Re-Finding George Gilder

1028george140.jpgThe return of Web 1.0 heroes and villains, the exuberant and gushing over China, weblogs and RSS, and today to top it off all, George Gilder. In the words of Yogi Berra has been like deja vu all over again. I was doing a panel called Accelerating Change this morning for the World Technology Network’s Summit 2004. (Tonight they are hosting a big awards ceremony down in San Francisco City Hall!) Anyway while I waited my turn, I spotted George Gilder on the podium, have regained some of his exuberance, and perhaps desire to make wild predictions. I love his thoughts on the future, though economic realities of normal people are still out of his grasp. Due to Web 2.0 commitments, I failed to attend the communication panel at WTN 2004 yesterday. Gilder summed it up nicely today when he said, “we discussed dumb networks. dumber than a Peter Farelli movie.” Apparently he and David Isenberg disagreed about the future. Isenberg called for the stupid network. “I opted for dumb networks. optics is indifferent to QoS and content and what you do with the damn bandwidth,” Gilder said. “This means that the intelligence has to be on the edge. Skype is accomplished by intelligence on the edge, and IQ on the center actually obstructs.” His argument, Skype circumvents in the smarts of the networks. Skype is extending this model to video, video conferencing etc and that depend on intelligence on the edge. Gilder made a persuasive argument, and pointed out that the networks are softening on the edge, and hardening on the core. In other words, smart software on the edge and hardware managing and running the network. Oh I don’t know! Apparently FCC chairman Michael Powell uses Skype. Funny, Skype is out of his reach – he cannot control it, regulate or do anything about it except use it.