This is a question - I believe taken from Sonke Ahrens - suggesting that when creating zettels, one should not be thinking about where to store something, rather you are asking the context for how you will find the idea in the future.
I’m struggling with this concept to be honest - I can understand the value of the idea, but it is the application where I falter.
For example, last night I took down something from Bret Weinstein, who said that American POWs in Vietnam were made to write essays denouncing the US. For doing so they would be given extra food.
This is very interesting to me, and I like to write fiction and can imagine this maybe becoming relevant sometime in the future…but when I think about the “context” in which I wish to stumble on this, I’m really not sure of the practicalities of the note, or the system that ensures this can be stumbled upon in future.
I titled my note ‘brainwashing’ included backlinks to Vietnam and Bret W, but I’m not sure this does anything for stumbleability - indeed, I think I am still going to have to remember that thing about American POWs in Vietnam, and that seems to be antithetical to the idea of Zettelkasten/PKM.
Any thoughts or advice, be great to hear, thanks.
If you have ideas about the types of books you might use the idea in, you could add those as tags.
Maybe something like this:
#Interesting-link It’s describing a [[war-tactic#brainwashing]] [[war-tactic]] that reduces enemy’s [[morale]] and increase US’s. It also hints at a possibility of how these prisoners were deprived of food [[war-tactic#torture]]. Even if that didn’t happen, it would still make an interesting #fiction-idea
That’s how I’d do it.
Thanks for the response here. So are you proposing that the following:
“#Interesting-link It’s describing a [[war-tactic#brainwashing]] [[war-tactic]] that reduces enemy’s [[morale]] and increase US’s. It also hints at a possibility of how these prisoners were deprived of food [[war-tactic#torture]]. Even if that didn’t happen, it would still make an interesting #fiction-idea”
is the form of tagging protocol I could use within the Zettel, which would also contain the “atomic idea” i.e. what the Vietnamese allegedly did?
The system would therefore give me a tagging system - #fiction-idea - that would be searchable in future when looking for inspiration.
I believe Ahrens means to say that by creating links between zettel and thus creating a network it is irrelevant, even counter-productive, to consider where to store it.
In Obs you have a vault which you can fill with interconnected zettel, and you explorations of that network will give you new contexts for zettel. Serendipity.
this is true @Klaas however, I think it is not the where to store it, but the how that I am having a little trouble with.
How do I create a kind of consistency so that the way I arrange my zettels now can be both replicated and future-proof?
Tags and links are stored in the files, so you have those always. Some potential for being messed around by folder changes.
You can test out what you can do without Obsidian simply by using other programs on the same directories.
…… the way I arrange my zettels now can be both replicated …
I am not sure I understand what you mean. If your zettel are unarranged in the sense that they are not in a folder, isn’t that replicable? If you move that folder from one computer to another the zettel are still there in the same way.
…… and future-proof.
Markdown is future-proof as it is plain text. There are a few things in Obs markdown that aren’t recognised by all markdown apps. E.g. highlight syntax is
==text==, wikilink syntax is
[[note title]], and there are 1 or 2 others.
The other way round too. E.g. in some markdown apps the superscript syntax can be
1^st^, Obs only recognises the HTML version
Still, all of those things do not mess up your notes from one app to the next. An app that does not recognise
== will likely recognise the HTML version
Does that help to answer your question?
Thanks Dor, I mentioned future-proofing not necessarily regarding a post-Obsidian world - shudder at the thought - more to ensure that what I am doing now in Obs is robust enough to carry on years from now.