George Franklin Gilder / b. 1939 / New York, USA / Economist, Investor, Author
The blind spot of AI is that consciousness does not emerge from thought; it is the source of it.Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy (2018).
In the age of Big Data, the von Neumann bottleneck has philosophical implications. The more knowledge that is put into a von Neumann machine, the bigger and more crowded its memory, the further away its average data address, and the slower its functioning.Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy (2018).
If the government controls, guarantees, channels, or directs investment, it is not capitalism.The Scandal of Money: Why Wall Street Recovers but the Economy Never Does (2016).
The analogy between [Claude] Shannon and codes in biology isn’t something that sprang from my belief in God . . . except maybe on some deeper or more transcendent level.Interview with the Boston Globe, July 27, 2005.
Far from being greedy, America’s leading entrepreneurs—with some exceptions—display discipline and self-control, hard work and austerity, excelling those found in any college of social work, Washington think tank, or congregation of bishops.Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World (2013).
Academic scientists of any sort expect to be struck by lightning if they celebrate real creation de novo in the world.Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World (2013).
I’m not pushing to have [ID] taught as an alternative to Darwin, and neither are they. . . . What’s being pushed is to have Darwinism critiqued, to teach there’s a controversy. Intelligent design itself does not have any content. . . . Much of what I’ve written about has been in reaction to the materialist superstition, the belief that the universe is a purely material phenomenon that can be reduced to physical and chemical laws. It’s a concept that’s infected the social sciences as well.Interview with the Boston Globe, July 27, 2005.
The envy of excellence leads to perdition; the love of it leads to the light.The Israel Test: Why the World’s Most Besieged State is a Beacon of Freedom and Hope for the World Economy (2012).
The question thus becomes: Will the scientists and women’s liberationists be able to unleash on the world a generation of kinless children to serve as the Red Guards of a totalitarian state? Will we try to reproduce the Nazi experiment, when illegitimacy was promoted by the provision of lavish nursing homes and the state usurped the provider male. Or will we manage to maintain our most indispensable condition of civilization—and obstacle to totalitarian usurpation—the human marriage and family.Sexual Suicide (1973).
In 1976 [Milton] Friedman suffered a crippling intellectual trauma that for the rest of his life seriously affected his thinking. The king of Sweden awarded him a Nobel Prize for economic science, specifically for his errors—his monetary theory and his permanent income hypothesis.The Scandal of Money (2016).
The most precious resource in the world economy is human genius.The Israel Test: Why the World’s Most Besieged State is a Beacon of Freedom and Hope for the World Economy (2012).
[Kurt] Gödel demonstrated that every logical scheme, including mathematics, is dependent upon axioms that it cannot prove and that cannot be reduced to the scheme itself. In an elegant mathematical proof, introduced to the world by the great mathematician and computer scientist John von Neumann in September 1930, Gödel demonstrated that mathematics was intrinsically incomplete. Gödel was reportedly concerned that he might have inadvertently proved the existence of God, a faux pas in his Viennese and Princeton circle. It was one of the famously paranoid Gödel’s more reasonable fears. As the economist Steven Landsberg, an academic atheist, put it, “Mathematics is the only faith-based science that can prove it.”Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World (2013).
If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it.Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy (2018).
Let there be light, says the Bible. All the firmaments of technology, all our computers and networks, are built with light, and of light, and for light, to hasten its spread around the world.Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World (2000).
Love and Marriage
Marriage is not simply a ratification of an existing love. It is the conversion of that love into a biological and social continuity transcending any two individuals.Sexual Suicide (1973).
The natural fulfillment of love is a child, and the fantasies and projects of the childless couple may well be considered as surrogate children.Sexual Suicide (1973).
The essential pattern is clear. Women manipulate male sexual desire in order to teach them the long-term cycles of female sexuality and biology on which civilization is based. When men learn, their view of the woman as an object of their own sexuality succumbs to an image of her as the bearer of a richer and more extended eroticism and as the keeper of the portals of social immorality. She becomes a way to lend elaborate continuity and meaning to the limited erotic compulsions of the male.Sexual Suicide (1973).
At the deepest level, therefore, love and marriage are based on this complementary pattern. The man’s most profound and indispensable life must be experienced through the woman; she is the master of their sexuality. Meanwhile the woman’s external existence will to some extent be sustained and protected by the man; he gives space for their worldly haven. This may be the very essence of a closed marriage but it is the essence of the institution itself.Sexual Suicide (1973).
Much of what I’ve written about has been in reaction to the materialist superstition, the belief that the universe is a purely material phenomenon that can be reduced to physical and chemical laws. It’s a concept that’s infected the social sciences as well.Interview with the Boston Globe, July 27, 2005.
Money is not a magic wand but a measuring stick, not wealth but a gauge of it.Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy (2018).
Futurists falter because they belittle the power of religious paradigms, deeming them either too literal or too fantastic.Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World (2000).
Nonetheless, a kind of Gresham’s law applies. Bad sex drives out the good, and the worst of all—philandering and homosexuality—are exalted. Gay liberation, pornographic glut, and one-night trysts are all indices of sexual frustration; all usually disclose a failure to achieve profound and loving sexuality. When a society deliberately affirms these failures: contemplates legislation of homosexual marriage, celebrates the women who denounce the family, and indulges pornography as a manifestation of sexual health and a release from repression- the culture is promoting a form of erotic suicide. For it is destroying the cultural preconditions of profound love and sexuality; the durable heterosexual relationships necessary to a community of emotional investments and continuities in which children can find a secure place.Sexual Suicide (1973).
In the most elemental sense, the sex drive is the survival instinct: the primal tie to the future. When people lose faith in themselves and their prospects, they also lose their procreative energy. They commit sexual suicide. They just cannot bear the idea of “bringing children into the world.” But it is a kind of aimless copulation having little to do with the deeper currents of sexuality and love that carry a community into the future.Sexual Suicide (1973).
The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family; he feels dispensable, his wife knows he is dispensable, his children sense it.Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century, second edition (2012).