His definition of a memex is simply a mechanized (or what we would now call digitized) commonplace book, which has a long history in the literature of personal knowledge management.

I’ll note here that he’s somehow still stuck on the mechanical engineering idea of mechanized. Despite the fact that he was the advisor to Claude Shannon, father of the digital revolution, he is still thinking in terms of mechanical pipes, levers, and fluids. He literally had Shannon building a computer out of pipes and fluid while he was a student at [[MIT]].


A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory. 1


links: commonplace books memory

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

connected ideas:

MOC: [[Words MOC]]

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


June 9, 2021