I wasn't able to fully absorb this article during class last week, but after reading it more thoroughly....WOW! Bush's foresight is just plain spooky. I was not familiar with Bush until reading this article, so pardon my ignorance on his contributions.
With that said, I wonder if, and how much this article and his foresight, in general, drove the evolution of computers. I mean, he not only described personal computers, but also envisioned hypertext linking, and paths, and methods of information retrieval, exactly as they exist today!
Was he the first to discuss these issues? For example, his concerns of storing the world's information so that it can be easily indexed, sorted through, consumed, and shared...was he the first to consider this as important to advancements in science and other relevant areas? Was he the first to realize that combined knowledge could help in solving all kinds of issues? He mentioned the case of Mendel's concept of the laws of genetics being lost for an entire generation because his publication did not make their way into the right hands. I wonder how much other knowledge has been lost throughout the ages.
People like Bush who can think so far ahead of their time are just amazing to me (his article "As We May Think" was written in 1945). How was he able to conceive notions like hypertext linking before computers even existed? And what can we learn from people like Bush? How can we expand our minds in the ways that he did? I know this is a key objective of the EMAC program, but it is also a difficult tool to master. Perhaps it seems so elusive to me because it seems like everything has already been done...but new ideas and ways of doing things are being introduced all the time.
I would love to get a discussion going on this topic. I know I'm not the only one who is a bit stymied on this topic....(anyone who has experienced Dave Parry's "knowledge institution of the future" project knows what I'm talking about). I can't wait to hear from you all!