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Arena Influences

  • by Charles Broskoski
  • 116 blocks • 2 hours ago
Vannevar Bush introduced the concept of what he called the memex (possibly derived from "memory extension") during the 1930s, which he imagined as a microfilm-based "device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory." He wanted the memex to behave like the "intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain"; essentially, causing the proposed device to be similar to the functions of a human brain. It was also important that it could be easily accessible '"a future device for individual use... a sort of mechanized private file and library" in the shape of a desk'. The important feature of the memex is that it ties two pieces together. Any item can lead to another immediately. Bush explains how the human mind works differently than traditional storage paradigms. For example, data is often stored alphabetically, and to retrieve it one must trace it down from subclass to subclass. The brain, Bush explains, works by association rather than index, and with the brain being one of the "awe-inspiring" phenomena in nature, one should learn from it.

After thinking about the potential of augmented memory for several years, Bush set out his thoughts at length in the essay "As We May Think" in the Atlantic Monthly, which was published July 1945. In the article, Bush predicted that "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified".

As We May Think, Vannevar Bush 1945

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  • by Dena Yago
  • 83 blocks • a day ago
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Jiang Zhi

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Jiang Zhi

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  • by Dena Yago
  • 306 blocks • 2 days ago
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