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Brian Chess

Saltzer & Schroeder have dirt under their fingernails. The things they say they learned by trying to build stuff and watching what works and what doesn't. Gelernter talks about the way things should be. He takes his inspiration from just about everywhere except existing digital systems. When I read his stuff I start dreaming of fluffy clouds and blissful silence. His beautiful architecture could only become real if plumbers like Saltzer & Schroeder can make people confident that the thing is trustworthy, but it's beneath Gelernter to even broach that topic, and Saltzer & Schroeder woudn't know where to begin with Gelernter.

Your piece was good art. You interleaved two very different ways of thinking about the world, and now I have a better appreciation for both of them and a better sense of their limits.

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