Pensees

Pascal's Pensées point toward an under-explored writing format — small, networked, loosely-connected passages, clustered by theme, with no single linear narrative.

This seems like a natural fit for hypertext.


There are rumors Pascal wrote the Pensées on notecards, and pinned these cards to a wall, connecting related thoughts with yarn. An early example of hypertext?

...the Pensées, a pile of papers concerning religion, were originally written on mostly large sheets of paper, some of which were subsequently cut into individual passages, of which again only some were divided into twenty-seven bundles or laisse, 414 in all, or just under half of the total were then attached together by thread running through holes pierced in the top left corner and knotted after the title had been given to the group.

Pascal's Pensées were collected mid-way through capture, organize, synthesize.