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Capture key terms from reading

I capture key terms while reading. It can be from news, books, web pages, MOOC courses.

First, keep a link, a reference. I put a number on each book so that I can reference them with a small number. I like the number to be easy to type and memorize over short periods. That’s why I don’t use the ISBN). For a web page, I would copy the URI.

Next, identify the terms. They are rarely single words. You need to take sufficient flesh around the word from the nominal group so that it is really a direct shortcut to the idea behind it. Imagine you search for the same group of words on google with quotes around it should lead to pages sharing something in common with this topic. If it is not the case, it means the term is still too vague.

This is taken from [[The Fifth discipline]], page 215, end of “shared vision.” See how name groups are surrounded by wiki double brackets.

The dominance of the event mentally tells people that the name of the game is [[reacting to change]], not [[generating change]]. An [[event orientation]] will eventually drive out real vision, leaving only hollow "vision statements," good ideas that are never taken to heart.

So we got this paragraph on this domain we want to learn. We might want to copy the paragraph itself, not as text, not as a quote but just as the source, an origin on the key terms, to remind us that they appeared together in a reference book.

Or we just enter them one after the other in the glossary page. Always double bracketed like this.

[[reacting to change]]
[[event orientation]]
[[generating change]]

I would check them manually on google.

Results seem in line with what I expect. You can’t get perfect key terms, but you want at least to stay on the topic. In this list, “event orientation” leads to totally different pages, none of them corresponding to a familiar subject: we have pieces about the orientation of kids, events in jquery, biology perception.

This means this term is too general with no dominant meaning associated with it. We could either be more explicit, even if it was not in the original text.

“Event Oriented” did the trick.

Now I have 3 new concepts I can link to and from. Note that at this stage, I don’t really know what they mean since I’m still reading and learning. The author will likely reuse them and build a perspective. I can also explore on my side and maybe find some connections with the knowledge I had already and already in Kneaver.