Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Otlet and the Historical Web

Amazing article about a very early embodiment of the information society, from 1934. Amazing. Not as early as the telegraph, as detailed in Standage's The Victorian Internet, but a must-read. 

In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks.
Very cool. The last sentence of the article is also amazing.