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Musings on tools for thought

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Posted by MadaboutDana
May 10, 2022 at 03:31 PM


A very nice blog post by Maggie Appleton on “Tools for Thought”. Plenty of meaty stuff to get your teeth into!

22111 should enjoy, too – she agrees with you about quite a lot of things!



Posted by MadaboutDana
May 10, 2022 at 03:32 PM


Oh dear, forget my own head next. Here’s the link: https://maggieappleton.com/tools-for-thought


Posted by Daly de Gagne
May 10, 2022 at 05:20 PM


Hi Bill.

First, I am disappointed Appleton’s timeline with regard to quantitative thinking excludes the use of the abacus which is associated with the Chinese and Japanese, as well as the knot system attributed to the Inca, who apparently had a decimal (base 10) system, and the use of stick bundles by the Anishinabe and other North American Indigenous people. Some of these systems predate the examples Appleton gives by hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

I have read the article a couple of times, and have a mixed reaction. While I agree with the notion that “tools for thought” may be an over-used term, Appleton’s approach seems a bit glib. A technique, the technology, and culture can together or separately be thought of as a tool/ tools, as would be the case of one working on research /thinking/writing with their laptop at a coffee bar.

Interestingly, for someone whose blog (in other posts) demonstrate her ability to illustrate notes in a creative, memorable manner, the circle with three smaller circles in it would probably better reflect the essence of the point I think she’s trying to make if the three smaller circles were presented as a Venn diagram within the larger circle. Tool/technique/culture/technology are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and are inter-connected in ways creating a dynamic process or reality.

Also, Appleton seems, at least on the surface, to be cynical about the idea of note programs such as Obsidian enhancing thinking as a process. Of course whether enhancements occur depends on the user as well as the app being used. YMMV.

I want to again read ber blog post, as well as other related posts.


MadaboutDana wrote:
A very nice blog post by Maggie Appleton on “Tools for Thought”. Plenty
>of meaty stuff to get your teeth into!
> >22111 should enjoy, too – she agrees with you about quite a
>lot of things!
> >Cheers!


Posted by Amontillado
May 10, 2022 at 09:18 PM


I enjoyed reading that. I’d be crippled if I had to stop using computers.

However, I’ve found that I like to think with a fountain pen. It’s both primitive and elegant, fragile and self-sustaining.


Posted by Paul Korm
May 11, 2022 at 01:47 AM


It’s likely that more of what we consider the modern world came about because of people simply sitting with a piece of paper and a pencil and thinking.

Would Einstein have been better off using Muse :-)


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