Sep 182013

atlantic_logoDuring World War II, Vannevar Bush served as director of the U. S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), from which arose projects ranging from the very pragmatic (such as the proximity fuse), to the speculative (the ENIAC comes to mind), to the profound (namely, the Manhattan Project). After the war, Bush turned his attention to the opportunities of leveraging the scientific infrastructure that was born in conflict to the needs of a world at relative peace. In 1945, in The Atlantic, Bush published “As We May Think” in which he described the Memex. As he wrote, “The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.” Indeed, much has come of it.