Commonplace Book

Table of Contents

1 Notes on the book

This is my commonplace book. The following TOC is organized to reflect the paper copy in my office. Until all links are verified. THIS NOTE is your warning that they have not been.

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 work, found online at is such a book. And online, here are my working notes on the book. And if you follow links here, expect to find some missing. Hopefully, not without warning. Pages with a similar stlye-sheet are highly likely to be fully vetted for their active links.

I first plan to harvest the text files I've been preparing in OrgMode format, not repeating them, but through the magic of the internet, merely index them, and link them in some order as the student of DaVinci's day.

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 Milestones

2.1 2014

Orignally, 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.

2.2 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.

2.3 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.

3 Socially speaking

In the 21st century, it would be inappropriate to fail to list one's online, social connections. Though I've demoted FB to the end, since, If the internet were a golf-course, Facebook is the sand-traps.

4 On the shell

Here begins a process of reconcilliation. I've written a paper on factoring a shell script and in the process produced a note and some take-away tools.

This work supercedes much of what's in the RED Tab, below.


Let this this serve as my TOC for the paper-bound collection. Each tab is colored; each color appears twice, and in this order given by the tab position.

5.1 primary shell libaries, RED Tab

This section has been verified; the links are available:

5.2 issues and interests, YELLOW tab

5.3 diaries, BLUE

5.5 red,

5.6 yellow,

5.7 blue,

5.9 other

An additional TOC of the collection is largely just a to-do list. If you find a working link there, I'd be surprised.

I'll be backing these into their proper place in this Commonplace Book.

6 references


Twitter: @applemcg

Author: Marty McGowan

Created: 2017-01-19 Thu 10:42

Emacs 24.4.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)