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Description - Machine Beauty by David Hillel Gelernter

When something works well, you can feel it; there is a sense of rightness to it. We call that rightness beauty, and it ought to be the single most important component of design. This recognition is at the heart of David Gelernters witty argued essay, Machine Beauty, which defines beauty as an inspired mating of simplicity and power. You can see it in a Bauhaus chair, the Hoover Dam, or an Emerson radio circa 1930. In contrast, too many contemporary technologists run out of ideas and resort to gimmicks and features; they are rarely capable of real, structural ingenuity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of computers. You dont have to look far to see how oblivious most computer technologists are to the idea of beauty. Just look at how ugly your computer cabinet is, how unwieldy and out of sync it feels with the manner and speed with which you process thought. The best designers, however, are obsessed with beauty. Both hardware and software should afford us the greatest opportunity to achieve deep beauty, the kind of beauty that happens when many types of loveliness reinforce one another, when design expresses an underlying technology, a machine logic. Program software ought to be transparent; it should engage what Gelernter calls a thought-amplifying feedback loop, a creative symbiosis with its user. These principles, beautiful in themselves, will set the stage for the next technological revolution, in which the pursuit of elegance will lead to extraordinary innovations. Machine Beauty will delight Gelernters growing audience, fans of his provocative and biting journalism. Anyone who manufactures, designs, or uses computers will be galvanized by his cogent arguments and tantalizing glimpse of a bright future, where beautiful technology abounds.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465043163
ISBN-10: 046504316X
Format: Paperback
(204mm x 135mm x mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
Publish Date: 1-Dec-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - David Hillel Gelernter

David Gelernter is a professor of computer science at Yale University. His books include The Muse in the Machine, Mirror Worlds, and 1939. His ideas on computers and technology nearly cost him his life when he was letterbombed by the Unabomber.

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