My dad worked for a Scottish computer software company called Memex and he would try to explain to me the brilliance of Vannevar Bush and his odd, but influential concept of the memex. Today is the first day that I actually understood what a memex was! It’s very cool to learn the history of computer software and to see how much concepts built off of one another, eventually  influencing the creation of the technology that we take for granted today. Now that technology is even changing our definitions of literature! I guess now I will have so much more appreciation for the box of Memex-stamped stress balls in our hall closet.

  2 comments for “Memex

  1. January 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Hey, that’s cool! Do you know what kind of software they produced?

    I’ll be the first to admit that my presentation today was very brief and highly reductive, but I’m glad it made some sense. If you’re interested, you can read Bush’s essay here. It’s a bit long, perhaps, but it’s interesting to see how many of his ideas relate to or predict specific things we take for granted today — Wikipedia, for instance.

    By the way, it’s not necessary to include your name in your post title; this blog them includes your username in the meta information and that’s good enough. 🙂

    • ebrenton
      January 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      My dad tells me that the company’s main product was essentially a search engine for textual information that was used by British and other European police forces to organize their crime data. You can definitely see how the concept of the memex inspired their work and information organizing methods. If you are interested, here is their website. .

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