Cambridge, July 2014


missing macbook  (sonya kovacic)

missing macbook (sonya kovacic)

Vannevar Bush, the Massachusetts-born scientist and MIT professor, was many things: a computing pioneer, an early administrator of the Manhattan Project, and the founder of Raytheon. His writings were also decades ahead of their time, predicting 21st-century technology and the internet itself. Here are a few quotes from his 1945 book As We May Think:

"Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library ... 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."

"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 facility than if it were taken from a shelf."

"Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them..."

In the same book, Bush went further — he predicted that future technology wouldn't need any outside interaction from the user. He believed that our devices would connect directly to our bodies' own nerve signals.

We depend on them every day, but sometimes computers let us down. In just the past month, they've been blamed for: