In 1945 the computing pioneer wrote “As We May Think” the essay that essentially predicted the Internet. Bush envisioned a desklike device he called a memex that would display documents and pictures on a screen and let you create hyperlinks among them.
What really intrigued Bush was that you could share your “trail”—the steps that took you from one document to another. This would be different, he noted, than sharing the results of your research. You’d also be sharing the process, a glimpse into the normally invisible life of a mind at work. Bush imagined a class of superusers called trail blazers: “The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world’s record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected,” he wrote.