Okay, so everyone’s been raving off and on about this David Gelernter guy. I was advised by a friend to take a look at his “The Second Coming: A Manifesto,” which I did.
My real impression is that it’s quite overrated. Don’t get me wrong, the technologies are amazing. However, for all his talk about this grand upcoming revolution, Gelernter proceeded to patent the entire lifestream idea, essentially making it impossible for anyone to use it in the next 15 or so years without paying him a fortune (and some sources suggest that he has no interest in doing so unless you’re a major corporation). Some revolution, especially since his company seems to have folded and you cannot even buy HIS implementation of the lifestream principle anymore (check scopeware.com or mirrorworlds.com – as of this writing, those sites have been down at least a few months).
In addition – not that I have anything against conservatives – Gelernter seems to be a particularly outspoken conservative of the Republican type, as evidenced by his rants on topics as diverse as capital punishment, baby boomers and WW2, and art and the Nobel Prize. Serves him quite well in the current American climate, but his computer ‘brilliance’ aside, I somehow doubt his overall views would make him well-liked by much of the world. The world is indeed bigger than whatever chip he has on his shoulder.
While I understand that his run-in with the unabomber has probably made him a little bitter, I still find him a classic example of the type of arrogant intellectual elitist pre-geriatric who unfortunately wields entirely too much power and influence in the United States today. Sad.