Ah. The language of Gilder! In a typically verbose, self-confessed 'prophetic mode of the inspired historian' he makes the reader wade through an egotistical, occasionally insightful and entertaining, and at times even annoyingly predictable view of the future of the networked world that he believes is no less consequential than the most important breakthroughs in physics.
Expect to work through stuff like: "Beyond the copper cages of existing communications, the telecosm dissolves the topography of old limits and brings technology into a boundless, elastic new universe, fashioned from incandescent oceans of bits on the electromagnetic spectrum."
A perfectly predictable notion that bandwidth will revolutionize our world (what a surprise!) is fleshed out into 20 putative laws of the telecosm that provide provocative rules to live by. Some of Gilder's reasoning is tenuous, and many of his conclusions are obvious. For instance, the Law of Instantaneous Information builds on the fact that the speed of light is immutable and that our life spans are limited. Combining those facts, Gilder grapples to arrive at the terribly simple idea that companies should strive to save time for their customers. Uh huh.
The flow of the book can be as daunting as the prose. Essentially this is 4 books in 1 --
1. An investment guide, which really should be skipped for your own good. For instance, we were convinced over a span of dozen pages that JDS Uniphase would be the Intel of the networking world. The equity, at that time US$ 20 a share, now gets by at $3.
2. A look at the world that infinite bandwidth is creating, which you most likely already know much more about than to subject yourself to this verbiage.
3. A history of scientific discovery. Ironically, this is the only section with pockets of amusing anecdotal material, particularly a section on the development of science where he tells gossipy tales that show how entrepreneurs developed the technologies that are forming the telecosm.
4. A textbook at the end, with a glossary that you could lay end on end from Tokyo to Tanzania.
If you really must read this supposedly epic effort, this last section (the textbook section) is where you could consider starting off your equally monumental effort to read it. You'll find a handy compendium of the 20 laws and their underlying assumptions.
Otherwise you can pretty much pass this by, assured that you haven't really missed a lot that you haven't already read in the WSJ, Economist, Forbes, BW etc.