Thanks for your comment!
If you’re concerned with learning and remembering, you should definitely also take a look at spaced repetition software such as Anki.
And yeah, I also found that there are quite a few similarities between maintaining a Zettelkasten and a software project: DRY principle, separation of concerns, etc.
As to the point of understanding concepts directly, without having to go through language first, I just can’t imagine how that would work for complex ideas. I mean, you can point at a chair and learn the foreign word for it, but what would you point at to learn words such as “abstraction”, “knowledge”, “complexity”, “black hole”, “atom”, “DNA”, “history", “future", “polynomial”, etc.
I think there just isn’t any better way to transmit these kind of ideas from one brain to another than through language. That’s why I also strongly believe that adults can actually learn foreign languages much faster than children. That is, adults can leverage one language to learn another one, while little children can’t do that.
Moreover, once you understand the concept, language can just serve as a cue to retrieve that concept from your brain. For instance, once you understand what a black hole is, you can bring that concept to mind by seeing a depiction of a black hole or by just seeing the sequence of letters in the string “black hole”.
Thanks again for the thought-provoking comment!