with red for times I need a red pen.

    I'm a pretty basic fountain pen guy. I like a smooth, fine black line.

    Thanks for sharing! It's a nice collection, basic but functionnal. You seem to like japanese pens for the fine nib. Which one is the smoothest?

    Black lines are beautiful, I totaly agree.

    If you look for ever finer black line, you can reach for the thinner Isograph you can find, I am amazed by the pretty things I can do with it.

  • Oooh, fountain pen nerdery!

    I refuse to buy expensive ones. I also only use them for sketching :)

    • An old LAMY Safari: the ink flow is so good, it can even take the thicker SketchInk without clogging and drying up.
    • A cheap Jinhao pen in black with sparkles: the tip is compatible with Zebra G Nibs, in theory, so I got both for Christmas a couple of years ago. Never got the G Nib to work properly, but the built-in one is quite bendy and has good flow.
    • An almost as cheap Sailor fountain pen with a "fude nib" -- one that bends and flattens, which does what the Zebra G Nib promises in terms of line variation, but simpler, and more reliably.

    Apart from the occasional brown SketchInk (in the LAMY) I use DeAtramentis black ink. Both are water-resistant, which is great for layering watercolor on top!

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

  • @ctietze said:
    Oooh, fountain pen nerdery!

    I refuse to buy expensive ones. I also only use them for sketching :)

    • An old LAMY Safari: the ink flow is so good, it can even take the thicker SketchInk without clogging and drying up.
    • A cheap Jinhao pen in black with sparkles: the tip is compatible with Zebra G Nibs, in theory, so I got both for Christmas a couple of years ago. Never got the G Nib to work properly, but the built-in one is quite bendy and has good flow.
    • An almost as cheap Sailor fountain pen with a "fude nib" -- one that bends and flattens, which does what the Zebra G Nib promises in terms of line variation, but simpler, and more reliably.

    Apart from the occasional brown SketchInk (in the LAMY) I use DeAtramentis black ink. Both are water-resistant, which is great for layering watercolor on top!

    I note for myself : having a Lamy Pen, you both seem happy with it.

    I'm looking black ink now, are you happy with the DeAtramentis? Do you need to clean up your pen more often than with an other ink?

  • @Loni said:
    Which one is the smoothest?

    Hard to say. The EF Pilot nib can be a nit scratchy depending on the paper, just because it is so fine. Yes, I am partial to Japanese nibs because they, on average, are finer than European ones.

  • @Loni said:
    I'm looking black ink now, are you happy with the DeAtramentis? Do you need to clean up your pen more often than with an other ink?

    Almost never! I use the pen on Sundays (our urban sketching meetup day), sometimes with 2 or 3 weeks in between. DeAtramentis is very 'thin', while SketchInk or Super5 ink (which has nice colors) is a bit 'thicker'.

    I believe, absolutely unfounded, that DeAtramentis achieves the black color with neutral pigments that are very fine and stay solved in water well. You can see that when diluting the ink with water. I have a waterbrush with a ~5--10% solution and it also never clogs up and I get a neutral gray.

    Other black ink, when diluted further, can produce brown-ish or blue-ish hues.

    Fountain pen writers probably know this when spilling water onto a page and notice that the black writing diffuses into multiple colors, esp. at the edges when blobs feather.

    Anyway, the black DeAtramentis water-proof ink is great for writing and drawing. Some may prefer other ink precisely because DeAtramentis looks too neutral to them, maybe. I don't know :)


    Apropos "Super5": their pens also use LAMY's feed (see anatomy of fountain pen) as far as I was told by a shopkeeper. The ink flow seems to be recognized to be spectacular, so it's probably a good 'work horse' pen.

    I replaced a white plastic one that I had for 15 years with an aluminum one because I managed to produce a tear in the pen's body by screwing it too tight. So I do recommend LAMY pens for their reliability (and repairability!), and metal ones in particular.

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

  • edited May 16

    @ctietze said:
    Oooh, fountain pen nerdery!

    Of course! We're emerging from the woodwork. I ordered my first LAMY AL-star through The Fountain Pen Network from someone in Poland. The pen is lost. I've lost track of the AL-star pens I've mislaid. I can account for only two.

    I could rewrite my post above. I tend to want to learn all the details at once, a counterproductive tendency for which I blame evolution and other forces beyond my control, at least until I learned more productive habits, which, again by forces beyond my control, changed my behavior somewhat. (There is no free will, but this doesn't exclude change based on new information, the ravages of age and disease, and other causal influences.) There is no getting around writing outlines and summaries first, and then filling in details as needed (a rare few don't need to add details). An expert number theorist once suggested creating outlines when I was a diffident undergraduate, but without the context I would have needed at the time to grasp its significance.

    Post edited by ZettelDistraction on

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

  • @ctietze said :
    I believe, absolutely unfounded, that DeAtramentis achieves the black color with neutral pigments that are very fine and stay solved in water well. You can see that when diluting the ink with water. I have a waterbrush with a ~5--10% solution and it also never clogs up and I get a neutral gray.

    I can't find the information, but if I had it I could tell you for sure. The vast majority of foutain pens inks are made of colorant, which does not contain any pigments, just a powefull colorfull liquid. That's why they tend to be soluble in water and are not lightfast. Some of them are, like Noodler's Heart of Darkness, but rare. That's why you can see some colors (greenish or bluish) when you dilute them into water.

    Pigments are a unsoluble powder mixed with a binder. It has to be absolutly thin to allow a pen usage, and the binder has to be a special mixture.

    I think De Atramentis may be pigments based, so it stays "neutral", like a good carbon black pigment has to behave itself. But it is more fluid than the others... Appealing mystery!

    @ZettelDistraction
    I could rewrite my post above. I tend to want to learn all the details at once, a counterproductive tendency for which I blame evolution and other forces beyond my control, at least until I learned more productive habits, which, again by forces beyond my control, changed my behavior somewhat. (There is no free will, but this doesn't exclude change based on new information, the ravages of age and disease, and other causal influences.) There is no getting around writing outlines and summaries first, and then filling in details as needed (a rare few don't need to add details). An expert number theorist once suggested creating outlines when I was a diffident undergraduate, but without the context I would have needed at the time to grasp its significance.

    I think I could benefit from this advices myself. One of my teacher prevented me from being too much impatient of using new things I learnt, and suggested to me to keep a track of the big picture to see where I miss knowledge and expertise. "Yes, but I need training to gain knowledge and expertise", did I say. "Of course, he answered, but keep the big picture in mind, because you are drowning in details without knowing what would be important to track". Outlining could help me too.

    And for the free will... Well, in an everyday mindset, without manipulating true concepts or anything, I like to tell myself that pathways are already drawn and we only choose where we walk : stats are talking. Like : I have 1/650 chances of getting hit by a car while crossing the street for example. There are way too much factors to influence our choices and anything, and if free will is an illusion, it does not matter in an everyday life matter because we are way too limited to fully understand and articulate this idea. So we take compass, like moral compass or rational compass. They are predetermined but it does'nt matter, we make choices with them. Society is an other level, philosophy an other ones but...

    In the end, even if you were predetermined to loose your pens, you still take responsabily in your post for loosing them : " I can account for only two". And I take my responsabilities for not understand fully irony or second degree (I don't know if it is correct in English) humour. Of course, I don't blame evolution, I am partially blind in communication, that's it.

    So, what I want to say is : "I may misunderstood your posts and I am sorry for that.".

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