In a 1934 book titled, The Treaties on Documentation, Belgian entrepreneur Paul Otlet conceived of a system for requesting and retrieving massive amounts of information. Calling it a “radiated library,” Otlet’s device would allow users to retrieve all the world’s information—books, magazines, film, music—with a single phone call. Did he invent the Internet? Here, Alex Wright, director of user experience at The New York Times and discoverer of Otlet’s lost opus, explains at the 2012 World Science Festival program, Internet Everywhere, just how close Otlet had come to creating the world’s first information-networking system.
Via Sakis Koukouvis