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Democracy & Technology Blog Gilder Was Prescient; How About Now?

The popular Instanpundit correctly cites George Gilder for his early prediction of the Internet (what he called the Teleputer):
“LIFE AFTER LIFE AFTER TELEVISION: With nearly 20 years of hindsight, the blurb for George Gilder’s book Life After Television, published in 1992, shortly before the first browser was available for consumers to access the still-nascent World Wide Web, sounds remarkably prescient:
“Gilder’s thesis, written in layman’s terms, is that the United States will soon lose its rightful preeminence in the telecommunications field to foreign competitors, particularly the Japanese. Unless, that is, American business executives, legislators, judges, and consumers look beyond separate, limited, and hierarchical forms of communication such as television, telephones, and online databases to a multifunctional, interactive, and democratic “telecomputer.” Instead of envisioning a brave new telecomputerized world, the powers that be in American business, government, and law are wasting time protecting obsolete existing systems, he posits. Gilder also warns that expensive, user-unfriendly online databases such as Dialog and NEXIS are, at best, transitional technologies. Though much of Gilder’s argument is based on his own opinions and peculiar personal preferences (Gilder doesn’t seem to like to leave the house*) rather than real evidence, his thoughts make interesting reading.”


Now what? Gilder, Discovery Senior Fellow who helped found the Institute in 1990 privately is predicting a replacement for the Internet. Stay tuned.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.