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George Gilder Asks Silicon Valley Again: What’s It All About?

As the author of Wealth and Poverty (1981), Gilder hopes to challenge both the boosters and the doomsayers on why we are doing high tech

If you make it to COSM 2021 (November 10–12, Bellevue, Washington), you won’t want to miss George Gilder, the tech philosopher whose approach to technology is COSM’s inspiration: We do technology if it helps us, not just because it helps Silicon Valley. His bestseller, Wealth and Poverty (Basic Books, 1981) probed basic questions like why we work and how we decide something has value. His Life after Google (2018) looks at what we can do with sophisticated tech when Silicon Valley no longer micromanages everything.

At COSM 2019, Gilder asked Big Tech pioneers, movers, and shakers, where all this is going. What is the value? He got some good answers on, for example, the real life prospects and limits of AI, why entrepreneurship can’t just be automated, and why Google Marxism. doesn’t work.

More controversially, Gilder has argued that student debt should be wiped out because universities are just not using the money to equip students for the new economy. Case in point: Employers care less today whether the prospective hire even has a degree…

Now, COSM is back, post-COVID, and 2021 speakers include top venture capitalist Peter Thiel, circuits pioneer Carver Mead, tech savvy politician Newt Gingrich, and top world chemist James Tour.

For a glimpse of a future that works, check out all the speakers and register for COSM 2021 before October 31 to get the best deal.

Here’s who else you can meet and maybe talk to at COSM:

Peter Thiel speaking in person at COSM, Seattle, November 10. As a world class venture capitalist, he is known for bluntness about what works and what doesn’t. COSM 2021 focuses on the converging technologies, remaking our world. Thiel asks, is new tech soaring or slumping?

Carver Mead: “Listen to the technology; find out what it’s telling you…” That’s the motto of CalTech’s Carver Mead, who will speak at COSM 2021. Integrated circuit design pioneer Carver Mead is also deeply interested in physics problems, in seeing “quite visibly what matter is down at its heart.

Love him or hate him, Newt Gingrich will be speaking at COSM! Foes and fans on both sides of the aisle agree, he’s never just dull and wishy-washy. The controversial former Speaker of the House has a keen interest in new tech and can be unsparing about the politics that sometimes hobble it.


Top world chemist, James Tour, to speak at COSM 2021. Tour builds molecules for a living, a position that causes him to stand in awe” of God: “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith.” Apart from his hundreds of papers and dozens of patent families, Tour’s passion is introducing the public to the many worlds of science.

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George Gilder Asks Silicon Valley Again: What’s It All About?