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Gelernter Blames Enron Collapse On Hierarchical File Systems
posted by Editor on Thursday February 21, @11:38AM
User Interface Experts David Gelernter is one of the most vocal critics of the hierarchical method of storing data. In recent presentations, he has referred to the traditional file/folder desktop metaphor as virtual tupperware, in which electronic documents are scattered in all sorts of little containers all over the place. According to this article in USA Today, Gelernter will claim in his keynote speech today at Internet World Wireless East 2002 that this system helped Enron conceal the "big picture" of its illicit financial activities by letting it store relevant information in thousands of different locations. The need for the ability to maintain a global view of information infrastructures is a consistent theme in Gelernter's ideas. In his 1991 book Mirror Worlds, he explored the concept of a topview, a kind of birds-eye view of all the data in the world, into which you can drill down as needed.

Wearable Computing In Style | Visualizing Wireless Networks  >


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  • This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    does he really believe that? (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, @10:44AM EST (#1)
    Please. The guys at Enron were able to sneak by all the safeguards of the law, the SEC, the accounting profession, and common sense... but Mr. Gelernter's software would have stopped them dead in their tracks??

    Does he really think that the CFO would have just left all the key records in an easily accessible part of the stream? Does he think Joe Q. Employee could've spotted the problem by looking at the substream for "fraud"?

    Of course not. Presumably the key files would have been permissioned for only a small group of people, and would have used cryptic terms like "CHEWCO" instead of "my unethical accounting trick".

    I really wonder whether he believes what he's saying.

    I'm not a robot like you. I don't like having disks crammed into me... unless they're Oreos, and then only in the mouth. -- Fry

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