4:41 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Yale University professor David Gelernter is not a typical computer scientist. Most days, he sits at an easel near a wide window in his Woodbridge, Conn., house and paints. Two parrots fly around the house, which is filled with stacks of books and papers. The birds screech sporadically and one pops up from behind the couch to say "Peekaboo." There are no gadgets in sight, aside from a desktop computer barely visible in an adjacent office.
"I hate computers, and I refuse to play with them," he says. "Any success I've had in computing is because I fit so badly in the field." He thinks that using computers should be more logical. "I want software to work in 30 seconds," he says.
It is this desire that led Mr. Gelernter to start Lifestreams, a new company that aims to make desktops more user-friendly and the stream of information more intuitive. Years ago, a first try at commercializing his ideas ended in failure, but Mr. Gelernter is used to recovering from setbacks. In 1993, he was the target of a mail bomb from the Unabomber. The explosion disfigured his right hand and blinded his right eye.
Lifestreams, which is based on software originally developed by Mr. Gelernter and his colleagues at Yale, is set to launch in late January. It will organize computer documents, emails and other information as a narrative stream, with a look similar, for example, to the flow of CD covers in Apple's iTunes. Here the contents will be photos, videos, real-time chats and word documents shared within a certain group, such as a bridal party or a youth soccer league. Mr. Gelernter's personal slogan for the company is "by humans for humans."
Whole thing here.
The creative impulse improves as well as declines.Mar 4, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 24 • By DAVID GELERNTER
‘Matisse: In Search of True Painting” is a smallish but superb show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It focuses on pairs and series of related paintings, and the sheer loveliness of its best pieces resounds through the huge building and out onto Fifth Avenue. But it is sad that this small-scale, dazzling-masterpieces-only approach wasn’t extended to Henri Matisse’s late cutouts—which also occur in pairs and in series.
Mar 22, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 26 • By FRED BARNES
I met Michael Cromartie in 1985 at Windy Gap, a Christian retreat in North Carolina. As a recent convert, I was there to talk about the only religious subject about which I knew anything: how I happened to become a Christian in my 30s after having been blasé about religion for years.
Welcome to the Lifestream.9:00 AM, Mar 9, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Don't miss contributing editor David Gelernter's thoughts on the future of the Internet. A lot is going on in his 35-paragraph essay, but I was struck by this observation in particular:
Nowness is one of the most important cultural phenomena of the modern age: the western world's attention shifted gradually from the deep but narrow domain of one family or village and its history to the (broader but shallower) domains of the larger community, the nation, the world. The cult of celebrity, the importance of opinion polls, the decline in the teaching and learning of history, the uniformity of opinions and attitudes in academia and other educated elites — they are all part of one phenomenon. Nowness ignores all other moments but this. In the ultimate Internet culture, flooded in nowness like a piazza flooded in sea water, drenched in a tropical downpour of nowness, everyone talks alike, dresses alike, thinks alike.
This is exactly how I felt during the hour or so I spent watching the Oscars on Sunday. Hollywood seemed so small. Not geographically or financially. But in terms of cultural hegemony. The only real "star" on the scene -- in the sense that Cary Grant or Bette Davis were "stars" -- was Meryl Streep. And she lost. Of the nominees for Best Picture, Avatar was the only cultural experience in which the entire world participated. It lost, too.
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