George Gilder (Independent Institute)
This is the first of a three-part, interview series with George Gilder on his new bestseller “Life After Google.” In part 1, below, he explains Silicon Valley’s “fundamental flaw.” In part 2, to come, he shows why Google’s “free stuff” isn’t free. In part 3, Gilder describes a new internet, “after Google,” of limitless entrepreneurship and prosperity rooted in human creativity.
In 1981, his bestselling “Wealth and Poverty” provided a blueprint for the economic revolution led by Ronald Reagan, who cited him more than any other living author. In the 1994 version of his book “Life After Television, he predicted the digital world in which we now live and the invention of the smartphone that now dominates daily life. And long before the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Apple founder Steve Jobs read “Life After Television” and passed it on to his colleagues.
Now, building on his remarkably prescient track record, George Gilder – regarded as one of the leading economic and technological thinkers of the past four decades – is making a new, bold prediction.
In “Life After Google,” Gilder contends that amid daily news of censorship, privacy violations and market monopolization, the age of the tech giants and their centralized, top-down hierarchical world is about to end, largely because their worldview is “fundamentally flawed.”
He explained in an interview with WND that the brilliant entrepreneurs who formed Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and other tech innovators have a vision that goes far beyond profits and technological progress, noting they speak of their aims in prophetic and religious terms.
Their ultimate objective is to create a new “system of the world,” Gilder said, in which all of its data is compiled in a single “place” to be analyzed by increasingly sophisticated algorithms that transcend the human mind’s capabilities.
But Gilder contends this “flat-universe theory of materialism” is the fundamental flaw, describing it as a deterministic “neo-Marxist political ideology” that considers the universe sheer matter, ruled by physics and chemistry, leaving little room for human consciousness and creativity.
“Marx essentially believed that humans had solved the problem of production back in the 19th century with the first industrial age, and in the future the challenge would be distributing wealth rather than producing it,” Gilder explained to WND.
“I see Google making the same error in the 21st century, imagining they’ve solved the problem of production in the future with robotics and machine learning and artificial intelligence, and in the future the only problem will be redistribution of wealth.”
Gilder said Google’s “arrogance even exceeded Marx, because Marx didn’t imagine that the new technology would eclipse the human mind.”