"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 the whole of creation, in whole or in certain parts." -- Monde by Paul Otlet, 1935

"With war clouds gathering, Wells urged the crowd to focus their attention on the potential of networked information to bring about a transformation of the human condition. 'The world has to pull its mind together,' he said, 'This synthesis of knowledge upon which you are working is the necessary beginning of a new world.' The next year, Wells published a collection of essays on this theme under the title World Brain. 'The whole human memory can be, and probably in a short time will be, made accessible to every individual,' he wrote. “It can have at once the concentration of a craniate animal and the diffused vitality of an amoeba."

"He imagined the eventual emergence of a 'super-human memory' fanning out across the globe in a 'world-wide network' that would foster cooperation among the world’s universities, research institutions, and other centers of intellectual life. The optimism of the 1937 conference proved short-lived. In 1940 the Nazis invaded Belgium. A Nazi delegation interrogated Otlet about his 'foreign contacts.' Soon enough, Nazi troops stormed the Palais Mondial, destroying much of the collection to make room for an exhibition of Third Reich art."