There’s beauty in node graphs like these, even if in this form it hasn’t much use value. This is my graph of the ~2.600 notes I keep in Obsidian after 9 months of daily use, as part of my personal knowledge management system.


(click for larger version)

The outer rim of islands is the reading and summarising in progress. Yellows and greens are notes and notions (around 50% of the total), red work related notes, blues are about organising and planning (day logs, weekly reviews, checklists, templates etc.).

For contrast the graph of the around 7.000 notes I exported from Evernote, which has no structure at all (except for one island of notes having numbered footnotes, which causes a connection between unrelated notes having links for the number [1] which also happens to be an existing note title).

When graphs are useful to me in practice is when I’m looking at local graphs of my notes, while writing. A local graph shows me the notes connected to the current note, at different degrees of separation. One degree I never use (those are the links appearing in the note itself), but two degrees (to which notes the linked notes in my note themselves link) is useful, as it allows associations and new connections.

A spam message, uncaught by the spam filters, landed in my inbox this morning. I’m somewhat glad it did, as it made me laugh.

After the classic ‘hi we’re so-and-so and want to enter into business with you’ I still didn’t know what they actually wanted from me. Reading the last line then made me laugh: We Need Fresh Garlic.
Much better than ‘kind regards’ etc.

I of course looked the mentioned company up: the description is lifted from Wikipedia of a company that ceased to exist under that name in 2008. The signature/address is of a different company by more or less the same name, that does still exist and is employee owned, also according to Wikipedia. So I learned a few things about the grocery sector in two US states, which I will likely forget. But the clearly expressed need, capitalised because of its urgency, will stay with me for a long time.

We Need Fresh Garlic!

We all do, I think.

Stephen Downes makes a good point. As ‘content consumers’ we correctly have the expectation that paying for something does not mean reduced advertising. In no medium is that actually the case, so the web isn’t and won’t be different. The issue of adverts on the web isn’t about ads per se. It’s about ad tech, which needs to die. It’s about web ad intermediaries too, who currently ensure there’s no link between me seeing an ad, the site I’m seeing it on knowing it’s there, and the actual money going to that site. There should however be such a link between the adverts shown on a site and the site knowing that, and the money flowing as direct as possible between advertiser and site. Advert intermediaries (deemed necessary because of their ad tech expertise) purposefully make the connection between me and the medium opaque to all but the advert intermediary. The problem with web ads isn’t ads.

I find I enjoy the process of self hosting my old presentations much more than I had expected. I expected the transition being a chore, but it turns out it is not.

Last September I quit using Slideshare and created a way to host my own slidedecks myself. I had 132 presentations in my personal slideshare account, and a similiar number in my company’s account. Migrating them into my own set-up seemed like a daunting chore. I resolved to take my time for it, to spread out the work load.

I first created a list of presentations that I embedded in this website at the time, containing 55 slide decks. In that list I marked those that I currently think are still relevant, or that I regard as important to me at the time, or that in hindsight turned out to contain something that gained more significance in my work afterwards. Then I started to manually add those prioritised slide decks to my self hosted collection (tonz.nl for Dutch slides, tonz.eu for non-Dutch slides), at most one per day.

Unexpectedly this is fun to do. Because I do not just upload slides, but add links to my blogposts about the talk at the time, a video etc, I sort-of revisit the conference in question. Sometimes rewatching my own talk, sometimes going through the slides of other presenters at the same event or watching their videos. It resurfaces old ideas I forgot about but still find useful, and it results in new associations and thoughts about the topics I discussed in those talks. Leading to new notes and ideas now. It also shows me there is a consistency in my work that isn’t always obvious to me, and it surfaces the evolutionary path of some of my ideas and activities. That makes it worthwile to bring these slides home. Like reassembling an old photo album whose pictures slipped out because the glue became too old.

De Open State Foundation en SETUP lanceren de SOS Tech Awards gericht op transparantie en verantwoordelijkheid in de digitale samenleving.

De Glass & Black Box Awards gaan over openheid en transparantie. De Dode & Levende Mussen Award gaan over verantwoordelijkheid nemen na technologische missers, en de mate waarin bedrijven en overheden niet alleen excuus aanbieden maar ook echt hun handelen aanpassen. De genomineerden worden in de komende weken bekend gemaakt. De SOS Tech Awards worden op dinsdag 23 maart 2021 uitgereikt via een livestream vanuit de centrale Bibliotheek Utrecht.

(In het kader van transparantie: ik ben bestuurslid bij de Open State Foundation)