Discovery Sr. Fellow George F. Gilder delivered his monograph, Gold in the 21st Century, today at the Princeton Club in New York City. The book length paper was the product of the American Principles Project and represents a next step in George’s thinking on the issue of money as it changes in our time. His next book, Life After Google (working title), will incorporate his insights on gold into a discourse on fulfilling the Internet’s promise–and resolving its ailments.
Among the topics I hope he covers in the future are what we can do about the maddening array of pop-up ads and 30 second commercials that get in the way of enjoying a particular YouTube video or newspaper article. He also needs to address the appalling spams and scams of Internet and email gangsters that prey on the gullible. The gullible also include many of us who thought we were opening a legitimate news article and found instead that our computers had been taken over by “ransom ware” or malware and that the only way to get free was to pay off the pirates (or spend an afternoon, as I have done recently, at an Apple store getting the computer de-loused).
The answer probably is some variation of Bitcoin, the monetarization of material we now obtain only after punishing advertising assaults. What will you pay to be free of these? Is the future Internet not like a toll-road that one takes to avoid the congestion and eye-attacks of billboards and blight? If so, there probably will be a way for free-loaders to continue to get content for nothing more than a stream of ads and risks to one’s serenity.
We’ll see. Meanwhile, read Gold in the 21st Century–FREE! No pop-up ads (at least I don’t think so).