Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise

By George Gilder | Go to book overview
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8
THE OUTSIDER TRADING SCANDAL

In the 1990s, Wayne Copeland's dream of a world economy transformed by the power of microelectronics is coming true. Over the course of the decade, the telephone industry will move from wires to the air and link together a global system of digital pocket computers, optimized for speech recognition, electronic and voice mail, financial transactions, and automobile navigation aids, as well as provide the usual phone services. As mobile as a watch and as personal as a wallet, digital cellular phones will become "palmtop computers" and will be the only computers carried by the average person. Meanwhile, the computer industry will go "on line" and supplant the television set with a telecomputer. Designed for video processing and teleconferencing and as easy to use and far-reaching in its connections as the telephone is today, this machine in various forms will become the central education, entertainment, and communications server for every home and office.

Driving this technological transformation will be a near- millionfold rise in the cost-effectiveness of computing hardware. By the early years of the next century, supercomputing powers that now cost scores of millions of dollars to achieve will be found in appliances purchasable for a few hundred. The most important technological force in the world economy today, this digital advance will alter every industry, from automobiles and air transport to healthcare, entertainment, and defense.

This transformation will require huge capital outlays and will yield vast returns. The entrepreneurs and inventors who are

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