Life After Television (Revised)

Overview

“In Life After Television, George Gilder imagines a world in which the boob tube has given way to the living room telecomputer. . . . Mr. Gilder’s case is galvanic, at times even intoxicating.” —Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal
In his visionary new book George Gilder brilliantly and persuasively outlines the sweeping new developments in computer and fiber optic technology that spell certain death to traditional television and telephony. In their places, he argues, will emerge a new paradigm in which people-to-people...

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Overview

“In Life After Television, George Gilder imagines a world in which the boob tube has given way to the living room telecomputer. . . . Mr. Gilder’s case is galvanic, at times even intoxicating.” —Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal
In his visionary new book George Gilder brilliantly and persuasively outlines the sweeping new developments in computer and fiber optic technology that spell certain death to traditional television and telephony. In their places, he argues, will emerge a new paradigm in which people-to-people communications give way to links among computers to be found in every home and office. The rise of the telecomputer (or “teleputer”) will utterly transform the way we do business, educate our children, and spend our leisure time, and will imperil such large, centralized, top-down organizations as cable networks, phone companies, government bureaucracies, and multinational corporations.

According to Gilder, television, a centralized, authoritarian institution, is a dying technology, soon to be replaced by the telecomputer, a powerful, interactive system that will affect all aspects of life, from education to business to leisure time--a technology that will overthrow the stultifying influences of mass media and renew the individuals.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If Gilder ( Wealth and Poverty ) is correct, television will become irrelevant in the bright new interactive age of the telecomputer. A telecomputer is a personal computer adapted for video processing, and linked by fiber-optic threads to other telecomputers around the world. In an exciting, visionary glimpse of the future, Gilder conjures a global village where viewers can tap into any station or into newspapers, where people can transmit their own video images and access an endless feast of specialized programs. Scrutinizing the fledgling U.S. telecomputer companies and the massive resistance they face from entrenched interests, he predicts that the Japanese, already in the lead, will steal the show unless the American telecommunications industry mounts a coordinated effort. The age of the telecomputer may be decades away, but even couch potatoes will be stimulated by this thought-provoking essay. (June)
Library Journal
Gilder's thesis, written in layman's terms, is that the United States wil soon lose its rightful preeminence in the telecommunications field to foreign competitors, particularly the Japanese. Unless, that is, American business executives, legislators, judges, and consumers look beyond separate, limited, and hierarchical forms of communication such as television, telephones, and online databases to a multifunctional, interactive, and democratic ``telecomputer.'' Instead of envisioning a brave new telecomputerized world, the powers that be in American business, government, and law are wasting time protecting obsolete existing systems, he posits. Gilder also warns that expensive, user-unfriendly online databases such as Dialog and NEXIS are, at best, transitional technologies. Though much of Gilder's argument is based on his own opinions and peculiar personal preferences (Gilder doesn't seem to like to leave the house) rather than real evidence, his thoughts make interesting reading. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.-- Mary C. Kalfatovic, Telesec Lib. Svcs . , Washington, D.C.
Booknews
Predicts that personal computers linked into a global network will soon replace television, and thereby overthrow the tyranny of mass media, renew individual power, and promote democracy worldwide. Urges American business to get on the ball with fiber optics. Reprinted from the 1990 edition published by Whittle Books. No index or bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393311587
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1985
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

George Gilder, the best-selling author of numerous books—including Telecosm, Microcosm, and The Spirit of Enterprise—also publishes the influential Gilder Technology Report. He lives in Tyringham, Massachusetts.

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