What I find so interesting about Bush is how not-prescient he was. I mean, if we had to actually use any of his devices, we would find them inefficient and downright awful. A machine that affixes to a typewriter and pushes keys down when i speak? A microfilm reader that scratches dots on the film that some sort of robotic ants or something with photeocell eyes can read and go fetch more microfilm? It sounds almost like hyperlinks! But no more so than a bibliography at the end of a book. He completely missed digital, which is odd because so much of what he talks about is integral to digital.
So… the difference between Bush’s Memex and, say, an episode of Flash Gordon, and the really important part, I suppose, is not so much how accurately he predicted, but how influential his ideas were in getting people to work on them. And the fact that they pretty quickly hit on something way better is great for us, because honestly, if I can have a personal robot to depress levers as I speak, the last thing I want is to have it use my typewriter. I would rather have it play piano in my funk band.