On “… the terrible beauty of maps”

This captures so well what I sometimes feel about visual note-taking (basic mind-mapping, as well as more flexible, powerful tools):

(Source)

I’ve gotten to the point where I generally use outline as my default. The problem I have with maps is that they cue an aesthetic response that overrides other concerns, and I have trouble setting that response aside. A map is either beautiful and this creates a barrier to revision, or it is ugly and making it attractive becomes my priority. If I leave it ugly, then I find it hard to work in the file unless I stop using the map. Outlines short circuits this enormous weak spot in my mental make-up.

(Also, a nice phrase!)

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