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ex machina

i'm going to do it. i'm going to linkslut steven johnson's new blog. and no, mrs. smarty pants, it's not because everyone else is doing it. it's because he's nicely summarized his note taking "modes", which ring true with my own behavior:

"But I think there's something very smart in the premise here, which is that note-taking is as distinct an activity as creating a spreadsheet or a presentation, and thus deserves its own application.

Right now, I have about four separate ways that I take notes: reading notes from books I've read as research; quick notes of phone numbers or addresses; story or book ideas; interesting bookmarks of things I've found on the web with commentary. Right now, I use four different applications for those four tasks: I store my research notes in a special format that's searchable online (more about that in another post); I jot down quick notes in my email client, because it's always open and is organized by time; I keep my writing ideas in Word documents; and as of this week, I keep my web findings here in MovableType."

i used to be a prolific "jotter", carrying around 3x5 index cards overflowing with copious amounts of chicken scratch and coded in 3 ink colors. in many ways, the the vast wasteland was an attempt to formalize this behavior in the context of "the networked world." indeed the rhetoric quote i chose for conflux lo those many years ago reflects the thinking to a certain degree:

"...[T]he Web log reflects our own attempts to assimilate the glut of immaterial data loosed upon us by the "discovery" of the networked world. And there are surely lessons for us in the parallel. For just as the cabinet of wonders took centuries to evolve into the more orderly, logically crystalline museum, so it may be a while before the chaos of the Web submits to any very tidy scheme of organization."

at the time, i was thinking of ways that i translate the notetaking into something a bit more coherent. an evolving "cabinet of wonders".

the irony? nobody but steven is going to remember that he wrote those words. in hindsight, i should probably attribute them to him instead of linking to a link to the original "feed" story that he wrote entitled, "Portrait Of The Blogger As A Young Man" [incidently, i'd link to the original article but it went into link rot hell long ago. ]

and it's a little humbling to see this site remain much the same over the years. analogous to prehistoric cave paintings caught within the limits of the representation, not even coming close to the complexity that the adept can achieve with a fresh 3x5 card and 3 pens while on the train after a trip to local bookstore - with a head overflowing with too many ideas.

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11/18/2002 09:59:00 PM 0 comments


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[ rhetoric ]

"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

[ about ]

this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.

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