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As We May Think

From Academic Kids

Vannevar Bush's essay As We May Think, first published in The Atlantic Monthly in July 1945, argued that as humans turned from war, scientific efforts should shift from increasing physical abilities to making all previous collected human knowledge more accessible.

The article was a reworked and expanded version of his 1939 Mechanization and the Record. He described something in many ways like today's World Wide Web. It also included features still not elegantly available, as of 2005, such as voice-activated automatic dictation.

The system, which he called memex, was described as based on what was thought, at the time, to be the wave of the future: Ultra high resolution microfilm reels, coupled to multiple screen viewers and cameras, by electromechanical controls.

'The Atlantic Monthly' article was followed, in November 1945, by a Life magazine article which showed illustrations of the proposed memex desk and automatic typewriter.

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