Commonplace Book

Table of Contents

1 Notes on the book

This is my commonplace book. The online copy at reflects the paper copy in my office.

Leonardo DaVinci used a commonplace book. Any number of them. I discovered his usage in DaVinci's Ghost: Genius, Obsession …, where at (e-copy) location 1523 it says:

Students receiving a formal education in Leonardo's day were taught from a very early age to keep commonplace books – notebooks, that is, in which they collected excerpts from their reading, organized not by author or book, but by subject.

This is such a book. Here are my working notes on the book. And if you follow links here, expect to find some missing. Hopefully, not without warning. Until all links are verified. THIS NOTE is your warning that they have not been.

I am harvesting text files I've been preparing in OrgMode format, not repeating them, but through the magic of the internet, am planning to index them

I got a lift from reading Clive Thompson's Smarter Than You Think, where on p. 120:

Renaissance thinkers set about devising techniques to make their reading rebrowsable. … Jeremias Drexel … suggested maintaining separate notebooks for diverse subjectsan alphabetic index, sorting ones notes into separate, smaller notebooks. The indexing was the crucial invention

I've shared the DaVinci reference with Thompson, and am resisting the temptation to dive into the indexing. Since it's easy to get the computer to do that job, the geek-tug is strong. I'll find a time and place soon, particularly with OrgMode now doing the heavy lifting.

2 The Chapters

This serves as my Table of Contents for the paper-bound collection. Each tab is colored; each color appears twice, and in this order given by the tab position.

  • Shell Software, the Red Tab, Bash system software
  • Literature Tools, the Yellow Tab
  • Diaries, Family history, the BLUE Tab
  • Family History, the Purple tab
  • Shell Applications, the second Red Tab,
  • Literature, criticism, the second yellow tab
  • Politics, Ideology, the second Blue Tab
  • other Purple stuff

These following await their index page.

3 Milestones

  • 2014: Originally, since Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Then, I'd built a working process around Markdown. Even though I've moved on from it's direct use, I encourage anyone who is writing today, please look it over. It's model of "a useful text file in it's own right" is what not only attracted me, but is responsible for my current direction.
  • 2015: However, since Monday, April 13, 2015, I'm in the process of converting all the Markdown text to OrgMode. OrgMode has made Markdown redundant, and by extension my previous work in support of Markdown. A chief advantage of OrgMode over Markdown is that since OrgMode works within the editor (emacs), then link-following works within the editor as well as the published document.
  • 2016: From labor day weekend, 2016, I'm collecting much of my work on shell functions in my online github and have every intention of keeping a paper copy up-to-date as well.
  • 2017: Over the Christmas / New Year holiday I've learned to accommodate Markdown with OrgMode. This was chiefly to satisfy a need to move writing for the wider public to Markdown format. These chapters will largely remain in OrgMode.

4 Socially speaking

In the 21st century, it would be inappropriate to fail to list one's online, social connections.

5 references


Twitter: @applemcg

Author: Marty McGowan

Created: 2017-06-04 Sun 18:48

Emacs 24.4.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)