All the Best People are Crazy

The article, “As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush was all about, “thinking regarding science in the modern world” and to “emphasize the opportunity for the application of science in a  field which is largely neglected by science” (Bush in Nyce & Kahn, 81).   Vannevar wrote the article after World II had ended and all of the scientist who were sent of to work on the, “strange destructive gadgets” had to return to their laboratories and find something else, equally fulfilling to work on.  Vannevar was full of incredible ideas, many people during his time called him crazy, but like Alice’s father tells her in Alice in Wonderland, “I’m afraid your mad. Bonkers. Off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret…all the best people are.”  Vannevar had an agenda when he wrote his article, and that was to give inspiration the hundreds of mindless wandering scientists that were abandoned by the government after being used for their minds.  Vannevar states that the biologists have, “hardly [been] required to leave their old paths”,  it is the physicist who have had the most terrible time returning to their old work, where they wish to achieve the same greatness they did working for their allies.  Vannevar’s article is full of inspiration, full of concepts and ideas that the lonely physicists could  pick up and begin making new discoveries.  And that is exactly what they did.  Perhaps it could not be achieved in his generation by the scientists of his time, but by the time Ted Nelson came around and did the pioneering work with hypertext, he credited Bush as his main influence.  In fact, J.C.R. Licklider and Douglas Engelbart have also credited Bush for their successes.   Vannevars article, “As We May Think” was meant to give hope to the scientists after World II and tell them that their jobs were not over.  It conveyed new ideas, theories and dreams that inspired the scientists to pick back up their microscopes and test tubes and continue to strive for even greater achievements.

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