Sat, 29 Nov 2003 13:45:22 GMT

history, credit and identity. Like many students of computing, i was inspired by Vannevar Bush from my earliest days. “As We May Think” and follow-up writings on the Memex helped define a century of thought and computational effort. Yet, as Michael Buckland is uncovering,… [misbehaving.net]

my response over there follows:
Vannevar Bush's fame is not singularly tied to 'as we may think'. he was very much a polymath of sorts, and was a significant figure in several fields, this allowed him more popular press access of course, but if you check out his accomplishments on the wikipedia page here, I think you'll see that his fame is a bit broader based and that some of his other works are foundational in other fields. he was even on the cover of Time magazine for his work in physics

a short biblio includes such works as:
modern arms and free men: a discussion of the role of science in preserving democracy
principles of electrical engineering
science is not enough
pieces of action
endless horizons <--- which was on my ph.d. exam reading list

two codicils:

1. bush cetainly falls into the 'great man' problem of history, he is usually individuated and put forth out of his myriad of contexts, so we have to be careful about what his role really was in regards to certain concepts that he put forth, which could in fact be hinting at another problem in science studies, which is that we traditonally put undo emphasis on the people that do something first, usually singling them out in opposition to others, when they very well may have been aware of the others work and thought they were working in a larger framework. so saying 'goldberg or bush' is problematic, when it could have been that bush was seeking to popularize goldberg or something else.

2. memex has nothing to do with hypertext and everyone knows hypertext is dead (said snarkily) 😉

This entry was posted in General.