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Bernstein on notes as sketching

Bernstein on notes as sketching exercise

from Tinderbox Way 3rd

Sometimes, we need to know quite a lot in order to understand what we don’t know.

Kumiyo Nakakoji (now at the Kyoto University Design School) calls this representational talkback. 17 The writer seeks a way to represent the problem space, sketches notes that describe an initial approach, and then reviews the notes as if approaching the problem anew. If the representation is good, the problem now seems simpler. If the representation fails to make sense, that incoherence often suggests a new and better approach to the problem.

In this way note-taking can be like sketching, a private exercise to improve the acuity of our perception and to focus our understanding. Our sketches often focus on small detail: a study of a hand, say, or the weathered wood of porch behind a Gloucester drug store. We don’t draw these studies because we expect the image to matter, but because sketching these things with care and attention will improve our eye. By learning to draw the hand or the mountain, we polish our ability to draw anything. The process, not the picture, matters.

Daybook Disconnect

It happens to a lot of blogs. Mike Caulfield posts about it. A problem with a server or possible hack. Fixing it in this case ended up in losing track of the database. I had to reinstall WP and can’t get the new install to talk to the old database.

But I don’t see this as a problem. Stuff isn’t lost. It’s just not connected right now. It may be. Later. It’s in a trunk somewhere in an attic / basement / garage / lockup / underneath the stairs. A data horde. Bring in a detectorist.

The old install of WordPress (2005?) had a lot of cruft tangling it up, so it’s nice to see the old code gone.

And gone is the old paratext junk, too. Poor categories and tags. Trials with plugins. Bad back end decisions that need a ripping out of old structure to rebuild. Choices made naively. Bad ideas gone bust from the first. Pied type cases. Flotsam. Jetsam. Ruins shored against. Centers not holding.

Not that a restart means any further success. It just feels a little better.

So hello Daybook.