Vannevar Bush's Open Hypertext — the Memex

Vannevar Bush, who is generally credited with the idea of hypertext (though not the term itself) developed his idea of a Memex, or memory extender, sometime in the 1930s and published it in his seminal 1945 article, "As We May Think." Nelson and many subsequent writers on hypertext see it chiefly as atomized text, which includes images and other forms of data, joined by links. Bush, in contrast, emphasizes paths and trails of links as a new form of writing imposed upon existing print-based texts [Memex animation].

As embodied in Intermedia and Microcosm, open hypermedia systems permit each reader to (a) overlay existing texts with sets of his or her own links, (b) share them with other readers, and (c) choose which sets of links to activate and read.

Forms of reader empowerment: (1) radically reconfigures process of reading as writing and annotating while reading; (2) conceives a new form of text that consists of trails or paths of connections (links).

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