Bush: Solving Information Technology

I think the answer Bush was trying to solve by imagining his ideal information technology of the future was described in his own article.  The example of the two men who are debating on how “people resist innovation” shows how the memex can be used to bring up old trains of thought and examples/pieces of information that legitimize that thought process.  Once someone has made the connection in the “trails” they can bring it back up for use at a later time.  It allows a powerful use of information that eliminates the long drawn out process of “search and discovery” that was standard in the day.  Someone must still do the leg work, but you can then transfer your trails to someone else to use in their memex.

This is a direct relation to the state of information technology today.  We have all of this information at our fingertips and we are in fact in the “Golden Age of Information.”  With the concept of wikis and the creation of hypertext that makes them truly run we use the given trails or create our own to link data together.

Borges’ article reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode where the last man on earth almost ready to take his life finds the ruins of a public library.  He now has all the time in the world to read the books he never got to.  Just before he starts reading he drops his glasses and they break.  He cries out that, “It’s just not fair,” because his nearsightedness prevents him from reading.  I find the similarities because just like the people in the Library they have everything they have wanted (books/time), but having everything isn’t always as it seems.  There is always a down side to it.

 

P.S. For those who are really geeky and into math:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Library_of_Babel#Value_as_a_mathematical_thought_experiment

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2 responses to “Bush: Solving Information Technology

  1. Bush’s idea that information in the future would be easier to find, track, and store is correct. And certainly he was right that scientists had to put some thought into how they would handle the large amounts of information/data they were producing. However while Bush thought sharing of information was an important point in the process it seems we have not reached the ideal in this area. Wikis might be a good example for the general public but I believe information plays out differently for highly knowledgable scientists/researchers.
    It would be great if scientists could easily exchange their data in order to advance their field of research but this is simply not the case. So many researchers are tied up by publishers and copyright law that I do wonder how much is being missed and what discoveries have not happened. Sadly Bush thought discoveries would be lost due to too much information but in fact a lack of free access to all the information might be what is holding scientists back.

  2. Also, you really make me want to go watch The Twilight Zone. I’ve never seen any of them and I think I am really missing out.

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