Atomicity principle and note titles
Long time lurker here...
I've been struggling with the atomicity principle. In short, I noticed I naturally tended to name and create notes about topics. I will use an example from current work.
I'm reading on the securitization of European borders. I can make a note called
202011120357 Securitization of migration. Its name suggests a topic. The note should include what is, what is not and examples of securitization of migration.
After reading the recent introduction to the method, I got very aware of the difference between topics and thoughts. So I went back to my working note and renamed and reframed what I had so I have notes like
202011120409 Borders control the movement of people based on their origin or
202011120410 Securitization of migration means framing migration as a security risk. Those are assertions that need some kind of support. A sort of as-complete-as-possible answer as to why that is true, a need for context or relevance. And that should be placed in the content. It is clear that I can place the IDs in other text as a way to call the whole explanation for that assertion.
If this all makes sense, I've been wondering:
- How meaningful do you think titles for content/permanent/thought notes are? How do you title the notes? It seems that the title is just a quick way to know what the note is about but it shouldn't limit the content like, say, the title on a Wikipedia article. In short, if there's not short title one can come up with, you could use the first X words of the note to make the title. In any case, the title shouldn't be a topic when it contains a thought.
- How do you manage to work on both the thought and the topic level? If one wants to create a new Zettelkasten and reads any article or book, it is going to formulate the thoughts but also will recognize topics. In many examples given in the forum I see topics and assertions as titles of notes. Do you write both types of notes at the same time or do it in separate moments? What's the use of a strict separation and is it worth to note it in the ID or the title of the note? I find it difficult to work separately on thoughts, then topics or structure, then linking around and also keeping track of the whole argument in short for the bibliographic note.
I guess every Zettelkasten has its own knowledge entities but the forum kind of agrees on structure, content/permanent/thought and bibliographic notes. Maybe we can find other collections that use others according to the interest of the person creating it. In any case it could be useful to deepen the catalog of possible contents like Sascha did in Three Layers of Evidence.