After reading the two articles from Bush, I was able to learn the concept of “Memex”, which is basically an advanced technology of a machine that lets people to organize large amount of information. It is advanced because it can retrieve any information stored in order to expand one’s memory. In fact, the word Memex, coined by Vannevar Bush, is derived from the word memory and extender. Looking at the time frame, such futuristic idea was mind-blowing. He envisioned how this machines can expand humans’ minds and solidify knowledge to pass down to future generations. In his second article, he “revisited” his concept of Memex due to the rise of digital computers and other devices. However, in both of the articles, he worries that the issues with “funding” might slow down the technological progress. Nonetheless, this concept was definitely a precursor to the creation of today’s World Wide Web and the development of hypertext system.
I performed a Google video search on “Memex” and the first video that came to my eyes was animation of Bush’s memex closely explained uploaded in 1999. The video draws a diagram of the machine and represents the potential functions. At the end, it even shows the internal parts of the machines and how it works. It is explained in the content that the application was made by Dynamics Diagrams in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bush’s 1945 article, “As We May Think”. This video really helped me to understand the speculations that Bush had for the future, as his futuristic concepts in the articles were quite puzzling for me.
Video Link: Memex Animation