Twenty-five years before the first microchip...fifty years before the first web browser, Paul Otlet had envisioned something very much like today's Internet.he
Everything in the universe, and everything of man, would be registered at a distance as it was produced. In this way a moving image of the world will be established, a true mirror of his memory. From a distance, everyone will be able to read text, enlarged and limited to the desired subject, projected on an individual screen. In this way, everyone from his armchair will be able to contemplate creation, in whole or in certain parts.
books were an inadequate way to store information, because the arrangement of facts contained within them was an arbitrary decision...
would be cards containing individual "chunks" of information, that would allow "all the manipulations of classification and continuous interfiling." In addition would be needed "a very detailed synoptic outline of knowledge" that could allow classification of all of these chunks of data.
a current, ever-expanding repertory of knowledge, without any of the drawbacks of the encyclopedia in book form, which is obsolete on the of publication (Berwick Sayers, a visiting librarian, p 160)
the dream of a global intellectual bureaucracy, providing an archiatactural infrastructure for combining the output of intenational organizations... (p 177, paraphrased)
Otlet recognized that emerging communication networks were shrinking the effective distances between organizations of all stripes—including nations—and that this technological transformation might serve as the catalyst to global geopolitical change. ...The old transnational alliances were becoming outdated, while an increasingly networked system of transport, postal services, and electric signals were facilitating an unprecedented exchange of people, goods, and ideas—all contributing to the formation of a new worldwide economy. (p 149)
Such an undertaking would require more tahn librarians. It would call for a new breed of professional, what Otlet called a "documentalist" (p97, +++)
The structure of the museum reflected Otlet's fascination with Geddes's ideas about exhibits. The Scottsman;s work offered a path beyond mere classification; it represented a new way of thinking about the spatial representation of knowledges. (p119, +++)
Instead of presenting a single, authoritative curatorial v iew of the collection, the encyclopedia [AUM] would allow users to customize their own interactions with it...in short, he envisioned the EUM as an interactive knowledge space (p193, +++)