• Life After Google

  • The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy
  • By: George Gilder
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,717 ratings)

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Life After Google

By: George Gilder
Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
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Publisher's Summary

You can say goodbye to today's Internet, New York Times best-selling author George Gilder says. Soon the current model of aggregated free content populated with "value-subtracted" advertising will die a natural death, due, of course, to the simple fact that absolutely no one wants to see online advertising. What will tomorrow's Internet look like?

In Life After Google, Gilder takes listeners on a brilliant, rocketing journey into the very near-future, into an Internet with a new "bitcoin-bitgold" transaction layer that will replace spam with seamless micro-payments and provide an all-new standard for global money.

©2018 George Gilder (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Life After Google

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but a lot of inside baseball

A great look behind the curtain of the past and future of tech. A must read to know what's happening in the world.
But, the author likes writing in a literary form which can make it hard to follow in a non-fiction audio book.

I'm a highly educated researcher that knows 2 programming languages and has years of statistics and economics experience, and there were times that I was lost, because he assumes a deeper understanding of computer science than most people have. Even computer savvy people.
So, this book seems more for people in the tech community than for a general audience. It also helps to have read Mises and other libertarian economists to not get lost.

That said I recommend it. You'll learn a lot.

64 people found this helpful

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Insightful, compelling predictions for the future

This book lays out a perfect case for how the internet is fundamentally broken, how no amount of big data can compensate for bad data, and how security is not a feature to be added on top of software, but instead an architecture that must be built in from the beginning.

Gilder makes the case that #blockchain is the solution to what is wrong about virtually every economic and technological problem the world faces. If you think big data, automation, machine learning and AI are important, beware of #BigBadData. Unless we “fix” the ever growing problem of bad data, none of them can realize their potential.

31 people found this helpful

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Author missed the opportunity to write a truly outstanding book


The authors political bias got in the way when trying to make cogent arguments. Many times caims are not supported but instead left to be self evident. This is a pitty as it reduces the impact of other claims made in the book.
At times the book is shoddily researched and got some basic facts wrong, especially when talking about blockchain projects. For example the author talks about “Vitalik Buterin and his company Ethereum”. I would forgive such an inaccuracy in a book about another topic but this books sole purpose is to talk about how blockchain is the new paradigm that will dethrone today’s kings like corporate giant google. One of the main points in my opinion is that blockchain projects can not be classified in the traditional way. They are certainly not companies or corporations but create a “commons” of sorts which for the first time in history allows complete stranger to work together for the benefit of all.

All in all I’d say a missed opportunity to really make the case for life after google, which decentralized take certainly has the potential to displace. The arguments presented in this book are not convincing and barely scratch the surface of how this could come about.

26 people found this helpful

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Gilder vents his libertarian spleen

Somewhere in this book is some useful information about how Google and its big data fellows in Silicon Valley managed to build profitable businesses, and how some of their profitability could be threatened by new businesses that use a different technological paradigm--blockchain.

To obtain that information, you'll have to endure hundreds of lengthy, unrelated rants about all the people Gilder classifies as egoists and stooges--which is pretty much everyone other than entrepreneurial "Mozarts" who drop out of college to transform Peter Thiel's venture capital into new hardware products. Thus Gilder can fire his rhetorical shotgun in pretty much any direction and find plenty of targets: "officious" government regulators, banks and bankers, Wall Street, educators, software companies, media figures, environmentalists, anyone who doesn't support the gold standard.... The list stretches on and on and on and on.

It seems that everything in Gilder's world is completely binary. To cite just one example: Since the standard educational system does a mediocre job of helping genius entrepreneurs get started, Gilder wants to raze it and start over with a brand new system that pairs venture capitalists with budding young Mozarts. (Gilder loves Mozart.) But maybe there's a middle ground here; otherwise, who is going to educate the hundreds of engineers that Mozart must hire? Who will educate the marketing professionals, accountants, and security professionals to play the symphonies created by Thiel-funded entrepreneurial genius Mozarts? Gilder does not concern himself with these lesser mortals or their needs.

Moreover, in a great twist of irony, most of the useful content that Gilder cites about the history of computing, information theory, physics, math, etc., has been created by tenured Ph.Ds in various academic departments. Gilder's book could have neither the patina of erudition nor the occasional glimmer of insight without the corpus of content created by academicians; yet he never ceases to bash academia.

The fundamental problem with the book is that Gilder wants to live in a libertarian utopia where intermediary institutions like government, education, banking, big data giants, etc. are no longer necessary, allowing the totally free, 100% individualistic flow of capital and ideas to prevail using the "unhackable" (Gilder's word) technology of blockchain. Thus blockchain to Gilder isn't just a useful technology that is complementary to big data approaches and can outcompete big data in some markets; no, blockchain is the sceptre and coin of the libertarian messianic kingdom. Given such a view, it is not surprising that Gilder fails to realize that blockchain can indeed be hacked. For those of you who, unlike Gilder, want to examine both sides of the bitcoin, I present a list of hacks and some related incidents:

* Sybil attack
* DDoS
* Routing attack -> CoinDash ICO, Parity Wallet breach
* 51% attack -> Krypton hack, Shift hack, Gate.io hack, Coinbase block reorg
* Software zero-days -> Parity Wallet freeze, Ethereum DAO hack, Tether hack
* Social engineering -> Enigma pre-ICO scam
* PKI spoofing -> Bitfinex bitcoin hack
* Insecure accounting processes -> Mt. Gox hack

Of course, there are ways to mitigate these attacks by imposing additional cost barriers to liquidity. For example, you could increase the number of confirmation blocks, or store your bitcoin on a hardware device rather than in an online wallet. But these impose trade-offs that could be costly or even unsupportable for many users and situations.

In addition, blockchain imposes very heavy computational costs on every transaction. At its core, blockchain is a means of increasing security by imposing the friction of high energy costs on every transaction. The high energy costs impose a certain barrier to illicit entries. Even though the barrier can occasionally be breached, it is useful for some transactions. However, it is ill-suited for many others. So ethereum is not going to sweep away the existing regime, regardless of Gilder's boosterism.

About half-way through, I could no longer tolerate Gilder's voluble paeans to the gold standard and gratuitous put-downs of anyone who is not a doctrinaire libertarian. Amidst all the noise of Gilderian kerfuffle are some glimmers of insight, but my pain tolerance reached exhaustion. On to the next book. Gilder says the greatest measure of wealth in today's economy is time, and I agree: I will not waste any more of my precious time on his screeds.

23 people found this helpful

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What a disappointing mess

I was hoping for an analysis of the potential in block chain, and perhaps an overview of how we got there. What I got was a bunch poorly structured Google-bashing mixed with ample, irrelevant anecdotes regarding various personas from the tech industry. Throw in some random tangents on unrelated philosophical matters, where the author is presenting poor arguments for his positions. Waaay to long for what it is.

20 people found this helpful

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Finally a GREAT BOOK on Blockchain

I was beginning to think I was doomed to read Neo-Marxist philosophy over and over like in "The Truth Machine" and "Blockchain Revolution".

This book brought the human spirit back into the discussion and peeled away much of the hype surrounding blockchain to reveal an even better vision.

I want to read George Gilder's previous books!

18 people found this helpful

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Seriously .. 🤦🏻‍♂️

another short essay with very little substance that has been filled with fluff to make it into book length... using fancy words does not make your ideas better 🤔🤷🏻‍♂️

3 hours i will never get back

13 people found this helpful

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Simply enlightening!

Confirmed my belief that our future is in the crypto chiasm. Democratized systems of truth, trust, and equitable distribution controlled by the people...the new system of the world. Highly recommend to those either in or pursuing a technology career.

10 people found this helpful

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Misleading title, not much about big data nor bitcoin

This book is more about recent history of technologies, especially around Google. It did not touch much on bitcoin.
If you are not an IT professional, you might find it interesting.
But if you are like me, and you know basic stories about big data and bitcoin, there is not much you can gain from this book.

7 people found this helpful

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A lot in here.

Wow what a book. Kinda blew my mind. I had to go back several times and re-listen. Very complex perspective. I gotta think about this.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Olly Buxton
  • 09-13-18

Starts off so well but implodes

George Gilder is a passionate contrarian and a polymath well versed in mathematics, philosophy, banking, investing and tech. He makes a great case against overblown hype for AI, a compelling one that the walled gardens approach of the tech giants is approaching limits, but has drunk deep of the Kool Aid about bitcoin and block chain, and ends with a confused soup of the gold standard, Goedel undecidability, the nature of trust and value with begs questions, contradicts itself and glosses over holes in his own arguments. A pity, but the book is well worth reading for his insights on tech and provocative (if not always plausible) polemic on the history of technology and commerce.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Santiago
  • 11-16-18

Great, daring work.

Life After Google is an essay about the future of software technologies, the Internet, financial tech and AI, with the right focus: the battle between centralized and decentralized services.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-12-18

Briliant

One of the best books I recently listened. Until I read this book I didin't realize how big is the revolution we are going through now. That's pretty exciting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jaan
  • 11-01-20

Great book but quite technical

Very iteresting forward looking view, but at times really technical descriprions which were difficult to follow.

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  • Jahren Stacey
  • 04-10-20

Technical

This book is very jargon heavy, it makes sense as to why. However the concepts and topics presented are fascinating. The future is definitely being shaped in this present moment

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  • Hadil
  • 11-07-19

Amazing!

Mind blowing. Awesome. It has contributed highly to my excitement about the future. The information within is brilliant. The chronology of the narration also brilliant.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Zoltan Tersanszky
  • 09-19-19

Hard to understand without knowledge

This is a very good book about why Big data will be replaced in some cases with the Blockchian, however if you don't have a great deal of computer science and Blockchian background then I would recommend something else for a start.
I learnt a lot about Tech and company histories from the author, but found the presentation of these a bit overwhelming and therefore it needed a lot of concentration.
If you want to learn deep fundamentals about centralised and decentralised systems and you love math than go for this book!

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  • Norrie
  • 08-26-19

Essential reading

Essential reading / listening for anyone who's serious about understanding. A truly fantastic piece of work.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pat Prunty
  • 08-09-19

brilliant and prophetic

I'm actually gonna listen to the whole book again a second time, and I rarely do that. So much information and valuable insight.

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  • Tavi Biker
  • 06-27-19

Excellent

A great insight to the future and an inspiring read that all people in the finance sector should read, mark and inwardly digest!

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  • careful_buyer
  • 09-28-20

If you like high tech commentary then you’ll love this but.....

Well that’s 10 hours I won’t get back. It reminded me of a Steven King novel. Long, slow and 1/10 entertaining or in this case. Maybe I’m not in the authors target audience but I felt he was trying hard to sound intent rather than focusing on being practical.

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  • Margaret Livingstone
  • 07-28-19

This Book Explains So Much

For all of us who are frustrated by the internet, this book explains why it has to change and how it will. Gilder gives examples and stories about how our world will change and the way it is changing now. I found it fascinating and so interesting, not to mention hopeful in the changes that are coming.