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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/fwiw-heres-my-thoughts-on-gilder-hes-an-13327278.aspx

Subject:  Re: CERTAIN TO BE OF GREAT VALUE Date:  9/18/2000  10:59 PM
Author:  TheRubal Number:  4317 of 8793

FWIW, here's my thoughts on Gilder:

He's an effective communicator that understands enough science to know the difference between an electron and a neutrino, but more importantly he is able to "paint tech. advances into a mural of our global societies future" and thus help many of us Ordinary FOOLS to see more clearly the subjects and activities portrayed in that mural.

I've got to disagree with simonds6348--I don't think Gilder's all that great of a communicator. While I admire him for his occassionally good stock picking (UNPH and QCOM especially), I think he's too caught up in his own grandiosity to communicate effectively. The physics behind the technology revolutions of our time is definitely NOT beyond the ability of us non-techies. I'm a social sciences major, but I know enough about hard sciences that I can--with plenty of research and thought--make what I think is a reasonably well informed decision regarding my tech investments.

That said, there's definitely a place for somebody like Gilder. We need people to bring stocks to our attention so that we can research them, and having the opinions of others is valuable. But, but but but, and this is key, they've got to be honest about what they know and they've got to write with simplicity and elegance. Gilder's prose is florid, it is prolix, it is even high-falutin' but it certainly isn't elegant. As Squark has so well shown, some of his writings are pure hogwash. The danger of this is that people with no prior introduction to current science will mistake Gilder's ramblings for scientific truth.

As a contrast, look at some of the science writing from some of our best scientist/authors, the experts who are kind enough and smart enough to share their insights and the state of their art to intelligent readers of all backgrounds. You can get a remarkably detailed introduction to physics by reading Richard Feynmann, a humbling glimpse of the universe from Carl Sagan, and an edifying reinterpretation of biology and evolution from Stephen Jay Gould.

In the world of investing, one need look no further than The Gorilla Game itself as an example of simple, straightforward advice for intelligent investors. Further reading takes you to such good teachers as Clayton Christensen, Warren Buffett, the Gardner Brothers, et. al.

Just for comparison's sake, read some of Gilder's lines from the release of his book:


The supreme abundance of the telecosm is the electromagnetic spectrum, embracing all the universe of vibrating electrical and magnetic fields, from power line
pulses through light beams to cosmic rays. The scarcity that unlocks this abundance is the supreme scarcity in physical science: the absolute minimum time it
takes to form an electromagnetic wave of a particular length. Set by the permeability of free space, this minimal span determines the speed of light.


Now compare this to a great analyst talking about another difficult topic, namely data storage in the networked world:

Companies are being forced to toss large amounts of money and personnel to manage and maintain these
storage networks. Although LAN and WAN networking speeds increased 1000 times in the 90's thanks to
advances in ethernet and ATM, the storage-to-server data transmission speeds increased by less than ten
times during the period. The SCSI (small computer systems interface) was the traditional way of linking a
server with a liimited number of storage systems in close proximity due to the nature of SCSI (12 meters or
less). Speed was limited, distance was limited and the number of devices on a single bus was limited. What's
broken? We've got a bottleneck between the LAN/WAN and business-critical storage systems and servers.
A bottleneck problem indeed.


That great analyst, of course, is our own Bruce Brown. The difference is startling. The educational value of the latter is much higher than the former.

In any case, I'll continue to read Gilder, because a good stock pick or two might come out of it. I'll close by saying, read Gilder for what you will, but his "vision" must certainly be suspect if this board can pick apart his purple prose in a day's worth of posts.

FWIW,
Alex
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