List of Figures
Notes on the Figures
1. Mirror Worlds?
Sounds Like Fun, But So What?
Into the Mirror World
The Significance of Mirrir Worlds
Significance, I: Getting a Grip
The hospital, for example
Significance, II: The New Public Square
Building Mirror Worlds
Significance, III: Seeing the Whole
Adding it all up
3. Disembodied Machines
The Design Process
So: What kind of machine?
The Computational Landscape
Organizing Space and Time -
Details: How Procedures Work
The Shape of Computational spacetime
The Embodiment (Mere Hardware
4. Space, Time and Multi-time
What is an ensamble?
What is asynchronous?
The Bottom Line
What do ensambles look like?
So you have a group of information machines...
Simple Machines for Coordination
Down to Earth
Implications I: Nature
Implications II: Communication
5. The Deluge
Software Architectures (em>Architectures?)
The Design of REal Time Knowledge Plants
The Noisiest Ensamble
Why do it this way?
The Intensive Care Unit Prototype
There's more to it, of course...
6. Simple Mind Machines
The Goal: Finding Precedents
What Precedents? What Comments?
For Example -
The Raw Material
...And Its Implications
So what about speculation?
The Basic Operations
Implications of Plunge and Squish
The Basic Cycle
Squishing and Its Consequences
The Software Architecture
Implications I: The Ultimate Reference Room
Implications II: Understanding Language (?)
Implications III: The Mind Spectrum
7. Building Mirror Worlds
Facts vs. Forecasts
The Basic Design
The Agent Space
The Recursive Free-Form Dollhouse
Imagine looking at your computer screen and seeing realityÄan image of your city, for instance, complete with moving traffic patterns, or a picture that sketches the state of an entire corporation at this second. These representations are called Mirror Worlds, and according to David Gelernter they will soon be available to everyone. Mirror Worlds are high-tech voodoo dolls: by interacting with the images, you interact with reality. Indeed, Mirror Worlds will revolutionize the use of computers, transforming them from (mere) handy tools to crystal balls which will allow us to see the world more vividly and see into it more deeply.
In this fascinating book Gelernter takes us on a guided tour of the computer technology of the near future. Mirror Worlds, he contends, will allow us to explore the world in unprecedented depth and detail without leaving the comfort of home. And he doesn'tjust speculate about how this amazing new software will be usedÄhe shows us how it will be made, explaining carefully and in detail how to build a Mirror World using technology already available.
Gelernter handles these highly abstract concepts with flair.... Studiously playful....A highly edifying book on the whole world of computers. For anyone who has wondered what the next stage of the computer revolution will be like and how it will enrich our lives considerably more than the availability of word processors and calculators has, Mirror Worlds offers some answers.
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
The future of the computer, and of all of us, is perhaps printed on these pages.
Jon Kartman, Booklist