Best Books of 2018: Life after Google


Review of “Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy” by George Gilder (Gateway Editions, 2018).

Are Tucker Carlson’s predictions of Google taking over the future keeping you up at night? Sooth yourself with the creative destruction described in “Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy” by George Gilder. The famous economist, writer, investor, and tech guru argues that Google’s days of aggregate and advertise success are numbered and goes into considerable depth about why.

Only time will tell if Gilder’s predictions will come true (he’s got a pretty good track record), but the book is thought provoking and educational either way. As you ponder the downfall of the U.S.’s twenty-second biggest company by revenue, you’ll learn loads about the current Internet’s security shortcomings, forthcoming blockchain technology, and Gilder’s foretold “cryptocosm” with its secure global payment system and enhanced consumer control over data. You’ll also likely have to Google a few terms (irony!), as he doesn’t go easy on the technical information or historical references.

Gilder will help you take your small talk game to the next level at those New Year’s Eve parties by explaining Bell’s Law (it states that every decade a hundredfold drop in the price of processing power creates a new computer architecture—duh). You’ll now be able to make a well-informed argument over the passed hors d’oeuvres that artificial intelligence is not, in fact, poised to crush humanity. And unsuspecting guests won’t even want to get you started on the challenges quantum computing poses for the encryption necessary for a decentralized accounting system that employs shared ledgers of transactions on servers all over the world.

Well, maybe it’s not the best fodder for polite conversation, but it is a fascinating read by a real visionary. Gilder is a legend for a reason and is always worth reading. “Life after Google” is no exception.

Previous posts in the Best Books of 2018 series: