Blog 1: “As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush

In this article Bush is describing how technology has helped humans grown physically and the out come of our use of technology.  Bush gives examples of things that have helped man become better in the physical since. For example, the hammer, microscopes, and engines; in have helped mankind by becoming stronger, or giving us a better view of something we naturally could never see, and the power to move things (including ourselves) much greater then any human could do alone. In hindsight technology has really improved mans away of life and discovery. But Bush continues to ask the question about the good and the evil that technology has brought to our culture/lives that would never been and issue before. Technology isn’t all good because we have developed stronger weapons nor is all evil because technology has given us advancements to cure disease and give people a second chance at life.

I found the article difficult to read but after re-reading it I was able to grasp what Bush was trying to tell us. I do agree with his statement, “… men of science should … turn to the massive task of making [technology] more accessible [to] our bewildering store of knowledge.” I believe that Bush is telling us that we need technology to make mankind mentally stronger, not just physically. In the introduction of this article Bush quotes his own paper says “this paper … calls for a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge.” I know that here are games and tests that we can play/take on our iPhones, computers, and tablets that will help keep our mind sharp and help build better memories, mathematical skill, etc. But is that enough? Is that all technology has to offer to our mental growth?

Near the end of this article Bush describes a “memex” which is “a device in which an individual stores all this books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility.” This seemed to me as a bit of over kill. The idea is great but I think my laptop or our iPad/tablet does exactly that. It stores information that want/need for the future and you can access it any time you need, there is no need to try and remember every single detail of every single thing you read, write, hear, or see; It’s impossible to remember everything!  But I do believe in the concept of having some sort of device, whether that be a memex, laptop, iPad, tablet, Blackberry, etc to recall past information that is useful in the future.

Finally, Bush talks about the goods and evils that technology has brought to mankind. I made a short pro & con list for myself and found that the pros cancel out the cons and visa versa. I also thought about everything in the world and all the good things in the world have a bad thing and all the bad things have a good thing, which canceled the other. So YES, technology can be used for evil, but I would like to see what Bush wants to see, which is to see what kind of GOOD things technology can give us. Bush does seem a little naive to think that evil things will disappear if everyone focused on the good technology can bring us. There is always going to be something/someone that does bad things to other people.


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