It's even worse than it appears..
Tuesday January 24, 2023; 10:01 AM EST
  • There's this idea called zettelkasten that's been going around in the outlining world. It's like a "second brain" another term they use. #
  • The thought is that if you get all the info and ideas out of your brain and onto a computer something magical will happen, you will attain a sort of super-humanity. #
  • I'm not sure why but I hate the term zettelkasten, but I love to say it. It sounds like something goofy and idiotic at the same time. It's not an English word. I do not like it. #
  • But then I decided to look it up. I found that one of the early pioneers of zettelkasten was my ancestor, Arno Schmidt, a fantastic but fringe German writer of the mid-20th century. He was my maternal grandmother's brother, my great-uncle. #
  • In his case zettelkasten made sense because:#
    • He was German and zettelkasten is a German word so it isn't icky or pretentious.#
    • He had a legitimate use for one, he was writing a complex novel with lots of characters and plots. And this was before personal computers, in the 1940s and 1950s, so he did it with index cards. #
  • Around the time Uncle Arno died in 1979, I started working on my first outliner, which is the ideal tool for creating and managing a zettelkasten on a personal computer. #
  • I've attached a picture of Arno with his zettelkasten.#

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Last update: Tuesday January 24, 2023; 10:57 PM EST.

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