Michael Medved smiling in front of the microphone during a taping of Great Minds
Photo by Nathan Jacobson

Conserving Great Ideas

An Interview with David Gelernter on Great Minds with Michael Medved Original at Great Minds with Michael Medved

To be a conservative, says Yale polymath David Gelernter, is to “give due credit to the ideas that created the civilization we live within.” A simple and beautiful summary. In a new podcast episode of Great Mind with Michael Medved, Dr. Gelernter talks with our host Mr. Medved about the shocking irresponsibility in the failure to introduce young people to the best achievements in thought. They also, however, discuss evidence that our civilization is due for a healthy correction as we “snap out” of the torpor that suppresses consideration of great ideas. If Gelernter is right, there’s reason for optimism.

A “Fiercely anti Intellectual” Mind

Yale computer scientist David Gelernteris truly someone whose interests and knowledge similarly know no bounds. He is a novelist, painter, political commentator, religious thinker, and much more. His books include Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber1939: The Lost World of the Fair, and Judaism: A Way of Being.


Show Notes

  • 01:16 | The amazing and unique computer scientist, David Gelernter
  • 02:18 | As a political conservative, what does it mean to you to be a conservative?
  • 03:25 | A bizarre time, during which defining the sides is tricky
  • 04:30 | A culture explicitly under attack in “the name of science”
  • 04:55 | The “settled science” about men and women
  • 05:55 | The disdain of younger women for feminism
  • 06:30 | Jewish roots and the modern disdain for religion
  • 08:15 | The American tradition of being biblically literate
  • 08:50 | What is the most encouraging indicator of where the culture is going?
  • 10:25 | Examples of young people struggling against the tide
  • 10:55 | What is causing the worldwide retreat of democracy?
  • 12:15 | What of Francis Fukuyama’s vision of The End of History?
  • 13:00 | Ignoring Russia and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall
  • 14:20 | The rarity of democracy beyond its Anglo-American center
  • 14:48 | A surprisingly positive portrayal of Woodrow Wilson in Americanism
  • 15:30 | Wilson as the impetus for the United States’ entry onto the world stage
  • 17:00 | Recognizing great contributions no matter their source
  • 17:45 | What do you believe the mission of America to be?
  • 18:25 | What role does restoring classic texts play in being a shining city?
  • 19:00 | The uncharacteristic and alarming state of education

Further Resources