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Paul Otlet, Internet Visionary

A Belgian museum called the Mundaneum explores the ‘web that time forgot.’

Who was Paul Otlet? If you know, you’re either something of a computer/Internet trivia expert, or you’ve already read this week’s fascinating New York Times science article by Alex Wright.

“Historians typically trace the origins of the World Wide Web through a lineage of Anglo-American inventors like Vannevar Bush, Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson,” Wright says.

“But more than half a century before Tim Berners-Lee released the first Web browser in 1991, Otlet described a networked world where ‘anyone in his armchair would be able to contemplate the whole of creation.’”

The article is good reading and includes some fascinating video snippets from the documentary “The Man Who Wanted to Classify the World.”