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:
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. 🙂