So, I’m thinking about the concept of digital gardens, the ideas behind Zettelkasten, and my own interpretation of that I am calling “Grok”. I was reading on another digital garden about this historic concept called ”commonplace books” or “commonplaces”. The idea goes back further to this Latin term called locus communis, and it goes back even further to the Greek idea of “τόπος κοινός” (topos koinos) or ”literary topos”. John Locke even wrote a book on this idea called A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books. I’m interested in this for a couple reasons; first it’s interesting to see that my desire to have some place to store my ideas is shared with many in antiquity, and second as I am refining this concept and building on it and how I want to treat it conceptually as well as in practice, it’s handy to see how others, both present and past, have treated this same sort of concept. I think I ultimately dislike the Zettelkasten, at least for me because it is too fine-grained and too keyed into specific topics. I am not a researcher, I just like a broad array of things and I enjoy seeing their interconnectedness.
This commonplacing (not sure if that’s a coined term or not) idea is something I find really attractive because instead of being a repository for specific, well crafted, and atomic thoughts, it is instead a repository for a myriad of thoughts, quotes, ideas, and excerpts on a whole array of topics.