How to Make a Memex →
Been reading more about how others are using Roam the last few days. In this post, Sarah Constantin draws an apt connection to Vannevar Bush’s “memex” concept from his 1945 paper “As We May Think”. It was an early influence on what eventually became hypertext — his memex was an electromechanical device that could record and connect ideas on microfilm storage.
Arguably the Internet forms one big memex today. Bush was right in his prediction that “wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear”, that “The patent attorney has on call the millions of issued patents,” and “The physician, puzzled by a patient’s reactions, strikes the trail established in studying an earlier similar case, and runs rapidly through analogous case histories, with side references to the classics.”
But Bush imagined the memex as a private (though shareable) record, not a communal one. Each person should have their own memex.
Roam feels to me a lot more valuable for personal rather than team use.