Cool Learning Resources and Reference Society

UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage

Bookmarked UNESCO – Dive into intangible cultural heritage! (

I like this map of connections, a fun way to explore all the “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” — which is a very cool list to exist! This is essentially a digital garden focused on all the cultures of the world. Some of these items are extremely specific, which makes sense that cultural practices developed through a group of people in a particular geographic area, in close association with the way they needed to live in that climate and place.

Came across this via the list of “intangible cultural heritage of humanity in urgent need of safeguarding” via the “Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” via the duduk.

The Internet

Memory and permanent records

Replied to Posting for posterity by terry nguyen (gen yeet)

Today, our brain is splintered across an array of devices, social accounts, and apps. What do we make of these growing archives? The natural human impulse, it seems, is to preserve this personal data at all costs.

As an owner of a mind garden / “second brain,” I think Nguyen is missing the other benefits beyond a searchable record, of making connections, pushing yourself to process what you’re saving, and expanding your thoughts over time (the way others do it 😉).

Re: memory, I do think sometimes of an article I read (and wish I’d saved on here) about the value of forgetting that the internet and lasting records have disrupted. I do find myself possessive of my files, especially my photos… a significant portion of which are plants and garden photos. I like taking the photos and posting the highlights on my blog, but do I really need the hundred other shots? Do I need the food photos of my brunches? Some records we make serve a temporary purpose, yet all our files are permanent unless we choose to delete them.

At work we have archiving standards for different types of work. Admin stuff that’s only useful in the same year, longer term admin stuff gets kept three years, projects ten years. Automatic archiving (deleting) feels shocking when you lose something and I highly disagree with the 90-day inbox policy being an inbox is my to do list gal, but there is some value in assigning temporal value to files, and following through on the removals.


A Digital Garden Index

Thinking about the difference between physical commonplace books and digital ones, the ability to have an easily maintained index that references posts directly came up. Right now I have the categories of posts displayed in the WordPress footer, but I’m not totally thrilled with that presentation, and would like to display tags somewhere as well which have much more variety and specificity — but there are many more of them. I think that would help towards making this site more useful as a digital garden (whereas right now it feels pretty blog-like), in seeing which things I tend to save or think about most.

Chris Aldrich shared an index of the tags he uses on his website, using the WordPress plugin Multi-column Tag Map.

Came across Gordon Brander’s topics page which appears to manually sort tags? Looks nice.

For categories I’ve been thinking about a display of colored blocks on the homepage, with each category getting its own color that carries through the site — although many posts have more than one category so I’d have to be good about choosing the primary category to make that happen. I’ve been casually looking into WordPress themes designed for news websites since they’re often broken into categories, but haven’t found anything I liked so far.

Learning Reflection The Internet

A System of Notes

Replied to Differentiating online variations of the Commonplace Book: Digital Gardens, Wikis, Zettlekasten, Waste Books, Florilegia, and Second Brains by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (

A fluorescence of note taking tools
Over the past three or so years there has been a fluorescence of digital note taking tools and platforms.
Some of these include:
Open source projects like Org Mode, Logseq, Foam, Jupyter, Trilium, Databyss, Athens, Dendron, Anagora, and
Closed sourced…

Interesting history and comparison of personal compendiums of information and forms of personal note taking over the years!

I dove into using a digital garden 9 months ago, and decided to use WordPress primarily because I already knew how to use it and set it up, and other platforms sounded a bit excessive considering I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. Turns out I love keeping a digital garden, so it could be a good time to revisit what works well and what could improve it.

A couple things I want to figure out a better way to do are create a landing page that’s category-focused versus chronological and work out bidirectional linking / better interlinking. Looking forward to hearing others’ thoughts about improvements too!

Another aspect I need to think about a bit is developing a process or system for revisiting notes and refining and connecting those thoughts. As you point out, what’s the *point* of the notes. What do I want out of this – is it enough that the process of logging something I’ve read nudges me to reflect on it? Maybe, or maybe there’s something more tangible I’d like as a further step.

“People are “taught” (maybe told is the better verb) to take notes in school, but they’re never told why, what to do with them, or how to leverage them for maximum efficiency.”

I like the distinction pointed out that digital gardens are intended to be public, while many of the other forms are chiefly personal. I’m not sure why the public aspect appeals to me, but I like that approach better than a private database – maybe because it feels similar to blogging? I’m curious what value one person’s notes are to others – whether the public element is actually useful – when I’ve tried to share notes taken at events with others, and something indelible isn’t translated without that original experience. But, often I find it’s not only notes I’m taking, but also starting to make connections and process / reflect – which seems potentially more useful or interesting to others? Is it useful to the person writing to know that what’s written may be readable by others and that spurs deeper thought in reflection – or is that more blog-like than note-like?