[linux-elitists] memex on a stick?

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Mon Sep 20 09:30:39 PDT 2010

begin Tony Godshall quotation of Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 09:02:49AM -0700:

> If you are going off on a "which DVCS is better" topic, please change
> the Subject line or risk being accused of hijacking the thread

"Which DVCS is better" is always on topic, like "is
top-posting always a bad idea, or is it excusable
outside of Linux lists, when you have to use the
Executive email style to deal with people who can't
use their MUAs very well?"

> You seem to have a clear idea of what a memex is that many of the rest
> of us lack- could you point us to a definition that fits what you are
> talking about a little better than the one on Wikipedia?

  "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."


It's a repository for documents and notes, under user
control.  Instead of thinking, "oh, I read that on the
Internet somewhere, let me go back out and get it,"
you think, "I read that in connnection with a certain
project, so I'll look at my project notes and get it
and related documents."

I'm not really comfortable with the Google Assisted
Cognition model of research.

The key functionality is tagging and linking:

  "When the user is building a trail, he names it,
  inserts the name in his code book, and taps it
  out on his keyboard. Before him are the two items
  to be joined, projected onto adjacent viewing
  positions. At the bottom of each there are a number
  of blank code spaces, and a pointer is set to
  indicate one of these on each item. The user taps
  a single key, and the items are permanently joined."

Don Marti                    
dmarti at zgp.org

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