Sunday, June 24, 2007

Gilder Speaks

The follow quote is from George Gilder, who posted it on his Gilder Technology Forum in a thread that was critical of The Secret, a popular self-help concept that empowers the individual through visualization techniques. Since Gilder has ceased publishing his newsletter, this is one way for us to remember the best of what he brings to our collective table:

"These mathematics and statistics refer to a zero sum world, where the successes of some come at the expense of the rest and at the cost of the planet. It is the prevailing socialist illusion and environmentalist dirge. But under capitalism, wealth is not captured but created. The good fortune of others is also your own. The success of the poor is your greatest hope. And the attitudes of people--their optimism and enterprise--determines the incidence of opportunity around the globe.

"I have not read or seen "the secret." But action and entrepreneurial verve, born of faith, bear their own magic. To a connoisseur of Bell Curves, the world will seem a "random walk", with a predictable range of outcomes, yielding a few born "geniuses," a few lucky Trumps, and a mean mass of envious mediocrity seething in the middle and the media focusing on the persistence of poverty and the rise of inequality, poring over Gini coefficients and "distributions" and keening over climate change. Only a believer in the possibility of creation will see infinite opportunity in grains of sand and spin them into worldwide webs of glass and light and gold.

"The growth of the American economy, with just five percent of the people of the globe, into a colossus with 30 percent of global GDP and fifty percent of market capitalization, while China and India, Japan and Korea, lead a simultaneous surge of billions of Asians into prosperity, with a global total of more than a hundred trillion dollars of new wealth creation in two decades, is incomprehensible to the zero sum mind.

"Nassim Taleb (The Black Swan) may err in his treatment of randomness, but he is right in presenting his own version of "the secret": pursue always the miracles of upside wealth from invention and innovation, which dwarf all the Bell curves of "distributed" income and wealth.

"Wealth is not distributed. It is not seized. It is not won in a lottery or a casino. It is created in a universe of ideas with infinite horizons."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


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