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April 15, 2014

From blog posts to notes and apologies…

There is an interesting difference between blog posts and notes, at least I find I think of them as different things. For me blog posts should be written with an audience in mind. Notes, however, van just be assembled as reminders and notes to yourself. But maybe that difference is less thought-through than I would like. I have been thinking about what it would mean to share reading notes more widely, or just have them more accessible. Especially for books that should be read more slowly, like philosophical works. I mean, one could post blog post after blog post about obscure passages in Wittgenstein, and, um, I may have been guilty of that in the past, but it seems as if there should be a different format for that.

Now, my problem is that I think there would be a forum for sharing that too. Even though we may not be many, there are those of us who would like to share and discuss passages in Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Lovecraft and Zelazny. But are there good services for that? For sharing observations about works at a very, vert detailed level? The best I think I can do is to share a few Evernote notebooks and start seeing if those can become the notes that I want, and if there is anyone else who would like to discuss Rhees write-up of Wittgenstein’s aesthetics.

I will also see if I can find some other solutions for this use. Maybe there are special wiki-adaptations for close reading? Commentary? I would essentially like some kind of online publishing tool that allowed for the production of shared apologies for literary works in the older sense. I have looked at Scribilus but that was not exactly what I wanted, and my Kindle account is more a repository of the quotes. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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3 thoughts on “From blog posts to notes and apologies…

  • Karl-Erik Tallmo

    I had a few ideas about that several years ago: “I think the usefulness of e-books would be much enhanced if one could insert margin notes and commentaries in them, as easily as one does in printed books. As a matter of fact, I believe that a truly interchangeable non-proprietary e-book text format with a truly interchangeable non-proprietary mark-up standard for comments and proofreading is a necessity for e-books to really take on as an academic tool. Researchers and scholars don’t wish for their marginal notes to be marooned on the pages of some seldom used e-book format.” Probably unrealistic, but I had the idea that this feature would be possible to embed somehow on the ASCII level, so it could follow a text from MS Word into a web page for instance. See last part of this article: http://www.nisus.se/proof/

  • Lars Albinsson

    I remember speaking to Douglas Engelbart about similar things in 1996. I asked him what he thought of the www. He said the fact that you can’t put a marker into a webpage and reference it, is a major flaw for the www to be a great knowledge tool.

    I think you question is interesting and important. We should produce a story-scenario for that kind of “co-essaying”!

  • nicklas Post author

    Karl-Erik&Lars: Thanks for the good comments! I do think there are interesting scenarios here, and would be happy to collaborate on one. Enabling multi-layer texts would be really interesting, and mining those layers would enable us to write almost instant reception histories and understand transmission of ideas and thought much more in-depth. Just imagine if we had had that for the Bible or Odysseus.

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