Life After Google | George Gilder

Summary of: Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy
By: George Gilder

Introduction

In ‘Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy’, author George Gilder explores the impact of Google on our society and delves into subsequent technological innovations, particularly in the realm of blockchain. The book analyzes Google’s vast database and explores its vision of knowledge, privacy, and value through advertising. We then move on to discuss Artificial Intelligence and the potential dangers that come with it, while illustrating the importance of embracing progress through cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. This book summary will give you an insight into how Google has shaped our world and provides an understanding of the emerging cryptocosm and its potential to revolutionize the way we manage data.

The Power and Dangers of Google’s Vision

Google’s vision of knowledge revolves around the collection of big data and its analysis via sophisticated algorithms to extract new information. Through its digital rendition of the world, Google has built an enormous database of information that runs contrary to privacy. Value-wise, it focuses on advertisement and has famously subtle ways to blend sponsored links. Google’s expansive growth is facilitated by its own enormous data center in Oregon, which has made it a yardstick for tech companies. However, Jaron Lanier, the inventor of virtual reality, calls this center a “Siren Server,” questioning if such centers could lead to Google’s early grave.

The Reality of AI Dangers

Silicon Valley pioneers attend a secret gathering to warn the world of the potential risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, the attendees of the conference are also developing AI technology as they deem it inevitable for the future. The danger arises when AI is a complete system, which could outpace human intelligence and gain dominance. But, all logical systems, including AI, are incomplete, according to mathematician Kurt Gödel. Therefore, the danger of AI must be programmed in the system first. The paranoia stems from scientists and engineers’ fear of their own supposed intelligence.

Revolutionizing Education

The education sector is shifting towards innovation and progress, and some institutions are leading the way. Guatemalan Universidad Francisco Marroquín became the first university in the Americas to accept payments in Bitcoin, while American universities, including Harvard, focus more on reactionary measures. Some universities prioritize their reputation rather than education quality, leading to soaring tuition costs with no significant improvement in standards. However, the Thiel Foundation awards the Thiel Fellowship, which encourages promising students to pursue their unique projects and create businesses, rather than academics. In 2017, the 1517 Fund posted their own “New 95,” which suggests that the education system should be rebelled against because it doesn’t enable scientific breakthroughs and progress. The Fellowship has granted students like Austin Russell for his company Luminar, which builds laser-radar chips vital for self-driving cars, and Vitalik Buterin, who helped set up the blockchain technology platform Ethereum. Education is no longer limited to classrooms and books, but rather on nurturing creative and innovative solutions for progress and breakthroughs.

Bitcoin’s Blockchain Technology

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. The technology used to keep it secure is called blockchain, which is almost completely unhackable. The blockchain is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions, and it is secured using encryption and digital signatures. Every ten minutes, a new block is created using mining, a process that ensures the trustworthiness and unhackability of the blockchain.

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