mr. bush and the trail through the maze

I don’t know whether to be happy or not that I’d never heard of Vannevar Bush’s 1945 essay from The Atlantic titled “As We May Think, ” for the author of the article which cited it, Clive Thompson, claims:

If you’re reading this blog, you are probably least part nerd, which means you’ve likely read (or have heard of) Vannevar Bush’s 1945 essay for the Atlantic Monthly, “As We May Think”.

So I don’t qualify for full nerd, but perhaps part nerd, for I read with great interest not only Mr. Bush’s article but also Mr. Thompson’s interpretation and discussion of it, finding both fascinating. What a visionary Mr. Bush was, predicting way back in ‘45, among other things,  information overload and its muddying of the clear path towards discovery. And quite a dashing man, too, don’t you think, with those glasses and the way he cants his head to stare intently at the lens…

My path to this was as follows: > boingboing > >

or… Cory Doctorow channels Clive Thompson channels Vannevar Bush

I map this out only because—ironically enough—the article was about how we find things, the “chronology of discovery” or how we might retrace our steps (or have them retraced for us), sans a big-brother type control but as a personal tool to enable one to discover paths and links and, as Mr. Bush put it so succinctly, “build a trail of interest through the maze of materials available…”

A good morning read, or a post-espresso read, for those of us quasi or kind-of-wannabe nerds who need to digest these things when our minds are at its sharpest. 🙂


4 thoughts on “mr. bush and the trail through the maze

  1. You know one of the things I love most about this post? How *you* navigate me thru the information overload and (un)muddy my (magical) path to discovery! I can always come here and learn something beautiful. And I don’t even have to do any searching! You are always where I left you! What joy! I just loved the irony when I read this post! Thanks for the smiles and for the treats every time I visit!

  2. Nooooo!!! I miscommunicated!! you get me THROUGH the information overload to the magical things that really matter to me!! And I dont even have to think! You just do all that complicated work for me! Silly girl! You are WAYYYY more special to me than that. (and I know you know that!!!) hugs from afar! always. I ADORE you and all that you write/share! Humpf!:)

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