BUSH, VANNEVAR. 1890-1974.
"As We May Think." Pp 101-108. IN: The Atlantic. Boston: July, 1945.
4to. Original wrappers. Mild handling creases, small tear at head of spine, generally excellent.
FIRST APPEARANCE OF THIS FAMOUS PREMONITION OF THE INTERNET. "For years inventions have extended man's physical powers rather than the powers of his mind ... Now, says Dr. Bush, instruments are at hand which, if properly developed, will give man access to and command over this inherited knowledge of the ages. The perfection of these pacific instruments should be the first objective of our scientists as they emerge from their war work ... [this paper] calls for a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge" (Editor's preface).
Vannevar Bush, the head of the U.S. Office of Scientific R & D during WWII, termed his vision the "memex." "Inspired by microfilm technologywhich in 1945 represented the most advanced means of storing large amounts of informationBush conceived of the Memex as consisting of a desk equipped with projection screens, buttons and levers, a keyboard, and a storage system designed to provide instant access to microfilmed books, periodicals, documents, photographs, etc. The Memex system would allow pieces of data to be linked into permanent 'information trails' dictated by the individual user's needs, which could be called up again and modified at any future date," (OOC). In effect the memex is an extension of the human mind much as a microscope is an extension of the human eye. In Bush's own words: "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." Origins of Cyberspace 519; Minsky 1963, 483.