You Are Not a Gadget: Being Human in an Age of Technology (Unabridged)
by Jaron Lanier
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Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the Web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse. The current design and function of the Web have become so familiar that it is easy to forget that they grew out of programming decisions made decades ago. The Web's first designers made crucial choices (such as making one's presence anonymous) that have had enormous and often unintended consequences. Whats more, these designs quickly became locked in, a permanent part of the Web's very structure. Lanier discusses the technical and cultural problems that can grow out of poorly considered digital design and warns that our financial markets, and sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter, are elevating the wisdom of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and judgment of individuals. Lanier also shows: How 1960s antigovernment paranoia influenced the design of the online world and enabled trolling and trivialization in online discourseHow file sharing is killing the artistic middle classHow a belief in a technological rapture motivates some of the most influential technologistsWhy a new humanistic technology is necessary Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defense of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.
This is great. It makes me feel like existing on the internet is like having afterlife without being dead.
Are you kidding me? Way to make it hard on the broke college kid that keeps falling asleep while reading this bloody book.
Why are there so few reviews of this book? It's incredible - it is thoughtful, combines culture, biology, mathematics, computer science and many areas in a way that is incredibly intriguing and influential. His message about personhood and how open culture de-accentuates this, and (possibly) what to do about it is exactly the message that is needed right now! In some ways this book was about three years too early, but I just started understanding that what he's talking about is a 'thing' that should be talked about - openly, amongst people in main stream culture, like - today. Read/listen to this book or read anything that you can get your hands on by Jaron Lanier, what he's got to say has immeasurable value.