Today at the Huffington Post, Sean Captain reported on a “wild” discussion that occurred on the history of the Internet at the recent World Science Festival in New York City. On the panel was Alex Wright, the author of Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages.
Wright has been one of the driving forces to recognize the work of Belgian Paul Otlet, whose early thinking about information was a pre-cursor to our modern-day computers and their access to the Internet. Librarian Otlet wanted to take the great repository of knowledge at the time, the book, and liberate its discrete bits of information and combine them with other content from the new mediums of radio, television and the phone. He even went so far as to envision crowd-sourcing and multiple broswer screens holding different windows of content.
Back in 2007, Wright appeared on FORA.tv in a Long Now Foundation Program talking about the history of the Internet and, in particular, Otlet. Why haven’t you heard of this important visionary? Blame the Nazis.
Image courtesy of matthewjuran