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Technology

Technology & Democracy Project

Gilder Interview with Peter Robinson: Forget Cloud Computing, Blockchain is the Future

George Gilder recently sat down with Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution on his online series Uncommon Knowledge. Gilder discusses his new book Life After Google, where he argues that bitcoin and blockchain are destined to surpass cloud computing, ushering in a new era of technology. Gilder also parses over a history of technology and artificial intelligence, quelling fears about machines taking all of our jobs as they will never be able to replicate human intelligence and creativity.  


Sage Against the Machine

‘I rarely have an urge to whisper,” says George Gilder—loudly—as he settles onto a divan by the window of his Times Square hotel room. I’d asked him to speak as audibly as possible into my recording device, and his response, while literal, could also serve as a metaphor: Nothing Mr. Gilder says or writes is ever delivered at anything less than the fullest philosophical decibel. Mr. Gilder is one of a dwindling breed of polymath Americans who thrive in a society obsessed with intellectual silos. As academics know more and more about less and less, he opines brazenly on subjects whose range would keep several university faculties on their toes: marriage and family, money and economics, law and regulation, and Read More ›


Review: Big Tech is Sowing the Seeds of Its Own Destruction

George Gilder is the archetypal disruptive futurist author. Unlike many a denizen of Silicon Valley, Gilder is a theist who possesses a teleological view of knowledge and power, championing the idea that the all is not directionless, but is headed somewhere ultimately meaningful. As such, he’s been a noted proponent of intelligent design. In his long and influential career (he’s 78), Gilder has always been a writer given to aphorism and oracular pronouncement. Sometimes these nuggets are profound and suggestive. They make you feel smart, like Neo about to control the Matrix, just by reading them. But sometimes they leave a reader befuddled as to what the heck Gilder might even be talking about, much less whether it is true or not. Read More ›

The ‘Everything Handmade’ Trend Will Curb Job Losses

Experts have predicted the looming automation of everything, with machines replacing labor and putting half the population out of work. This forecast seems to follow from basic economic logic: Economic growth is about getting more output from less input. Labor is an input. We are now devising powerful forms of automation, which will dilute our labor to homeopathic levels—especially in middle skill, blue-collar trades. Therefore, much of the population will soon be jobless. That inference is too simple. There’s disruption ahead, but other trends may fend off the job famine. Here’s one: As ever more goods become cheap commodities, the economic value of the human touch—of literal labor—goes up. Starbucks provided early evidence that an automation apocalypse isn’t inevitable. Fifty years …


Rise of the Robots: A Bad Argument for a Bigger Welfare State

group of scientists and activists wrote the president to warn him of an automated future that will give rise to “a separate nation of the poor, the unskilled, the jobless.” To blunt the coming mass unemployment, they proposed a universal basic income.

The group, called the Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution, wrote that letter in March 1964, to President Lyndon Johnson. Their prophecy was way off, but it had its desired effect. Johnson promptly launched his “War on Poverty,” which jumpstarted the growth of federal, means-tested welfare programs.

We now have 80 such programs. Instead of ridding the country of poverty, these programs create cycles of dependency and despair. Read More ›


Will Robots Really Create an Employment “Death Spiral”?

According to a new International Monetary Fund research paper, the answer to the above question is yes. As one story on the IMF report put it, “The future of work run by robots appears to be a dystopian march to rising inequality, falling wages and higher unemployment.” This is just the latest in a long line of predictions that artificial intelligence and automation will soon create massive “technological unemployment.”

I get it. Doomsday predictions gain shares on Facebook and Twitter. But these apocalyptic fears defy the lessons of both history and economics. Read More ›



Twitter: Just Trust Our Algorithm

https://www.discovery.org/2018/03/twitter-just-trust-our-algorithm/

So I was out at the movies the other night, one of millions who have been enjoying the new Black Panther movie. We got there early, in time to be indoctrinated by the pre-show entertainment. One of the ads surprised me – it was for Twitter. Ads promoting social media platforms are not really that common. But even more surprising was the basic message of the ad – trust our algorithm. Read More ›


Why Technology Prophet George Gilder Predicts Big Tech’s Disruption

Forbes publisher and columnist Rich Karlgaard sits down with Discovery senior fellow George Gilder for a wide ranging Q&A session about tech progress, the future of innovation, and Life After Google. — “Over the last four decades, George Gilder has been one of the most influential writers on economic growth and prosperity, and technology’s key creative role in them. In 1981 Gilder’s book, Wealth and Poverty, hit all the bestseller lists and helped define the “supply-side,” low-tax economic revolution that characterized the eight years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Reagan himself frequently cited Wealth and Poverty. In the late 1980s Gilder turned his attention to technology and wrote several books predicting tech’s future impact, including Microcosm (1989), Life After Television (1990), Telecosm (2000) and The Silicon Eye (2006), as well as The Scandal of Money (2009). Gilder is presently wrapping up his next book, Life After Google, which will publish later this year.”

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