David Gelernter

TAGS: Science, Technology

David Gelernter

David Gelernter is professor of Computer Science at Yale University and an acknowledged technology visionary. His book Mirror Worlds predicted the internet and cloud computing. (He is also credited with having coined the term “cloud”.) His work on Lifestreams laid the basis for chat streams, blogs, and social networks. The NY Times called him a “rock star” of computer science.

Gelernter is also a leading thinker on American Culture and considers himself, above all, a painter. His work has been widely exhibited and had its first museum show at the YU Museum in Manhattan in Fall 2012. He served as Art Critic at the Weekly Standard & was a member of the National Council for the Arts, 2003-06.



  • Steve Jobs and Me

    Two sides of the same coin. David Gelernter and Steve Jobs were obsessed by beautiful software and technology that's easy to use. But they disagreed on the process. In this talk David explains how software should be designed and why beauty matters.

  • When the Cybersphere is replaced by the “Cyberflow” (& “current” becomes as basic to information as it is to electricity).

    We are already seeing the first chapter in the replacement of the Web by the Narrative--a single (virtual) Worldstream, a raging torrent of information plunging continuously into the past at the speed of time; the world telling its own story.

  • The Coming Reconstruction of US Schools & Colleges

    Internet education would be unattractive if education in America didn’t cost so much & perform so badly. Reconstruction will lead to the first-ever free market in education; it will eliminate the barrier between college and grade school, bring back neighborhood one-room schoolhouses and create the important new job category of “Mentor.”

  • The Collapse and re-creation of the Visual Arts.

    Over the last 100 years, the virtual space within a painting kept growing shallower (shattering all forms) until it was flat; after the brilliant blaze of New York abstract painting, academic jackals arrived to finish art off. Today it’s blazing up again, inspired by ancient Saxon gospel books of the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries.

  • The Far Side of Consciousness: Why computers will be unable to think until they can hallucinate.

    AI and Cognitive science like to ignore the “cognitive spectrum” that connects focused, rational thought to unfocussed free association and (finally) to sleep thought (otherwise known as hallucination or dreaming). As we descend the spectrum, emotion becomes increasingly central & reality is turned inside out.

  • Mirror Worlds: or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox...How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean

    Technology doesn't flow smoothly; it's the big surprises that matter, and Yale computer expert David Gelernter sees one such giant leap right on the horizon. Today's small scale software programs are about to be joined by vast public software works that will revolutionize computing and transform society as a whole. One such vast program is the "Mirror World.".. MORE →


  • Yale Faculty page