Decision Support Systems Wisdom

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Bush, 1945

Vannevar Bush (1945) in an article titled "As We May Think" wrote "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. ......

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 record 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 excursion 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."

from Bush, V. "As We May Think", The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945, Vol. 176, No. 1; pp. 101-108,

appeared in DSS News, July 21, 2002, Vol. 3, No. 15