Hello my little futurists! Today I’ll be setting forth my conception of the memex 20 years from now, originally conceived by Vannevar Bush. The first thing I find worth noting about the memex is that it’s not really about mathematical computation or algorithmic perfectionisms or anything like that, really. Although those are the things it runs on, the memex is really about information and ideas. It’s about a medium that makes finding information, comparing information, and dealing with information easy and, in a modern sense, possible. I think we often have these fantasies of getting caught up in the digital, in the vast pools of knowledge that exist and are now easily and infinitely accessible. The fantasy is one of enlightenment and mixed/new understandings. The irony, perhaps, is that some of the most fundamental truths of human existence are, in essence, often quite simple.
Now, I’m not looking to make some profound observations on the human phenomena or anything, but I do think that a memex, if distributed on a mass-scale, and if it is somehow relevant to our lives insistently (like, say, a computer chip in our minds as proposed in class, or even our cell phones in present day) will offer some modes of streamlined informational nourishment if it actually wants to be what we all want it to be. I think the memex will in some way transcend a simple workspace in some form or another. But whether or not it will serve as a distraction from life, or enhance it, is yet to be made obvious. I think it will take a long cycle, somehow, for the memex to bring us, through it’s own inevitably digital means, back to reality.