You Are Not a Gadget
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse. Informed by Lanier’s experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent. From the Trade Paperback edition.
You Are Not A Gadget
Something went wrong around the start of the 21st century. Individual creativity began to go out of fashion. Music became an endless rehashing of the past. Scientists were in danger of no longer understanding their own research. Indeed, not only was individual creativity old-fashioned but individuals themselves. The crowd was wise. Machines, specifically computers, were no longer tools to be used by human minds - they were better than humans. Welcome to the world of the digital revolution. Yet what if, by devaluing individuals, we are deadening creativity, endlessly rehashing past culture, risking weaker design in engineering and science, losing democracy, and reducing development - in every sphere? In You Are Not A Gadget, Jaron Lanier, digital guru, and inventor of Virtual Reality, delivers a searing manifesto in support of the human and reflects on the good and bad developments in design and thought twenty years after the invention of the web. Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defence of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.
You Are Not A Gadget
Something went wrong around the start of the 21st century. Individual creativity began to go out of fashion. Music became an endless rehashing of the past. Scientists were in danger of no longer understanding their own research. Indeed, not only was individual creativity old-fashioned but individuals themselves. The crowd was wise. Machines, specifically computers, were no longer tools to be used by human minds � they were better than humans. Welcome to the world of the digital revolution. Yet what if, by devaluing individuals, we are deadening creativity, endlessly rehashing past culture, risking weaker design in engineering and science, losing democracy, and reducing development � in every sphere? In You Are Not A Gadget, Jaron Lanier, digital guru, and inventor of Virtual Reality, delivers a searing manifesto in support of the human and reflects on the good and bad developments in design and thought twenty years after the invention of the web. Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defence of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.
Who Owns The Future
Who Owns The Future? is the new masterwork from the prophet of the digital age, Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not A Gadget. In the past, a revolution in production, such as the industrial revolution, generally increased the wealth and freedom of people. The digital revolution we are living through is different. Instead of leaving a greater number of us in excellent financial health, the effect of digital technologies - and the companies behind them - is to concentrate wealth, reduce growth, and challenge the livelihoods of an ever-increasing number of people. As the protections of the middle class disappear, washed away by crises in capitalism, what is being left in their place? And what else could replace them? Why is this happening, and what might we do about it? In Who Owns the Future? Jaron Lanier shows how the new power paradigm operates, how it is conceived and controlled, and why it is leading to a collapse in living standards. Arguing that the 'information economy' ruins markets, he reminds us that markets should reward more people, not fewer. He shows us why the digital revolution means more corporations making money and avoiding risk by hiding value off their books, which means more financial risk for the rest of us. From the inner workings of the 'sirenic servers' at the heart of the new power system, to an exploration of the meaning of mass unemployment events, the misuse of big data, and the deep and increasing erasure of human endeavour, Lanier explores the effects of this situation on democracy and individuals, and proposes a more human, humane reality, where risk and reward is shared equally, and the digital revolution creates opportunity for all. Praise for You Are Not a Gadget: 'Fabulous - I couldn't put it down and shouted out Yes! Yes! on many pages ... a landmark book that will have people talking and arguing for years into the future' Lee Smolin 'A provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book . . . Lucid, powerful and persuasive' The New York Times 'Short and frightening ... from a position of real knowledge and insight' Zadie Smith Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today, and is linked with UC Berkeley and Microsoft. A musician with a collection of over 700 instruments, he has been recognised by Encyclopedia Britannica (but certainly not Wikipedia) as one of history's 300 or so greatest inventors and named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Prospect and Foreign Policy. His first book, You Are Not A Gadget, was hailed as a 'poetic and prophetic' defence of the human in an age of machines.
What Technology Wants
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Inevitable— a sweeping vision oftechnology as a living force that can expand our individual potential This provocative book introduces a brand-new view of technology. It suggests that technology as a whole is not a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Kevin Kelly looks out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover "what it wants." He uses vivid examples from the past to trace technology's long course and then follows a dozen trajectories of technology into the near future to project where technology is headed. This new theory of technology offers three practical lessons: By listening to what technology wants we can better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable technologies to come. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles. And by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts. Written in intelligent and accessible language, this is a fascinating, innovative, and optimistic look at how humanity and technology join to produce increasing opportunities in the world and how technology can give our lives greater meaning. From the Hardcover edition.
What the Dormouse Said
Most histories of the personal computer industry focus on technology or business. John Markoff’s landmark book is about the culture and consciousness behind the first PCs—the culture being counter– and the consciousness expanded, sometimes chemically. It’s a brilliant evocation of Stanford, California, in the 1960s and ’70s, where a group of visionaries set out to turn computers into a means for freeing minds and information. In these pages one encounters Ken Kesey and the phone hacker Cap’n Crunch, est and LSD, The Whole Earth Catalog and the Homebrew Computer Lab. What the Dormouse Said is a poignant, funny, and inspiring book by one of the smartest technology writers around.
As the Future Catches You
You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life. Genetics will be the dominant language of this century. Those who can “speak it” will acquire direct and deliberate control over all forms of life. But most countries and individuals remain illiterate in what is rapidly becoming the greatest single driver of the global economy. Wealth will be more concentrated and those with knowledge to sell–both countries and individuals–will be the winners. Consider what will happen when: • Your genetic code can be digitally imprinted on an ID card and your insurance company and employer see that you are genetically disposed to, say, heart disease. • Pharmaceutical products are developed so that you can eat genetically modified broccoli to protect yourself from cancer. • Cloning will be as common as in vitro fertilization and scientists can influence the genetic design not only of other species but of your own children. • Creating wealth no longer requires many hands. Lone individuals are giving birth to entire new industries that rapidly become bigger than the economies of most countries on earth, but create very few jobs. As the Future Catches You resembles no other book. A typical page may contain just a few dozen words. But each seemingly discrete fact is like a chip in an intellectual mosaic that reveals its meaning and beauty only as you step back and see the big picture. Juan Enriquez is like the best teacher you ever had, one who helps you to see something in a new light and makes you say, “Now I get it!” Juan Enriquez’s main point is that technology is not kind, it does not say “please,” but slams into existing systems and destroys them while creating new ones. Countries and individuals can either surf new and powerful waves of change–or get crushed trying to stop them. The future is catching us all. Let it catch you with your eyes wide open. From the Hardcover edition.
In the noble tradition of Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget (Penguin, 2011), Curtis White's We, Robots takes the radical position that maybe we shouldn't cede every bit of control, humanity, and decision making to technology, and that the techno-futurists in our mix have things dangerously backwards. What a notion! In this sharply argued and rousing book, White not only attacks the technology-loving establishment, but offers a beautiful and essential alternative.
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
Why doesn’t the explosive growth of companies like Facebook and Uber deliver more prosperity for everyone? What is the systemic problem that sets the rich against the poor and the technologists against everybody else? When protesters shattered the windows of a bus carrying Google employees to work, their anger may have been justifiable, but it was misdirected. The true conflict of our age isn’t between the unemployed and the digital elite, or even the 99 percent and the 1 percent. Rather, a tornado of technological improvements has spun our economic program out of control, and humanity as a whole—the protesters and the Google employees as well as the shareholders and the executives—are all trapped by the consequences. It’s time to optimize our economy for the human beings it’s supposed to be serving. In this groundbreaking book, acclaimed media scholar and author Douglas Rushkoff tells us how to combine the best of human nature with the best of modern technology. Tying together disparate threads—big data, the rise of robots and AI, the increasing participation of algorithms in stock market trading, the gig economy, the collapse of the eurozone—Rushkoff provides a critical vocabulary for our economic moment and a nuanced portrait of humans and commerce at a critical crossroads.
To Save Everything Click Here
To Save Everything, Click Here, the new book by the acclaimed author of The Net Delusion, Evgeny Morozov, is a penetrating look at the shape of society in the digital age, of the direction in which the 21st Century may take us, and of the alternate paths we can still choose Our society is at a crossroads. Smart technology is transforming our world, making many aspects of our lives more convenient, efficient and - in some cases - fun. Better and cheaper sensors can now be embedded in almost everything, and technologies can log the products we buy and the way we use them. But, argues Evgeny Morozov, technology is having a more profound effect on us: it is changing the way we understand human society. In the very near future, technological systems will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions into many more areas of public life. These are the discourses by which we have always defined our civilisation: politics, culture, public debate, morality, humanism. But how will these discourses be affected when we delegate much of the responsibility for them to technology? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything - from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity - by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifiying behaviour. Yet when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical and civic behaviour, do we also change the very nature of that behaviour? Technology, Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement - but only if we abandon the idea that it is necessarily revolutionary and instead genuinely interrogate why and how we are using it. From urging us to drop outdated ideas of the internet to showing how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions, To Save Everything, Click Here is about why we should always question the way we use technology. 'A devastating exposé of cyber-utopianism by the world's most far-seeing Internet guru' John Gray, author of Straw Dogs 'Evgeny Morozov is the most challenging - and best-informed - critic of the Techno-Utopianism surrounding the Internet. If you've ever had the niggling feeling, as you spoon down your google, that there's no such thing as a free lunch, Morozov's book will tell you how you might end up paying for it' Brian Eno 'This hard-hitting book argues people have become enslaved to the machines they use to communicate. It is incisive and beautifully written; whether you agree with Morozov or not, he will make you think hard' Richard Sennett, author of Together Praise for The Net Delusion: 'Gleefully iconoclastic . . . not just unfailingly readable: it is also a provocative, enlightening and welcome riposte to the cyberutopian worldview' Economist 'A passionate and heavily researched account of the case against the cyberutopians . . . only by becoming "cyberrealists" can we hope to make humane and effective policy' Bryan Appleyard, New Statesman 'Piercing . . . convincing . . . timely' Financial Times Evgeny Morozov is the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (which was the winner of the 2012 Goldsmith Book Prize) and a contributing editor for The New Republic. Previously, he was a visiting scholar at Stanford University, a Scwhartz fellow at the New America Foundation, a Yahoo fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown, and a fellow at the Open Society Foundations. His monthly column on technology comes out in Slate, Corriere della Sera, El Pais, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and several other newspapers. He's also written for the New York Times, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the London Review of Books.