Tinderbox Meetup Sunday 18 February 24: Tools for Thought with Chris Aldrich

Chris Aldrich (@chrisaldrich) is a modern-day cyberneticist. A graduate of Johns Hopkins, he’s a biomedical and electrical engineer with an interest in the entertainment industry and an extensive online commonplace book. See, for example, his notecards on notecards.

PLUS: plenty of time for your new projects and puzzlement

Tinderbox 10-Minute Training: Tinderbox Keyboard Shortcuts

@mwra will explain the Tinderbox Keyboard and Related Shortcuts. Mark will detail Tinderbox keyboard shortcuts that will help you work in Tinderbox more efficiently. He will also cover the use of text-expanding tools and another related productivity idea.

Tindebox Trainers Wanted

We are inviting Tinderbox community members to deliver a “Tinderbox in 10-minute Training” session. We want to kick off each weekly Tinderbox meetup with a 10-minute training that explores a Tinderbox feature and explains how to use it in a specific context. Again, the training should explain what the feature does and provide a contextual example of how the training is using it (sample files are most welcome). If you’d like to provide one of these training, please DM @satikusala or @eastgate on the Tinderbox Forum, and we’ll schedule your session on the Tinderbox Meetup Calendar.

9 AM Pacific Time
Noon Eastern time
1300 São Paulo
1600 UTC
1700 London
1800 Paris
2130 Delhi

Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 617 924 9044
Passcode: tinderbox

For more details and to join the conversation with the Tinderbox community, visit the Tinderbox Forum. Tinderbox Meetup Calendar.

To expand on Michael’s description, I’ll try to delve a bit deeper into note taking practices and go past some of the mechanics of the basics to more advanced topics but with a practical view on affordances of various structures.

I’ll try to touch on the ideas surrounding combinatorial creativity and “Markov Monkeys”; a reframing of what Niklas Luhmann was actually doing with respect to filing and taxonomy scaling; and ideas of the extended mind and Kahneman/Tversky’s System 1/System 2 with respect to note taking. With a bit of luck, we can also touch on some of the deeper intellectual history of note taking practices and ars excerpendi as we go including the ideas of Indigenous knowledge and orality with respect to pre-literate knowledge management which can be used in conjunction with digital practices.

I look forward to some interesting conversation.

For those who are interested, I’ve been collecting my ideas on some of these areas over the past few years at A Zettelkasten, Commonplace Books, and Note Taking Collection.


A stunningly comprehensive and eminently bookmark-worthy page if I ever saw one :clap::clap:

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For the kind attendees and those watching the archived video at later date, some resources until Michael posts his excellent synopsis:

Bibliography on Tools for Thought (a shared Zotero repository of some of my collection), which may supplement some of the list from December’s meetup.

Lynne Kelly - an advanced mnemonist and anthropologist who has studied and written extensively about mnemonic traditions and methods.

  • Primer video on her work
  • Kelly, Lynne. Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107444973.
  • ———. Memory Craft: Improve Your Memory Using the Most Powerful Methods from around the World. Pegasus Books, 2019.

My digital notes using Hypothesis: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich
with related notes on:

Some texts which were mentioned during the session:

I’ll also mention for those who may be interested in intellectual history that historian Dan Allosso is about to start a few new books in his ongoing book club including Duncan’s Index (above) and Alex Wright’s Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age (2014) this coming Saturday morning.


Many thanks! Lots to ponder, and plenty to read!

Dan Allosso, mentioned above, will be presenting a meetup on 28 April.