Great technology is beautiful technology. If we care about technology excellence, we are foolish not to train our young scientists and engineers in aesthetics, elegance, and beauty. The idea of such a thing happening is so far-fetched it's funny -- but, yes, good technology is terribly important to our modern economy and living standards and comfort levels, the "software crisis" is real, we do get from our fancy computers a tiny fraction of the value they are capable of delivering.... We ought to start teaching Velázquez, Degas, and Matisse to young technologists right now on an emergency basis. Every technologist ought to study drawing, design, and art history.... Art education is no magic wand. But I can guarantee that such a course of action would make things better: our technology would improve, our technologists would improve, and we would never regret it.

David Gelernter,
from Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology
(Basic Books, 1998)


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From Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology, copyright © 1998 by David Gelernter. Published by Basic Books, a subsidiary of Perseus Books, L.L.C.