Notes

I think [...] that in general one Man’s Notes will little profit another, because one man’s Conceit doth so much differ from another’s; and also because the bare Note itself is nothing so much worth, as the suggestion it gives the Reader.

This remark from Francis Bacon is surprisingly dissonant today. Particularly because this advice is largely ignored. We read each other's notes all the time – statuses, blog posts, annotations. It makes the basis for how we use the web. And with that, some of Bacon's objections start to get fuzzy.

Since we now read each other's notes regularly, we develop a sense of another's point of view. As Jon Udell poignantly put it, context is a service we bestow upon others. Is that not why we follow certain people's blogs or status updates? One man's Conceit might so much differ from another's, but maybe that is why you read their notes.

And what of these notes? Are they nothing more than the suggestion it gives the Reader? A note's suggestion can be generative, the basis of a new note entirely. As Bix put it:

How do we remember? We blog about it.

A note begets another note. That is how I am choosing to remember the above Bacon quote. Well, I actually choose to remember Bacon's quote differently:

I think [...] that in general one Man’s Notes will profit another, because one man’s Conceit doth so much differ from another’s; and as the suggestion it gives the Reader and Writer, the bare Note itself is of much worth.