The idea of an associative trail” here brings to mind both the ars memorativa and the method of loci as well as–even more specifically–the idea of songlines. Bush’s version is the same thing simply renamed.

Jeremy Dean via: What I Really Want Is Someone Rolling Around in the Text’ - The New York Times (06/09/2021 14:50:00)

Certainly songlines don’t need validation by Vannevar Bush, but perhaps the fact that there’s a connection may help the West see the immense value in their long tradition.

My reading of this quote also makes me think that Bush didn’t know about the art of memory, though computer storage is necessarily larger and stronger by comparison.


One cannot hope thus to equal the speed and flexibility with which the mind follows an associative trail, but it should be possible to beat the mind decisively in regard to the permanence and clarity of the items resurrected from storage. 1


links: associative trails memory

  • broader terms (BT):
  • narrower terms (NT): songlines
  • related terms (RT):
  • used for (UF) or aliases:

connected ideas:


  1. As We May Think by Vannevar Bush| syndication link↩︎


June 9, 2021