He bound the manuscripts of his diary. Six volumes were catalogued into his library alongside a first edition of Newton's Principa and works of antiquity.

They could have been thrown aside. Put into a desk to be forgotten. Instead, we get a peculiar sense of foreshadowing. It is as if Samuel Pepys knew that his diaries would be of interest to future generations. That entries would be read beyond his personal library.

What is the equivalent of binding our digital notes for posterity? I am reminded of a concern stressed in a New York Times article on the 2012 “Take Note” conference at Harvard:

Anxiety over the potential mindlessness of note-taking took on particular urgency during the digital annotation session, at which panelists debated whether the Internet and social media had ushered in a golden age of notes or doomed us to watch all our fleeting thoughts — if not our brains themselves — sucked down a giant digital drain, beyond the reach of future historians.