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Issue No. 193
(Also available in podcast format)

The Most Important Aspect and Primary Functionality of Zettelkasten

Scott P. Scheper
Downtown San Diego, CA
You——but only if this page I wrote about You is true.
Saturday, 7:44 pm

Dear Friend,

With the slip and note terminology cleared up, let's now return to what Luhmann deemed the most important aspect of the Notebox, or what Luhmann called its key "stellordung" (i.e. its primary functionality). Note that the key phrase in the paper's title[1] is communication and notebox. The most important ability it provides, according to Luhmann, is structuring it in such a way that it communicates.[2] Indeed, an inanimate object containing the precise representations of one's thinking, creates something powerful and "accidental" even. Its structure becomes completely unique for every single person who implements it.[3] How? Because it turns structure on its head. The only person pissed off by this notion is Mr. Melvil Dewie and his decimal system! Who cares, he was probably the type of guy who wore slacks way too tight.

Anyway, how does one build a system in which the structure becomes what Luhmann calls a communication partner?

It's surprisingly simple, however... It requires you resist doing one critical thing that every single person who's every tried organizing anything falls in the trap of. It's a thing that is so simple, in fact, that most people can't resist screwing it up——especially the digital diva's and PKM-junkies and other hotkey heroes.

What is this simple factor, I speak of?

You'll find out tomorrow!

Until then,

Always remember...

To stay crispy, my friend.

Saturday, 8:41 pm

  1. ↩︎

  2. "Communicating with Slip Boxes" by Niklas Luhmann. "This decision about structure is that reduction of the complexity of possible arrangements, which makes possible the creation of high complexity in the card file and thus makes possible its ability to communicate in the first place." ↩︎

  3. "Communicating with Slip Boxes by Niklas Luhmann." Accessed May 4, 2021. ↩︎


Scott P. Scheper