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No. of Recommendations: 12
Gilder is niether a funds manager nor a 'cutting-edge' reasearch scientist----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. Granted, his writing style is abit unique, as well it ought to be---It is his 'signature' as an author!

Hmmm... I personally find his writing needlessly complex and unclear and stylistically something that makes unlikely to come back for more - this is not good if you make your living writing. I had assumed this was because he was one of those people who likes waving their hands around and speaking but I regret to say that the one time I saw him speak in person (at a Nortel Networks customer event) he made our CEO (John Roth - not normally a spellbinding speaker) look eloquent.

Yes he is a great publicist but no he does not make his vision unambiguously clear to the world and he is very often wrong in those niggling details. This doesn't matter if you want someone to push the idea that investment in "the internet" is good or even that investment in "photonics" is good but its bad if you want his insight into exactly what sort of "internet" or "photonics" is coming next.

My main criticism is that he appears to have very little idea of scale and complexity - admittedly, this applies to many people even certified network designers and the like - but it is IMO a major weakness that permeates a number of his more weird predictions. The problem is that GG seems to have no appreciation of the rise in difficulty that pertains when you try to deal with millions instead of 10s or 100s. An example (not tech based) of what I mean is train timetabling. If you have 1 train and one track then the timetable is basically "Start at A. Go to B. Wait N minutes. Go to A. Wait N minutes. Repeat" If I have 2 lines which cross at point C then - since I'd like to have connections I have to ensure that the A-B train and the D-E train both arrive at C at about the same time. Now consider what happens when you have 20 routes and 10 intersections. Now what about 200 routes and 400 intersections?... Of course you can work around this issue using hub and spoke techniques (e.g. the way airlines do) but even so you hit a scaling issue (number of flights/hour in thta case) so you have to have multiple hubs and then you have the issue of whihc hub to go to etc etc. There are analagous scaling problems in the internet (and analagous solutions sometimes) but the numebrs are very very much larger. Gilder often seems to have no concept of this. For example his optical everywhere thing seems to have the idea that everyone has a wavelength to everyone else - if I have 100 people thats 5000 separate connections. If I have 10,000 people thats 50,005,000 separate connections etc.

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