Early thoughts about knowledge sharing, which we now associate the Internet with, include a thoughtful article, “As We May Think,” written in 1945 by Vannevar Bush in the Atlantic Magazine. His thoughts eighty years ago remain relevant to the ideas behind #opensource #opendata #knowledgebase #technology systems. The critical product in the article is “memex” (wiki), a hypothetical electromagnetic device in which humanity would store in compressed form all their thoughts and books on it. In his article, he even defines the basic concept of “select” as picking out the item from the data, a.k.a SQL queries or web search, “linking” as associating data with each other, “inserting” as adding new records, and so on, “accessing,” “audit trails” (think versioning control) and more. He even suggests visual and auditory implants for the memex. I can think of the #metaverse when I read this. It is a fascinating read about how early scientists accurately visualized the technology world we live in today.

Read the article -> Vannevar Bush (1974) “As We May Think