Home > Creativity, education > Gelernter on the Internet and mastery

Gelernter on the Internet and mastery


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One of my heroes is David Gelernter. He is a professor of computer science at Yale and chief scientist at Mirror Worlds Technologies (New Haven). His research centers on information management, parallel programming, and artificial intelligence. The “tuple spaces” introduced in Nicholas Carriero and Gelernter’s Linda system (1983) are the basis of many computer communication systems worldwide. He is the author of Mirror Worlds, and Drawing a Life: Surviving the Unabomber

He writes, as reported in Edge:

“The Internet is no topic like cellphones or videogame platforms or artificial intelligence; it’s a topic like education. It’s that big. Therefore beware: to become a teacher, master some topic you can teach; don’t go to Education School and master nothing. To work on the Internet, master some part of the Internet: engineering, software, computer science, communication theory; economics or business; literature or design. Don’t go to Internet School and master nothing. There are brilliant, admirable people at Internet institutes. But if these institutes have the same effect on the Internet that education schools have had on education, they will be a disaster.”

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  1. osamu
    March 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Yes, that’s right. Recently, young Japanese generation often says “smart” as their key-word. Surely, it has come the days of new education. Or exactly, “totally new style of education days” has come. Personally, 10 years ago, I quit my day-job of teaching English for entrance-exams of universities, since I felt the days would be coming soon that students could collect information themselves, very easily. Those days, “always-on” Internet service just begun starting in Japan, and people did not have to care about the cost of Internet connections. “Knowing a lot” would be almost nothing value, because everyone would be a “walking-dictionary”, I supposed in 2000 or 2001. IMO, in most cases, the business model of “education schools” may be, just, that of taking up “asymmetry of information” which lies between a teacher and students.

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