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vannevar_bush [2007-07-12 09:32]
127.0.0.1 external edit
vannevar_bush [2007-07-12 09:43] (current)
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 original source -> http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm original source -> http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm
  
-<html> +As Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Dr. Vannevar
-<p /> +
-<BLOCKQUOTE><font size=2>As Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Dr. Vannevar+
 Bush has coordinated the activities of some six thousand leading American Bush has coordinated the activities of some six thousand leading American
 scientists in the application of science to warfare. In this significant scientists in the application of science to warfare. In this significant
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 famous address of 1837 on "The American Scholar," this paper by Dr. Bush calls famous address of 1837 on "The American Scholar," this paper by Dr. Bush calls
 for a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge. --THE for a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge. --THE
-EDITOR</font></BLOCKQUOTE> +EDITOR 
-<p /> + 
-<font size=5>T</font>his has not been a scientist's war; it has been a war in which all have had a part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been exhilarating to work in effective partnership. Now, for many, this appears to be approaching an end. What are the scientists to do next? + 
-<p /> +==== As We May Think ==== 
-<p />+ 
 +This has not been a scientist's war; it has been a war in which all have had a 
 +part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand 
 +of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been 
 +exhilarating to work in effective partnership. Now, for many, this appears to be 
 +approaching an end. What are the scientists to do next? 
 + 
 For the biologists, and particularly for the medical scientists, there can be For the biologists, and particularly for the medical scientists, there can be
 little indecision, for their war has hardly required them to leave the old little indecision, for their war has hardly required them to leave the old
 paths. Many indeed have been able to carry on their war research in their paths. Many indeed have been able to carry on their war research in their
 familiar peacetime laboratories. Their objectives remain much the same. familiar peacetime laboratories. Their objectives remain much the same.
-<p />+
 It is the physicists who have been thrown most violently off stride, who have It is the physicists who have been thrown most violently off stride, who have
 left academic pursuits for the making of strange destructive gadgets, who have left academic pursuits for the making of strange destructive gadgets, who have
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 Now, as peace approaches, one asks where they will find objectives worthy of Now, as peace approaches, one asks where they will find objectives worthy of
 their best. their best.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 1"></a> part 1 </h3> +==== part 1 ==== 
-<p />+
 Of what lasting benefit has been man's use of science and of the new Of what lasting benefit has been man's use of science and of the new
 instruments which his research brought into existence? First, they have instruments which his research brought into existence? First, they have
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 interactions of his physiological and psychological functions, giving the interactions of his physiological and psychological functions, giving the
 promise of an improved mental health. promise of an improved mental health.
-<p />+
 Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has
 provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make
 extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the
 life of a race rather than that of an individual. life of a race rather than that of an individual.
-<p />+
 There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that
 we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is
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 as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress, as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress,
 and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial. and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial.
-<p />+
 Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of
 research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their
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 catastrophe is undoubtedly being repeated all about us, as truly significant catastrophe is undoubtedly being repeated all about us, as truly significant
 attainments become lost in the mass of the inconsequential. attainments become lost in the mass of the inconsequential.
-<p />+
 The difficulty seems to be, not so much that we publish unduly in view of the The difficulty seems to be, not so much that we publish unduly in view of the
 extent and variety of present day interests, but rather that publication has extent and variety of present day interests, but rather that publication has
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 the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily
 important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships. important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships.
-<p />+
 But there are signs of a change as new and powerful instrumentalities come into But there are signs of a change as new and powerful instrumentalities come into
 use. Photocells capable of seeing things in a physical sense, advanced use. Photocells capable of seeing things in a physical sense, advanced
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 than any human operator and thousands of times as fast -- there are plenty of than any human operator and thousands of times as fast -- there are plenty of
 mechanical aids with which to effect a transformation in scientific records. mechanical aids with which to effect a transformation in scientific records.
-<p />+
 Two centuries ago Leibnitz invented a calculating machine which embodied most Two centuries ago Leibnitz invented a calculating machine which embodied most
 of the essential features of recent keyboard devices, but it could not then of the essential features of recent keyboard devices, but it could not then
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 frequent breakdown, so that it could not have been depended upon; for at that frequent breakdown, so that it could not have been depended upon; for at that
 time and long after, complexity and unreliability were synonymous. time and long after, complexity and unreliability were synonymous.
-<p />+
 Babbage, even with remarkably generous support for his time, could not produce Babbage, even with remarkably generous support for his time, could not produce
 his great arithmetical machine. His idea was sound enough, but construction and his great arithmetical machine. His idea was sound enough, but construction and
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 of parts for a single car, and that car would have broken down on the first of parts for a single car, and that car would have broken down on the first
 trip to Giza. trip to Giza.
-<p />+
 Machines with interchangeable parts can now be constructed with great economy Machines with interchangeable parts can now be constructed with great economy
 of effort. In spite of much complexity, they perform reliably. Witness the of effort. In spite of much complexity, they perform reliably. Witness the
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 now it is built for thirty cents. The world has arrived at an age of cheap now it is built for thirty cents. The world has arrived at an age of cheap
 complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it. complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 2"></a> part 2 </h3>+==== part 2 ==== 
 A record if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it A record if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it
 must be stored, and above all it must be consulted. Today we make the record must be stored, and above all it must be consulted. Today we make the record
 conventionally by writing and photography, followed by printing; but we also conventionally by writing and photography, followed by printing; but we also
 record on film, on wax disks, and on magnetic wires. Even if utterly new record on film, on wax disks, and on magnetic wires. Even if utterly new
-recording procedures do not appear, these present ones are certainly in the process of modification and extension. +recording procedures do not appear, these present ones are certainly in the 
-<p />+process of modification and extension. 
 Certainly progress in photography is not going to stop. Faster material and Certainly progress in photography is not going to stop. Faster material and
 lenses, more automatic cameras, finer-grained sensitive compounds to allow an lenses, more automatic cameras, finer-grained sensitive compounds to allow an
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 have on at least one camera, which automatically adjusts exposure for a wide have on at least one camera, which automatically adjusts exposure for a wide
 range of illumination. There is film in the walnut for a hundred exposures, and range of illumination. There is film in the walnut for a hundred exposures, and
-the spring for operating its shutter and shifting its film is wound once for +the spring for operating its shutter and shifting its film is wound once for all 
-all when the film clip is inserted. It produces its result in full color. It may well be stereoscopic, and record with two spaced glass eyes, for striking +when the film clip is inserted. It produces its result in full color. It may 
-improvements in stereoscopic technique are just around the corner.<br><br> +well be stereoscopic, and record with two spaced glass eyes, for striking 
-<p />+improvements in stereoscopic technique are just around the corner. 
 The cord which trips its shutter may reach down a man's sleeve within easy The cord which trips its shutter may reach down a man's sleeve within easy
 reach of his fingers. A quick squeeze, and the picture is taken. On a pair of reach of his fingers. A quick squeeze, and the picture is taken. On a pair of
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 fantastic? The only fantastic thing about it is the idea of making as many fantastic? The only fantastic thing about it is the idea of making as many
 pictures as would result from its use. pictures as would result from its use.
-<p />+
 Will there be dry photography? It is already here in two forms. When Brady made Will there be dry photography? It is already here in two forms. When Brady made
 his Civil War pictures, the plate had to be wet at the time of exposure. Now it his Civil War pictures, the plate had to be wet at the time of exposure. Now it
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 advantageous to be able to snap the camera and to look at the picture advantageous to be able to snap the camera and to look at the picture
 immediately. immediately.
-<p />+
 Another process now in use is also slow, and more or less clumsy. For fifty Another process now in use is also slow, and more or less clumsy. For fifty
 years impregnated papers have been used which turn dark at every point where an years impregnated papers have been used which turn dark at every point where an
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 electrical potential on the pointer is varied as it moves, the line becomes electrical potential on the pointer is varied as it moves, the line becomes
 light or dark in accordance with the potential. light or dark in accordance with the potential.
-<p />+
 This scheme is now used in facsimile transmission. The pointer draws a set of This scheme is now used in facsimile transmission. The pointer draws a set of
 closely spaced lines across the paper one after another. As it moves, its closely spaced lines across the paper one after another. As it moves, its
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 being observed by the photocell. Thus, when the whole picture has been covered, being observed by the photocell. Thus, when the whole picture has been covered,
 a replica appears at the receiving end. a replica appears at the receiving end.
-<p />+
 A scene itself can be just as well looked over line by line by the photocell in A scene itself can be just as well looked over line by line by the photocell in
 this way as can a photograph of the scene. This whole apparatus constitutes a this way as can a photograph of the scene. This whole apparatus constitutes a
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 detail. Still, it does give another process of dry photography, in which the detail. Still, it does give another process of dry photography, in which the
 picture is finished as soon as it is taken. picture is finished as soon as it is taken.
-<p />+
 It would be a brave man who would predict that such a process will always It would be a brave man who would predict that such a process will always
 remain clumsy, slow, and faulty in detail. Television equipment today transmits remain clumsy, slow, and faulty in detail. Television equipment today transmits
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 permanently altered. This speed is necessary in television, for motion pictures permanently altered. This speed is necessary in television, for motion pictures
 rather than stills are the object. rather than stills are the object.
-<p />+
 Use chemically treated film in place of the glowing screen, allow the apparatus Use chemically treated film in place of the glowing screen, allow the apparatus
 to transmit one picture only rather than a succession, and a rapid camera for to transmit one picture only rather than a succession, and a rapid camera for
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 in crude form, could certainly be constructed, and they will hardly hold up the in crude form, could certainly be constructed, and they will hardly hold up the
 general development. general development.
-<p />+
 Like dry photography, microphotography still has a long way to go. The basic Like dry photography, microphotography still has a long way to go. The basic
 scheme of reducing the size of the record, and examining it by projection scheme of reducing the size of the record, and examining it by projection
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 of the film, the excellence of the optical system, and the efficiency of the of the film, the excellence of the optical system, and the efficiency of the
 light sources employed. All of these are rapidly improving. light sources employed. All of these are rapidly improving.
-<p /> + 
-Assume a linear ratio of 100 for future use. Consider film of the same +Assume a linear ratio of 100 for future use. Consider film of the same thickness 
-thickness as paper, although thinner film will certainly be usable. Even under +as paper, although thinner film will certainly be usable. Even under these 
-these conditions there would be a total factor of 10,000 between the bulk of +conditions there would be a total factor of 10,000 between the bulk of the 
-the ordinary record on books, and its microfilm replica. The <I>Encyclopoedia +ordinary record on books, and its microfilm replica. The //Encyclopoedia 
-Britannica</I> could be reduced to the volume of a matchbox. A library of a million volumes could be compressed into one end of a desk. If the human race has produced since the invention of movable type a total record, in the form of +Britannica/could be reduced to the volume of a matchbox. A library of a 
-magazines, newspapers, books, tracts, advertising blurbs, correspondence, +million volumes could be compressed into one end of a desk. If the human race 
-having a volume corresponding to a billion books, the whole affair, assembled +has produced since the invention of movable type a total record, in the form of 
-and compressed, could be lugged off in a moving van. Mere compression, of +magazines, newspapers, books, tracts, advertising blurbs, correspondence, having 
-course, is not enough; one needs not only to make and store a record but also +a volume corresponding to a billion books, the whole affair, assembled and 
-be able to consult it, and this aspect of the matter comes later. Even the +compressed, could be lugged off in a moving van. Mere compression, of course, is 
-modern great library is not generally consulted; it is nibbled at by a few. +not enough; one needs not only to make and store a record but also be able to 
-<p />+consult it, and this aspect of the matter comes later. Even the modern great 
 +library is not generally consulted; it is nibbled at by a few. 
 Compression is important, however, when it comes to costs. The material for the Compression is important, however, when it comes to costs. The material for the
-microfilm <I>Britannica</I> would cost a nickel, and it could be mailed anywhere for a cent. What would it cost to print a million copies? To print a sheet of newspaper, in a large edition, costs a small fraction of a cent. The entire material of the <I>Britannica</I> in reduced microfilm form would go on a sheet eight and one-half by eleven inches. Once it is available, with the photographic reproduction methods of the future, duplicates in large quantities could probably be turned out for a cent apiece beyond the cost of materials. The preparation of the original copy? That introduces the next aspect of the+microfilm //Britannica/would cost a nickel, and it could be mailed anywhere 
 +for a cent. What would it cost to print a million copies? To print a sheet of 
 +newspaper, in a large edition, costs a small fraction of a cent. The entire 
 +material of the //Britannica/in reduced microfilm form would go on a sheet 
 +eight and one-half by eleven inches. Once it is available, with the photographic 
 +reproduction methods of the future, duplicates in large quantities could 
 +probably be turned out for a cent apiece beyond the cost of materials. The 
 +preparation of the original copy? That introduces the next aspect of the
 subject. subject.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 3"></a> part 3 </h3> +==== part 3 ==== 
-<p />+
 To make the record, we now push a pencil or tap a typewriter. Then comes the To make the record, we now push a pencil or tap a typewriter. Then comes the
 process of digestion and correction, followed by an intricate process of process of digestion and correction, followed by an intricate process of
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 to have his talk directly produce a typed record. All he needs to do is to take to have his talk directly produce a typed record. All he needs to do is to take
 advantage of existing mechanisms and to alter his language. advantage of existing mechanisms and to alter his language.
-<p />+
 At a recent World Fair a machine called a Voder was shown. A girl stroked its At a recent World Fair a machine called a Voder was shown. A girl stroked its
 keys and it emitted recognizable speech. No human vocal chords entered into the keys and it emitted recognizable speech. No human vocal chords entered into the
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 replaced by a microphone, which picks up sound. Speak to it, and the replaced by a microphone, which picks up sound. Speak to it, and the
 corresponding keys move. This may be one element of the postulated system. corresponding keys move. This may be one element of the postulated system.
-<p />+
 The other element is found in the stenotype, that somewhat disconcerting device The other element is found in the stenotype, that somewhat disconcerting device
 encountered usually at public meetings. A girl strokes its keys languidly and encountered usually at public meetings. A girl strokes its keys languidly and
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 to the initiated. Combine these two elements, let the Vocoder run the to the initiated. Combine these two elements, let the Vocoder run the
 stenotype, and the result is a machine which types when talked to. stenotype, and the result is a machine which types when talked to.
-<p />+
 Our present languages are not especially adapted to this sort of mechanization, Our present languages are not especially adapted to this sort of mechanization,
 it is true. It is strange that the inventors of universal languages have not it is true. It is strange that the inventors of universal languages have not
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 especially in the scientific field; whereupon scientific jargon would become especially in the scientific field; whereupon scientific jargon would become
 still less intelligible to the layman. still less intelligible to the layman.
-<p />+
 One can now picture a future investigator in his laboratory. His hands are One can now picture a future investigator in his laboratory. His hands are
 free, and he is not anchored. As he moves about and observes, he photographs free, and he is not anchored. As he moves about and observes, he photographs
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 record. His typed record, as well as his photographs, may both be in miniature, record. His typed record, as well as his photographs, may both be in miniature,
 so that he projects them for examination. so that he projects them for examination.
-<p />+
 Much needs to occur, however, between the collection of data and observations, Much needs to occur, however, between the collection of data and observations,
 the extraction of parallel material from the existing record, and the final the extraction of parallel material from the existing record, and the final
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 essentially repetitive thought are very different things. For the latter there essentially repetitive thought are very different things. For the latter there
 are, and may be, powerful mechanical aids. are, and may be, powerful mechanical aids.
-<p />+
 Adding a column of figures is a repetitive thought process, and it was long ago Adding a column of figures is a repetitive thought process, and it was long ago
 properly relegated to the machine. True, the machine is sometimes controlled by properly relegated to the machine. True, the machine is sometimes controlled by
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 for sorting the consequent variations, and relay circuits for interpreting the for sorting the consequent variations, and relay circuits for interpreting the
 result into the action of solenoids to pull the keys down. result into the action of solenoids to pull the keys down.
-<p />+
 All this complication is needed because of the clumsy way in which we have All this complication is needed because of the clumsy way in which we have
 learned to write figures. If we recorded them positionally, simply by the learned to write figures. If we recorded them positionally, simply by the
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 census, and now used throughout business. Some types of complex businesses census, and now used throughout business. Some types of complex businesses
 could hardly operate without these machines. could hardly operate without these machines.
-<p />+
 Adding is only one operation. To perform arithmetical computation involves also Adding is only one operation. To perform arithmetical computation involves also
 subtraction, multiplication, and division, and in addition some method for subtraction, multiplication, and division, and in addition some method for
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 useful; but as far as complex computations are concerned, both are still in useful; but as far as complex computations are concerned, both are still in
 embryo. embryo.
-<p />+
 Rapid electrical counting appeared soon after the physicists found it desirable Rapid electrical counting appeared soon after the physicists found it desirable
 to count cosmic rays. For their own purposes the physicists promptly to count cosmic rays. For their own purposes the physicists promptly
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 future will be electrical in nature, and they will perform at 100 times present future will be electrical in nature, and they will perform at 100 times present
 speeds, or more. speeds, or more.
-<p />+
 Moreover, they will be far more versatile than present commercial machines, so Moreover, they will be far more versatile than present commercial machines, so
 that they may readily be adapted for a wide variety of operations. They will be that they may readily be adapted for a wide variety of operations. They will be
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 every few minutes. There will always be plenty of things to compute in the every few minutes. There will always be plenty of things to compute in the
 detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 4"></a> part 4 </h3>+ 
 +====part 4 ==== 
 The repetitive processes of thought are not confined however, to matters of The repetitive processes of thought are not confined however, to matters of
-arithmetic and statistics. In fact, every time one combines and records facts in accordance with established logical processes, the creative aspect of thinking is concerned only with the selection of the data and the process to be employed and the manipulation thereafter is repetitive in nature and hence a fit matter to be relegated to the machine. Not so much has been done along these lines,beyond the bounds of arithmetic, as might be done, primarily because of the economics of the situation. The needs of business and the extensive market obviously waiting, assured the advent of mass-produced arithmetical machines just as soon as production methods were sufficiently advanced. +arithmetic and statistics. In fact, every time one combines and records facts in 
-<p />+accordance with established logical processes, the creative aspect of thinking 
 +is concerned only with the selection of the data and the process to be employed 
 +and the manipulation thereafter is repetitive in nature and hence a fit matter 
 +to be relegated to the machine. Not so much has been done along these 
 +lines,beyond the bounds of arithmetic, as might be done, primarily because of 
 +the economics of the situation. The needs of business and the extensive market 
 +obviously waiting, assured the advent of mass-produced arithmetical machines 
 +just as soon as production methods were sufficiently advanced. 
 With machines for advanced analysis no such situation existed; for there was With machines for advanced analysis no such situation existed; for there was
 and is no extensive market; the users of advanced methods of manipulating data and is no extensive market; the users of advanced methods of manipulating data
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 predicts the tides. There will be many more, appearing certainly first in the predicts the tides. There will be many more, appearing certainly first in the
 hands of the scientist and in small numbers. hands of the scientist and in small numbers.
-<p />+
 If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we
 should not get far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as should not get far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as
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 the rest of the world; and it was a useful tool -- so useful that it still the rest of the world; and it was a useful tool -- so useful that it still
 exists. exists.
-<p />+
 It is a far cry from the abacus to the modern keyboard accounting machine. It It is a far cry from the abacus to the modern keyboard accounting machine. It
 will be an equal step to the arithmetical machine of the future. But even this will be an equal step to the arithmetical machine of the future. But even this
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 symbolic logic on a high plane, and especially he is a man of intuitive symbolic logic on a high plane, and especially he is a man of intuitive
 judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs. judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs.
-<p />+
 All else he should be able to turn over to his mechanism, just as confidently All else he should be able to turn over to his mechanism, just as confidently
 as he turns over the propelling of his car to the intricate mechanism under the as he turns over the propelling of his car to the intricate mechanism under the
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 sufficiently bizarre to suit the most fastidious connoisseur of the present sufficiently bizarre to suit the most fastidious connoisseur of the present
 artifacts of civilization. artifacts of civilization.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 5"></a> part 5 </h3>+==== part 5 ==== 
 The scientist, however, is not the only person who manipulates data and The scientist, however, is not the only person who manipulates data and
 examines the world about him by the use of logical processes, although he examines the world about him by the use of logical processes, although he
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 conclusion, all in accordance with logical law, and with no more slips than conclusion, all in accordance with logical law, and with no more slips than
 would be expected of a keyboard adding machine. would be expected of a keyboard adding machine.
-<p />+
 Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to
 produce more assurance in its use. The machines for higher analysis have produce more assurance in its use. The machines for higher analysis have
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 employ a symbolism which grew like Topsy and has little consistency; a strange employ a symbolism which grew like Topsy and has little consistency; a strange
 fact in that most logical field. fact in that most logical field.
-<p />+
 A new symbolism, probably positional, must apparently precede the reduction of A new symbolism, probably positional, must apparently precede the reduction of
 mathematical transformations to machine processes. Then, on beyond the strict mathematical transformations to machine processes. Then, on beyond the strict
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 we now enter sales on a cash register. But the machine of logic will not look we now enter sales on a cash register. But the machine of logic will not look
 like a cash register, even of the streamlined model. like a cash register, even of the streamlined model.
-<p />+
 So much for the manipulation of ideas and their insertion into the record. Thus So much for the manipulation of ideas and their insertion into the record. Thus
 far we seem to be worse off than before -- for we can enormously extend the far we seem to be worse off than before -- for we can enormously extend the
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 a week by diligent search, his syntheses are not likely to keep up with the a week by diligent search, his syntheses are not likely to keep up with the
 current scene. current scene.
-<p />+
 Selection, in this broad sense, is a stone adze in the hands of a cabinetmaker. Selection, in this broad sense, is a stone adze in the hands of a cabinetmaker.
 Yet, in a narrow sense and in other areas, something has already been done Yet, in a narrow sense and in other areas, something has already been done
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 By the use of photocells and microfilm they will survey items at the rate of a By the use of photocells and microfilm they will survey items at the rate of a
 thousand a second, and will print out duplicates of those selected. thousand a second, and will print out duplicates of those selected.
-<p />+
 This process, however, is simple selection: it proceeds by examining in turn This process, however, is simple selection: it proceeds by examining in turn
 every one of a large set of items, and by picking out those which have certain every one of a large set of items, and by picking out those which have certain
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 second. No one would wish to spend the money necessary to make this change in second. No one would wish to spend the money necessary to make this change in
 the telephone system, but the general idea is applicable elsewhere. the telephone system, but the general idea is applicable elsewhere.
-<p />+
 Take the prosaic problem of the great department store. Every time a charge Take the prosaic problem of the great department store. Every time a charge
 sale is made, there are a number of things to be done. The inventory needs to sale is made, there are a number of things to be done. The inventory needs to
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 a central point makes the necessary computations and entries, and the proper a central point makes the necessary computations and entries, and the proper
 receipt is printed for the salesman to pass to the customer. receipt is printed for the salesman to pass to the customer.
-<p />+
 But there may be ten thousand charge customers doing business with the store, But there may be ten thousand charge customers doing business with the store,
 and before the full operation can be completed someone has to select the right and before the full operation can be completed someone has to select the right
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 be of the dry photography type I have described. Existing totals could then be be of the dry photography type I have described. Existing totals could then be
 read by photocell, and the new total entered by an electron beam. read by photocell, and the new total entered by an electron beam.
-<p />+
 The cards may be in miniature, so that they occupy little space. They must move The cards may be in miniature, so that they occupy little space. They must move
 quickly. They need not be transferred far, but merely into position so that the quickly. They need not be transferred far, but merely into position so that the
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 to project the record in enlarged form and at a distance by using the process to project the record in enlarged form and at a distance by using the process
 common in television equipment. common in television equipment.
-<p />+
 One can consider rapid selection of this form, and distant projection for other One can consider rapid selection of this form, and distant projection for other
 purposes. To be able to key one sheet of a million before an operator in a purposes. To be able to key one sheet of a million before an operator in a
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 the speech controlled typewriter, and thus make his selections. It would the speech controlled typewriter, and thus make his selections. It would
 certainly beat the usual file clerk. certainly beat the usual file clerk.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 6"></a> part 6 </h3>+==== part 6 ==== 
 The real heart of the matter of selection, however, goes deeper than a lag in The real heart of the matter of selection, however, goes deeper than a lag in
-the adoption of mechanisms by libraries, or a lack of development of devices for their use. Our ineptitude in getting at the record is largely caused by +the adoption of mechanisms by libraries, or a lack of development of devices for 
-the artificiality of systems of indexing. When data of any sort are placed in+their use. Our ineptitude in getting at the record is largely caused by the 
 +artificiality of systems of indexing. When data of any sort are placed in
 storage, they are filed alphabetically or numerically, and information is found storage, they are filed alphabetically or numerically, and information is found
-(when it is) by tracing it down from subclass to subclass. It can be in only +(when it is) by tracing it down from subclass to subclass. It can be in only one 
-one place, unless duplicates are used; one has to have rules as to which path +place, unless duplicates are used; one has to have rules as to which path will 
-will locate it, and the rules are cumbersome. Having found one item, moreover, +locate it, and the rules are cumbersome. Having found one item, moreover, one 
-one has to emerge from the system and re-enter on a new path. +has to emerge from the system and re-enter on a new path. 
-<p />+
 The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one
 item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the
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 trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in
 nature. nature.
-<p />+
 Man cannot hope fully to duplicate this mental process artificially, but he Man cannot hope fully to duplicate this mental process artificially, but he
 certainly ought to be able to learn from it. In minor ways he may even improve, certainly ought to be able to learn from it. In minor ways he may even improve,
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 possible to beat the mind decisively in regard to the permanence and clarity of possible to beat the mind decisively in regard to the permanence and clarity of
 the items resurrected from storage. the items resurrected from storage.
-<p />+
 Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, "memex" will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory. Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, "memex" will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.
-<p />+
 It consists of a desk, and while it can presumably be operated from a distance, It consists of a desk, and while it can presumably be operated from a distance,
 it is primarily the piece of furniture at which he works. On the top are it is primarily the piece of furniture at which he works. On the top are
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 reading. There is a keyboard, and sets of buttons and levers. Otherwise it reading. There is a keyboard, and sets of buttons and levers. Otherwise it
 looks like an ordinary desk. looks like an ordinary desk.
-<p />+
 In one end is the stored material. The matter of bulk is well taken care of by In one end is the stored material. The matter of bulk is well taken care of by
 improved microfilm. Only a small part of the interior of the memex is devoted improved microfilm. Only a small part of the interior of the memex is devoted
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 material a day it would take him hundreds of years to fill the repository, so material a day it would take him hundreds of years to fill the repository, so
 he can be profligate and enter material freely. he can be profligate and enter material freely.
-<p />+
 Most of the memex contents are purchased on microfilm ready for insertion. Most of the memex contents are purchased on microfilm ready for insertion.
 Books of all sorts, pictures, current periodicals, newspapers, are thus Books of all sorts, pictures, current periodicals, newspapers, are thus
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 to be photographed onto the next blank space in a section of the memex film, to be photographed onto the next blank space in a section of the memex film,
 dry photography being employed. dry photography being employed.
-<p />+
 There is, of course, provision for consultation of the record by the usual There is, of course, provision for consultation of the record by the usual
 scheme of indexing. If the user wishes to consult a certain book, he taps its scheme of indexing. If the user wishes to consult a certain book, he taps its
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 through the book 10 pages at a time; still further at 100 pages at a time. through the book 10 pages at a time; still further at 100 pages at a time.
 Deflection to the left gives him the same control backwards. Deflection to the left gives him the same control backwards.
-<p />+
 A special button transfers him immediately to the first page of the index. Any A special button transfers him immediately to the first page of the index. Any
 given book of his library can thus be called up and consulted with far greater given book of his library can thus be called up and consulted with far greater
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 scheme, such as is now employed in the telautograph seen in railroad waiting scheme, such as is now employed in the telautograph seen in railroad waiting
 rooms, just as though he had the physical page before him. rooms, just as though he had the physical page before him.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 7"></a> part 7 </h3>+==== part 7 ==== 
 All this is conventional, except for the projection forward of present-day All this is conventional, except for the projection forward of present-day
 mechanisms and gadgetry. It affords an immediate step, however, to associative mechanisms and gadgetry. It affords an immediate step, however, to associative
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 feature of the memex. The process of tying two items together is the important feature of the memex. The process of tying two items together is the important
 thing. thing.
-<p />+
 When the user is building a trail, he names it, inserts the name in his code When the user is building a trail, he names it, inserts the name in his code
 book, and taps it out on his keyboard. Before him are the two items to be book, and taps it out on his keyboard. Before him are the two items to be
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 code space, is inserted a set of dots for photocell viewing; and on each item code space, is inserted a set of dots for photocell viewing; and on each item
 these dots by their positions designate the index number of the other item. these dots by their positions designate the index number of the other item.
-<p />+
 Thereafter, at any time, when one of these items is in view, the other can be Thereafter, at any time, when one of these items is in view, the other can be
 instantly recalled merely by tapping a button below the corresponding code instantly recalled merely by tapping a button below the corresponding code
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 bound together to form a new book. It is more than this, for any item can be bound together to form a new book. It is more than this, for any item can be
 joined into numerous trails. joined into numerous trails.
-<p />+
 The owner of the memex, let us say, is interested in the origin and properties The owner of the memex, let us say, is interested in the origin and properties
 of the bow and arrow. Specifically he is studying why the short Turkish bow was of the bow and arrow. Specifically he is studying why the short Turkish bow was
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 own. Thus he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials own. Thus he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials
 available to him. available to him.
-<p />+
 And his trails do not fade. Several years later, his talk with a friend turns And his trails do not fade. Several years later, his talk with a friend turns
 to the queer ways in which a people resist innovations, even of vital interest. to the queer ways in which a people resist innovations, even of vital interest.
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 action, photographs the whole trail out, and passes it to his friend for action, photographs the whole trail out, and passes it to his friend for
 insertion in his own memex, there to be linked into the more general trail. insertion in his own memex, there to be linked into the more general trail.
-<p /> + 
-<h3><a name="part 5"></a> part 5 </h3> +==== part 5 ==== 
-<p />+
 Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of
 associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and
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 analogies of compounds, and side trails to their physical and chemical analogies of compounds, and side trails to their physical and chemical
 behavior behavior
-<p />+
 The historian, with a vast chronological account of a people, parallels it with The historian, with a vast chronological account of a people, parallels it with
 a skip trail which stops only on the salient items, and can follow at any time a skip trail which stops only on the salient items, and can follow at any time
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 record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were
 erected. erected.
-<p />+
 Thus science may implement the ways in which man produces, stores, and consults Thus science may implement the ways in which man produces, stores, and consults
 the record of the race. It might be striking to outline the instrumentalities the record of the race. It might be striking to outline the instrumentalities
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 merely to suggest, for prophecy based on extension of the known has substance, merely to suggest, for prophecy based on extension of the known has substance,
 while prophecy founded on the unknown is only a doubly involved guess. while prophecy founded on the unknown is only a doubly involved guess.
-<p />+
 All our steps in creating or absorbing material of the record proceed through All our steps in creating or absorbing material of the record proceed through
 one of the senses -- the tactile when we touch keys, the oral when we speak or one of the senses -- the tactile when we touch keys, the oral when we speak or
 listen, the visual when we read. Is it not possible that some day the path may listen, the visual when we read. Is it not possible that some day the path may
 be established more directly? be established more directly?
-<p />+
 We know that when the eye sees, all the consequent information is transmitted We know that when the eye sees, all the consequent information is transmitted
 to the brain by means of electrical vibrations in the channel of the optic to the brain by means of electrical vibrations in the channel of the optic
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 and thus discover and reproduce the scene which is being transmitted, just as and thus discover and reproduce the scene which is being transmitted, just as
 a telephone wire may be tapped for its message. a telephone wire may be tapped for its message.
-<p />+
 The impulses which flow in the arm nerves of a typist convey to her fingers the The impulses which flow in the arm nerves of a typist convey to her fingers the
 translated information which reaches her eye or ear, in order that the fingers translated information which reaches her eye or ear, in order that the fingers
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 the brain, or in the marvelously metamorphosed form in which they then proceed the brain, or in the marvelously metamorphosed form in which they then proceed
 to the hand? to the hand?
-<p />+
 By bone conduction we already introduce sounds: into the nerve channels of the By bone conduction we already introduce sounds: into the nerve channels of the
 deaf in order that they may hear. Is it not possible that we may learn to deaf in order that they may hear. Is it not possible that we may learn to
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 of the cerebral mechanism; but who would now place bounds on where such a thing of the cerebral mechanism; but who would now place bounds on where such a thing
 may lead? may lead?
-<p />+
 In the outside world, all forms of intelligence whether of sound or sight, have In the outside world, all forms of intelligence whether of sound or sight, have
 been reduced to the form of varying currents in an electric circuit in order been reduced to the form of varying currents in an electric circuit in order
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 but it hardly warrants prediction without losing touch with reality and but it hardly warrants prediction without losing touch with reality and
 immediateness. immediateness.
-<p />+
 Presumably man's spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady Presumably man's spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady
 past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems. He has past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems. He has
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 forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand, forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand,
 with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important. with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important.
-<p />+
 The applications of science have built man a well-supplied house, and are The applications of science have built man a well-supplied house, and are
 teaching him to live healthily therein. They have enabled him to throw masses teaching him to live healthily therein. They have enabled him to throw masses
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 seem to be a singularly unfortunate stage at which to terminate the process, or seem to be a singularly unfortunate stage at which to terminate the process, or
 to lose hope as to the outcome. to lose hope as to the outcome.
-<p /> + 
-<p /> + 
-<hr /> +---- 
-<p /+ 
-<font size=1><i>Copyright &copy; 1945 by Vannevar Bush.  All rights reserved.  +//Copyright (c)1945 by Vannevar Bush.  All rights reserved.  
-<br> + 
-The Atlantic Monthly; July, 1945; As We May Think; Volume 176, No. 1; pages 101-108.</i> +The Atlantic Monthly; July, 1945; As We May Think; Volume 176, No. 1; pages 101-108.// 
-</font> +
-</html>+
  
  
  
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