Trapping & Mass Producing Knowledge (1990)

Trapping & Mass Producing Knowledge (1990)

In January 2017 I retyped a paper which I had written in 1990 on a Commodore 64, into an MS Word .doc & hence to the following .pdf. (The 7th page is a 1991 letter from my freshman year Physics Professor. 26 years had passed between last attending his lectures and his reply to me… & that was about half way to ‘now’.)

My inspiration to ~republish came from an extraordinary observation:

The (Jan-Feb 2017) Yale Alumni Magazine’s cover article is/was “The Next Four Years – 11 Yale faculty tell us what to expect from the new administration” & starts on page 44.  One of the contributors was David Gelernter, a professor of computer science. The last paragraph of Professor Gelernter’s commentary on pages 50-51 states:

“One more point: since the 1980’s we have all known that US schools are a disgrace, and our universities, (except for scientific, technical, and some professional teachings) are about the same. I haven’t yet seen a single online effort that comes close to the solution we need: courses you can review before-hand, that get better (because their associated commentary becomes richer) every time a student uses one, that fold up into “permanent digital objects” students can keep around forever.  The ideas and technology are ready and waiting. In approaching this field, institutions like Yale have their hearts in the right place, but aren’t famous for speed when it comes to exciting new ideas. Maybe Trump will take an interest.”

Bravo to Professor Gelernter for his willingness to speak out about the need to improve U.S. schools! Here at, he is preaching to the choir.


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