Nugget – “As We May Think”

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 built a civilization so complex that he needs to mechanize his records more fully if he is to push his experiment to its logical conclusion and not merely become bogged down part way there by overtaxing his limited memory. His excursions may be more enjoyable if he can reacquire the privilege of 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. (Vannevar Bush)

As I got nearer to the end of his essay, I can totally relate this astonishing concept of memex to my “best friend”, Google. Who would think of this very part of our life nowadays as a powerful and incredibly clever innovation? It’s amazing how Bush’s prediction, 70 years ago, about the future really did happen.


He has made a very legit point that I particularly agree in this nugget which is “man has built a civilization so complex that we need to mechanize our mind, our memory in order to elevate human race to a further extent (Bush).” Technology is growing at an exponential rate every single day. There is no use of that rich foundation if we can’t st
ore or access them. No more than just a century ago, from a nonexistent, scientific fiction concept, technology such as PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, internet, have became mainstream and completely revolutionize human way of transmitting and storing messages. Our cloud storage, our database are too huge that fair to said they have an unlimited capacity. We now can literally search for possibly anything, anywhere, at anytime. These technology have indeed pushed human’s capability to another level.

However, at the same time, introduced a sense of dependency and slacking off to human’s mindset as byproducts. There tend to be a trend “ask google” in our contemporary society. We are starting to develop a reassurance thought that we can always turn to google for answer. With almost instantly access to overwhelming amount of resources that the internet provided, searching is not a time consuming process anymore. We can easily get over hundreds, thousands, millions hits with a few key words. Computer’s association though powerful but not relevance enough. Thus, making selection and filter a little bit more difficult. What I meant by difficult here is that such excessive convenience is making people lose focus and comprehensibility to certain extent because it is natural reflex of human behavior, to just skim through the information, at unnoticeably high speed, since we know that there are a lot more possible answer lying out there. But I believe, like Bush said, such technology might be just in its embryo state, it could be clumsy, yet would soon be growing intensively.

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1 Comment

  1. First off, kudos to you for being able to understand and interpret this article. I found it particularly difficult to do so… I definitely agree with what you were talking about in the end, that technology now is in its embryonic state. I feel like the we will become much more dependent on technology to perform normal everyday functions as technology continually advances.

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