User:Lieven Van Speybroeck/Reading/Theory/Bush As We May Think

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Notes on Vannevar Bush's As We May Think (1945)

  • Physicists > in search of a new field of research/challenge in times of peace (or read as: in times without war (?) )
  • Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual.
  • The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.
  • "Visionary" about new media -> prediction based on how certain media and technology had evolved up until then
    -> Large storage on small carriers
    -> Instant (dry) photography
    -> Full color
    -> HD films
    -> Compression
    -> Accessibility/distribution
    -> Speech recognition
    -> Automatisation
    -> Digitalization
    -> Databasing
    -> Filtering
    -> Indexing
    ...
  • => computation
  • About mathematicians and the importance of a change in approach to their field for the further evolution of science: All else he should be able to turn over to his mechanism [...]. Only then will mathematics be practically effective in bringing the growing knowledge of atomistics to the useful solution of the advanced problems of chemistry, metallurgy, and biology. For this reason there still come more machines to handle advanced mathematics for the scientist. Some of them will be sufficiently bizarre to suit the most fastidious connoisseur of the present artifacts of civilization.
  • There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world's record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected. -> inspiration for the next generation of 'developers' of computers/devices/shaping the users/... (Engelbart, Nelson, ...)
  • Logic as the backbone of future (modern) machinery
  • Evolution towards a cyborg-society: implement technology/machinery as physical extensions of the human body.