16 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2016
  2. Sep 2015
    1. There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things.

      Who will perform those computations? Those in power presumably?

    2. but who would now place bounds on where such a thing may lead?

      Who would, or who should? Who gets to decide how we reshape humanity? The masters of war?

    3. The lawyer has at his touch the associated opinions and decisions of his whole experience, and of the experience of friends and authorities.

      So it's not just limited to the individual, but you can see other people's trails. It is social. This seems like a key insight as well.

    4. It consists of a desk, and while it can presumably be operated from a distance, it is primarily the piece of furniture at which he works. On the top are slanting translucent screens, on which material can be projected for convenient reading. There is a keyboard, and sets of buttons and levers. Otherwise it looks like an ordinary desk.

      Not a bad user story, all things considered.

    5. Whenever logical processes of thought are employed—that is, whenever thought for a time runs along an accepted groove—there is an opportunity for the machine.

      The use of logic here is also interesting. Is knowledge actually grounded in logic? Didn't Wittgenstein free us of this delusion?

    6. But creative thought and essentially repetitive thought are very different things.

      This distinction seems particularly significant.

    7. A girl strokes its keys languidly

      Dude, stop it already!

    8. girl

      Ouch. C'mon Vannevar!

    9. will the author of the future cease writing by hand or typewriter and talk directly to the record?

      Some people do this now, but they seem to be a minority.

    10. Today, with microfilm, reductions by a linear factor of 20 can be employed and still produce full clarity when the material is re-enlarged for examination.

      Is it even possible to think what this factor is for today's digital storage technologies?

    11. Often it would be advantageous to be able to snap the camera and to look at the picture immediately.

      It would be, and is!

    12. A record if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all it must be consulted.

      Valuable ideas often appear before they are viable. But they must be discoverable when the environment changes in ways that make the idea more tractable.

    13. publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record

      This makes me wonder if that's where we still are. Connecting documents/information with people when they need it is still a huge challenge. Although being able to go to Google to ask a question on your phone is a huge advantage for those who have questions that are amenable and the device to ask it.

    14. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends.

      The now familiar information overload.

    15. strange destructive gadgets

      the atomic bomb, among others.