The lost promise of the Internet: Meet the man who almost invented cyberspace

In 1934, a little-known Belgian thinker published plans for a global network that could have changed everything

Source: www.salon.com

Conceived in the pre-digital era, Otlet’s scheme relied on a crazy quilt of analog technologies like microfilm, telegraph lines, radio transmitters and typewritten index cards. Nonetheless, it anticipated the emergence of a hyperlinked information environment — more than half a century before Tim Berners-Lee released the first Web browser.

Despite Otlet’s remarkable foresight, he remains largely forgotten outside of rarefied academic circles. When the Nazis invaded Belgium in 1940, they destroyed much of his work, helping ensure his descent into historical obscurity (although the Mundaneum museum in Belgium is making great strides toward restoring his legacy). Most of his writing has never been translated into English.

http://www.mundaneum.org/en

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About @mediamentor
Information Curation, Communication & Media / Cure d'information, communication et medias http://mediamentor.ca

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