David Gelernter is not a man known for conventional thinking, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Yale computer science professor—whose digital-world achievements include the development of the Linda coordination language—mounts such a stirring defense of print media in an interview this week.
"Abolishing the book is like abolishing the symphony," Gelernter argues, noting that the format is a small wonder of design and has been integral to some of humanity's most cherished intellectual achievements. On the one hand, he believes "people are too smart to allow it" to disappear altogether. On the other hand, he observes that his Yale students become "less and less able to express themselves in writing" with each passing year, and believes a failure to reverse that trend will make print media wither into irrelevance.
Gelernter doesn't just talk old media, of course; he also explains the concept of "lifestreaming," which he helped define in the 1990s, and how it is increasingly coming to fruition around the digital universe. The interview was conducted in partnership with the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in Munich.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.
- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
- Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.