From Here to Infinity

From the perspective of outer space, at least, it will all look perfectly divine.
illustration: Catherine Parr
From the perspective of outer space, at least, it will all look perfectly divine.

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Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World
By George Gilder
The Free Press, 352 pp., $26
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And then, just when you're about to throw the damn book at the wall, he gracefully reverts to what he does best: concocting images of the technological sublime. "Imagine gazing at the [World Wide Web] from far in space," he writes. "To you, through your spectroscope, mapping the mazes of electromagnetism in its path, the web appears as a global efflorescence, a resonant sphere of light . . . the radiant chrysalis from which will spring a new global economy." It's a generous parting gift from the author—a picture of exactly what the title promised: infinite bandwidth revolutionizing our world. It demands no ideological commitment beyond an attitude of slack-jawed awe. Contemplating it, you are free to imagine almost any revolution you please including the one you know in your gut is the likeliest to emerge from the radiant new global economy: There will be a revolution in the ways that jobs can suck. Corporations will evade responsibility with revolutionary new fluidity. People will find revolutionary new means of getting wealthy on the backs of others. And from the perspective of outer space, at least, it will all look perfectly divine.

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