Jaron Lanier

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pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Taking advantage of the ensuing limelight, Lanier swiftly assumed a more Jobs-like role and marketed the heck out of his virtual reality machine, but in the end, the cost of an E ticket was just too high. Jaron Lanier: I had already been working on virtual reality stuff in garages in Palo Alto before I went to do the Atari Cambridge thing. We did all kinds of weird experiments, all very funky and all short-lived. Tom came up to me after one of my talks in the early eighties. Tom Zimmerman: I met Jaron at a Stanford electronic music concert at night in the outdoors. And I told him I had this glove. Jaron Lanier: I said, “Oh, what does it do?” And he says, “Well, it’s got continuous sensors.” “Oh my God! We have to talk.” Tom Zimmerman: I had invented the dataglove between graduating MIT and joining Atari Labs. Jaron Lanier: There were a lot of people who had done sensor gloves of one sort or another for, like, hearing-impaired applications or different things, but nobody had actually made a glove to my knowledge that had continuous sensing before.

Tom Zimmerman: And then Jaron started getting into this programming language idea. Jaron Lanier: I had a lot of money come in in ’83 because this one game of mine called Moondust was quite successful. Tom Zimmerman: And Atari blew up, so at some point Jaron said, “I’m forming this new company. Why don’t you join me?” This was a lot more exciting to me, because it centered around making the glove that I had been developing for a while. And so I joined him, and that was the start of VPL. Jaron Lanier: I believe VPL was incorporated in ’83. Young Harvill: VPL originally stood for “Visual Programming Language.” Tom Zimmerman: Jaron was developing a programming language. He really wanted to go for it. Jaron Lanier: Back then we had the freedom to think in the big picture, which very few people have now.

Jim Clark: Silicon Graphics was a company that primarily made what would now be called GPUs—special purpose graphics processing units—to accelerate graphics, so that people who used our equipment could visualize the models that they made. David Levitt: We used two Silicon Graphics machines, one for each eye, of course. So that became the first EyePhone. Jaron Lanier: EyePhone, E-Y-E, obviously. Mitch Altman: Our resolution was superlow: 480 by 680. Jaron Lanier: And the EyePhone was the first commercially available head-mounted display. We sold a lot to labs all over the world. Scott Fisher: I made it very clear in talks that I gave and talking with our collaborators like VPL that our next big push at NASA was for a multiuser system—having multiple people in the shared virtual space. Jaron Lanier: The whole thing of being in there with other people where each person becomes an avatar was superimportant. That was the whole point. Tom Zimmerman: And so what Jaron did was he took the head-mounted display, which was done by Scott Fisher at NASA, and he now created this whole interactive virtual world where he was really emphasizing interaction between humans in this synthetic world.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Thuy Ong, ‘Sean Parker on Facebook: “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains” ’, The Verge, 9 November 2017; Olivia Solon, ‘Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human “vulnerability” ’, Guardian, 9 November 2017. 17. It was another former Twitter adviser and Facebook executive . . . Antonio García-Martínez, ‘I’m an ex-Facebook exec: don’t believe what they tell you about ads’, Guardian, 2 May 2017. 18. As the Silicon Valley guru Jaron Lanier puts it . . . Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2010, p. 11. 19. We would enjoy ‘creative autonomy’ . . . Manuel Castells, Communication Power, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2009. 20. Multitudes would suddenly swarm . . . Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, Penguin Books: New York, 2004. 21. A 2015 study . . . Eric P.

But it could also, as a running joke in the company acknowledged, easily ‘throw the election’ by simply running a reminder to vote in key areas on election day. This situation is completely without precedent, and it is now evolving so quickly that we can barely keep track of where we are. And the more technology evolves, the more that new layers of hardware and software are added, the harder it is to change. This is handing tech capitalists a unique source of power. As the Silicon Valley guru Jaron Lanier puts it, they don’t have to persuade us when they can directly manipulate our experience of the world.18 Technologists augment our senses with webcams, smartphones and constantly expanding quantities of digital memory. Because of this, a tiny group of engineers can ‘shape the entire future of human experience with incredible speed’. We are writing, and as we write, we are being written. More accurately, as a society we are becoming hard-written, so that we cannot press delete without gravely disrupting the system as a whole.

We’re supposed to be able to decide what we prefer within the rules – rules which English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, in a pregnant metaphor, compared to the ‘laws of gaming’.39 We may not decide the rules, but we decide where to place our bets and when to ante up. And on the face of it, that surely is what we do on the social industry. No one forces us to be there, and no one tells us what to post, ‘like’ or click. And yet our interactions with the machine are conditioned. Critics of social media like Jaron Lanier argue that the user experience is designed much like the famous ‘Skinner Box’ or ‘operant conditioning chamber’ invented by the pioneering behaviourist B. F. Skinner. In this chamber, the behaviour of laboratory rats was conditioned by stimuli – lights, noises and food. Each of these stimuli constituted a ‘reinforcement’, either positive or negative, which would reward some forms of behaviour and discourage others.


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kubernetes, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, The Hackers Conference, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

., 69. 45.Larry McCaffery, “An Interview with William Gibson,” Mississippi Review 16, no. 2/3 (1988): 224. 46.Ibid. 47.William Gibson, Count Zero (New York: Arbor House, 1986), 33. 48.For a review of the Commodore 64 version of Moondust, see “LGR—Moondust—Commodore 64 Game Review,” YouTube video, posted June 30, 2009, http://youtu.be/DTk4SqKL-PA. 49.Lanier recounts the story in Jaron Lanier, “Virtually There,” Scientific American 284, no. 4 (2001): 68. 50.See Thomas G. Zimmerman, Optical flex sensor, US Patent 4542291 A, filed September 29, 1982, and issued September 17, 1985. 51.“Brain Scan: The Virtual Curmudgeon,” Economist, September 2, 2010. 52.Thomas Zimmerman, interview by the author, April 15, 2014. 53.See Adam Heilbrun’s description in Heilbrun, “An Interview with Jaron Lanier,” Whole Earth Review 64 (Fall 1989): 109. 54.Zimmerman, interview, April 15, 2014. 55.“An Interview with Mitch Altman (Inventor and Virtual Reality Pioneer from the 80’s),” YouTube video, posted January 28, 2015, https://youtu.be/5TrRO_j_efg. 56.For a list of companies, see Rudy Rucker, R.

“An Interview with Mitch Altman (Inventor and Virtual Reality Pioneer from the 80’s),” YouTube video, posted January 28, 2015, https://youtu.be/5TrRO_j_efg. 56.For a list of companies, see Rudy Rucker, R. U. Sirius, and Queen Mu, Mondo 2000: User’s Guide to the New Edge (New York: Harper, 1992), 315. 57.“Interview with Mitch Altman.” 58.“Virtual Reality from 1990, Jaron Lanier, Eye Phones,” YouTube video, posted December 3, 2014, https://youtu.be/ACeoMNux_AU?t=29s. 59.Heilbrun, “Interview with Jaron Lanier,” 109. 60.Ibid., 110. 61.Ibid., 114. 62.Ibid., 115. 63.Timothy Leary and Eric Gullichsen, “Artificial Reality Technology,” Reality Hackers 5 (1988): 23. Thanks to Daniel Bilar for pointing out the Buddha allusion. 64.Andrew Pollack, “For Artificial Reality, Wear a Computer,” New York Times, April 10, 1989, A1. 65.John Walker, Through the Looking Glass: Beyond “User Interfaces” (Sausalito, CA: Autodesk, Inc., 1988). 66.Walker referred to Stanley Kandebo’s press article about the Agile Eye in his Autodesk memo, ibid. 67.Walker, Through the Looking Glass. 68.Rudy Rucker, Seek!

Vinge’s True Names appealed to a narrower group that became influential only in the long term: those passionate about engineering, gaming, encryption, and privacy. But for now there was a problem. The air force had developed the hardware in secret. Vinge and Gibson had developed the vision in novels without even knowing of the air force’s first steps in virtual space. Vision and prototype needed to be connected. Jaron Lanier embodied what the Whole Earth Catalog stood for: offbeat, dreadlocked, bohemian, raised under a geodesic dome in Mesilla, New Mexico. Lanier went from performing on the streets of Santa Cruz to writing software for Atari, an arcade game company. At Atari, Lanier had created Moondust, a primitive art-music game. The game confused many players because it was so different, not a first-person shooter but peaceful, “trippy,” as one called it.48 In 1984, the year Neuromancer was published, Atari’s business started to sour and Lanier lost his job.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

1977 Turing Award Lecture, Communications of the ACM, August 1978, at http://portal.acm.org/affiliated/citation.cfm?id=359579&dl=ACM&coll=ACM. “When you learn about computer science”: Jaron Lanier, quoted in Janice J. Hess, “Coding from Scratch,” Sun Developer Network, January 23, 2003, at http://java.sun.com/features/2003/01/lanier_qa1.htm. “Gordian software”: Jaron Lanier, “Why Gordian Software Has Convinced Me to Believe in the Reality of Cats and Apples,” Edge.org, November 19, 2003, at http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier03/lanier_ index.htm. “If you make a small change”: Lanier in Hess, “Coding from Scratch.” “The world as our nervous systems,” “Try to be an ever better guesser,” and “When you de-emphasize protocols”: Lanier, “Gordian Software.” “very different and radical”: Jaron Lanier talk at Future Salon, April 20, 2004. Information at http://www.futuresalon.org/2004/04/full_salon_with.

Information at http://www.futuresalon.org/2004/04/full_salon_with. htm. Video at http://www.archive.org/movies/details-db.php?collection=open source_movies&collectionid=FutureSalon_04_2004. “The moment programs grow beyond”: Lanier, “Gordian Software.” “Little programs are so easy”: Jaron Lanier talk at OOPSLA Conference, October 2004. Daniel Dennett’s critique of “Gordian Software” is at http://www.edge.org/discourse/gordian.htm#dennett. “The fundamental challenge for humanity”: Jaron Lanier, interview with author, October 2005. “I’m just sick of the stupidity”: Jaron Lanier at OOPSLA 2004. “We are stuck with the evolutionary pattern”: Robert N. Britcher, The Limits of Software (Addison Wesley, 1999), p. 190. “essential property” and following: Frederick Brooks, “No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering,” Computer 20:4 (April 1987), pp. 10–19.

Most of us are likely to start with an understandable bias toward the principle of usability: Computers are supposed to make certain kinds of work easier for us; why shouldn’t they do the heavy lifting? But it would be unfair to dismiss Engelbart’s program as “user-hostile” when its whole purpose was to figure out how technology could help make exponential improvements in how people think. Computer scientist Jaron Lanier tells a story about an encounter between the young Engelbart and MIT’s Marvin Minsky, a founding father of the field of artificial intelligence. After Minsky waxed prophetic about the prodigious powers of reason that his research project would endow computers with, Engelbart responded, “You’re gonna do all that for the computers. What are you going to do for the people?” Mitch Kapor always cited Engelbart as one of his inspirations, and Agenda was in a sense a descendant of NLS.


pages: 194 words: 49,310

Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand

Albert Einstein, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Eratosthenes, Extropian, fault tolerance, George Santayana, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, longitudinal study, low earth orbit, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

It doesn’t matter that in those days everyone wrote with WordStar, in CP/M, on a Kaypro computer. No one does now, and almost no one can. If you write something this week with Word in Windows 98 on a Dell computer, what are the chances of anybody being able to read it in 2008? The same doubt hangs over the big iron—the mainframes and minicomputers that process the digits that run and record our world. It doesn’t matter how widely used the machines are. Jaron Lanier, the inventor of immersion technologies called virtual reality , recently reported, I was asked last year by a museum to display an art video game (“Moondust”) that I had written in 1982. It ran on a Commodore 64, a computer that had already sold in the millions by the time of the game’s release. It turns out that after my game cartridge was introduced, there was a slight hardware change to the computer (in 1983), which caused the sound to not work.

The E-mail, phone calls, and photographs are passive; all you have to do is keep them readable. The virtual reality experiment, however, is active; it was probably run on some experimental one-off piece of lab equipment cobbled together in a fragile array of then-current tools. Without that complex of hardware, you can’t replay the experiment. Preservation of such hardware-dependent digital experiences is nearly impossible, says Jaron Lanier. For instance, an elaborate virtual-reality model of Berlin has been used for planning the city for years, but this invaluable artifact will almost certainly be lost eventually. The U.S. Army’s famous computer model of the pivotal tank battle in the Gulf War, refought by countless soldiers in the years following the war, is likewise doomed in its original form. Digital storage is easy; digital preservation is hard.

The platform-independent programming language called Java boasts the motto, “Write once, run anywhere.” One of Java’s creators, Bill Joy, asserts that the language “is so well specified that if you write a simple version of Java in Java, it becomes a Rosetta Stone. Aliens, or a sufficiently smart human, could eventually figure it out because it’s an implementation of itself.” In other words, “Write once, run anytime.” We’ll see. Exercise is the best preserver. Jaron Lanier notes that documents such as the Torah, the Koran, and the I Ching are impressively persistent because every age copies, analyzes, critiques, and uses them. The books live and are kept contemporary by use. Since digital artifacts are rapidly outnumbering all possible human users, Lanier recommends employing artificial intelligences to keep the artifacts exercised through decades and centuries of forced contemporaneity, kept ever up to date for a potential human user.


pages: 302 words: 90,215

Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do by Jeremy Bailenson

Apple II, augmented reality, computer vision, deliberate practice, experimental subject, game design, Google Glasses, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, Jaron Lanier, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, nuclear winter, Oculus Rift, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, telepresence, too big to fail

Probably. Almost certainly. Kind of. What about it?) There is a sense from many people that VR is sinister—that it represents the nail in the coffin of a natural, social-oriented mode of human life that has been gradually dying away. Why will anyone want to exist in the real world when they can live an immersive fantasy life in VR? I think this view seriously underestimates real life. I’m with Jaron Lanier, who likes to describe the most amazing moment in VR as the moment when you take the HMD off and are flooded with the full gamut of subtle sensory inputs that VR can’t capture—fine gradations of light, smells, the sensation of air moving on your skin, the weight and torque of the headset in your hand—these are all sensations that are incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to effectively simulate in a virtual world.

“It’s a Gameboy,” the young man replied, and he proceeded to show Skip the famously addictive Russian puzzle game, Tetris. Skip watched for 10 minutes as the normally easily distractible frontal lobe patient sat glued to the game. “I thought, if only I could develop cognitive therapy that could engage folks like this.” Immediately, he began incorporating games like SimCity into his clinical practice. Not long after this experience Skip heard an interview on the radio with Jaron Lanier. Lanier was touting the work of his company, VPL Research, and the transformative possibilities of virtual reality. Immediately Skip saw the therapeutic potential of virtual environments for treating people with cognitive impairments and anxiety disorders: “I thought, what if we could immerse people in functionally relevant environments and do rehab in those contexts? Then we could build in a game element, some way to engage people.”

If you’ve seen these diagrams you’ll have noticed that a large part of our cortical real estate is dedicated to our hands and face. But imagine if the homunculus is suddenly presented with an entirely new body schema: How do we cope when we are suddenly operating a body that isn’t bipedal, say an avatar lobster or octopus? Can the brain adapt to figure out how to control six extra arms? The theory that examines this question is called Homuncular Flexiblity, and it is the brainchild of VR pioneer Jaron Lanier. In the 1980s, Ann Lasko, who worked with Jaron at VPL, had seen a postcard picture of people in lobster suits at a festival. This inspired her to create a lobster avatar in VR, and she set about programming a body map for it. Since the lobster body includes six more limbs than a typical person, there were not enough parameters measured by VPL’s body tracking suit to drive the lobster avatar in a one-to-one mapping.


pages: 151 words: 39,757

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

The wrong end of the BUMMER High castle ARGUMENT EIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO HAVE ECONOMIC DIGNITY Double BUMMER Baby BUMMER Conflicted BUMMER BUMMER blinders Better than BUMMER The corp perspective The user perspective ARGUMENT NINE SOCIAL MEDIA IS MAKING POLITICS IMPOSSIBLE Arc burn Arab Spring Gamergate LGBTQ Neither left nor right, but down Black Lives Matter If only this game were already over ARGUMENT TEN SOCIAL MEDIA HATES YOUR SOUL I met a metaphysical metaphor The first four principles of BUMMER spirituality BUMMER faith BUMMER heaven Existence without BUMMER BUMMER anti-magic CONCLUSION: CATS HAVE NINE LIVES Thank-yous Notes Also by Jaron Lanier About the Author Copyright TEN ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS RIGHT NOW. Copyright © 2018 by Jaron Lanier. All rights reserved. For information, address Henry Holt and Co., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010. www.henryholt.com Cover design by Nicolette Seeback The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows: Names: Lanier, Jaron, author. Title: Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now / Jaron Lanier. Description: First edition. | New York: Henry Holt and Company, [2018] Identifiers: LCCN 2018007801 | ISBN 9781250196682 (hardcover) Subjects: LCSH: Internet—Social aspects. | Social media.

https://komarketing.com/industry-news/ai-digital-transformation-top-marketers-priorities-2018/ 10. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/10/29/saudi-arabia-which-denies-women-equal-rights-makes-a-robot-a-citizen/ 11. Here is an old piece that describes how I reconcile my views on the specialness of people with my support of abortion rights: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-latest-innocent-embry_b_8547.html ALSO BY JARON LANIER Dawn of the New Everything Who Owns the Future? You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto Wenn Träume erwachsen werden (When Dreams Grow Up) About the Author JARON LANIER is a scientist, musician, and writer best known for his work in virtual reality and his advocacy of humanism and sustainable economics in a digital context. His 1980s startup VPL Research created the first commercial VR products and introduced avatars, multiperson virtual world experiences, and prototypes of major VR applications such as surgical simulation.

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/185/3/203/2915143 5.   http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/1/150292 6.   http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(17)30016-8/fulltext 7.   https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/01/facebook-advertising-data-insecure-teens 8.   http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214001241 9.   https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/opinion/jaron-lanier-on-lack-of-transparency-in-facebook-study.html 10. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full 11. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/12/hard-questions-is-spending-time-on-social-media-bad-for-us/ 12. https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/01/the-facebook-moms-group-that-has-helped-me-raise-kids-without-going-crazy.html 13. Here’s a study that detects both positive and negative effects of social media use and is able to characterize them: http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(15)00214-1/abstract/.


pages: 533

Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech by Jamie Susskind

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, Andrew Keen, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, British Empire, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, continuation of politics by other means, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google bus, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, mittelstand, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Oculus Rift, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, payday loans, price discrimination, price mechanism, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selection bias, self-driving car, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technological singularity, the built environment, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. These are not the words of a politician.They’re from the voiceover to ‘Think Different’, a 1997 Apple advertisement featuring iconic footage of rebels including Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. The ad embodies a worldview, widely held among tech entrepreneurs, that their work is of philosophical as well as commercial importance. ‘It is commonplace in Silicon Valley,’ explains Jaron Lanier, ‘for very young people with a startup in a garage to announce that their goal is to change human culture globally and profoundly, within a few years, and that they aren’t ready yet to worry about money, because acquiring a great fortune is a petty OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 26/05/18, SPi РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS Introduction 7 matter that will take care of itself.’5 There is something attractive about this way of thinking, partly because it suggests that tech companies might not be as rapacious as they are sometimes made out to be.

How do I contribute to a new wiki law legalizing drugs if I don’t believe that drugs should be legalized at all? By deleting the whole statute? That a wiki can be refined and adapted over time, much like the common law, is desirable. But the common law moves at a stately OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 26/05/18, SPi РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS 246 FUTURE POLITICS pace while a wiki may change thousands of times each second. Jaron Lanier rightly invites us to imagine ‘the jittery shifts’ of wiki law: ‘It’s a terrifying thing to consider. Superenergized people would be struggling to shift the wording of the tax code on a frantic, never-ending basis.’56 The practical problems with Wiki Democracy seem overwhelming. But they are only fatal if we try to defend a model of pure Wiki Democracy without any checks or balances. To do that would be nonsensical.

They also make it possible for others to dominate networks, at least temporarily, with the help of powerful digital technology. If people and technology are connected in a seamless web, then those with the best technology will always have an advantage. Take the example of financial trading, which now largely takes place online.The rise of automated and high-frequency trading has caused an explosion in financial activity—mostly to the disadvantage of human traders.29 As Jaron Lanier explains:30 ‘if you have a more effective computer than anyone else in an open network [then] Your superior calculation ability allows you to choose the least risky option for yourself, leaving riskier options for everyone else.’ Lanier’s point may remind you of the discussion of bots and democracy in chapter thirteen. If deliberation takes place over an open network and one group brings a horde of powerful AI bots to argue their case, then they’ll end up dominating the discussion.


pages: 343 words: 102,846

Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor

But because big data is categorized as a benevolent offshoot of our will to arrive at the future, we are not just accepting of it, we are lining up to contribute to the project. With only the weakest infrastructure as protection for the consumer, big data is expanding in all directions much faster than any person could ever keep up with. Even if you wanted to opt out of big data, it would be impossible. Jaron Lanier makes this point at length in his book Who Owns the Future, arguing that what is stifling opportunity in the twenty-first century is the steadily rising disparity between those with access to—and the ability to profit from—the future in its data form, and the rest of us, who are increasingly being treated primarily as inexhaustible mines, giant open pits feeding the tomorrow machine.42 A seismic and potentially dangerous shift in a short time, and all without any real opposition or even debate.

What we’ve done in many cases is not advance, just speed up. We’ve exponentially increased our consumptive patterns, changing almost nothing as we tore through vast swathes of the world plundering everything in our paths. You can call this innovation, or you can call this the trap of progress—the ratcheting up of the process of doing what we’ve always done, killing and moving on. Writes virtual reality inventor turned technology pundit Jaron Lanier: “We have been obliged to invent our way out of the mess caused by our last inventions since we became human. It is our identity. . . . It is hard to be comfortable accepting the degree of responsibility our species will have to assume in order to survive into the future. The game was entered into long ago and we have no choice but to play.”19 It would seem that the Chumash, by staying relatively stable, by not evolving or adapting or innovating too much, were able to weather the storms and even the environmental depletions they brought on themselves.

It’s upgrades in the efficiency and capacity of IT over the last decade that have enabled companies to create hyper-efficient systems in which productivity can be massively increased without the need for more hiring or increases in wages. “The historically strong relationship between changes in GDP and changes in employment appears to have weakened,” note the Race Against the Machine authors, “as digital technology has become more pervasive and powerful.”41 “If,” asks influential inventor Jaron Lanier, “network technology is supposed to be so good for everyone, why has the developed world suffered so much just as the technology has become widespread? Why was there so much economic pain at once all over the developed world just as computer networking dug in to every aspect of human activity, in the early twenty-first century?”42 Lest you think all of this is just Luddite rhetoric by scaredy-cats who fear change, let’s look at a comprehensive study of the effect of IT on jobs.


pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

ESSENCES AND EXPERIMENTS People are flexible enough to make any theory look good for a while. What is impossible to be sure of, though, is how much the theory might have limited what people could have become.... The selfcongratulatory fallacies of artificial intelligence are similiar to the ways in which communists fooled themselves into believing they had found the key to paradise, while actually they had only blinded themselves to their own humanity for a time. JARON LANIER Imagine an encounter between two of historyʼs greatest minds, each defending his own view of reality. PLATO: Our senses are defective; therefore, we cannot discover truth through experience. That chair, for instance. Despite all your gritty “experiments,” you will never determine what it is. Not perfectly. Therefore give up! Empiricism is useless. Seek the essence of truth through pure reason.

Indeed, most are devoted, in their own ways, to fighting vile accumulations of power, and to offering prescriptions for safeguarding liberty. There is nothing wrong with this. But when people start believing in the perfect reality of their metaphors, they take footsteps down the path of Plato and so many others. A path that has, in the long run, led to more harm than good. Recall the quotation from Jaron Lanier that began this section. Go back and replace “artificial intelligence” with “crypto-anarchy,” and Lanier might be describing the latest techno-transcendentalist fetish—a passionate belief that all will be well if only we pledge our faith and trust to encrypted chains of bits and bytes, managed by algorithms of chaste mathematical purity. We shall see that this latest techno-religion is no different from the others that preceded it.

No other populace has ever had so much known about them, both in groups and as individuals—and no populace has ever been so cantankerously individualistic or free. We have done this by assertively retaining the sovereign powers of sight and control. Such a society is a long way from deserving anyoneʼs contempt. We need to calibrate our idealism for what is possible. So I do not propose that corruption, confusion, or deception can be eliminated, but merely that they can be controlled so that they arenʼt catastrophic. JARON LANIER GUARDING THE GUARDIANS We can illustrate how tools of accountability may offer most citizens increased confidence and control by applying those tools to the gritty world of crime and law enforcement. In July 1997, as a portent of bigger steps to come, the San Diego County Sheriffʼs Department began equipping all deputies with pocket tape recorders, requiring them to turn on the devices during encounters with the public.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Eaarth and founder of 350.org “The Filter Bubble shows how unintended consequences of well-meaning online designs can impose profound and sudden changes on politics. All agree that the Internet is a potent tool for change, but whether changes are for the better or worse is up to the people who create and use it. If you feel that the Web is your wide open window on the world, you need to read this book to understand what you aren’t seeing.” —Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget “For more than a decade, reflective souls have worried about the consequences of perfect personalization. Eli Pariser’s is the most powerful and troubling critique yet.” —Lawrence Lessig, author of Code, Free Culture, and Remix “Eli Pariser isn’t just the smartest person I know thinking about the relationship of digital technology to participation in the democratic process—he is also the most experienced.

This kind of newspaper is printed in an edition of one.... Call it the Daily Me.” The more he thought about it, the more sense it made. The solution to the information overflow of the digital age was smart, personalized, embedded editors. In fact, these agents didn’t have to be limited to television; as he suggested to the editor of the new tech magazine Wired, “Intelligent agents are the unequivocal future of computing.” In San Francisco, Jaron Lanier responded to this argument with dismay. Lanier was one of the creators of virtual reality; since the eighties, he’d been tinkering with how to bring computers and people together. But the talk of agents struck him as crazy. “What’s got into all of you?” he wrote in a missive to the “Wired-style community” on his Web site. “The idea of ‘intelligent agents’ is both wrong and evil.... The agent question looms as a deciding factor in whether [the Net] will be much better than TV, or much worse.”

You live in an equilibrium between your own desires and what the market will bear. And while in many cases this provides for healthier, happier lives, it also provides for the commercialization of everything—even of our sensory apparatus itself. There are few things uglier to contemplate than AugCog-enabled ads that escalate until they seize control of your attention. We’re compelled to return to Jaron Lanier’s question: For whom do these technologies work? If history is any guide, we may not be the primary customer. And as technology gets better and better at directing our attention, we need to watch closely what it is directing our attention toward. 8 Escape from the City of Ghettos In order to find his own self, [a person] also needs to live in a milieu where the possibility of many different value systems is explicitly recognized and honored.


pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

And more often than not, I’m a little insulted by the portrait of my viewing habits that Netflix tries to paint—and tries to reinscribe. (One friend of mine, David, complains that Google AdSense “treats me like a forty-three-year-old woman because of my personal choices.”) We can presume that in the future much more will be selected by public consensus—and that we’ll be vaguely unaware of those selections, too. The computer scientist (and virtual reality pioneer) Jaron Lanier writes angrily against this “invisible hand” in Who Owns the Future?: If market pricing is the only legitimate test of quality, why are we still bothering with proving theorems? Why don’t we just have a vote on whether a theorem is true? To make it better we’ll have everyone vote on it, especially the hundreds of millions of people who don’t understand the math. Would that satisfy you? This invisible hand is at work each time you search online.

“They are but the physical impressions produced by love and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element—direct observation.” Inevitably, the virtuosic Machine begins to fall apart, though, and with it the very walls of their micromanaged underground society. Author Jaron Lanier recalls Forster’s story as a message of hope, a fantasy where mankind casts off its shackles (or has those shackles forced off, anyway). “At the end of the story . . . ,” Lanier recounts, “survivors straggle outside to revel in the authenticity of reality. ‘The Sun!’ they cry, amazed at luminous depths of beauty that could not have been imagined.” But in fact Lanier is misremembering here.

Here I stand on the bus, its progress shaking me a little in my place as I hang one-armed from the strap. And all around me, the young and not so young are banishing their boredom by pouring their attention into games like Angry Birds and Jewel Quest on their phones. The bus rattles around a corner and we all sway in unison, we bump into one another, but nobody looks up. An elderly woman, with perfect white hair, turns to look out the window and appears to disappear. • • • • • Jaron Lanier wrote that “one good test of whether an economy is humanistic or not is the plausibility of earning the ability to drop out of it for a while without incident or insult.” This seems a good gauge to me. And I know that dropping out of our current information economy would indeed damage my livelihood, put me at odds with the “ordinary” lives of my peers. It’s this fact of the hassle—the incorrectness of dropping off the grid—that solidifies my ambition to do it.


pages: 480 words: 123,979

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

4chan, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, cosmological constant, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, game design, general-purpose programming language, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, impulse control, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

Watts, Alan Watts Towers wealth concentration weightlessness weight loss Welles, Orson Wessel, David What Technology Wants (Kelly) white hats White Sands Missile Range Whole Earth Catalog Whole Earth Review Who Owns the Future (Lanier) Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us (Joy) Wiener, Norbert Wii WikiLeaks Wilde, Oscar Wild West Wilson, Andy Windows Wired Wizard of the Upper Amazon, The (Lamb) Wolfram, Stephen women dating and gaming and tech world and Won, Andrea Stevenson “world,” vs. “reality” world games world music World War II World Wide Web (WWW) Xanadu digital network Xbox Xerox PARC Xiao, Jianxiong You Are Not a Gadget (Lanier) YouTube Zachary, George Zhang, Zhengyou Zimmerman, Tom zither Zombie Apocalypse Zuckerberg, Mark Also by Jaron Lanier Who Owns the Future? You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto About the Author JARON LANIER, an interdisciplinary scientist at Microsoft, either coined or popularized the term “virtual reality,” depending on whom you ask. His startup, VPL, created the first commercial VR products, avatars, multiperson virtual world experiences, and prototypes of surgical simulation. Both of his previous books, Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget, have been international bestsellers.

They were researchers who would eventually become part of the HIT Lab of University of Washington, an early VR research department started by Tom Furness, a VR pioneer who had previously worked on military simulators. Introduction 1.   This is the first of dozens of numbered definitions of VR dispersed in this book. 2.   An example of my 1980s usage of the term “mixed reality” is found in “Virtual Reality: An Interview with Jaron Lanier” (Kevin Kelly, Adam Heilbrun, and Barbara Stacks, Whole Earth Review. Fall 1989, no. 64, p. 108[12]). Chapter 2 1.   I have no sympathy for the recent campaign to demote Pluto to prominent Kuiper Belt object instead of planet. Its weird orbit out there is an inspiration to every kid who doesn’t fit in. Are we not full-fledged planets? Will you only accept us if we conform? Let Pluto remain a planet, now and forever!

The actual scheme is more complicated than taking literally spherical videos, but that’s a reasonable approximation. Chapter 18 1.   For years everyone in computer graphics used the same teapot model to demonstrate rendering techniques. You can even see one in Pixar’s original Toy Story. 2.   A Klein Bottle is a beloved and weird geometric shape; a bottle that is inside itself. 3.   An example of my 1980s usage of the term is found in Virtual Reality: An Interview with Jaron Lanier. Kevin Kelly, Adam Heilbrun, and Barbara Stacks. Whole Earth Review, Fall 1999 n64 p108(12). 4.   The four candidates were Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bob Dole, and Jack Kemp, and nothing any of them said would be considered aggressive by today’s standards. 5.   Wired renewed the morphology of the early literature of computation: One half was nerdy systems thinking, with a utopian sensibility and a realization that nerds are running the world now, while the other half, which I liked better, was psychedelic revelry from a personal perspective.


pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

He notes that the Internet works as much or more to promote ignorance as knowledge; hence survey research demonstrates little if any improvement in the knowledge levels of Americans between 1989 and 2007.30 Mark Bauerlein develops this point, noting that study after study confirms that young people today constitute “the dumbest generation,” shockingly ignorant of civics, history, geography, science, literature, the works. To Bauerlein, the emergence of digital media is the main culprit in this sudden transformation. “Dwelling in a world of puerile banter and coarse images,” they “are actively cut off” from world realities like no other generation.31 Jaron Lanier, considered the father of virtual reality technology, also questioned the idea that the Internet is a knowledge factory in 2010’s You Are Not a Gadget. In summarily dismissing Shirky, he notes: Some of my colleagues think a million, or perhaps a billion, fragmentary insults will eventually yield wisdom that surpasses that of any well-thought-out essay, so long as sophisticated secret algorithms recombine the fragments.

To the extent it was seen as affecting journalism, it became a growing concern.135 These firms had gotten larger for the same reasons other capitalist firms get larger: bigness reduces risk and increases profitability, everything else being equal.136 It’s important to remember that conglomeration required a number of significant changes in federal laws and regulations—largely because most of these firms traded in radio and TV stations or cable TV systems, the licenses for which had strict ownership regulations to prevent monopoly—but media firms proved to be highly skilled at getting their way in Washington. By the mid-1990s, for media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Disney’s Michael Eisner, it seemed the world was their oyster. But for all the depth and breadth of the empires they had constructed and despite all their political influence, the Internet seemingly posed a threat to their very existence. As Jaron Lanier put it, “the old-media empires were put on a path of predictable obsolescence.”137 The Internet appeared to pose this threat for three reasons. First, it opened the possibility of making it much easier for new players to enter media markets. As the Internet became the dominant platform, prospective entrants would no longer need major capital to get a broadcasting license or buy an existing film studio.

This notion of new digital competition for the media giants was embraced by many digital activists in the 1990s, who thought the big media corporations were getting their just deserts. They would all soon be submerged by the Internet, with its unlimited number of websites.138 All sorts of newcomers could enter what had been a restricted field, and if they could locate a following, they would be able to generate sufficient revenues to make a go of it. Jaron Lanier remembers the idealistic conviction that a digital utopia was around the corner in a cultural system soon to be liberated from the commercial monopolists.139 The second threat to the media conglomerates was the difficulty of getting customers to pay for media content online, because it was so ridiculously easy to copy and distribute perfect digital copies of music, films, TV shows, and the like at no charge.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

“We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”59 This is the real reason why Google spent $500 million in 2014 on the artificial intelligence startup DeepMind—a technology that, according to The Information’s Amir Efrati, wants to “make computers think like humans.”60 By thinking like us, by being able to join the dots in our mind, Google will own us. And by owning us—our desires, our intentions, our career goals, above all our buying habits—Google will own the networked future. The Silicon Valley insider and technology critic Jaron Lanier argues “the future should be our theater.”61 But the problem with the data factory economy is that we have become the show that is being played in somebody else’s theater. And unlike professional actors, we aren’t even being paid for our labor. No wonder Lanier is nostalgic for a time when we were optimistic about the future. I miss the future, too. And to rediscover my enthusiasm for it, I need to go back a quarter century, to a place called Berwick Street in Soho, London.

These human beings weren’t infallible, but they were much more likely to come up with serendipitous recommendations than algorithms that know our entire purchasing history and thus just tell us what we already know. Back in 1989, I would often come to Soho, not only to buy and sell music but also to meet with friends who were founding record labels, running clubs, spotting talent, or managing young artists. Like so many other people in my generation, my ambition was to get into the music business. Jaron Lanier describes the future as a theater. But twenty-five years ago, the future looked to me like a concert hall. And I wanted a seat in its front row. Twenty-five years ago, the future of the recorded music industry appeared as richly abundant as Soho’s cultural economy. “Perfect Sound Forever,” Philips and Sony boasted about their new CD format. And this digital audio technology had indeed triggered a golden age of new labels, genres, artists, and audiences.

For the outraged, the knee-jerk answer is smashing the windows of Google buses and calling for the “dismantling of techno-industrial society.”7 For the more contemplative, the answer is switching off the network through “digital detoxes,”8 technology Sabbaths, or joining the “slow Web” movement.9 For idealistic Web pioneers like Tim Berners-Lee, the answer is an online “Magna Carta,” a digital Bill of Rights that protects the Web’s neutrality and openness against both governments and Internet corporations.10 For other publicly spirited technologists, the answer is developing anti-Google or anti-Facebook products like the “no tracking” search engine DuckDuckGo, the open-source and nonprofit social network Diaspora, and even an ambitiously decentralized project called Bitcloud that aims to create a new Internet.11 For curated websites like Popular Science, which have tired of the inanity of most user-generated content, the answer is banning anonymous comments.12 For Germany, the answer is in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2014 proposal to build a European network where data wouldn’t pass through the United States.13 The answer for the German government may even lie—irony of ironies—in reverting to the technology of the Stasi and using analog typewriters for secret communications, in an effort to protect itself from foreign snoops.14 For cultural theorists like Jaron Lanier, the answer is in reinventing the business model of online content to “multitudinous, diverse, tiny flows of royalties.”15 For political critics like the technology scholar Tim Wu and the Financial Times columnist John Gapper, the answer lies in Internet entrepreneurs growing out of their “obsessive adolescence” and taking adult responsibility for disruptions like Bitcoin.16 For humanists like Nicholas Carr, the answer lies in us shaping our networked tools before they shape us.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

“We, the armies of digital peasants, scramble for subsistence in digital manor economies, lucky to receive scraps of ad dollars here and there, but mostly getting by, sometimes happily, on social rewards—fun, social connections, online reputations. But when the commons are sold or traded on Wall Street, the vast disparities between us, the peasants, and them, the lords, become more obvious and more objectionable.”13 Computer scientist turned techno-skeptic Jaron Lanier has staked out the most extreme position in relation to those he calls the “lords of the computing clouds,” arguing that the only way to counteract this feudal structure is to institute a system of nanopayments, a market mechanism by which individuals are rewarded for every bit of private information gleaned by the network (an interesting thought experiment, Lanier’s proposed solution may well lead to worse outcomes than the situation we have now, due to the twisted incentives it entails).

“The professional is being replaced by the amateur, the lexicographer by the layperson, the Harvard professor by the unschooled populace,” according to Andrew Keen, obstinately oblivious to the failings of professionally produced mass culture he defends. The Internet is decried as a province of know-nothing narcissists motivated by a juvenile desire for fame and fortune, a virtual backwater of vulgarity and phoniness. Jaron Lanier, the technologist turned skeptic, has taken aim at what he calls “digital Maoism” and the ascendance of the “hive mind.” Social media, as Lanier sees it, demean rather than elevate us, emphasizing the machine over the human, the crowd over the individual, the partial over the integral. The problem is not just that Web 2.0 erodes professionalism but, more fundamentally, that it threatens originality and autonomy.

“We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live,” John Perry Barlow wrote in his influential Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. “The caste system is an artifact of the world of atom,” Nicholas Negroponte declared. Before he reinvented himself as a techno-skeptic, the virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier concurred. “The Web was built by millions of people simply because they wanted it, without need, greed, fear, hierarchy, authority figures, ethnic identification, advertising, or any other form of manipulation,” he enthused. New-media enthusiasts have stuck with this attitude. In The Wealth of Networks Yochai Benkler proclaims, “We can live a life more authored by our own will and imagination than by the material and social conditions in which we find ourselves.”


pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF Copyright © 2010 by Jaron Lanier All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. www.aaknopf.com Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. Grateful acknowledgment is made to Imprint Academic for permission to reprint material by Jaron Lanier that was originally published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. Portions of this work also originally appeared in Discover, Think Magazine, and on www.edge.org. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Lanier, Jaron. You are not a gadget / by Jaron Lanier.—1st ed. p. cm. eISBN: 978-0-307-59314-6 1. Information technology—Social aspects. 2.

Superspecial thanks to early readers of the manuscript: Lee Smolin, Dina Graser, Neal Stephenson, George Dyson, Roger Brent, and Yelena the Porcupine; editors: Jeff Alexander, Marty Asher, and Dan Frank; agents: John Brockman, Katinka Matson, and Max Brockman; at Discover: Corey Powell and Bob Guccione Jr.; and various people who tried to help me finish a book over the last few decades: Scott Kim, Kevin Kelly, Bob Prior, Jamie James, my students at UCSF, and untold others. A note About the Author Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author. His current appointments include Scholar at Large for Microsoft Corporation and Interdisciplinary Scholar-in-Residence, Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, University of California at Berkeley. Lanier’s name is also often associated with research into “virtual reality,” a term he coined. In the late 1980s he led the team that developed the first implementations of multiperson virtual worlds using head-mounted displays, for both local and wide-area networks, as well as the first “avatars,” or representations of users within such systems.


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

As an author, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Notes INTRODUCTION “An endless bombardment of news”: Andrew Sullivan, “I Used to Be a Human Being,” New York, September 18, 2016, http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/09/andrew-sullivan-my-distraction-sickness-and-yours.html. The techno-philosopher Jaron Lanier convincingly argues: For more on Jaron Lanier’s thoughts about the primacy of negativity in the attention marketplace, see his Vox podcast interview with Ezra Klein from January 16, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/1/16/16897738/jaron-lanier-interview. “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity”: Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods (New York: Dover Publications, 2012), 59. Because the text of Walden is in the public domain, many different online, ebook, audio, and print editions of the book exist. I cite the Dover print edition for the purposes of providing page numbers.

The constant exposure to their friends’ carefully curated portrayals of their lives generates feelings of inadequacy—especially during periods when they’re already feeling low—and for teenagers, it provides a cruelly effective way to be publicly excluded. In addition, as demonstrated during the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, online discussion seems to accelerate people’s shift toward emotionally charged and draining extremes. The techno-philosopher Jaron Lanier convincingly argues that the primacy of anger and outrage online is, in some sense, an unavoidable feature of the medium: In an open marketplace for attention, darker emotions attract more eyeballs than positive and constructive thoughts. For heavy internet users, repeated interaction with this darkness can become a source of draining negativity—a steep price that many don’t even realize they’re paying to support their compulsive connectivity.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

Case and his fellow inhabitants of “the Sprawl” struggled to survive in the shadows of a world where large corporations had ruined the natural environment, where government seemed to be breaking down and local Mafias taking over, and where physical suffering was routine.58 For people working in high technology, however, Gibson’s vision of cyberspace held enormous appeal. As Allucquère Rosanne Stone has argued, for example, the idea of cyberspace allowed a geographically dispersed group of individuals working on three-dimensional imaging systems— systems that Jaron Lanier named “virtual reality”—to reimagine themselves as members of a coherent community collaborating on the construction of the future. This community had begun its work in the 1960s, developing flight-simulation gear for the air force. Its members had also developed computer-assisted design (CAD) technology, particularly at Nicholas Negroponte’s Architecture Machine Group—forerunner of the Media Lab— at MIT.

In the early 1980s, many of these people migrated to Silicon Valley. In 1982, for instance, Scott Fisher, of the Architecture Machine Group, joined Atari. When the Atari lab closed, he moved to the NASA-Ames View Lab. There engineers had developed a virtual reality helmet and a sensor incorporated into a glove that could give the computer information about a subject’s hand movements. In 1985 NASA contracted to have this glove developed by Jaron Lanier’s Sausalito-based firm VPL Research; they manufactured the first glove in March 1986.59 Another East Coast engineer, Eric Gullichsen, arrived at about the same time. He ultimately joined Autodesk, a San Francisco Bay area maker of CAD systems. In 1988 Autodesk developed a “cyberspace” initiative (quickly dubbed “Cyberia”) in which they tried to build “‘a doorway into cyberspace’ for anyone with $15,000 and a 386 computer.”60 In 1989 Gullichsen went so far as to register the word cyberspace as a trademark.

Even if that cyberspace was a dangerous, threatening zone—as it was V i r t u a l i t y an d C o m m u n i t y o n t h e W E L L [ 165 ] in Neuromancer—it could be beautiful, strange, and enticing. In the pages of Mondo 2000, readers learned that this new space was being built right here, right now, and they learned it from at least one writer with solid counterculture credentials: John Perry Barlow. In the summer of 1990 he visited the offices of Jaron Lanier’s VPL Research and donned a pair of VPL Eyephones and a VPL Dataglove. He published the following description of his experience in Mondo: “Suddenly I don’t have a body anymore. All that remains of the aging shambles which usually constitutes my corporeal self is a glowing, golden hand floating before me like Macbeth’s dagger. I point my finger and drift down its length to the bookshelf on the office wall. . . .


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The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Fannie and Freddie’s implicit guarantees encouraged similarly “double realities”—government never needed to budget for a bailout, while holders of bonds backed by these government-sponsored entities (GSEs) assumed they’d always get paid.103 Opportunistic modeling and accounting also explains why deal complexity is often pursued for its own sake, and not for a genuine economic or investment purpose. Technologist Jaron Lanier puts the matter starkly: “The wave of fi nancial calamities that took place in 2008 was cloud-based. No one in the pre-digital-cloud era had the mental capacity to lie to himself in the way we are routinely able to now. The limitations of organic human memory and calculation put a cap on the intricacies of self-delusion.”104 Webs of credit and debt become a smoke screen for institutions rendered vulnerable FINANCE’S ALGORITHMS 125 (both individually and collectively) so that privileged parties within them can use leverage to multiply potential upside gains.

Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz, “Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Secret Loans,” Bloomberg News, August 22, 2011, http://www.bloomberg .com /news/2011-08-21/wall-street-aristocracy-got-1-2-trillion-in-fed-s-secret -loans.html. 14. Maxwell Strachan, “Financial Sector Back to Accounting for Nearly One-Third of U.S. Profits,” Huffington Post (blog), March 30, 2011, http:// www.huffi ngtonpost.com /2011/03/30/fi nancial-profits-percentage _n _841716 .html. Things were even better for the fi nance fi rms in the boom years. 15. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed NOTES TO PAGES 6–10 223 more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people.”

We should also entertain reconceptualizing our participation in digital platforms as work, since it is often unavoidable, laborious, and value generating. Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010), 331 (“each time we click a link we strengthen a node somewhere in the supercomputer’s mind, thereby programming . . . it”); Trebor Scholz, ed., Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory (New York: Routledge, 2013); Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013); Jessica Weisberg, “Should Facebook Pay Its Users?,” The Nation, January 14, 2014 NOTES TO PAGES 79–81 257 (quoting manifesto “WE WANT TO CALL WORK WHAT IS WORK SO THAT EVENTUALLY WE MIGHT REDISCOVER WHAT FRIENDSHIP IS”). 121. Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble (New York: Penguin, 2011). 122. Ibid., 6–7. 123. Fortunately, one has written a work of fiction to suggest what could go wrong.


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Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Apparently from the abolitionist Wendell Phillips in 1853. See http://www.bartleby.com/73/1073.html. Chapter 5. Data as Labor 1. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, 2013). 2. While Lanier’s work provided the direct inspiration for our work, the themes he raises appeared roughly simultaneously in other scholarship. See, for example, Lilly C. Irani & M. Six Silberman, Turkopticon: Interrupting Worker Invisibility in Amazon Mechanical Turk, CHI’13 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2013), and Trebor Scholz, ed., Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory (Routledge, 2013). 3. Imanol Arrieta-Ibarra, Leonard Goff, Diego Jiménez-Hernández, Jaron Lanier & E. Glen Weyl, Should We Treat Data as Labor? Moving Beyond “Free,” American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings (Forthcoming). 4.

The many co-authors and collaborators on projects that contributed to our vision here are cited throughout, but a few deserve explicit mention here: Anthony Lee Zhang pioneered the idea of the common ownership self-assessed tax with Glen; Steve Lalley proved the fundamental theorems about Quadratic Voting with Glen, and Nick Stephanopoulos together with Eric devised the practical vision of egalitarian election law based on it; Fiona Scott Morton devised the 1% rule for institutional investors with us; and Jaron Lanier has been Glen’s partner every step of the way in Data as Labor. Our editor Joe Jackson and his colleagues at Princeton University Press made this book a reality. Susan Jean Miller did a superb job helping us hone our prose. We are also grateful to a talented team of research assistants. Graham Haviland, Eliot Levmore, Stella Shannon, Han-ah Sumner, and Jill Rogowski provided invaluable assistance.

Most people do not realize the extent to which their labor—as data producers—powers the digital economy. Consider how people think of AI. In some portraits, AIs are autonomous agents built by brilliant and possibly mad programmers like the reclusive genius in the 2014 film Ex Machina, who set into motion a system that runs itself. Reality is different, however, as “the inventor of virtual reality” Jaron Lanier highlights in his brilliant 2013 book Who Owns the Future?,1 which inspired many of our ideas in this chapter.2 AIs run on ML systems that analyze piles of human-produced data. “Programmers” do not write ingeniously self-determining algorithms. Instead, they design the interaction between workers (meaning us, the users who produce data) and machines (computational power) to produce specific information or production services.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

When Google and Facebook and other gatekeepers do this collecting, “our behaviour is transformed into a product,” writes one observer.42 This data now accounts for up to 20 percent of Europe’s GDP, and as it becomes more important, we become like serfs living under what the French analyst Gaspard Koenig describes as “digital feudalism.”43 Our daily lives no longer belong to us alone but are relentlessly commodified. This is, of course, the natural goal of all the major tech firms, and as Jaron Lanier suggests, it all serves to “percolate creepiness and inspire justified paranoias.”44 Surveillance might go on with little warning to customers. Facebook already admits to having patented technology that would enable snooping on their users by remotely turning on a smartphone’s microphone to start recording, although they deny using it.45 In 2018, Amazon’s in-home device Alexa was found to be eavesdropping on people’s conversations.46 Once exposed, such intrusions are often ended, at least temporarily, but there is reason to believe that privacy ranks low in tech company priorities.47 Google’s former executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, once told CNBC: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”48 The prospect of life under surveillance by technocratic oligarchs is a terrifying one.

Not only energy companies but think tanks and dissident scientists have been targeted for criminal prosecution.27 These tactics are all too reminiscent of the medieval Inquisition.28 It is a very poor way to tackle a complex scientific issue, where open inquiry and debate are needed, observes Steve Koonin, President Obama’s undersecretary of energy for science.29 Transhumanism: The Faith of the New Ruling Class? Another contender to be the new faith of the oligarchy is “transhumanism,” the search for eternal life through technology. “The rise to power of net-based monopolies coincides with a new sort of religion based on becoming immortal,” writes Jaron Lanier.30 Potentially the most radical and far-reaching of the emerging creeds, transhumanism is a distinctly secular approach to achieving the long-cherished religious goal of immortality.31 The new tech religion treats mortality not as something to be transcended through moral actions, but as a “bug” to be corrected by technology.32 Although it sounds a bit like a wacky cult, transhumanism has long exercised a strong fascination for the elites of Silicon Valley.

Tech Giants Are Helping to Build China’s Surveillance State,” Intercept, July 11, 2019, https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/; Mike Elgan, “Uh Oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system,” Fast Company, August 26, 2019, https://www.fastcompany.com/90394048/uh-oh-silicon-valley-is-building-a-chinese-style-social-credit-system; Dan Strumpf and Wenxin Fan, “Who Wants to Supply China’s Surveillance State? The West,” Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-wants-to-supply-chinas-surveillance-state-the-west-1509540111. 36 Stewart Brand, “Spacewar,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html. 37 Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013), xii. 38 Will Oremus, “Most Americans Still Don’t Fear Big Tech’s Power,” Slate, March 16, 2018, https://slate.com/technology/2018/03/most-americans-still-dont-fear-big-techs-power-survey-finds.html; Aaron Smith, “Public Attitudes Toward Technology Companies,” Pew Research Center, June 28, 2018, http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/06/28/public-attitudes-toward-technology-companies/. 39 Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?


pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, disruptive innovation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

A person simply moves to the next user in line and begins the process over again, since there are always enough people online (at least in the case of those apps that find success) to counteract the loneliness of any given moment. While most of these apps require that people consciously engage with them, this rule is by no means an absolute. In his most recent book, Who Owns the Future?, computer scientist and virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier recalls a panel he served on at UC Berkeley, judging start-up proposals submitted by graduate engineering students enrolled in an entrepreneurial program. A group of three students presented a concept for quantifying nights out so as to ensure maximum romantic success for those involved. “Suppose you’re darting around San Francisco bars and hot spots on a Saturday night,” Lanier remembers the group pitching.

What he came up with was christened the “Musical Instrument Digital Interface” and—better known by the name MIDI—became the entrenched unitary measurement for music. As a musical medium, MIDI is far from perfect. Although it can be used to mimic a wide palette of sounds using a single keyboard, it retains the keyboard’s staccato, mosaic qualities, which means that it cannot emulate the type of curvaceous sounds produceable by, say, a talented singer or saxophonist. As virtual-reality innovator (and talented musician) Jaron Lanier observes: Before MIDI, a musical note was a bottomless idea that transcended absolute definition . . . After MIDI, a musical note [is] no longer just an idea, but a rigid, mandatory structure you couldn’t avoid in the aspects of life that had gone digital.43 This sort of technological “lock-in” is an unavoidable part of measurement. The moment we create a unitary standard, we also create limitations.

“The service that Google provides appears to flatten and diversify inter-language relations beyond the wildest dreams of even the E.U.’s most enthusiastic language parity proponents,” writes David Bellos, author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything.8 Even if Google Translate’s results aren’t always perfect, they are often “good enough” to be useful—and are getting better all the time. The Great Restructuring What is notable about The Formula is how, in many cases, an algorithm can replace large numbers of human workers. Jaron Lanier makes this point in his most recent book, Who Owns The Future?, by comparing the photography company Kodak with the online video-sharing social network Instagram. “At the height of its power . . . Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion,” Lanier observes. “They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

In 1989 a friend of a friend invited me to his lab in Redwood City, California, to see some gear he had invented. The lab turned out to be a couple of rooms in an office complex that were missing most of their desks. The walls were covered by a gallery of neoprene bodysuits embroidered with wires, large gloves sporting electronic components, and rows of duct-taped swimming goggles. The guy I’d gone to see, Jaron Lanier, sported shoulder-length blond dreadlocks. I wasn’t sure where this was going, but Jaron promised me a new experience, something he called virtual reality. A few minutes later Lanier handed me one black glove, a dozen wires snaking from the fingers across the room to a standard desktop PC. I put it on. Lanier then placed a set of black goggles suspended by a web of straps onto my head. A thick black cable ran down my back from the headgear to his computer.

The next morning William Gibson, an up-and-coming science fiction writer who stayed up the night testing cyberspace for the first time, was asked what he thought about these new portals to synthetic worlds. He then first uttered his now famous remark: “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.” VR was so uneven, however, it faded. The next steps never happened. All of us, myself included, thought VR technology would be ubiquitous in five years or so—at least by the year 2000. But no advances happened till 2015, 25 years after Jaron Lanier’s pioneering work. The particular problem with VR was that close enough was not close enough. For extended stays in VR longer than 10 minutes, the coarseness and stuttering motion caused nausea. The cost of gear sufficiently powerful, fast, and comfortable enough to overcome nausea was many tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore VR remained out of reach to consumers, and also out of reach for many startup developers who needed to jump-start the creation of VR content to spark the purchase of the gear.

A few years ago the founder of Second Life, Phil Rosedale, started another VR-ish company trying to harness the social opportunities of an open simulated world and to invent a more convincing VR. Recently I visited the offices of Rosedale’s startup, High Fidelity. As the name implies, the aim of its project is to raise the realism in virtual worlds occupied by thousands—maybe tens of thousands—of avatars at once. Create a realistic thriving virtual city. Jaron Lanier’s pioneering VR permitted two occupants at once, and the thing I noticed (and everyone else who visited) was that other people in VR were far more interesting than other things. Experimenting again in 2015, I found the best demos of synthetic worlds are ones that trigger a deep presence not with the most pixels per inch, but with the most engagement of other people. To that end, High Fidelity is exploiting a neat trick.


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Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Yet the simplest questions are often the ones they have the most trouble with. I continue to await a clear answer to the fundamental questions: “Are you playing by the same rules as everyone else? And if not, why not?” Silicon Valley has always had a core Ayn Rand libertarianism underneath its hippie patina: It justifies their sense of freedom from any costly social responsibility for the downsides of their products and services. As Jonathan Taplin, Jaron Lanier, and other Silicon Valley critics have written, the tech titans may tend to vote left, but the strong libertarian bias in digital culture cuts right. Theirs is an eighties-style “Greed is good” ethos overlaid with the contempt of a youthful generation of CEOs who’ve never seen government do anything much more ambitious than cut taxes. All of this has resulted in a self-interested and shortsighted “disrupt everything” mentality.

I can’t tell you how many technologists and venture capitalists I’ve spoken to in the past several years who say that they simply won’t invest in areas that Google or Facebook or Amazon or Apple are likely to play in, because of the difficulties inherent in protecting open-source technology, and/or defending patents against the big guys, who inevitably have more time and legal muscle on their side. As technologist Jaron Lanier has pointed out, the most profitable assets, like Google’s own PageRank algorithms, or the closed system of the iPhone, are almost always proprietary, rather than open. “While the open approach has been able to create lovely, polished copies, it hasn’t been so good at creating notable originals,” says Lanier,16 a fact that underscores the way in which Big Tech firms push open-source to the extent that it aids their ability to profit from others’ innovation, but rarely let competitors anywhere near the code that powers their own key technologies.

But it’s true that a growing number of technologists are finally waking up to the sheer force of the destruction they’ve unwittingly unleashed—and working to absolve the sins of their past. Witness techies-turned-activists like Tim Berners-Lee, who created the World Wide Web, and is now trying to wrest it out of Big Tech’s all-too-powerful hands. Or James Williams, a Googler-turned-philosopher who left the Valley for Oxford to research the ethics of persuasive technology. Or Jaron Lanier, the pioneer of virtual reality, whose recent book, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, argues that social media is creating a culture of victims and diminishing diversity of thought in a way that will undermine not only our economy and democracy, but free thought itself. A Great Awakening? Everybody knows and feels it, although no one knows quite what to say about it.


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The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business cycle, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, coronavirus, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

It was reprinted for the first of many times in Kenneth Sayre and Frederick Crosson, eds., The Modeling of Mind (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1963), pp.255–71. 10. Martine Rothblatt, "Biocyberethics: Should We Stop a Company from Unplugging an Intelligent Computer?" September 28, 2003, http://www.KurzweilAI.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0594.html (includes links to a Webcast and transcripts) . 11. Jaron Lanier, "One Half of a Manifesto," Edge, http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier/lanier_index.html; see also Jaron Lanier, "One-Half of a Manifesto," Wired News, December 2000, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.12/lanier.html. 12. Ibid. 13. Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics: or, Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1948). 14. "How Do You Persist When Your Molecules Don't?" Science and Consciousness Review 1.1 (June 2004), http://www.sci-con.org/articles/20040601.html. 15.

Every day we hear reports about the experiences of others, and we may even feel empathy in response to the behavior that results from their internal states. But because we're exposed to only the behavior of others, we can only imagine their subjective experiences. Because it is possible to construct a perfectly consistent, scientific worldview that omits the existence of consciousness, some observers come to the conclusion that it's just an illusion. Jaron Lanier, the virtual-reality pioneer, takes issue (in the third of his six objections to what he calls "cybernetic totalism" in his treatise "One Half a Manifesto") with those who maintain "that subjective experience either doesn't exist, or is unimportant because it is some sort of ambient or peripheral effect."11 As I pointed out, there is no device or system we can postulate that could definitively detect subjectivity (conscious experience) associated with an entity.

Like my house and my car, but I still don't count them as part of me. RAY: Very well, it's reasonable to leave out the entire contents of the GI tract, bacteria and all. That's actually how the body sees it. Even though it's physically inside the body, the body considers the tract to be external and carefully screens what it absorbs into the bloodstream. MOLLY 2004: As I think more about who I am, I kind of like Jaron Lanier's "circle of empathy." RAY: Tell me more. MOLLY 2004: Basically, the circle of reality that I consider to be "me" is not clear-cut. It's not simply my body. I have limited identification with, say, my toes and, after our last discussion, even less with the contents of my large intestine. RAY: That's reasonable, and even with regard to our brains we are aware of only a tiny portion of what goes on in there.


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We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

There is also an element of aristocracy: people who have been involved in the community longer, who have acquired a reputation have a higher standing in the community. And then there is monarchy – that’s me – but I try to get involved as little as possible. The most contentious question about Wikipedia is the one that really matters: how good an encyclopaedia is it? Sanger argues that its quality is questionable because its experts do not vet amateur contributions. In an influential online essay cultural critic Jaron Lanier branded it a form of digital Maoism on the grounds that it promotes an anonymous collective account of knowledge that on any subject favours the often inaccurate lowest common denominator. Others allege that Wikipedia licenses gossip and falsehoods to masquerade as truth, because contributions are often not checked fully. The answer is that we do not yet know how good Wikipedia is or will become.

If the web corrodes our privacy it seems it must be bad for freedom. A closely related fear is that younger generations are growing up with a shrunken sense of individuality, unable to think for themselves until they know what everyone else in their social network is thinking. All too quickly We-Think can become group-think as people blindly follow the herd. The web could enforce conformity rather than encouraging individuality. Jaron Lanier, in a widely read online essay published in May 2006, alleged that ‘digital Maoism’ was promoting collective stupidity. People were taking their lead, Lanier argued, from the all-wise ‘collective’ rather than bothering to think for themselves. His case is only strengthened by web advocates, such as Kevin Kelly, the original editor of Wired, who claim that the web is creating a ‘hive mind’, that of an anonymous collective in which individuals are like bees or ants.

Available from http:// www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12015774/site/newsweek 16 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago, IL/London: University of Chicago Press, 2006) 17 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 18 Charles Leadbeater, ‘The DIY State’, Prospect 130, January 2007 19 Fred Turner, op. cit. 20 John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (Penguin, 2006) 21 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 22 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 23 Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243–48 24 Elenor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1990) 25 Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999) and Free Culture (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2004) 26 Melvyn Bragg, The Routes of English (BBC Factual and Learning, 2000); Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2003) 27 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 28 Cory Doctorow et al., ‘On “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” By Jaron Lanier’, Edge (2006). http://www.edge.org/discourse/digital_ maoism.html 29 Paul A. David, ‘From Keeping “Nature’s Secrets” to the Institutionalization of “Open Science”‘, in Rishab Aiyer Ghosh (Ed.), Code (Cambridge, MA/London: MIT Press, 2005) 30 Alessandro Nuvolari, ‘Open Source Software Development: Some Historical Perspectives’, Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies Working Paper 03.01 (2003); Koen Frenken and Alessandro Nuvolari, ‘The Early Development of the Steam Engine: An Evolutionary Interpretation Using Complexity Theory’, Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies Working Paper 03.15 (2003) Chapter 3 1 Andrew Brown, In the Beginning Was the Worm (Pocket Books, 2003) 2 Eric S.


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The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Ware’s proposals for greater controls for privacy were largely ignored, and they seem unlikely to be re-imposed given the economic benefits of personal data for both Oligarchs and advertisers, not to mention the requirements of the state security apparat.52 Essentially we now have not so much a “surveillance state” as what David Lyons has termed a “surveillance society,” where those who control information include not only state players but also certain well-positioned private ones.53 Similarly, hopeful models of entrepreneurship and competition from technology have morphed more to an oligarchic structure, with huge concentrations of both corporate market share and enormous wealth. The hopes for a more open, less intrusive reality for computer users—now the vast majority of people—have vanished, not only due to government but through the profit-seeking activities of the Oligarchal class. “The clamor for online attention only turns into money,” notes technology analyst Jaron Lanier, for “a new tiny class of people who always benefit.”54 Lanier suggests that the current Oligarchical ascendency rests increasingly on efforts to penetrate the private lives of every individual consumer. Google has already been caught bypassing Apple’s privacy controls on phones and computers, and handing the data over to advertisers. The Huffington Post has constructed a long list of the firm’s privacy violations.55 Google, too, is renowned for mining personal information.

Yet at the same time, the individual companies and organizations in Silicon Valley have bargained and evaded paying their own taxes while the higher taxes fall on the heads of the middle class.116 Founders of even newer companies, such as Twitter, have developed elaborate plans to avoid taxation and protect their suddenly vast estates as their companies went public.117 Facebook, for example, paid no taxes in 2012, despite making a profit of over $1 billion.118 Apple, which the New York Times recently described as “a pioneer in tactics to avoid taxes,”119 has kept much of its cash hoard abroad to help avoid taxes.120 Microsoft has shaved nearly $7 billion off its U.S. tax bill since 2009 by using loopholes to shift profits offshore, a Senate panel said in a recent report.121 People: “Flies in the Ointment” “People are the flies in Moore’s Law’s ointment,” notes Jaron Lanier, referring to the oft-cited principle of inexorably greater computer power.122 Technological change has had a devastating effect on many workers, yet the Oligarchs have not, at least until recently, faced any strong criticism for how they deal with their own employees. Ironically, one reason lies with the nature and relatively small size of their workforce. Unlike the moguls of the last century, they do not employ large numbers of poor domestically based workers (those whom they employ abroad often labor in harsh conditions).123 Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford mostly exploited workers in Pittsburgh or Detroit, not in Chengdu or Guangzhou.

These, he suggests, created hosts of industries and opportunities for working- and middle-class people in ways that social media, for example, has not.79 Equally critical, the fact that these industries are increasingly dominated by a handful of firms—Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook—tends to benefit an ever smaller group of people with unprecedented access to the information of the vast majority. As Jaron Lanier points out, the leading digital companies tend to view people as “small elements in a bigger information machine.” He suggests that the modern oligopolies are excused in part by the promise of a future blessed, at least for an influential few, by “high-tech abundance”—what he describes as “the price of heaven.”80 What is needed instead is a notion that the Internet and core information age technologies be treated as something like a highway—paid for by taxpayers and constructed by government—that should be kept as open as possible to newcomers.


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Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

“Analysing Data Is the Future for Journalists, Says Tim Berners-Lee.” Guardian (US edition), November 22, 2010. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/nov/22/data-analysis-tim-berners-lee. Barlow, John Perry. “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” Electronic Frontier Foundation, February 8, 1996. https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence. Been, Eric Allen. “Jaron Lanier Wants to Build a New Middle Class on Micropayments.” Nieman Lab, May 22, 2013. http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/05/jaron-lanier-wants-to-build-a-new-middle-class-on-micropayments/. Bench, Shane W., Heather C. Lench, Jeffrey Liew, Kathi Miner, and Sarah A. Flores. “Gender Gaps in Overestimation of Math Performance.” Sex Roles 72, no. 11–12 (June 2015): 536–546. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0486-9. Best, Joel. Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists.

This leads us to ask, again: Who does this technology serve? How does it serve us to use it? If self-driving cars are programmed to save the driver over a group of kindergarteners, why? What does it mean to accept that programming default and get behind the wheel? Plenty of people, including technologists, are sounding warnings about self-driving cars and how they attempt to tackle very hard problems that haven’t yet been solved. Internet pioneer Jaron Lanier warned of the economic consequences in an interview: The way self-driving cars work is big data. It’s not some brilliant artificial brain that knows how to drive a car. It’s that the streets are digitized in great detail. So where does the data come from? To a degree, from automated cameras. But no matter where it comes from, at the bottom of the chain there will be someone operating it. It’s not really automated.

Says.” 18. Tesla, Inc., “A Tragic Loss.” 19. Lowy and Krisher, “Tesla Driver Killed in Crash While Using Car’s ‘Autopilot.’” 20. Liu et al., “CAAD: Computer Architecture for Autonomous Driving” 21. Sorrel, “Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed to Sacrifice Pedestrians to Save the Driver.” 22. Taylor, “Self-Driving Mercedes-Benzes Will Prioritize Occupant Safety over Pedestrians.” 23. Been, “Jaron Lanier Wants to Build a New Middle Class on Micropayments.” 24. Pickrell and Li, “Driver Electronic Device Use in 2015.” 25. Dadich, “Barack Obama Talks AI, Robo Cars, and the Future of the World.” 9 Popular Doesn’t Mean Good How can you take a “good” selfie? In 2015, several prominent American media outlets covered the results of an experiment that purported to answer this question using data science.


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Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow

3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

Shockwave is no different: just animations embedded within their own software. Ted Nelson’s version of the Internet was seamless, absolutely fluid. LS: The existing web as a set of containers for simulated pre-internet media. Yup. PS: Which brings us right back to James Joyce and Marcel Proust, authors whose writings swung toward multimedia…seamless multimedia; virtual reality…virtual reality not in the sense of Jaron Lanier, but Antonin Artaud. Most people believe Jaron Lanier coined the term virtual reality in the early 1980s. Indeed, virtual reality is considered synonymous with the interface glove and head-mounted. But Artaud put those two words together – “virtual” and “reality” – back in the early 1930s. Artaud’s virtual reality was a modern equivalent of alchemy. Antonin Artaud (1896–1948) was a poet, surrealist, theatrical visionary.

Technical compromises made in the early days of the World Wide Web undermined Ted’s ability to implement hypertext on a large scale. He continues to rail at this constraint. Forty years after Computer Lib, computers are far more sophisticated and the networks among digital objects are much richer and more complex. It is time to revisit fundamental assumptions of networked computing, such as the directionality of links, a point made by multiple speakers at the symposium—Wendy Hall, Jaron Lanier, Steve Wozniak, and Rob Akcsyn amongst them.1 Fig. 10.3Ordinary hypertext, with multi-directional links. From Literary Machines (Used with permission) 10.2.3 Managing Research Data Managing research data is similarly a problem of defining and maintaining relationships amongst multi-media objects. Research data do not stand alone. They are complex objects that can be understood only in relation to their context, which often includes software, protocols, documentation, and other entities scattered over time and space [8].


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Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Lanier and friends co-created start-ups that are now parts of Oracle, Adobe, and Google. He has received multiple honorary PhDs and other honors. Lanier also writes orchestral music and plays a large variety of rare acoustic musical instruments. He is currently at work with colleagues at Microsoft Research on intriguing unannounced projects. www.jaronlanier.com FORE MORE ON THIS AUTHOR: Authors.SimonandSchuster.com/Jaron-Lanier MEET THE AUTHORS, WATCH VIDEOS AND MORE AT SimonandSchuster.com Also by Jaron Lanier You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto We hope you enjoyed reading this Simon & Schuster eBook. * * * Join our mailing list and get updates on new releases, deals, bonus content and other great books from Simon & Schuster. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP or visit us online to sign up at eBookNews.SimonandSchuster.com Notes First Interlude: Ancient Anticipation of the Singularity 1.

Multiplicities of Siren Servers Facebook or Similar Confederacies of Just a Few Giant Siren Servers EIGHTH INTERLUDE: THE FATE OF BOOKS Books Inspire Maniacal Scheming An Author’s Experience of a Book It’s Not About Paper Versus eBooks The Book as Silicon Valley Would Have It What Is It About a Book That Is Worth Saving? Conclusion: What Is to Be Remembered? All This, Just for the Whiff of Possibility The Economics of the Future Is User Interface Design The Tease of the Tease Know Your Poison Is There a Test for Whether an Information Economy Is Humanistic? Back to the Beach Appendix: First Appearances of Key Terms Acknowledgments About Jaron Lanier Notes Index To everyone my daughter will know as she grows up. I hope she will be able to invent her place in a world in which it’s normal to find success and fulfillment. Prelude Hello, Hero An odd thing about this book is that you, the reader, and I, the author, are the immediate protagonists. The very action of reading makes you the hero of the story I am telling. Maybe you bought, or stole, a physical copy, paid to read this on your tablet, or pirated a digital copy off a share site.

Thanks to my early readers: Brian Arthur, Steven Barclay, Roger Brent, John Brockman, Eric Clemons, George Dyson, Doyne Farmer, Gary Flake, Ed Frenkel, Dina Graser, Daniel Kahneman, Lena Lanier, Dennis Overbye, David Rothenberg, Lee Smolin, Jeffrey Soros, Neal Stephenson, Eric Weinstein, and Tim Wu. Thanks to the musical instrument makers and dealers of Berkeley, Seattle, New York City, and London for providing delightful opportunities for procrastination. © JONATHAN SPRAGUE Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist and musician, best known for his work in virtual reality research. He coined and popularized the term, and he received a Lifetime Career Award from the IEEE in 2009 for his contributions to the field. Time named him as one of the “Time 100” in 2010. A profile in Wired described him as “the first technology figure to cross over to pop-culture stardom.” Lanier and friends co-created start-ups that are now parts of Oracle, Adobe, and Google.


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The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

If Polanyi is right about how scientists and other thinkers are formed, then to weaken the local authority of teachers and traditions that embody “personal knowledge” is a bad idea, on both epistemic and political grounds. It is part of our Enlightenment heritage that we are taught to take an intransigent stance against the authority of other people. In the budding romance between Silicon Valley and our universities, there is an exciting prospect that “the scent of people might be removed altogether” (as Jaron Lanier said in another context). If you can’t smell it and you can’t touch it, whatever authority is acting must be that of reason itself! Quite apart from the business appeal of MOOCs for universities (payroll is a lamentable thing), mechanizing instruction is appealing also because it fits with our ideal of epistemic self-responsibility. As we will see shortly, this aspiration to self-responsibility is at odds with some elementary facts about human beings, in particular the role that other people play for us in conditioning the way we grasp the world. 7 ENCOUNTERING THINGS WITH OTHER PEOPLE We have already considered how embodiment plays a fundamental role in perception.

Apparently the young woman “progressed” from being a writer to someone who aggregates bits of other people’s writing. To me that sounds more like defeat. In countless little ways, any single one of which seems trivial, this liberal arts college is unthinkingly repeating bits of Silicon Valley ideology that would seem to undermine the rationale for studying the liberal arts. The university has become “the brilliant ally of its own gravediggers,” to borrow a phrase from Milan Kundera.6 Jaron Lanier criticizes what he calls “digital Maoism,” a “new online collectivism” that shows up, for example, in the way Wikipedia is regarded and used, and is the guiding spirit of firms such as Google as well. The analogy with Maoism is quite apt and precise. The ideologists of the Web have always been antielitists, eager to brush the “gatekeepers” of knowledge into the dustbin of history. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

This point has been made very nicely by Damon Young in his book Distraction: A Philosopher’s Guide to Being Free (Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne University Publishing, 2008). 3. The Onion, May 30, 2013. 4. This is least true of France, I believe. In the Anglo-American universe, the French are lampooned for their regulatory zeal. But they have a robust sense of the common good, and are sensitive to the small but important ways in which the fabric of everyday life can be degraded if they are not vigilant in defending it. 5. A similar argument has been made by Jaron Lanier in his book Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). He argues that digital networks that make information appear to be “free” have had the effect of making it harder for people to be compensated for their talents. We become laborers who cheerfully contribute to the value of the network (consider the staggering array of talent on display on YouTube), but that value accrues to whoever owns the network.


pages: 350 words: 98,077

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dark matter, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, ImageNet competition, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, performance metric, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

A detailed, nontechnical description of the Cyc project is given in chapter 4 of H. R. Ekbia, Artificial Dreams: The Quest for Non-biological Intelligence (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2008).   6.  Lucid company’s webpage: lucid.ai.   7.  P. Domingos, The Master Algorithm (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 35.   8.  From “The Myth of AI: A Conversation with Jaron Lanier,” Edge, Nov. 14, 2014, www.edge.org/conversation/jaron_lanier-the-myth-of-ai.   9.  For example, see N. Watters et al., “Visual Interaction Networks,” Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (2017): 4539–47; T. D. Ullman et al., “Mind Games: Game Engines as an Architecture for Intuitive Physics,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 21, no. 9 (2017): 649–65; and K. Kansky et al., “Schema Networks: Zero-Shot Transfer with a Generative Causal Model of Intuitive Physics,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning (2017), 1809–18. 10.  

Bostrom, “Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence: A Survey of Expert Opinion,” in Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence (Basel, Switzerland: Springer, 2016), 555–72. 18.  N. Bostrom, “How Long Before Superintelligence?,” International Journal of Future Studies 2 (1998). 19.  D. R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (New York: Basic Books, 1979), 677–78. 20.  From “The Myth of AI: A Conversation with Jaron Lanier,” Edge, Nov. 14, 2014, www.edge.org/conversation/jaron_lanier-the-myth-of-ai. 21.  P. Domingos, The Master Algorithm (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 285–86. 22.  From “Panel: Progress in AI: Myths, Realities, and Aspirations,” Microsoft Research video, accessed Dec. 18, 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wPFEj1ZHRQ&feature=youtu.be. 23.  R. Brooks, “The Origins of ‘Artificial Intelligence,’” Rodney Brooks’s blog, April 27, 2018, rodneybrooks.com/forai-the-origins-of-artificial-intelligence.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Brian Krebs, business cycle, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, information asymmetry, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Of course, these two types of systems—synthetic intellects and forged laborers—can work in unison to perform physical tasks that require a high level of knowledge and skill, such as fixing cars, performing surgery, and cooking gourmet meals. In principle, all these developments will not only free you from drudgery but make you more efficient and effective, if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford them. Bespoke electronic agents may promote your personal interests, represent you in negotiations, and teach you calculus—but not all such systems will be working on your behalf. Humans are suckers for the quick win. What Jaron Lanier presciently calls “siren servers” will custom-tailor short-term incentives to your desires, persuading you to do things that may not be in your long-term interests.1 The irresistible lure of temporary bargains and faster delivery may obscure the gradual destruction of the lifestyle that you hold near and dear. You can order a new rice cooker online tonight and get it delivered tomorrow, but the cost doesn’t include the gradual closing of retail stores near your home and the neighbors it puts out of work.

Last but not least, thanks to my amazing wife, Michelle Petti-grew-Kaplan, for permitting me to jot down ideas on index cards during what might otherwise be construed as romantic moments. Let’s hope she doesn’t read the personal portions of this manuscript until it’s too late to make changes. Oops, forgot to mention the kids—Chelsea, Jordan, Lily, and Cami—hi, guys, guess what? I finished the book! Notes INTRODUCTION 1. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013). 2. For instance, they may execute a “short squeeze” by bidding up a stock that investors have sold short, forcing them to close out their positions at ever-higher prices to contain their losses. 3. Marshall Brain, Manna (BYG, 2012). 4. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014). 1.

Meltzer, “Open to Exploitation: American Shoppers Online and Offline,” Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, 2005, http://repository.upenn.edu/asc_papers/35. 6. The French phrase laissez-faire literally translates as “Let it be” or “Let them do it,” meaning to permit the market to operate freely, without government interference. 7. This effect is meticulously detailed in Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013). 8. Kaiser Permanente, my health maintenance organization, has taken this to its logical extreme: it won’t even tell you what your medications cost until after it has shipped them to you. As a result of plan changes required by the Affordable Care Act, Kaiser Permanente actually charged me $2,431.85 for a refill that a month earlier had cost only $40.95.


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Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee

4chan, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boycotts of Israel, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, computer age, cross-subsidies, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, game design, income inequality, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Lean Startup, light touch regulation, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Facebook allows advertisers to identify each user’s biases and appeal to them individually. Insights gathered this way changed the nature of ad targeting. More important, though, all that data goes into Facebook’s (or Google’s) artificial intelligence and can be used by advertisers to exploit the emotions of users in ways that increase the likelihood that they purchase a specific model of car or vote in a certain way. As the technology futurist Jaron Lanier has noted, advertising on social media platforms has evolved into a form of manipulation. Google+ was Google’s fourth foray into social networking. Why did Google try so many times? Why did it keep failing? By 2011, it must have been obvious to Google that Facebook had the key to a new and especially valuable online advertising business. Unlike traditional media or even search, social networking provided signals about each user’s emotional state and triggers.

Given the complexity of Facebook, the AI requires many algorithms, the interaction of which can sometimes produce unexpected or undesirable outcomes. Even the smallest changes to one algorithm can trigger profound ripple effects through the rest of the system. A clear case where moving fast can break things in unpredictable ways. While Facebook argues that its technology is “value neutral,” the evidence suggests the opposite. Technology tends to reflect the values of the people who create it. Jaron Lanier, the technology futurist, views the role of algorithms as correlating data from individual users and between users. In an opinion piece in The Guardian, Lanier wrote, “The correlations are effectively theories about the nature of each person, and those theories are constantly measured and rated for how predictive they are. Like all well-managed theories, they improve through adaptive feedback.”

In less than seven months, we had realized our goal of helping to trigger a serious conversation about the dark side of social media. It was a start, but nothing more. The platforms were still deflecting responsibility and that would not change without dramatically more public awareness and pressure. 7 The Facebook Way The problem isn’t any particular technology, but the use of technology to manipulate people, to concentrate power in a way that is so nuts and creepy that it becomes a threat to civilization. —JARON LANIER Thanks to the hearings, the press took a greater interest in the role of internet platforms in the Russian interference. Every story added to public awareness and gradually increased the pressure on policy makers to do something. We met with many politicians, which helped us appreciate one of the rules of politics: if you want to bring about change and don’t have a huge lobbying budget, there is no substitute for pressure from voters.


pages: 366 words: 76,476

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Howard Zinn, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, p-value, pre–internet, race to the bottom, selection bias, Snapchat, social graph, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the scientific method

., “Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (2014), http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/pclob-215.pdf. Women are using apps My discussion of menstruation apps is based on Jenna Wortham, “Our Bodies, Our Apps: For the Love of Period-Trackers,” New York Times, January 23, 2014. there’s a startup that says it can infer This fact is from Jaron Lanier, “How Should We Think About Privacy?” Scientific American, November 2013, 65–71. all the analysis was done anonymously and in aggregate It bears repeating that at no time was any data tied back to any individual. For the user photos and text cited in the book see the notes above related to them. Jaron Lanier My discussion of Lanier’s work focuses on his article “How Should We Think About Privacy?” “Using data drawn from queries” See John Markoff, “Unreported Side Effects of Drugs Are Found Using Internet Search Data, Study Finds,” New York Times, March 7, 2013, nytimes.com/2013/03/07/science/unreported-side-effects-of-drugs-found-using-internet-data-study-finds.html.

Where I had user-by-user records, the userids were encrypted. And in any analysis the scope of the data was limited to only the essential variables, so nothing could be tied back to any individual. I never wanted to connect the data back to individuals, of course. My goal was to connect it back to everyone. That’s the value I see in the data and therefore in the privacy lost in its existence: what we can learn. Jaron Lanier, author of Who Owns the Future? and a computer scientist currently working at Microsoft Research, wrote in Scientific American that “a stupendous amount of information about our private lives is being stored, analyzed and acted on in advance of a demonstrated valid use for it.” He’s unquestionably right about the “tremendous amount,” but I take issue with his final clause. How does anything ever become useful if it can’t be “acted on in advance of a demonstrated valid use”?


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With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy

In North Carolina, a band of Cherokees elected to pay half the profits of a tribally owned casino to its members in equal dividends, which last year totaled close to $8,000 per person.10 An epidemiologist studying children in the area found that within five years, the number of Cherokee living below the poverty line declined by half, and the frequency of behavioral problems among children who moved out of poverty declined by 40 percent.11 Further west, in Sherman County, Oregon, residents are reaping a windfall from the wind itself. Using taxes and fees on several large wind farms, the county pays a yearly dividend of $590 to every household. “It’s modeled after Alaska,” says the county judge, adding that the county can afford to pay more but keeps the checks under $600 to spare its clerks from filing hundreds of federal tax forms.12 Other imaginative ideas are abroad. Tech visionary Jaron Lanier writes that Google, Facebook, and other “Siren Servers” have turned a magnificent piece of public infrastructure—the Internet—into a private rent-collecting machine, without paying to use the machine or compensating those whose data and attention they profit from. “Ordinary people ‘share,’ while elite network presences generate unprecedented fortunes,” he observes. Lanier thinks the Siren Servers should pay for our personal information and mind time, though he doesn’t say how.13 One possibility is to charge tiny fees for every ad click and put that money into the dividend pot.

Caitlin Bowling, “Cherokee casino hits earning milestone,” Smoky Mountain News, May 15, 2013, http://www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/10295-cherokee-casino-hits-earning-milestone. 11. Moises Velasquez-Manoff, “What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend?” New York Times, January 18, 2014, http://opin-ionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/what-happens-when-the-poor-receive-a-stipend/. 12. Lee Van Der Voo, “Money Blows in to a Patch of Oregon Known for Its Unrelenting Winds,” New York Times, May 30, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/us/31wind.html. 13. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). 14. Fund rankings, Sovereign Wealth Institute, http://www.sw-finstitute.org/fund-rankings/. Alistair Doyle, “All Norwegians become crown millionaires in oil saving landmark,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/08/us-norway-millionaires-idUSBREA0710U20140108. 15. European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income, http://basicincome2013.eu/. 16.


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The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Such waiting is inconceivable now, thanks to radical connectivity. 3. http://www.workplaceethicsadvice.com/2011/10/flash-mobs-threaten-retail-industry-retailers-are-facing-a-new-threat-this-holiday-season-swarms-of-teenagers-and-young-adu.html 4. A number of thinkers and writers have begun to explore the implications of our technology, perhaps most notably Sherry Turkle, Jaron Lanier, and Clay Shirky, all of whom have different points of view on the subject. 5. Jaron Lanier, “The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks,” The Atlantic, 20 Dec. 2010. 6. http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/in-which-i-fix-my-girlfriends-grandparents-wifi-and-am-hailed-as-a-conquering-hero 7. With apologies to Benjamin Nugent, author of American Nerd: The Story of My People. 8. In 1965, the Intel cofounder Gordon Moore suggested that every eighteen months, computer chips would become twice as fast, half as expensive, and half as big.

It’s about grasping the thinking underneath the actual technology—the values, mind-sets, worldviews, and arguments embedded in all those blinking gadgets and cool Web sites.4 Without realizing it, citizens and elected leaders have abdicated control over our political and economic destinies to a small band of nerds who have decided, on our own, that upstarts and renegades should triumph over established power centers and have designed technology to achieve that outcome. “Cyber-activists are perceived to be the underdogs, flawed and annoying, perhaps, but standing up to overbearing power,” says the tech pioneer Jaron Lanier. “I actually take seriously the idea that the Internet can make non-traditional techie actors powerful. Therefore, I am less sympathetic to hackers when they use their newfound power arrogantly and non-constructively.”5 Indeed, in our arrogance and optimism, we nerds haven’t considered the impact of our designs, nor have we thought through the potential for chaos, destabilization, fascism, and other ills.


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Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Its core business, to begin with, is providing services that will be the public utilities of the twenty-first century: searching the Internet, for example, or communicating via email. In my fiscally challenged hometown of Kansas City, Google even got the rights to set up a local fiber-optic broadband system, making Google a public utility by definition, although one that is not obliged to provide service to everyone.7 Then there’s the spying. In his important 2013 book, Who Owns the Future?, the tech writer Jaron Lanier describes the emerging Internet giants of our time as “third-party spy service[s].” Many of them, he argues, make their profits via “the creation of ultrasecret mega-dossiers about what others are doing”;8 everything else they offer—retail sales, connecting with friends, searching the Internet—is secondary. Back to Google, the liberal class’s favorite Internet company: they track your web searches to sell you stuff; they scan your emails to sell you more stuff.

One of the great attractions of credit default swaps—a big financial innovation of the last decade—is that they were completely unregulated. Monopoly is the telos of innovation, the holy grail fervently sought after by every young coder sweating away in the incubator. The reason is plain enough: monopoly is the most direct road to profit, and the online world offers countless opportunities to achieve it. Jaron Lanier has described all the ways dominant digital networks can use market power to coerce customers, users, and advertisers; in his account the powerful players are all patterned after Wal-Mart, which so effectively dominates its suppliers and ruins its small-town competitors.16 With Amazon, the Wal-Mart comparison is obvious. The giant online retailer has used its position as the country’s dominant bookstore to dictate terms to book publishers and to punish those who won’t play ball.

See “Hillary Clinton Leans on Eric Schmidt’s Startup for Campaign Technology,” Quartz, October 16, 2015.   5. Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg with Alan Eagle, How Google Works (Grand Central Publishing, 2014), pp. 5, 42.   6. Ibid., pp. 17, 18–19.   7. See “Only Connect,” an “Annotation” on the subject by Whitney Terrell and Shannon Jackson, Harper’s Magazine, April 2013. See also Scott Canon, “Within its Fiberhoods, Google Rules the Roost, Survey Says,” Kansas City Star, May 6, 2014.   8. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, 2013), pp. 44, 52.   9. Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business (Knopf, 2013), p. 36. 10. Interview with Maria Bartiromo, December 3, 2009. 11. Andreessen: Alessandra Stanley, “The Tech Gods Giveth,” New York Times, November 1, 2015. Lehane: Conor Dougherty and Mike Isaac, “Airbnb and Uber Mobilize Vast User Base to Sway Policy,” New York Times, November 5, 2015. 12. 


Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents by Lisa Gitelman

Andrew Keen, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, optical character recognition, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Turing test, WikiLeaks, Works Progress Administration

Though typing and typescripts remained ubiquitous, episodes from the early history of xerography show how entwined photocopies and digital documents were from the very first. 110 CHAPTER THREE FOUR Near Print and Beyond Paper Knowing by *.pdf What do files mean to the future of human expression? This is a harder question to answer than the question “How does the English language influence the thoughts of native English speakers?” At least you can compare English speakers to Chinese speakers, but files are universal. The idea of the file has become so big that we are unable to conceive of a frame large enough to fit around it in order to assess it empirically. —Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget Today, rather than print and distribute, we distribute and then print. In other words, we send the file electronically to the recipient, who then prints it out. This is underlined by the fact that between 1988 and 1993, the worldwide installed base of copiers increased by only 5 percent, whereas the worldwide installed base of printers increased by 600 ­percent. —Abigail J.

Bush’s National Guard service, which fooled Dan Rather’s team at cbs —but no famous pdf s as such, as far as I can recall. Why not? Chalk it up to a failure of imagination on my part or an accident of history if you like, or consider that pdf s are digitally processural entities and so in some sense break the mold of earlier, analog forms.14 They may require that we think differently. Or maybe, as Jaron Lanier observes (see the epigraph to this chapter), the idea of the file in general has simply gotten too big to reckon with.15 Like xerography or photo-­offset, pdf is 116 CHAPTER FOUR certainly a “near print” technology of the sort that Binkley celebrated in the 1930s for internal or specialized contexts, yet pdf is also different because it is constituent of putatively paperless work practices that Binkley and his contemporaries could hardly have imagined.16 pdf represents a “format” in a context where that term refers more to dense layers of technical specifications—the result of “decisions that affect the look, feel, experience and workings of a medium”17—than it does to specific bibliographical codes, such as the size and weight of paper onto which Harpel might have printed his jobs.

I explore this question in Lisa Gitelman, Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture (Cambridge, MA: mit Press, 2006), chapter 4. “Processural,” I believe, is a coinage by N. Katherine Hayles. See “Materiality Has Always Been in Play, An Interview with N. Katherine Hayles by Lisa Gitelman,” 2002, accessed 26 June 2013, http://iowareview.uiowa.edu/TIRW/TIRW _ Archive/tirweb/feature/hayles/interview.htm. Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 13. Robert C. Binkley, “New Tools for Men of Letters,” Yale Review 24 (March 1935): 519. N OT E S TO C H A P T E R F O U R 17. Jonathan Sterne, mp3: The Meaning of a Format (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), 7. 18. See Thomas Streeter, “Why, Really, Do We Love Steve Jobs?,” 13 October 2011, accessed 26 June 2013, http://inthesetimes.com/article/12100/why_really_do _we_ love_steve_ jobs/. 19.


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Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

All the value we create—either directly, through our writing, music, and other online contributions, or indirectly, through the passive data trail we leave behind us—is basically “off the books.” Only those with the platforms and apps to gather this data profit from it. How are human producers and consumers supposed to assert ourselves in a landscape programmed to remove us from both sides of commerce? Are humans an impediment to economic growth? Programmer and avowed humanist Jaron Lanier thinks the answer is for us all to start participating in the game. Instead of freely providing social media sites and apps with data, which they in turn sell to analysts, we should demand to be cut in on the revenue. In the current system, we don’t even have access to the data or the correlations that might be of value to us. Google and Facebook invisibly vacuum it up and then make money with it.

I am grateful to every person who asked a question at a talk, e-mailed me about your situation, called in to a radio show, raised your hand in class, commented on an article, or tweeted me a link. Don’t stop. I am: http://rushkoff.com, douglas@rushkoff.com, and @rushkoff on Twitter. For implanting the dream of how a digital society and economy might function, I thank Internet cultural pioneers including Howard Rheingold, Mark Pesce, David Pescovitz, Mark Frauenfelder, Xeni Jardin, Cory Doctorow, John Barlow, Jaron Lanier, RU Sirius, Andrew Mayer, Richard Metzger, Evan Williams, everyone on the Well, Richard Stallman, George P’or, Neal Gorenflo, Marina Gorbis, and Michel Bauwens. For leading digital enterprises in ways worth writing about, thanks to Scott Heiferman, Ben Knight, Zach Sims, Slava Rubin, the Robin Hood Cooperative, Enspiral, and Jimmy Wales. For sharing with me some of the perils of growth-based business and being open to discuss alternative possibilities, I thank Frank Cooper, Gerry Laybourne, Sara Levinson, Bonin Bough, Jon Kinderlerer, William Lohse, Ken Miller, and Judson Green.

Ryan Chittum, “The Upside of Yesterday’s New York Times News,” cjr.com, October 2, 2014. 31. Joshua Clover, “Amanda Palmer’s Accidental Experiment with Real Communism,” newyorker.com, October 2, 2012. 32. Natasha Singer, “Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome,” nytimes.com, June 16, 2012. 33. Brian Womack, “Google Updates Flu Trends to Improve Accuracy,” businessweek.com, November 1, 2014. 34. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013), 286. 35. Ibid., 227. 36. Ibid., 20. 37. Jason Clampet, “Airbnb in NYC: The Real Numbers Behind the Sharing Story,” skift.com, February 13, 2014. 38. Ron Miller, “An Uber Valuation Comes with Uber Problems,” techcrunch.com, December 16, 2014. 39. “Organization: Uber,” www.crunchbase.com/organization/uber. 40. Moshe Z. Marvit, “How Crowdworkers Became the Ghosts in the Digital Machine,” thenation.com, February 4, 2014. 41.


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, online collectivism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Also see his most recent book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age (New York: OR Books, 2010). 233 “The invention of a tool doesn’t create change”: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), 105. 233 “cute-cat theory of digital activism”: Ethan Zuckerman, “The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech,” My Heart’s in Accra blog, March 8, 2008, www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech. 234 in 2007 WITNESS launched its own Video Hub: http://hub.witness.org; Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, “Update on the Hub and WITNESS’ New Online Strategy,” August 18, 2010, http://blog.witness.org/2010/08/update-on-the-hub-and-witness-new-online-strategy; Ethan Zuckerman, “Public Spaces, Private Infrastructure—Open Video Conference,” My Heart’s in Accra blog, October 1, 2010, www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/10/01/public-spaces-private-infrastructure-open-video-conference. 234 “Protecting Yourself, Your Subjects and Your Human Rights Videos on YouTube”: http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/06/protecting-yourself-your-subjects-and.html. 234 2010 Global Voices Citizen Media Summit: Sami Ben Gharbia, “GV Summit 2010 Videos: A Discussion of Content Moderation,” Global Voices Advocacy, May 7, 2010, http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2010/05/07/gv-summit-2010-videos-a-discussion-of-content-moderation; and Rebecca MacKinnon, “Human Rights Implications of Content Moderation and Account Suspension by Companies,” RConversation blog, May 14, 2010, http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2010/05/human-rights-implications.html; 235 “Digital Maoism”: Jaron Lanier, “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism,” Edge: The Third Culture, May 30, 2006, www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier06/lanier06_index.html. Also see Jaron Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Random House, 2010). 238 Students for Free Culture: http://freeculture.org. 238 In 2009 Sweden’s Pirate Party won two seats in the European Parliament: Tom Sullivan, “Sweden’s Pirate Party Sets Sail for Europe,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 2009, www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2009/0608/p06s08-woeu.html (accessed August 15, 2011). 238 green parties have taken up Internet freedom: German Green Party politician Malte Spitz, for example, has taken up the fight against surveillance and censorship as a signature issue.

Earlier in the twentieth century, revolutionary attempts to create capitalism-free societies in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and elsewhere were rather disastrous when it came to human rights, let alone economic prosperity. Utopian ideologies such as Marxism-Leninism and Maoism produced demagoguery, totalitarianism, and genocide. In a controversial 2006 essay about what he calls “Digital Maoism,” and later in his 2010 book, You Are Not a Gadget, technologist Jaron Lanier warned of a “new online collectivism,” the digital variant of a concept that “has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods.” Though there is much idealism and enthusiasm around the idea of the Internet being a place where the evils, hypocrisies, and general messiness of human economics, politics, and social relations can somehow be transcended, there is little evidence that human nature is any more virtuous or selfless in cyberspace than it is in the physical world.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

“Because if I pull the plug, there will be fewer paper clips in the world and that’s bad.”28 You’ll be pleased to know that not everyone is worried. Steven Pinker ridicules fears of “digital apocalypse,” insisting that “like any other technology,” artificial intelligence is “tested before it is implemented and constantly tweaked for safety and efficacy.”29 The always lucid virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier is dubious about the danger, too, but for precisely the opposite reason. AI, he says, is “a story we computer scientists made up to help us get funding once upon a time.”30 Imperfect software, Lanier says, not ever-faster hardware, puts an effective limit on our danger. “Software is brittle,” he says. “If every little thing isn’t perfect, it breaks.”31 For his part, Mark Zuckerberg has described Musk’s worries as “hysterical,” and indeed, a few weeks after the Tesla baron made public his fears, the Facebook baron announced that he was building a helpful AI to run his house.

The average person now touches, swipes, or taps his phone 2,617 times a day.10 Eighty-seven percent of people with smartphones wake up and go to sleep with them. This is by far the largest change in the texture of everyday life during my six decades on earth; nothing else comes close. The artificial intelligences at the other end, the giant algorithms that run Google and Facebook and the like, by now know when we’re bored; they understand that we crave the positive reinforcement of “likes”; they know what to feed us to keep us clicking. As Jaron Lanier points out, because the business models of the social media giants prize “engagement” above all, they’ve learned to shovel negative information at us because “emotions such as fear and anger well up more easily and dwell in us longer than positive ones.… Fight-or-flight responses occur in seconds,” which is about the right time frame for Twitter, as opposed to, say, a novel or a record album.11 In the political realm, they’ve learned that we respond to an ever-greater sense of outrage; hence, Trump.

Pei Wang, Ben Goertzel, and Stan Franklin (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2008), available online at selfawaresystems.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/ai_drives_final.pdf, p. 9. 25. Anders Sandberg, “Why We Should Fear the Paperclipper,” sentientdevelopments.com, February 14, 2011. 26. Dowd, “Elon Musk’s Billion Dollar Crusade,” p. 89. 27. Barrat, Our Final Invention, p. 19. 28. Ibid., p. 265. 29. Pinker, Enlightenment Now, p. 300. 30. Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (New York: Henry Holt, 2018), p. 135. 31. Damien Cave, “Artificial Stupidity,” Salon, October 4, 2000. 32. Dowd, “Elon Musk’s Billion Dollar Crusade,” p. 90. 33. Sam Thielman, “Is Facebook Even Capable of Stopping an Influence Campaign on Its Platform?” Talking Points Memo, September 15, 2017. 34. James Walker, “Researchers Shut Down AI that Invented Its Own Language,” digitaljournal.com, July 21, 2017. 35.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

That data can in turn be used against us by insurance providers or mortgage firms. A June 2012 story from the Economist recounts how Rigi Capital Partners, a Swiss insurance company, decided not to purchase the life insurance policy of an elderly woman with dementia. The reason? Her Facebook profile “suggested she had a vibrant social life, not dementia.” Perhaps the insurance company employee who examined the woman’s profile was correct. Or perhaps, as Jaron Lanier proposed, “information underrepresents reality,” and the Facebook profile was inaccurately interpreted. Who knows if the woman controls her own profile? Maybe she does tinker with her own Facebook page, but her grandson tagged her in some photos and checked her in at some events. Regardless of other possible explanations, the incident emphasizes the foolishness of trusting social-media data as a definitive depiction of someone’s life and of using that data to inform important decisions.

Perhaps it’s because “changing the world” simply means creating a massive, rich company. These are small dreams. The dreamers “haven’t even reached the level of hypocrisy,” as the avuncular science fiction author Bruce Sterling told the assembled faithful at SXSW Interactive, the industry’s premier festival, in March 2013. “You’re stuck at the level of childish naïveté.” Adopting a populist stance, some commentators, such as Jaron Lanier, say that to escape the tyranny of a data-driven society, we must expect to be paid for our data. We should put a price on it. Never mind that this is to give into the logic of Big Data. Rather than trying to dismantle or reform the system—one which, as Lanier acknowledges in his book Who Owns the Future?, serves the oligarchic platform owners at the expense of customers—they wish to universalize it.

May 26, 2013. bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/disruptions-at-odds-over-privacy-challenges-of-wearable-computing. 138 “point-of-view lifestyle” device: Panasonic. A100: Point-of-View Lifestyle Wearable Full HD Camcorder. shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/HX-A100D. 138 “a vibrant social life”: Economist. “Very Personal Finance.” June 2, 2012. economist.com/node/21556263. 138 “information underrepresents reality”: Jaron Lanier. You Are Not a Gadget. New York: Random House, 2010, 69. 139 data-mining is ineffective: Ryan Singel. “Data-Mining for Terrorists Not ‘Feasible,’ DHS-Funded Study Finds.” Wired. Oct. 7, 2008. wired.com/2008/10/data-mining-for. 142 “hid from the telescreens”: Walter Kirn. “Little Brother Is Watching.” New York Times Magazine. Oct. 15, 2010. nytimes.com/2010/10/17/magazine/17FOB-WWLN-t.html. 144 British CCTV stat: “We’re watching you: ‘Britons Caught on CCTV 70 Times a Day.’”


pages: 467 words: 149,632

If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, anti-communist, Buckminster Fuller, computer age, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, game design, George Gilder, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, index card, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, land reform, linear programming, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, Peter Thiel, profit motive, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

IP, Questionnaire, undated, Pool Papers, Box 59, Folder “Contact Nets Diary.” John McPhee, “Link with Local History Lost,” Alamogordo [NM] Daily News, April 10, 1998. Wendy McPhee, interview with the author, July 16, 2018. Epilogue: Meta Data Jaron Lanier, “Jaron Lanier Fixes the Internet,” NYT, September 23, 2019. NM to AS, March 25, 1959, Stevenson Papers, Box 38, Folder 7. “The People Machine,” Newsweek, April 2, 1962. Lanier states this as an axiom: “Behaviorism is an inadequate way to think about society.” Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (New York: Henry Holt, 2018), 19. Behavioral scientists, while admitting that there are no proven laws of human behavior, nevertheless often propose them. See, e.g., Aline Holzwarth, “The Three Laws of Human Behavior,” behavioraleconomics.com, May 7, 2019, https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/the-three-laws-of-human-behavior/.

Simulmatics failed, but not before its scientists built a very early version of the machine in which humanity would in the early twenty-first century find itself trapped, a machine that applies the science of psychological warfare to the affairs of ordinary life, a machine that manipulates opinion, exploits attention, commodifies information, divides voters, fractures communities, alienates individuals, and undermines democracy. “What does it take for people to recognize a dystopia?” the virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier asked in 2019, anguished, heartbroken.1 Long before the age of quarantine and social distancing, Simulmatics helped atomize the world. It had begun sixty years before, with the best of intentions. In 1959, hoping to build a better America, Simulmatics pioneered the use of computer-run simulation, pattern detection and prediction in American political campaigning, segmenting the electorate into voter types and issues into clusters in order to advise candidates about strategies for voter-targeted issues.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

Reporters are losing jobs to algorithmic content farms that write news reports based on keywords that push them to the top of the Google search page. Advertising representatives are being made redundant by mobile social media advertisements that know exactly where you are and will match their pitch to your location. Facebook is now able to use your friends’ faces in ads aimed specifically at you. Jaron Lanier, a pioneer of virtual technology, yet one of the most grounded voices in Silicon Valley, calls the big firms that are cornering the consumer data market the ‘siren servers’ – after the creatures of Greek myth.68 The rest of us are sailors being lured onto the rocks. In exchange for access to social media, we surrender more and more of our personal data for free. The exchange is increasingly one-sided.

, Financial Times, 19 February 2016, <https://www.ft.com/content/80c3164e-d644-11e5-8887-98e7feb46f27>. 63 Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, p. 13. 64 James Manyika, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Kelsey Robinson, Jan Mischke and Deepa Mahajan, ‘Independent Work: Choice, necessity and the gig economy’, McKinsey Global Institute report, October 2016, <http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy>. 65 Ibid. 66 Ibid. 67 Ibid. 68 Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2013 (ebook)). 69 Edward Luce, ‘Obama must face the rise of the robots’, Financial Times, 3 February 2013, <https://www.ft.com/content/f6f19228-6bbc-11e2-a17d-00144feab49a>. 70 Lee Drutman and Yascha Mounk, ‘When the Robots Rise’, National Interest, 144 (July–August 2016), <http://nationalinterest.org/feature/when-the-robots-rise-16830>. 71 Espen Barth Eide, ‘2015: the year geopolitics bites back?’


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

See, for example, “Rise of the Machines,” The Economist (Free Exchange blog), October 20, 2010, http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/10/technology. 9. Google Investor Relations website, http://investor.google.com/financial/tables.html. 10. Historical data on General Motors can be found at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500_archive/snapshots/1979/563.html. GM earned $3.5 billion in 1979, which is equivalent to about $11 billion in 2012 dollars. 11. Scott Timberg, “Jaron Lanier: The Internet Destroyed the Middle Class,” Salon.com, May 12, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the_internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/. 12. This video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb2cI_gJUok, or search YouTube for “Man vs. Machine: Will Human Workers Become Obsolete?” Kurzweil’s remarks can be found at about 05:40. 13. Robert Jensen, “The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122, no. 3 (2007): 879–924. 14.

The problem is that as digital technology continues to transform industries, more and more of the jobs that provide that primary-income source are likely to disappear. As more people lose the dependable income stream that anchors them into the middle class, they are likely to increasingly turn to these long-tail opportunities in the digital economy. A lucky few will provide the anecdotal success stories we will hear about, but the vast majority will struggle to maintain anything approaching a middle-class lifestyle. As techno-visionary Jaron Lanier has pointed out, a great many people are likely to be forced into the type of informal economy that is found in third-world nations.11 Young adults who find the freedom of the informal economy alluring will quickly discover its drawbacks when they begin to think in terms of maintaining a home, raising children, or planning for retirement. Of course, there have always been people living at the fringes in the United States and other developed economies, but to some extent they free-ride on the wealth generated by a critical mass of middle-class households.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

This might be business information or it could be films, games, photographs and many other items that used to be physically owned and kept by individuals or institutions. Hence, a more general shift away from individual ownership to shared access, which, coincidently, links with a shift from products in general to the more ethereal world of experiences. “If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, there will be only one book.” Jaron Lanier, computer scientist and author The trend even extends to human relationships, which are increasingly facilitated, consummated, mediated and terminated in a virtual rather than a physical manner. For example, voice-based communication (i.e. phone calls to other people), is declining in many countries, while text-based communications are exploding. On one level this is fine. In many cases it’s faster, more convenient and cheaper to use text rather than voice.

Now media is increasingly created and consumed by individuals and its fragmentary and atomized nature means that you can find whatever interests you personally and have it delivered on a device of your choosing at any time, any place, anywhere. Web 2.0 builds upon this impulse. It’s YOUtube and MYspace and everyone is famous for 15 minutes and to 15 people. At its worst, this is postmodernism and subjectivism gone mad. It’s a world where idiocy, shallowness and superficiality reign supreme, because everyone’s life, skill or opinion is as good as everyone else’s. Digital Maoism? Jaron Lanier, sometimes referred to as the creator of the term “virtual reality,” believes that crowd intelligence is something of a fallacy analogous with the belief of hyperlibertarians that the free market is all-wise and ultimately benefits all. To quote Lanier: “The beauty of the Internet is that it connects people. The value is in the other people. If we start to believe that the Internet itself is an entity that has something to say, we’re devaluing those people and making ourselves into idiots.”


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

“The knowledge: Euan Semple,” InsideKnowledge (June 16, 2005). 6. Jeanine Plant, “Top 5 Issues That Motivate Young Voters Today,” WireTap (October 23, 2006). 7. Jackie Crosby, “Entrepreneur turned Geek Squad into a geek army,” Los Angeles Times (April 1, 2010). Chapter 19 1. See YouTube video: “Starlings on Otmoor” (February 21, 2007). 2. Dan Reed, “The 2010 Time 100: Jaron Lanier,” Time (April 29, 2010). 3. Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (Knopf Doubleday, 2010). 4. Joshua Topolsky, “Live from Apple’s iPhone OS 4 event!”, Engadget (April 8, 2010). 5. Jean Tate, “Click on Hubble: Galaxy Zoo Now Includes HST Images,” Universe Today (April 22, 2010). 6. David Morgan, “Nearly 20 percent of U.S. workers underemployed,” Thomson Reuters (February 23, 2010). 7. Daniel Henninger, “Joblessness: The Kids Are Not Alright,” The Wall Street Journal (April 12, 2010). 8.

They’re like a hub for innovation and a magnet for uniquely qualified minds. They focus their internal staff on value integration and orchestration and treat the world as their R&D department. All of this adds up to a new kind of collaborative enterprise—one that is constantly shaping and reshaping clusters of knowledge and capability to compete on a global basis. To be clear, collaborative innovation is not about “everybody doing everything,” as critics such as Jaron Lanier have suggested. Nor is it a wholesale replacement for cutting-edge R&D or the art of a good marketing campaign. It’s not about putting product duds in the public domain and hoping that someone will turn them into gold. Nor is it about enticing smart and talented people to give away their valuable ideas for free. Sure, a number of companies have exploited so-called crowdsourcing to get marketing and other services on the cheap.

To be sure, the digital age will herald a mix of good and bad. But in tackling each of these “dark side” issues, it is also clear that solutions for each are at hand and, if anything, macrowikinomics provides the right framework for deriving fresh thinking. The Hive Mind, Collective Consciousness, and Collectivism There are many critics of the digital age, but one of the most articulate is Jaron Lanier, who, unlike many pundits, has a lot of street cred. Being a forerunner in virtual reality, he can’t be dismissed as a Luddite. In fact, in 2010 Time magazine chose him as one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.2 His much-awaited first book You’re Not a Gadget is certainly the most erudite discussion of the downside of the digital age to date. Lanier argues that the Web has created a “hive” mentality that emphasizes the crowd over the individual, and is changing what it means to be a person.


pages: 252 words: 74,167

Thinking Machines: The Inside Story of Artificial Intelligence and Our Race to Build the Future by Luke Dormehl

Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, borderless world, call centre, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, drone strike, Elon Musk, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet of things, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Whether it’s uploading photos to Facebook or typing in a block of twisted letters to prove our humanity to a CAPTCHA, we’re all helping to train the robot successors who are after our jobs. At some point in the near future, a serious conversation needs to be had about the value we place on data. If, as is often said, data is the oil of the digital economy, then we need to place a proper valuation on it. Virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier has suggested one way to do this would be a universal micropayment system. Lanier has given a few illustrations of how this might work. Imagine, he suggests, that you sign up for an online dating service where the data you provide to refine your own romantic matches also helps the company perfect its algorithms for attracting other users. Or if Facebook uses your profile picture in an ad to target a page to one of your friends.

Similarly, as the AI-driven shift in employment makes job categories like Mechanical Turkers more prevalent, conversations need to be had about who owns the data driving AI systems. Implemented correctly, there’s no reason this shouldn’t aid companies as well as individuals. The real value in many twenty-first century businesses is the analysable data they hold. If users were financially compensated for feeding data into these businesses, it would add an extra incentive for using them. If the kind of universal micropayments Jaron Lanier describes were applied to every piece of data we generate, it is not unthinkable that Mechanical Turkers could go from making £1.00 per hour to earning an amount closer to the UK minimum wage of £6.70, or even more. This would be a key step in establishing a digital framework in which AI systems get smarter, but humans are able to share in the wealth created. The Human Element Mechanical Turk jobs involve humans working behind the scenes in AAI roles which are often hidden from view.


pages: 243 words: 76,686

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Airbnb, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Filter Bubble, full employment, gig economy, Google Earth, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Minecraft, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Port of Oakland, Results Only Work Environment, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, source of truth, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, union organizing, white flight, Works Progress Administration

In that chapter I begin to identify some of my most serious grievances with the attention economy, namely its reliance on fear and anxiety, and its concomitant logic that “disruption” is more productive than the work of maintenance—of keeping ourselves and others alive and well. Written in the midst of an online environment in which I could no longer make sense of anything, the essay was a plea on behalf of the spatially and temporally embedded human animal; like the technology writer Jaron Lanier, I sought to “double down on being human.” One reaction to all of this is to head for the hills—permanently. In the second chapter, I look at a few different people and groups who took this approach. The countercultural communes of the 1960s in particular have much to teach us about the challenges inherent in trying to extricate oneself completely from the fabric of a capitalist reality, as well as what was sometimes an ill-fated attempt to escape politics altogether.

Option 1 (offending an unintended audience) is what happens with those whose old tweets are dug up; Option 2 (“bland enough to offend no one”) is the professional social media star, a person reverse-engineered from a formula of what is most palatable to everyone all the time. Taken to its logical conclusion, Option 2 would eventually create a race to the mediocre bottom that has been repeatedly decried by cultural critics like Jaron Lanier. The surprise homecoming party is an example of the useful architectural metaphor that Meyrowitz employs in No Sense of Place: it’s as if all of the walls around different social environments have come down. Unfortunately, those rooms and walls were precisely what provided the spatial context for what was said in them, since they summoned a distinct audience out of the anonymous masses by only letting some people in.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Yet the total employment gains from this revolutionary technology amount to perhaps a few tens of thousands of jobs. Robots are designing and building these new self-driving cars, not just driving them. That same dynamic is writ large around the country. Brick-and-mortar retailing giant Walmart has 1.5 million employees in the United States, while Web retailing giant Amazon had a third as many as of the third quarter of 2017. As famously noted by the futurist Jaron Lanier, at its peak, Kodak employed about 140,000 people; when Facebook acquired it, Instagram employed just 13. The scarier prospect is that more and more jobs are falling to the tide of tech-driven obsolescence. Studies have found that almost half of American jobs are vulnerable to automation, and the rest of the world might want to start worrying too. Countries such as Turkey, South Korea, China, and Vietnam have seen bang-up rates of growth in no small part due to industrialization—factories requiring millions of hands to feed machines and sew garments and produce electronics.

“The next wave of economic dislocations”: Barack Obama, Farewell Address, Chicago, Jan. 10, 2017, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/​node/​360231. Walmart has 1.5 million employees: Walmart, “Company Facts,” https://corporate.walmart.com/​newsroom/​company-facts, accessed Nov. 7, 2017. Amazon had a third: Amazon, Third Quarter Earnings Report, Oct. 26, 2017, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/​phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-reportsother. Instagram employed just 13: Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014), 2. “Premature deindustrialization”: Dani Rodrik, “Premature Deindustrialization” (NBER Working Paper no. 20935, Feb. 2015). “East Asian growth model”: Mike Kubzansky, telephone interview by author, Feb. 10, 2017. automated chatbots: Mike Lewis, Denis Yarats, Yann N. Dauphin, Devi Parikh, and Dhruv Batra, “Deal or No Deal? Training AI Bots to Negotiate,” Facebook code, June 14, 2017, https://code.facebook.com/​posts/​1686672014972296/​deal-or-no-deal-training-ai-bots-to-negotiate/.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

These subsequent titles include William Powers’s Hamlet’s BlackBerry, John Freeman’s The Tyranny of E-mail, and Alex Soojung-Kin Pang’s The Distraction Addiction—all of which agree, more or less, that network tools are distracting us from work that requires unbroken concentration, while simultaneously degrading our capacity to remain focused. Given this existing body of evidence, I will not spend more time in this book trying to establish this point. We can, I hope, stipulate that network tools negatively impact deep work. I’ll also sidestep any grand arguments about the long-term societal consequence of this shift, as such arguments tend to open impassible rifts. On one side of the debate are techno-skeptics like Jaron Lanier and John Freeman, who suspect that many of these tools, at least in their current state, damage society, while on the other side techno-optimists like Clive Thompson argue that they’re changing society, for sure, but in ways that’ll make us better off. Google, for example, might reduce our memory, but we no longer need good memories, as in the moment we can now search for anything we need to know.

: from page 1 of Cowen, Tyler. Average Is Over. New York: Penguin, 2013. Rosen, Sherwin. “The Economics of Superstars.” The American Economic Review 71.5 (December 1981): 845–858. “Hearing a succession of mediocre singers does not add up to a single outstanding performance”: Ibid., 846. The Instagram example and its significance for labor disparities were first brought to my attention by the writing/speaking of Jaron Lanier. How to Become a Winner in the New Economy Details on Nate Silver’s tools: • Hickey, Walter. “How to Become Nate Silver in 9 Simple Steps.” Business Insider, November 14, 2012. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-nate-silver-and-fivethityeight-works-2012-11. • Silver, Nate. “IAmA Blogger for FiveThirtyEight at The New York Times. Ask Me Anything.” Reddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/166yeo/iama_blogger_for_fivethirtyeight_at_the_new_york


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist lawyer, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

These information giants have accumulated an astounding quantity of detailed, highly personal data on you. They use it not to oppress you politically but to sell you to advertisers as a potential consumer. Facebook, for example, shares your data with a company called Datalogix to establish what percentage of those who view an ad actually go on to buy a product from that advertiser.142 In a bracing book called You Are Not a Gadget, the virtual reality pioneer turned cybersceptic Jaron Lanier describes Google and Facebook as ‘spying/advertising empires’.143 These information businesses claim the data and results are all anonymised, but somewhere some machine and therefore potentially some person knows it is you. Hence the disconcerting experience that, minutes after searching for, buying online or simply emailing about, say, sandals, advertisements for sandals start popping up on our screens.

There is, they point out, a vast ocean of rubbish, nonsense and lies online. (A similar complaint was made after the spread of printing in sixteenth-century Europe.) Nicholas Carr and Andrew Keen deplore the online ‘cult of the amateur’, which inordinately privileges mass participation over authority, openness over expertise, Wikipedia over Britannica.91 And the former, they argue, is eroding the latter. Jaron Lanier writes caustically of colleagues who believe that ‘a million, or perhaps a billion, fragmentary insults will eventually yield wisdom’.92 As we are tempted into what Nicholas Carr calls ‘the shallows’ of the online world, so we might all succumb to attention deficit disorder. ‘Homo Zappiens’ is the nice coinage of two Dutch scholars for the generations that have grown up since the 1990s ‘zapping’ between multiple channels and devices.93 Just as social intercourse may be diminished by people’s endless darts to tap or check something on their äppäräti, so the quest for knowledge is subverted by multiple distractions.

‘Surveillance is the business model of the internet’, says security expert Bruce Schneier. ‘We build systems that spy on people in exchange for services. Corporations call it marketing’.1 He compares us to tenant farmers on the great estates of Google or Facebook. The rent we pay is our personal data, which they use for targeted advertising.2 The more the technical capacity to collect ‘big data’ grows, the more what Jaron Lanier calls ‘spying/advertising empires’ will know about us and, in that elementary sense, the less privacy we will have. A lot then depends on the approach taken by these big cats. ‘Privacy is dead—get over it’: as with so many famous quotations, it seems that Scott McNealy, then chief executive of Sun Microsystems, did not say exactly this when asked about privacy at the end of the last century.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

In thinking about networked innovation this way, I am specifically not talking about a “global brain,” or a “hive mind.” There are indeed some problems that are wonderfully solved by collective thinking: the formation of neighborhoods in cities, the variable signals of market pricing, the elaborate engineering feats of the social insects. But as many critics have pointed out—most recently, the computer scientist and musician Jaron Lanier—large collectives are rarely capable of true creativity or innovation. (We have the term “herd mentality” for a reason.) When the first market towns emerged in Italy, they didn’t magically create some higher-level group consciousness. They simply widened the pool of minds that could come up with and share good ideas. This is not the wisdom of the crowd, but the wisdom of someone in the crowd.

On the emergence and innovations of early Renaissance towns, Braudel’s Wheels of Commerce remains the canonical text. The history of double-entry accounting is told in John Richard Edwards’s History of Financial Accounting. For more on the power of collective decision-making, see James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds, Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control. Jaron Lanier’s critique of the “hive mind” appears in his book You Are Not a Gadget, and in shorter form in the essay “Digital Maoism.” For more on Kevin Dunbar’s research, see “What Scientific Thinking Reveals About the Nature of Cognition.” Malcolm Gladwell’s take on the Jane Jacobsian future of workspace design appeared in the New Yorker in the essay “Designs for Working.” Stewart Brand devotes a chapter of How Buildings Learn to the “low road” approach of Building 20.


pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, yield curve

Then you close the factory and move the manufacturing to China, where the quality control maybe isn’t as good but it costs a tenth as much to make, and because you still own the brand and control the distribution network, none of your customers will notice.” That is hollowing out: the process by which jobs disappear from an economy while external appearances remain largely the same. Whole sectors of the economy have been hollowed out by the Internet and by outsourcing abroad. There’s a very good description of it in Jaron Lanier’s book Who Owns the Future?: At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to?

From there, it is a short move towards the politics of economics, maybe beginning with Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism, a highly effective account of the arguments and evidence against neoliberal free-market orthodoxies. A number of very good recent books look at the effect of these policies in terms of their impact at the top end of the income distribution, and the consequences of that inequality for everyone else: Chrystia Freedland’s Plutocrats, Robert Frank’s Richistan, Jaron Lanier’s Who Owns the Future?, and George Packer’s The Unwinding. Spring 2014 saw the publication of Thomas Piketty’s masterpiece Capital in the Twenty-First Century, an important, powerful, and densly argued study of the shift in the balance of power between capital and labor. There is a notable gap in the market here: there are attacks on the existing neoliberal order, but there doesn’t seem to be a powerful popular counternarrative.


pages: 302 words: 84,881

The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Airbnb, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, centre right, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, gig economy, industrial robot, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, post-industrial society, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, software studies, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, WikiLeaks

Third, in order to gather data, digital companies vastly rely on the free labour of their members and ‘user-generated content’, namely information that is produced not by paid staff, but by ordinary people as they interact on the platform. Theorists such as Italian cultural studies scholar Tiziana Terranova has thus spoken of internet users as ‘net slaves’147 whose free labour is exploited, while digital gurus such as Jaron Lanier have campaigned for digital companies to pay users in exchange for their data.148 Reliance on free labour goes a long way to explain how these companies, though titanic in market size, have very limited salaried staff. These structural features can be better understood when approaching the functional logic of digital companies and the disintermediation process which lies at their core. Indeed, these companies’ justification narrative revolves around the promise to allow users to do directly things that before had to be mediated by a number of middlemen; for example publishing their thoughts directly on their Facebook wall instead of sending a letter to the local newspaper, or calling a taxi on the Uber app instead of using a mini-cab company.

Network effect describes the way in which a product becomes more valuable as more people use it, hence the alternate definition as demand-side economy of scale. See Albert-László Barabási and Réka Albert, ‘Emergence of scaling in random networks’. Science 286, no.5439 (1999): 509–512. 147. Tiziana Terranova, ‘Free labor: producing culture for the digital economy’, Social Text 18, no.2 (2000): 33–58. 148. Jaron Lanier, Who owns the future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014). 149. Nick Srnicek, Platform capitalism (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2017). 150. John Hagel and Marc Singer have coined the term infomediaries to point to the presence of new processes of intermediation or ‘re-intermediation’. John Hagel and Marc Singer, Net worth: shaping markets when customers make the rules (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1999). 151.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Pinterest pages have public: Serge Malenkovich (25 Jan 2013), “How to protect your privacy on Pinterest,” Kaspersky Lab Daily, http://blog.kaspersky.com/protect-your-privacy-on-pinterest. In 2014, a presidential review group: US Executive Office of the President (1 May 2014), “Big data: Seizing opportunities, preserving values,” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/big_data_privacy_report_may_1_2014.pdf. Jaron Lanier proposes a scheme: Jaron Lanier (2013), Who Owns the Future? Simon and Schuster, http://books.google.com/books?id=w_LobtmRYmQC. US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights: US Executive Office of the President (Feb 2012), “Consumer data privacy in a networked world: A framework for protecting privacy and promoting innovation in the global digital economy,” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/privacy-final.pdf.

Instagram posts can be either public, restricted to specific followers, or secret. Pinterest pages have public or secret options. Standardizing this is important. In 2012, the White House released a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.” In 2014, a presidential review group on big data and privacy recommended that this bill of rights be the basis for legislation. I agree. It’s easy to go too far with this concept. Computer scientist and technology critic Jaron Lanier proposes a scheme by which anyone who uses our data, whether it be a search engine using it to serve us ads or a mapping application using it to determine real-time road congestion, automatically pays us a royalty. Of course, it would be a micropayment, probably even a nanopayment, but over time it might add up to a few dollars. Making this work would be extraordinarily complex, and in the end would require constant surveillance even as it tried to turn that surveillance into a revenue stream for everyone.


pages: 343 words: 91,080

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

Because Uber’s practices are representative of more common dynamics of how we use technology today, the company’s actions have pulled the veil off of the way practices that bring us so many valuable services can also take advantage of us. There are rich privacy debates in academia on whether companies should be able to resell the data they collect about us, a practice that can take advantage of users.49 Some thinkers, like computer scientist and philosophy writer Jaron Lanier, envision a future where people are paid for the data they generate online.50 As digital labor scholar and computer scientist Mary L. Gray observes publicly on Twitter, however, “We have no evidence that people want to commodify their online lives. Does cash back make it OK for companies to resell my family pics or shopping history, as they choose? Maybe ask: Should we stop giving companies wholesale permission to sell our data to 3rd parties?”

Plays with Fire,” New York Times, April 23, 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/04/23/technology/travis-kalanick-pushes-uber-and-himself-to-the-precipice.html. 49. See, e.g., Julie E. Cohen, Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code, and Play of Everyday Practice (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012); Evan Selinger, Jules Polonetsky, and Omer Tene, eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018). 50. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013). 51. Mary L. Gray (@marylgray), Twitter, December 29, 2017, https://twitter.com/marylgray/status/946904792118460416. 52. Portions of this section of the chapter originally appeared as an article I wrote for Fast Company. See Alex Rosenblat, “The Network Uber Drivers Built,” Fast Company, January 9, 2018, www.fastcompany.com/40501439/the-network-uber-drivers-built.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor

MIT’s Julie Shah and her coauthors: Adam Conner-Simons, “Robot Helps Nurses Schedule Tasks on Labor Floor,” MIT News, July 13, 2016. http://news.mit.edu/2016/robot-helps-nurses-schedule-tasks-on-labor-floor-0713. their mechanical rivalry: The tech intellectual Jaron Lanier calls the winners of the rise of the robots the “siren servers.” He dubs this tech ruling class—those who produce and finance these machines—“narcissists; blind to where value comes from, including the web of global interdependence that is at the core of their own value.” (Those who reap the most from this efficiency are, by and large, rich technologists.) Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.) up from $691 billion in 2012: Deborah Bach, “Study Reveals Surprising Truths about Caregivers,” UWNews, June 16, 2015, https://www.washington.edu/news/2015/06/16/study-reveals-surprising-truths-about-caregivers/.


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Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, Pearl River Delta, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

And the liberal class has become as corrupted by the Web as the right wing. Racism toward Muslims is as evil as anti-Semitism, but try to express this simple truth on a partisan Palestinian or Israeli Web site. These kinds of truths, that acknowledge human complexity, are what the liberal class once sought to protect. Social scientists have a name for this retreat into ideologically pure and intolerant ghettos: cyberbalkanization. I spoke with Jaron Lanier, the father of virtual-reality technology. He warns of this frightening new collectivism in You Are Not a Gadget. He notes that the habits fostered by the Internet have further reconfigured how we relate to one another. He writes that the philosophy behind terms of art such as Web 2.0, open culture, free software, and the long tail have become enablers of this new collectivism. He sites Wikipedia, which consciously erases individual voices, and Google Wave, which permits users to edit what someone else has said in a conversation, as well as watch others as they input, as technologies that accelerate mass collective thought and mass emotions.

Lifton, and Tom Artin; James Cone, one of our nation’s most important theologians; Ray Close, the Reverend Michael Granzen, the Reverend Karen Hernandez, Joe and Heidi Hough, Mark Kurlansky, Margaret Maurer, Irene Brown, Sam Hynes, the great graphic novelist Joe Sacco, Dennis Kucinich, Ernest Logan Bell, Sonali Kolhatkar, Francine Prose, Russell Banks, Celia and Bernard Chazelle, Esther Kaplan, James Ridgeway; the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who became a friend when we received honorary doctorates together at Starr King School for the Ministry; Paul Woodruff; Sheldon Wolin, our greatest living political philosopher; “Rocky” Anderson; Tom Cornell; Noam Chomsky, who sets the intellectual gold standard for the rest of us; Father Michael Doyle and Father Daniel Berrigan, two Catholic priests who remind us that the church can once in a while produce prophets; Pam Diamond, James Kane, the Reverend Davidson Loehr, and Karen Malpede; Stuart Ewen, whose books proved vital to my understanding of the rise of the propaganda state; Norman Finkelstein, whose moral courage I admire; John Ralston Saul, a philosopher who gave me a vocabulary to understand much of what is happening in contemporary culture; the uncompromising Cindy Sheehan; Sydney Schanberg, Malalai Joya, Michael Moore, Jeremy Scahill, Sam Smith, Rob Shatterly, Alan Magee, Doug McGill, Jaron Lanier, Mae Sakharov, Kasia Anderson, and Charlie and Catherine Williams, as well as Dorothea von Moltke and Cliff Simms, whom we are fortunate to have as friends and owners of one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. Lisa Bankoff of International Creative Management, whom I have been with since I published my first book nearly a decade ago, is a talented, smart, and gracious agent who negotiated contracts and manages an end of this industry that still mystifies me.


Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", 4chan, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, Columbine, corporate raider, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QAnon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, white flight, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

American exceptionalism was always an illusion, and Americans had long been prone to paranoid conspiracies, but even I was surprised by the quickness with which US political culture came to mirror that of surveillance states. I had not anticipated how quickly the cyber-utopianism embraced by internet corporations would turn into nihilist abdication of the public good. Among the few who saw the threat clearly was computer scientist Jaron Lanier, who, in 2010, warned the public of a new danger: WikiLeaks. At the time, free speech advocates were hailing WikiLeaks, and its founder, Julian Assange, as defenders of government transparency. Their lionization of the leaker organization was largely due to frustration with the criminal impunity of the Bush administration. In February 2010, soldier Chelsea Manning exposed war crimes by sending classified documents to WikiLeaks, which WikiLeaks then published online.

Peter Pomerantzev, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (Philadelphia: PublicAffairs, 2015).   8.   Sarah Kendzior, “The Strange Saga of a Made-Up Activist and Her Life—and Death—as a Hoax,” The Atlantic, December 20, 2011, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/the-strange-saga-of-a-made-up-activist-and-her-life-and-death-as-a-hoax/250203/.   9.   Jaron Lanier, “The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks,” The Atlantic, December 20, 2010, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/12/the-hazards-of-nerd-supremacy-the-case-of-WikiLeaks/68217/. 10.   Malcolm Nance, The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and his Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West (New York: Hachette Books, 2018). 11.   Ivan Sigal, Public Radio International, “Syria’s war may be the most documented ever.


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The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

But what’s harder is bumping into a contrarian view that challenges your assumptions. Like it or not, the problem is that there’s so much information available that your news feeds and your searches need some form of management. But any form of curation is a form of censorship. So who is doing this and why? Well it’s the “siren servers”, of course. They want to keep you on their websites and using their services by making you happy. The writer Jaron Lanier coined the phrase “Siren Servers” to describe the giant social networks and search engines such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. Like the sirens of legends sung sweet songs to lure sailors to crash on the rocky shore of their island, so Lanier thinks we must be wary of the attractions of the siren servers. They don’t want to make your life more complicated. They are there to make everything frictionless: “Leave it to me”, they sing.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

shared=Xmjr9tlVlXs. 90 watch more video on YouTube: Andy Smith, “13–24 Year Olds Are Watching More YouTube than TV,” Tubular Insights, March 11, 2015, http://tubu larinsights.com/13-24-watching-more-youtube-than-tv/. 90 world’s most valuable retailer: Shannon Pettypiece, “Amazon Passes Wal-Mart as Biggest Retailer by Market Value,” Bloomberg Technology, July 24, 2015, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-23/amazon-surpasses-wal-mart-as-biggest-retailer-by-market-value. 91 “publish, then filter”: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (New York: Penguin, 2008), 98. 93 6,300 companies operating 171,000 taxicabs: 2014 TLPA Taxicab Fact Book, available from https://www.tlpa.org/TLPA-Bookstore. 94 total number of tellers: James Pethokoukis, “What the Story of ATMs and Bank Tellers Reveals About the ‘Rise of the Robots’ and Jobs,” AEI Ideas, June 6, 2016, http://www.aei.org/publication/what-atms-bank-tellers-rise-robots-and-jobs/. 95 making house calls to deliver flu shots: “Uber Health,” Uber, November 21, 2015, https://newsroom.uber.com/uberhealth/. 95 bringing elderly patients to doctors’ appointments: Zhai Yun Tan, “Hospitals Are Partnering with Uber to Get Patients to Checkups,” Atlantic, August 21, 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/08/hospitals-are-partnering-with-uber-to-get-people-to-checkups/495476/. 95 from having 1,400 robots in its warehouses to 45,000: Sara Kessler, “The Optimist’s Guide to the Robot Apocalypse,” Quartz, March 19, 2017, https://qz.com/904285/the-optimists-guide-to-the-robot-apocalypse/. 95 It added 110,000: Todd Bishop, “Amazon Soars to More than 341K Employees—Adding More than 110K People in a Single Year,” Geekwire, February 2, 2017, http://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-soars-340k-employees-adding-110k-people-single-year/. 96 the comparison between Kodak: Scott Timberg, “Jaron Lanier: The Internet Destroyed the Middle Class,” Salon, May 12, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the _internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/. 97 5% of GDP in developed countries: “The Internet Economy in the G20,” BCG Perspectives, retrieved March 30, 2017, https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/media_entertainment_strategic _planning_4_2_trillion_opportunity _internet_economy_g20/?chapter=2. 97 80 billion in the days of Kodak: Benedict Evans, “How Many Pictures?

Science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson captures this moment perfectly in his novel Green Mars, when one of the original settlers of Mars has a shock of insight: “He realized then that history is a wave that moves through time slightly faster than we do.” If we are honest with ourselves, each of us has many such moments, when we realize that the world has moved on and we are stuck in the past. It is this mental hiccup that leads to many a failure of insight. Famously, Jaron Lanier (and many others) have made the comparison between Kodak, which at its height had 140,000 employees, and Instagram, which had only 13 when it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. It’s easy to overlay the afterimage of Kodak, and say, as Lanier did, that the jobs have gone away. Yet for Instagram to exist and thrive, every phone had to include a digital camera and to be connected to a communications network, and that network had to be pervasive and data centers had to provide hosting services that allow tiny startups to serve tens of millions of users.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

It is part of an interesting longer comment by Kasparov: “ ‘It is the greatest game in the history of chess. The sheer number of ideas, the complexity, and the contribution it has made to chess make it the most important game ever played.” p 19: James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds, [214]. p 20: Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows [35] is an expanded version of an earlier article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” [34]. Related arguments have also been made by Jaron Lanier [117]. Chapter 3. Restructuring Expert Attention p 22: On ASSET India, InnoCentive, and Zacay Brown: [29, 222]. The text on InnoCentive is a much expanded and adapted version of text from my article [153]. p 23 Many of the successful solvers report, as Zacary Brown did, that the Challenges they solve closely match their skills and interests: see [116] for more on the characteristics of successful solvers.

The Linux Foundation, April 2008. [115] Irina Krush with Kenneth W. Regan. The greatest game in the history of chess, parts I, II, and III. Available at http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~regan/chess/K-W/KHR99i.html, 1999. [116] Karim R. Lakhani, Lars Bo Jeppesen, Peter A. Lohse, and Jill A. Panetta. The value of openness in scientific problem solving. Harvard Business School Working Paper 07–050, 2007. [117] Jaron Lanier. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2010. [118] Hadley Leggett. Aug. 18, 1868: Helium discovered during total solar eclipse. Wired, August 18, 2009. http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/08/dayintech_0818/. [119] Jonah Lehrer. Making connections. Nature, 457:524–527, January 28, 2009. [120] Jonah Lehrer. Scientists map the brain, gene by gene. Wired, 17, March 28, 2009. http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/17-04/ff_brainatlas


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The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, business cycle, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

A sixty-year-old Midwestern businessman I know found himself logging on every night to engage in a conversation about Jungian archetypes. It lasted for four weeks before he realized the person with whom he was conversing was a sixteen-year-old boy from Tokyo. It felt as though we were wiring up a global brain. Techno visionaries of the period, such as Ted Nelson—who coined the word hypertext —told us how the Internet could be used as a library for everything ever written. A musician named Jaron Lanier invented a bizarre interactive space he called “virtual reality” in which people would be able to, in his words, “really see what the other means.” The Internet was no longer a government research project. It was alive. Out of control and delightfully chaotic. What’s more, it promoted an agenda all its own. It was as if using a computer mouse and keyboard to access other human beings on the other side of the monitor changed our relationship to the media and the power the media held.

Among the most popular graphics used by PimpMySpace clients on a given day in June 2007 were short video clips of two women kissing and another of a man and an obese woman having sex; a picture of a gleaming pink handgun; and an image of the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, looking alarmed and uttering a profanity. This kind of coarseness and vulgarity is commonplace on social networking sites for a reason: it’s an easy way to set oneself apart. Pharaohs and kings once celebrated themselves by erecting towering statues or, like the emperor Augustus, placing their own visages on coins. But now, as the insightful technology observer Jaron Lanier has written, “Since there are only a few archetypes, ideals, or icons to strive for in comparison to the vastness of instances of everything online, quirks and idiosyncrasies stand out better than grandeur in this new domain. I imagine Augustus’ MySpace page would have pictured him picking his nose.” And he wouldn’t be alone. Indeed, this is one of the characteristics of MySpace most striking to anyone who spends a few hours trolling its millions of pages: it is an overwhelmingly dull sea of monotonous uniqueness, of conventional individuality, of distinctive sameness.


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The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive by Brian Christian

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, carbon footprint, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, job automation, l'esprit de l'escalier, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, starchitect, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

While other existentialists—for instance, Jean-Paul Sartre—emphasized authenticity and originality and freedom from outside influence, nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche held the startling opinion that the most important part of “being oneself” was—in Brown University philosopher Bernard Reginster’s words—“being one self, any self.” Nietzsche spoke of this as “giving style to one’s character,” comparing people to works of art, which we often judge according to their “concinnity,” the way their parts fit together to make a whole: “In the end, when the work is finished, it becomes evident how the constraint of a single taste governed and formed everything large and small.” Computer culture critics like Jaron Lanier are skeptical, for instance, of decentralized projects like Wikipedia, arguing: The Sims, … the iPhone, the Pixar movies, and all the other beloved successes of digital culture … are personal expressions. True, they often involve large groups of collaborators, but there is always a central personal vision—a Will Wright, a Steve Jobs, or a Brad Bird conceiving the vision and directing a team of people earning salaries.

Skerrett, “Whimsical Software Wins a Prize for Humanness,” Popular Science, May 1992. 8 Rollo Carpenter, personal interview. 9 Rollo Carpenter, in “PopSci’s Future of Communication: Cleverbot,” Science Channel, October 6, 2009. 10 Bernard Reginster (lecture, Brown University, October 15, 2003). 11 “giving style to one’s character”: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, translated by Walter Kaufman (New York: Vintage, 1974), sec. 290. 12 Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Knopf, 2010). 13 Eugene Demchenko and Vladimir Veselov, “Who Fools Whom?” in Parsing the Turing Test, edited by Robert Epstein et al. (New York: Springer, 2008). 14 Say Anything …, directed and written by Cameron Crowe (20th Century Fox, 1989). 15 Robert Lockhart, “Integrating Semantics and Empirical Language Data” (lecture at the Chatbots 3.0 conference, Philadelphia, March 27, 2010). 16 For more on Google Translate, the United Nations, and literature, see, e.g., David Bellos, “I, Translator,” New York Times, March 20, 2010; and Miguel Helft, “Google’s Computing Power Refines Translation Tool,” New York Times, March 8, 2010. 17 The Office, directed and written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, BBC Two, 2001–3. 18 Hilary Stout, “The End of the Best Friend,” also titled “A Best Friend?


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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990–2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease study 2010. The Lancet, 380, 2197–2223. Musolino, J. 2015. The soul fallacy: What science shows we gain from letting go of our soul beliefs. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. Myhrvold, N. 2014. Commentary on Jaron Lanier’s “The myth of AI.” Edge. https://www.edge.org/conversation/jaron_lanier-the-myth-of-ai#25983. Naam, R. 2010. Top five reasons “the singularity” is a misnomer. Humanity+. http://hplusmagazine.com/2010/11/11/top-five-reasons-singularity-misnomer/. Naam, R. 2013. The infinite resource: The power of ideas on a finite planet. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England. Nadelmann, E. A. 1990. Global prohibition regimes: The evolution of norms in international society.

Cellan-Jones, “Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind,” BBC News, Dec. 2, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540. 20. In a 2014 poll of the hundred most-cited AI researchers, just 8 percent feared that high-level AI posed the threat of “an existential catastrophe”: Müller & Bostrom 2014. AI experts who are publicly skeptical include Paul Allen (2011), Rodney Brooks (2015), Kevin Kelly (2017), Jaron Lanier (2014), Nathan Myhrvold (2014), Ramez Naam (2010), Peter Norvig (2015), Stuart Russell (2015), and Roger Schank (2015). Skeptical psychologists and biologists include Roy Baumeister (2015), Dylan Evans (2015a), Gary Marcus (2015), Mark Pagel (2015), and John Tooby (2015). See also A. Elkus, “Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence,” Slate, Oct. 31, 2014; M. Chorost, “Let Artificial Intelligence Evolve,” Slate, April 18, 2016. 21.

Clearing the myths of time: Tuskegee revisited. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 5, 127. Land, K. C., Michalos, A. C., & Sirgy, J., eds. 2012. Handbook of social indicators and quality of life research. New York: Springer. Lane, N. 2015. The vital question: Energy, evolution, and the origins of complex life. New York: Norton. Lanier, J. 2014. The myth of AI. Edge. https://www.edge.org/conversation/jaron_lanier-the-myth-of-ai. Lankford, A. 2013. The myth of martyrdom. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Lankford, A., & Madfis, E. 2018. Don’t name them, don’t show them, but report everything else: A pragmatic proposal for denying mass shooters the attention they seek and deterring future offenders. American Behavioral Scientist. Latzer, B. 2016. The rise and fall of violent crime in America. New York: Encounter Books.


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Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Sampson The Collective Nature of Human Intelligence: Matt Ridley Six Ways the Internet May Save Civilization: David Eagleman Better Neuroxing Through the Internet: Samuel Barondes A Gift to Conspirators and Terrorists Everywhere: Marcel Kinsbourne The Ant Hill: Eva Wisten I Can Make a Difference Because of the Internet: Bruce Hood Go Virtual, Young Man: Eric Weinstein My Internet Mind: Thomas A. Bass “If You Have Cancer, Don’t Go on the Internet”: Karl Sabbagh Incomprehensible Visitors from the Technological Future: Alison Gopnik “Go Native”: Howard Gardner The Maximization of Neoteny: Jaron Lanier Wisdom of the Crowd: Keith Devlin Weirdness of the Crowd: Robert Sapolsky The Synchronization of Minds: Jamshed Bharucha My Judgment Enhancer: Geoffrey Miller Speed Plus Mobs: Alan Alda Repetition, Availability, and Truth: Daniel Haun The Armed Truce: Irene M. Pepperberg More Efficient, but to What End?: Emanuel Derman I Have Outsourced My Memory: Charles Seife The New Balance: More Processing, Less Memorization: Fiery Cushman The Enemy of Insight?

For those of us who are middle-aged or beyond, we continue to live in two worlds—the predigital and the digital—and we may either be nostalgic for the days without BlackBerrys or relieved that we no longer have to trudge off to the library. But all persons who want to understand their children or their grandchildren must make the effort to “go native”—and at such times we digital immigrants or digital paleoliths can feel as fragmented, as uncertain about privacy, as pulled by membership in diverse and perhaps incommensurate communities, as any fifteen-year-old. The Maximization of Neoteny Jaron Lanier Musician, computer scientist; pioneer of virtual reality; author, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto The Internet, as it evolved up to about the turn of the century, was a great relief and comfort to me and influenced my thinking positively in a multitude of ways. There were the long-anticipated quotidian delights of speedy information access and transfer, but also the far more important optimism born from seeing so many people decide to create Web pages and become expressive—proof that the late twentieth century’s passive society on the couch in front of the TV was only a passing bad dream.


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Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

K. Rowling’s and Greg Bear’s and a few other people’s) at the 2000 Hugo Awards, and on top of that he knows more physics than I ever will. So I don’t for a moment think that he is peddling any such ideas with his prediction of a singularity. I am only telling you why I have a personal mental block as far as the Singularity prediction is concerned. My thoughts are more in line with those of Jaron Lanier, who points out that while hardware might be getting faster all the time, software is shit (I am paraphrasing his argument). And without software to do something useful with all that hardware, the hardware’s nothing more than a really complicated space heater. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR CODE—BY ARASHIAKARI Do you think that hacking tools should be protected (in the United States) under the Second Amendment?

When the precedent was finally unearthed, it might not have seemed like such a direct precedent after all. There might be reasons why it would be worth taking a second crack at the idea, perhaps hybridizing it with other innovations from other fields. Hence the virtues of Galapagan isolation. The counterpart to Galapagan isolation is the struggle for survival on a large continent, where firmly established ecosystems tend to blur and swamp new adaptations. Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author of the recent book You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, has some insights about the unintended consequences of the Internet—the informational equivalent of a large continent—on our ability to take risks. In the pre-Net era, managers were forced to make decisions based on what they knew to be limited information. Today, by contrast, data flows to managers in real time from countless sources that could not even be imagined a couple of generations ago, and powerful computers process, organize, and display the data in ways that are as far beyond the hand-drawn graph-paper plots of my youth as modern video games are to tic-tac-toe.


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This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Kosslyn Constraint Satisfaction When moving into a new house, my wife and I had to decide how to arrange the furniture in the bedroom. Daniel C. Dennett Cycles The secret ingredient of improvement is always the same: practice, practice, practice. Jennifer Jacquet Keystone Consumers A relative few can . . . ruin a resource for the rest of us. Jaron Lanier Cumulative Error Our brains have unrealistic expectations of information transformation. Dan Sperber Cultural Attractors In spite of variations, an Irish stew is an Irish stew, Little Red Riding Hood is Little Red Riding Hood, and a samba is a samba. Giulio Boccaletti Scale Analysis It is through scale analysis that we can often make sense of complex nonlinear phenomena in terms of simpler models.

Biologists identify keystone species as conservation priorities because their disappearance could cause the loss of many other species. In the marketplace, keystone consumers should be priorities because their disappearance could lead to the recovery of the resource. Humans should protect keystone species and curb keystone consumption. The lives of others depend on it. Cumulative Error Jaron Lanier Musician, computer scientist; virtual reality pioneer; author, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto It is the stuff of children’s games. In the game of “Telephone,” a secret message is whispered from child to child until it is announced out loud by the final recipient. To the delight of all, the message is typically transformed into something new and bizarre, no matter the sincerity and care given to each retelling.


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Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

McNeal, “It’s Not a Surprise That Gmail Users Have No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy,” Forbes, June 20, 2013. 24 It’s not just your friends: Steve Stecklow, “On the Web, Children Face Intensive Tracking,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 17, 2010. 25 Well-known companies such as McDonald’s: Josh Smith, “Children’s Online-Privacy Violations Alleged Against McDonald’s, General Mills, 3 Others,” National Journal, Aug. 22, 2012. 26 In another case, Sony: Federal Trade Commission, “Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a General Partnership Subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, United States of America (for the Federal Trade Commission),” accessed March 6, 2014, http://​www.​ftc.​gov/. 27 That is why you: Roben Farzad, “Google at $400 Billion,” Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 12, 2014. 28 A study published by the Wall Street Journal: Doug Laney, “To Facebook You’re Worth $80.95,” CIO Journal (blog), Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2012. 29 As the computer scientist Jaron Lanier: Joe Nocera, “Will Digital Networks Ruin Us?,” New York Times, Jan. 6, 2014; Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014). 30 Its inventory is personal data: Lori Andrews, “Facebook Is Using You,” New York Times, Feb. 4, 2012. 31 This way when your friends: Salvador Rodriguez, “Google to Include User Names, Pictures in Ads: Here’s How to Opt Out,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 11, 2013. 32 Google introduced “shared endorsements”: Drew Guarini, “Facebook Finally Axes Controversial ‘Sponsored Stories,’ “Huffington Post, Oct. 1, 2014. 33 If one were to read: Alexis C.

Viewed another way, Facebook’s billion-plus users, each dutifully typing in status updates, detailing his biography, and uploading photograph after photograph, have become the largest unpaid workforce in history. As a result of their free labor, Facebook has a market cap of $182 billion, and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has a personal net worth of $33 billion. What did you get out of the deal? As the computer scientist Jaron Lanier reminds us, a company such as Instagram—which Facebook bought in 2012—was not valued at $1 billion because its thirteen employees were so “extraordinary. Instead, its value comes from the millions of users who contribute to the network without being paid for it.” Its inventory is personal data—yours and mine—which it sells over and over again to parties unknown around the world. In short, you’re a cheap date.


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Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Despite the challenges of separating the impact of the recession from the implementation of new technologies, increasingly the connection between new automation technologies and rapid economic change has been used to imply that a collapse of the U.S. workforce—or at least a prolonged period of dislocation—might be in the offing. Brynjolfsson and McAfee argue for the possibility in a much expanded book-length version of “Race Against the Machine,” entitled The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. Similar sentiments are offered by Jaron Lanier, a well-known computer scientist now at Microsoft Research, in the book Who Owns the Future? Both books draw a direct link between the rise of Instagram, the Internet photo-sharing service acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, and the decline of Kodak, the iconic photographic firm that declared bankruptcy that year. “A team of just fifteen people at Instagram created a simple app that over 130 million customers use to share some sixteen billion photos (and counting),” wrote Brynjolfsson and McAfee.

Green, and Ben Sand, “The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks,” NBER Working Paper No. 18901, National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2013, http://www.economics.ubc.ca/files/2013/05/pdf_paper_paul-beaudry-great-reversal.pdf. 26.Ibid. 27.James Manyika, Susan Lund, Byron Auguste, and Sreenivas Ramaswamy, “Help Wanted: The Future of Work in Advanced Economies,” McKinsey Global Institute, March 2012, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/employment_and_growth/future_of_work_in_advanced_economies. 28.Robin Harding, “US Has Lost 2M Clerical Jobs since 2007,” Financial Times, April 1, 2013, http://www.ft.com/intl/cm/s/0/37666e6c-9ae5-11e2-b982-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3V2czZqsP. 29.Melody Johnson, “Right-Wing Media Attack Obama for Accurate Remarks on Business’ [sic] Investment in Automated Machines,” MediaMatters for America, June 15, 2011, http://mediamatters.org/research/2011/06/15/right-wing-media-attack-obama-for-accurate-rema/180602. 30.“Are ATMs Stealing Jobs?” Economist, June 15, 2011, http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/06/technology-and-unemployment. 31.Ben Sumers, “Bank Teller Case Study” (unpublished, 2012). 32.Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014), 127. 33.Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? Kindle ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014), Kindle location 222–230. 34.Tim O’Reilly, Google+, January 9, 2014, https://plus.google.com/+TimOReilly/posts/F85gaWoBp3Z. 35.Matthieu Pélissié du Rausas, James Manyika, Eric Hazan, Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and Rémi Said, “Internet Matters: The Net’s Sweeping Impact on Growth, Jobs, and Prosperity,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2011, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/internet_matters. 36.


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What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, global pandemic, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Numerous Edgies have been at the forefront of the science behind the various flavors of AI, either in their research or their writings. AI was front and center in conversations between Pamela McCorduck (Machines Who Think) and Isaac Asimov (Machines That Think) at our initial meetings in 1980. And such conversations have continued unabated, as is evident in the recent Edge feature “The Myth of AI,” a conversation with Virtual Reality pioneer Jaron Lanier, whose explication of the fallacies involved and fears evoked by conceiving of computers as “people” evoked rich and provocative commentaries. Is AI becoming increasingly real? Are we now in a new era of intelligent machines? It’s time to grow up as we consider this issue. This year’s contributors to the Edge Question (there are close to 200 of them!) are a grown-up bunch and have eschewed mention of all that science fiction and all those movies: Star Maker, Forbidden Planet, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Blade Runner, 2001, Her, The Matrix, “The Borg.”

Whether a thinking machine can learn how to write a symphony or sketch a masterpiece is only a question of time. Perhaps a more significant question is whether it can learn how to make a great work of art, ultimately achieving through sheer capacity what no human could through improvisation. Part of the enormously larger and newly horizontal distributed network of cultural practice, supported by new technologies, has indeed begun to fall into what Jaron Lanier has described as “hive thinking,” supporting the gloomiest cultural predictions.14 But as Heidegger proposed, the danger of unexamined scientific rationalism is that the most reductive definition of object as “machine” or “system” can be extended to the universal scale in every sense, becoming a self-justifying and ethically vacant rationale for the mechanization of the self. The ensuing fantasies—Samuel Butler’s vital machines, H.


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The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite by Daniel Markovits

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, asset-backed security, assortative mating, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Emanuel Derman, equity premium, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, high net worth, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, medical residency, minimum wage unemployment, Myron Scholes, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, stakhanovite, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, traveling salesman, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion: On Kodak, see Susan Christopherson and Jennifer Clark, Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (New York: Routledge, 2007), 57–84. On Instagram, see Scott Timberg, “Jaron Lanier: The Internet Destroyed the Middle Class,” Salon, May 12, 2013, accessed November 18, 2018, www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the_internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/. Hereafter cited as Timberg, “Internet Destroyed.” Instagram’s tiny super-skilled workforce can meet the firm’s staffing needs only because it works alongside the mass of people who use its technology to stage, capture, process, and print images and thus constitute, in structure, a low-skilled labor force, even as they conceive of themselves not as producers but rather consumers. Jaron Lanier thus observes that lots of people—the site’s users who contribute content and even formatting—“work” at Instagram, in a sense.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

See Scott Kirsner, “Amazon Buys Warehouse Robotics Start-Up Kiva Systems for $775 Million,” Boston.com, March 19, 2012, http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2012/03/amazon_buys_warehouse_robotics.html. 65.  Stowe Boyd, “If Amazon Is the Future of Work, Then Be Afraid,” Gigaom Research, February 22, 2013, http://research.gigaom.com/2013/02/if-amazon-is-the-future-of-work/. 66.  This dynamic is the central problem drawn out in Jaron Lanier in Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013), and it leads him to advocate for, among other things, a revaluation of how tacit human knowledge might be rewarded by ubiquitous micropayments. See also Jaron Lanier and Douglas Rushkoff, “The Local-Global Flip, or, ‘The Lanier Effect,’” Edge, August 29, 2011, http://edge.org/conversation/the-local-global-flip. 67.  See Jobs's presentation of the proposed Campus 2 to the Cupertino City Council at Cupertino City Channel, “Steve Jobs Presents to the Cupertino City Council (6/7/11),” YouTube, June 7, 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Chunka Mui, “Dispatch from 2023: Google Considers Buying 250,000 Driverless Cars from Tesla, but Buys Tesla Instead,” Forbes, August 29, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/08/29/dispatch-from-2023-google-considers-buying-250000-driverless-cars-from-tesla-but-buys-tesla-instead/. 61.  Gary Marcus, “Moral Machines,” New Yorker, November 24, 2012, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/moral-machines. 62.  Nick Bilton, “Disruptions: As New Targets for Hackers, Your Car and Your House,” New York Times, August 11, 2013, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com//2013/08/11/taking-over-cars-and-homes-remotely/. 63.  See, for example, Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). 64.  See Danielle Citron, “Bright Ideas: Anita Allen's Unpopular Privacy,” Concurring Opinions, January 13, 2012, http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2012/01/bright-ideas-anita-allens-unpopular-privacy.html. 65.  Jacob Applebaum, Andy Mueller-Maguhn, Jeremie Zimmermann, and Julian Assange, “Episode 8, Part 1,” WikiLeaks World Tomorrow, April 2012, https://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-8.html.If you look at it from a market perspective, I'm convinced that there is a market in privacy that has been mostly left unexplored, so maybe there will be an economic drive for companies to develop tools that will give users the in-dividual ability to control their data and communication.


pages: 207 words: 59,298

The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction by Jamie Woodcock, Mark Graham

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, global value chain, informal economy, information asymmetry, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, Lyft, mass immigration, means of production, Network effects, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, precariat, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

These are tasks that might, in theory, be performed by AI, but are cheaper and/or quicker to simply outsource to human workers. For some types of task, it may not be a simple case of humans or artificial intelligence, but rather human microworkers embedded into otherwise automated systems through application programming interfaces (APIs). Here, workers are essentially treated as part of software, algorithms and ‘automated’ processes. The computer scientist Jaron Lanier (2014: 178) describes this as conjuring up ‘a sense of magic, as if you can just pluck results out of the cloud at an incredibly low cost’. Ultimately, this is work that usually requires very little formal training, and – as a result – tends to be poorly paid (Hara et al., 2018). In both cases, what matters to the customer is the final product, not where the actual work was conducted. Microwork is a clear extension of outsourcing, with roots in crowdsourcing.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

The books in the Library of Congress represent about 10 terabytes (as Shannon guessed), and the number is many times more when images and recording music are counted. The library now archives web sites; by February 2010 it had collected 160 terabytes’ worth. As the train hurtled onward, its passengers sometimes felt the pace foreshortening their sense of their own history. Moore’s law had looked simple on paper, but its consequences left people struggling to find metaphors with which to understand their experience. The computer scientist Jaron Lanier describes the feeling this way: “It’s as if you kneel to plant the seed of a tree and it grows so fast that it swallows your whole town before you can even rise to your feet.”♦ A more familiar metaphor is the cloud. All that information—all that information capacity—looms over us, not quite visible, not quite tangible, but awfully real; amorphous, spectral; hovering nearby, yet not situated in any one place.

♦ SCANDIX, PECTEN VENERIS, HERBA SCANARIA: Ibid., 173. ♦ CATALOGUE OF 6,000 PLANTS: Caspar Bauhin; Ibid., 208. ♦ “THE NAME OF A MAN IS LIKE HIS SHADOW”: Ernst Pulgram, Theory of Names (Berkeley, Calif.: American Name Society, 1954), 3. ♦ “A SCIENTIST’S IDEA OF A SHORT WAY”: Michael Amrine, “ ‘Megabucks’ for What’s ‘Hot,’ ” The New York Times Magazine, 22 April 1951. ♦ “IT’S AS IF YOU KNEEL TO PLANT THE SEED”: Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget (New York: Knopf, 2010), 8. ♦ SERVER FARMS PROLIFERATE: Cf. Tom Vanderbilt, “Data Center Overload,” The New York Times Magazine, 14 June 2009. ♦ LLOYD CALCULATES: Seth Lloyd, “Computational Capacity of the Universe,” Physical Review Letters 88, no. 23 (2002). 15. NEW NEWS EVERY DAY ♦ “SORRY FOR ALL THE UPS AND DOWNS”: http://www.andrewtobias.com/bkoldcolumns/070118.html (accessed 18 January 2007)


pages: 239 words: 64,812

Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, East Village, European colonialism, finite state, Firefox, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, haute couture, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, land reform, London Whale, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, pink-collar, revision control, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supercomputer in your pocket, theory of mind, Therac-25, Turing machine, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce

Notwithstanding revisionist historians and filmmakers, the power of the Frontier Myth, its meaning-making about nation and personhood, its celebrations of regeneration through confrontations with savagery and the wilderness—all this remains intact, as one can see on television shows and hear in the speeches of politicians. The mythology of computing similarly celebrates the victories of its male protagonists and erases women from the record, and not just programmers. The programmer Jaron Lanier tells us that in the early days of Silicon Valley there were … extraordinary female figures who served as the impresarios of social networking before there was an internet. It still seems wrong to name them, because it isn’t clear if I would be talking about their private lives or their public contributions: I don’t know how to draw a line. These irresistible creatures would sometimes date alpha nerds, but mostly brought the act of socialising into a society where it probably would not have occurred otherwise.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

The goal of Tim Berners-Lee and Stewart Brand—to construct a new platform for democratic communication—had been co-opted by a new cadre of libertarian übermenschen, a group of men who believed that they had both the brilliance and the moral fortitude to operate outside the normal strictures of law and taxes. These men believe in their “super human” qualities so deeply that they are investing millions of dollars in ventures like Thiel’s Halcyon Molecular, a company that purports to “create a world free from cancer and aging.” The men believe that technology will eradicate the fundamental human anxiety that is fear of death. The futurist Jaron Lanier once described Google chief scientist Ray Kurzweil and his concept of “the singularity”: the point in time when an artificially intelligent machine will be capable of autonomously building ever smarter and more powerful machines than itself. Lanier noted, “These are ideas with tremendous currency in Silicon Valley; these are guiding principles, not just amusements, for many of the most influential technologists.… All thoughts about consciousness, souls, and the like are bound up equally in faith, which suggests something remarkable: What we are seeing is a new religion, expressed through an engineering culture.”


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Nozick died in 2002, so he won’t have to find out for himself – maybe he would be relieved. Other critics see the Oculus founders’ view of the future as possible but frightening. Ethan Zuckerman is director of the MIT Centre for Civic Media, and thinks that “the idea that we can make gross economic inequalities less relevant by giving [poor people] virtual bread and circuses is diabolical and delusional.” Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist and writer who founded VR pioneer VPL Research, and is generally credited with popularising the term virtual reality. He lambasts as “evil” the vision that the rich will become immortal, while “everyone else will get a simulated reality. … I’d prefer to see a world where everyone is a first-class citizen and we don’t have people living in the Matrix.” Only time will tell if VR is helpful, or even necessary, in enabling us to live in a world where machines have made humans unemployable.


pages: 290 words: 73,000

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Airbnb, borderless world, cloud computing, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, new economy, PageRank, performance metric, phenotype, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, Tim Cook: Apple, union organizing, women in the workforce, yellow journalism

The implications of algorithmic decision making of this sort extend to other types of queries in Google and other digital media platforms, and they are the beginning of a much-needed reassessment of information as a public good. We need a full-on reevaluation of the implications of our information resources being governed by corporate-controlled advertising companies. I am adding my voice to a number of scholars such as Helen Nissenbaum and Lucas Introna, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Alex Halavais, Christian Fuchs, Frank Pasquale, Kate Crawford, Tarleton Gillespie, Sarah T. Roberts, Jaron Lanier, and Elad Segev, to name a few, who are raising critiques of Google and other forms of corporate information control (including artificial intelligence) in hopes that more people will consider alternatives. Over the years, I have concentrated my research on unveiling the many ways that African American people have been contained and constrained in classification systems, from Google’s commercial search engine to library databases.


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Producers of digital content could have been compensated in an easy, frictionless manner, permitting a variety of revenue models, including ones that did not depend on being beholden solely to advertisers. Instead the Web became a realm where aggregators could make more money than content producers. Journalists at both big media companies and little blogging sites had fewer options for getting paid. As Jaron Lanier, the author of Who Owns the Future?, has argued, “The whole business of using advertising to fund communication on the Internet is inherently self-destructive. If you have universal backlinks, you have a basis for micropayments from somebody’s information that’s useful to somebody else.”49 But a system of two-way links and micropayments would have required some central coordination and made it hard for the Web to spread wildly, so Berners-Lee resisted the idea.

Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 43. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 70; author’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee. 44. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 45. Author’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee. 46. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 70. 47. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 65. 48. Ted Nelson, “Computer Paradigm,” http://xanadu.com.au/ted/TN/WRITINGS/TCOMPARADIGM/tedCompOneLiners.html. 49. Jaron Lanier interview, by Eric Allen Bean, Nieman Journalism Lab, May 22, 2013. 50. John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz, and Paul Sagan, “Riptide,” Harvard Kennedy School, http://www.niemanlab.org/riptide/. 51. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 52. Author’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee. 53. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 54. John Markoff, “A Free and Simple Computer Link,” New York Times, Dec. 8, 1993. 55.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

AI winter, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, argues that smart phones and computers are lowering the quality of our thoughts, and changing the shape of our brains. In his book, Virtually You, psychiatrist Elias Aboujaoude warns that social networking and role-playing games encourage a swarm of maladies, including narcissism and egocentricity. Immersion in technology weakens individuality and character, proposes the programmer who pioneered virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. These experts warn that detrimental effects come from computers outside our bodies. Yet Kurzweil proposes only good things will come of computers inside our bodies. I think it’s implausible to expect that hundreds of thousands of years of evolution will turn on a dime in thirty years, and that we can be reprogrammed to love an existence that is so different from the lives we’ve evolved to fit.


pages: 283 words: 81,376

The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation That Predicts the Future Is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe by William Poundstone

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, digital map, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, Elon Musk, Gerolamo Cardano, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, Turing test

An evil dictator turns the robots on humans, and all humans will be killed. Sounds like a movie to me.” The dangerous-AI thesis has split the tech community the way the Civil War split border-state families. For every tech or scientific luminary who believes that AI may be a threat, another downplays the issue. “This is not an honest conversation,” objected Microsoft visionary and virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier. “People think it’s about technology, but it is really about religion, people turning to metaphysics to cope with the human condition. They have a way of dramatizing their beliefs with an end-of-days scenario—and one does not want to criticize other people’s religions.” “I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” said Bill Gates on Reddit in 2015. “I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Valuing a patent or a copyright will probably never be as easy as valuing a used van, but establishing markets like the Digital Copyright Exchange proposed in the UK by Ian Hargreaves in 2011 may help this process; patent pools, in which firms coinvest in research and agree to share the resulting rights, have been used in a variety of industries since the early twentieth century. Given sufficient advances in technology and infrastructure, these kinds of markets and institutions need not be limited to major intangible assets like patents or copyrights. They may also be applicable to the tiny elements of user-generated data that collectively make up the vastly valuable databases and networks of firms like Google and Facebook. Jaron Lanier, the philosopher and computer scientist, called for a system that would allow the creators of user-generated content—that is, you and me every time we interact online or often offline—to charge a very small fee for the use of our data. Establishing these kinds of exchanges is a major undertaking, requiring significant coordination between rights-holders, content platforms, collection agencies, and governments.


pages: 309 words: 96,434

Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty First Century City by Anna Minton

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, call centre, crack epidemic, credit crunch, deindustrialization, East Village, energy security, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, race to the bottom, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, University of East Anglia, urban decay, urban renewal, white flight, white picket fence, World Values Survey, young professional

., A Vietnam War Reader: American and Vietnamese Perspectives PAUL COLLIER, The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature NORMAN STONE, The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War SIMON PRICE AND PETER THONEMANN, The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine HAMPTON SIDES, Hellhound on his Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin JACKIE WULLSCHLAGER, Chagall: Love and Exile RICHARD MILES, Carthage Must be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization TONY JUDT, Ill Fares The Land: A Treatise On Our Present Discontents MICHAEL LEWIS, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine OLIVER BULLOUGH, Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys among the Defiant People of the Caucasus PAUL DAVIES, The Eerie Silence: Searching for Ourselves in the Universe RICHARD WILKINSON, KATE PICKETT, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone TOM BINGHAM, The Rule of Law JOSEPH STIGLITZ, Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy JOHN LANCHESTER, Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay CHINUA ACHEBE, The Education of a British-Protected Child JARON LANIER, You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto JOHN CASSIDY, How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities ROBERT FERGUSON: The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Canada Inc.)


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

In its softer version, computationalism argues that algorithms have no ontological claim to truly describing the world but are highly effective at solving particular technical problems. The engineers are agnostic about the universe as a system; all they care about is accurately modeling certain parts of it, like the search results that best correspond to certain queries or the books that users in Spokane, Washington, are likely to order today. As Pasquale and a host of other digital culture critics from Jaron Lanier to Evgeny Morozov have argued, even the implicit claims to efficiency and “good-enough” rationalism at the heart of the engineer’s definition of algorithms have a tremendous impact on policy, culture, and the practice of everyday life, because the compromises and analogies of algorithmic approximations tend to efface everything that they do not comprehend.17 The expansion of the rhetoric of computation easily bleeds into what Hayles calls the “hard claim” for computationalism.


pages: 365 words: 94,464

Virtual Light by William Gibson

edge city, Jaron Lanier, telepresence

MR : That was fun for you, wasn't it? When Rydell meets... the three hackers and their massive ego representations. WG : Yeah. MR : One of them was made of television and so Rydell says 'Jesus', which was quite funny coming as it was from out of a Fallonite community link there. WG : Yeah, yeah, that was one of them. The other one was sort of... the one that looked like a mountain and Jaron Lanier... and it had big lobster claws. Yeah, so it was.. I wanted to do the... I liked that because it sort of established that this was not a book in which the hackers were romantic. You know, when I wrote Neuromancer I'd never even heard the term hacker. If I had done I would have used it in the book. MR : in neuromancer they were modulated by the need for access, to jack. The same as a Burroughs character has this need for junk.


pages: 313 words: 92,053

Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life by Colin Ellard

augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, megastructure, more computing power than Apollo, Oculus Rift, Peter Eisenman, RFID, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, sentiment analysis, smart cities, starchitect, the built environment, theory of mind, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen

We’ve grown up with a certain sense of the dignity, privacy, and uniqueness of our own personal cockpit on the world; and then, fairly suddenly, and only through the intervention of technology, those qualities seem to have been sullied. If virtual reality technology becomes endemic as a user interface for visualization of the world, then our personal perspective can be placed anywhere at all—not only in inaccessible locations like Aleppo, but also inside strange things such as beings with ultralong arms or, as in experiments conducted by Jaron Lanier for Microsoft, into the body of a simulated lobster. Through the use of technology, our first-person perspective can actually invade the world and be anywhere that we want it to be. The implications of this are staggering. We cannot consider being human as a kind of mind-in-a-vat experience—as if we are nothing more than a central processor like a computer whose connections to the world are arbitrary.


pages: 407 words: 90,238

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

Dick’s short story “Minority Report” into a box-office hit.15 A cop thriller set in the mid-twenty-first century, “Minority Report” hinges on mutant humans who can see into the future, using their “precognition” to prevent crimes before they happen. Unfortunately for Spielberg, Dick’s book contained few clues as to what this Tomorrowland world actually looked liked. So the director pulled together a collection of the world’s best futurists to help him color in the storyboards in the most believable way. Jaron Lanier, author and virtual reality pioneer; Shaun Jones, the first director of DARPA’s Unconventional Countermeasures program; and the heads of both ’the Center for Bits and Atoms and the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all convened at Shutters, a Santa Monica, California, beachside hotel, for their secret think tank. While few moviegoers remember the intricacies of Minority Report’s plot, nearly everyone remembers the world they created—mostly because they got so much of the future right.


pages: 268 words: 109,447

The Cultural Logic of Computation by David Golumbia

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, American ideology, Benoit Mandelbrot, borderless world, business process, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, finite state, future of work, Google Earth, Howard Zinn, IBM and the Holocaust, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, means of production, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, web application

In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari develop a concept, striation, that arguably emerges in part from the growing emphasis on computerization that was evident even in the 1970s, but that has sometimes been overlooked by media theorists in favor of what is clearly a misreading of Deleuze and Guattari’s discussion of virtuality (see especially Lévy 2001). The term virtual reality emerged in wide use (popularized in particular by the computer evangelist Jaron Lanier) after Deleuze and Guattari’s pathbreaking work, and it is clear that Deleuze and Guattari intended the virtual to refer to a generic use The Cultural Functions of Computation p 23 of the term rather than to a computer-based phenomena (see De Landa 2002; Massumi 2002; Shields 2003; and Wark 2004 for more accurate discussions of what Deleuze and Guattari mean by the virtual and how it relates to the computer).


pages: 360 words: 101,038

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

Douglas Rushkoff, an author on technology, said this created a form of “hypercapitalism” utterly divorced from the laws of supply and demand, actual commerce, and the creation of value. The speed and volume of transactions that digital technology enabled amplified the volatility of the market and the asset bubble more than anyone could have predicted. “The limitations of organic human memory and calculation used to put a cap on the intricacies of self-delusion,” wrote computer scientist and philosopher Jaron Lanier in his book You Are Not a Gadget. The rise of quantitative hedge funds turned capitalism into “search engines,” which Lanier described as the perfect “blending of cyber-cloud faith and Milton Friedman economics.” The recession hit when the real world couldn’t support the numbers being assigned to it by computers and speculators. The computer’s calculations were off, it turned out. House prices can go down.


Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, linked data, low cost airline, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, mass immigration, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

The wider use of the internet to bring people together could also be beneficial in the future because questions like “Should we use technology like space mirrors to solve global warming?” could be addressed to most of the planet, thus taking key debates far outside the scientific community. “Truth” is now whatever Wikipedia says it is. Moreover, truth is whatever Wikipedia says it is right now (which, by implication, may change tomorrow). As a counterpoint Jaron Lanier, who coined the term “virtual reality”, has predicted that collective intelligence — or digital Maoism — will have the same deadening and anti-creative effect as political collectivism. In other words, the wisdom of “idiots” will remove any opinion that does not fit with its own; if the online majority decides that 1+1=3, that will be the “truth”. Either way, it’s important that we recognize what computers can do already (more than most people realize) and then think about how this may eventually change — and change us.


pages: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

Neil Parmar, “Klaus Schwab: Inside the World Economic Forum,” Wall Street Jour nal, September 4, 2014, http://www.wsj.com/articles/klaus-schwab-inside-the-world-economic-forum-1409843416. 3. Derek Thompson, “How Your Face Shapes Your Economic Chances,” The Atlantic, August 1, 2014, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/08/the-economics-of-your-face/375450. 4. Gillian Tett, “Klaus Schwab Opens Door for His Davos Successor,” Financial Times, May 19, 2015, https://next.ft.com/content/0fcb6966-fdfd-11e4-9f10-00144feabdc0. 5. Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Random House, 2009), Kindle locations 121-26, Kindle edition. 6. Mark Bauerlein, The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Tex-ting, and the Age of Social Networking (New York: Penguin, 2011), Kindle location 60, Kindle edition; Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Perseus Books Group, 2011), Kindle edition. 7.


pages: 385 words: 98,015

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum by Lee Smolin

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Turing machine

Then I want very much to thank those who have become friends through our shared work on foundational problems: Stephon Alexander, Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, Abhay Ashtekar, Eli Cohen, Marina Cortês, Louis Crane, John Dell, Avshalom Elitzur, Laurent Freidel, Sabine Hossenfelder, Ted Jacobson, Stuart Kauffman, Jurek Kowalski-Glikman, Andrew Liddle, Renate Loll, João Magueijo, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Fotini Markopoulou, and Carlo Rovelli. The book has been very much improved by feedback from Krista Blake, Saint Clair Cemin, Dina Graser, Jaron Lanier, and Donna Moylan. I also want to thank Kaća Bradonjić for the illustrations and for many wise and helpful suggestions on the text. For helpful conversations and correspondence on specific points, I must thank Jim Baggott, Julian Barbour, Freeman Dyson, Olival Freire, Stuart Kauffman, Michael Nielsen, Philip Pearle, Bill Poirier, Carlo Rovelli, and John Stachel. Alexander Blum and Jürgen Renn helped me tell a true story of the history of quantum mechanics.


pages: 293 words: 97,431

You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall by Colin Ellard

A Pattern Language, call centre, car-free, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Frank Gehry, global village, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, New Urbanism, peak oil, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban sprawl

Our ability to design machines that can transport us instantly from one place to another using nothing more than beams of electrons has further revolutionized the human relationship with physical space. CHAPTER 10 CYBERSPACE HOW THE NATURE OF OUR MIND MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO LIVE IN ELECTRONIC PLACES People on planet earth are like a bunch of really technically bright teenagers without any supervision hanging out all summer in a chemistry lab. JARON LANIER There’s something about my face today that doesn’t seem quite right. It may be a little too thin, or it could be that I’ve trimmed my beard too closely. My white T-shirt is form fitting—an unusual choice for me as I usually prefer to wear looser clothing to hide some of the extra pounds. Walking down a wide thoroughfare, I notice a large green box squatting low in the grass beside the road.


Possiplex by Ted Nelson

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, cuban missile crisis, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, HyperCard, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Murray Gell-Mann, nonsequential writing, pattern recognition, post-work, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Vannevar Bush, Zimmermann PGP

In the nineteen-seventies, I came up with the word fantics, from the Greek root meaning "show" that also gives us "fantastic" and "sycophant." By which I wanted to mean "all aspects of the art and science of presentation. " Nobody could relate to that either. In the nineteen-nineties I started using the term virtuality, which correctly means the opposite of reality—the design and abstraction of imaginary worlds. My old* Webster’s dictionary puts it this way: Unfortunately Jaron Lanier’s popularization of Artaud’s term "virtual reality" has taken all the oxygen from the word “virtual”-- many people use the term "virtual" for 3D, literal 3D. This is an unfortunate loss of an important meaning. * I think Merriam-Webster 1905; regrettably not on hand as I write. • New Non-Sequential Tools Being able to hold ideas in new structures meant we wouldn’t have to make them just sequential or hierarchical any more.


pages: 339 words: 112,979

Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Mahatma Gandhi, music of the spheres, Necker cube, p-value, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steven Pinker, Zipf's Law

The tube itself has a tiny television camera lens at its tip and a light pipe to illuminate the way. The tip of the tube may also be furnished with various remote-control instruments which the surgeon can control, such as micro-scalpels and forceps. In conventional endoscopy, the surgeon sees what he is doing using an ordinary television screen, and he operates the remote controls using his fingers. But as various people have realized (not least Jaron Lanier, who coined the phrase 'virtual reality' itself) it is in principle possible to give the surgeon the illusion of being shrunk and actually inside the patient's body. This idea is in the research stage, so I shall resort to a fantasy of how the technique might work in the next century. The surgeon of the future has no need to scrub up, for she need not go near her patient. She stands in a wide open area, connected by radio to the endoscope inside the patient's intestine.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

activist lawyer, Benjamin Mako Hill, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Debian, Donald Knuth, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, GnuPG, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Larry Wall, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust

When used in celebratory terms, Web 2.0 puts on equal footing a user who uploads a video on YouTube or a photo on Flickr (corporate-owned, proprietary platforms) and a free software developer or even a Wikipedian who is part of a nonprofit, collective effort. Many academics and journalists who are critical of Web 2.0 often accept the assumption smuggled within this discourse—namely, that these disparate phenomenon belong in the same analytic frame in the first place. “It breaks my heart,” writes one of the fiercest critics of contemporary computer currents, Jaron Lanier (2010, 70), “when I talk to energized young people who idolize the icons of the new digital ideology, like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and free/open/Creative mashups.” Lanier might be less perturbed if he knew that those who embrace F/OSS and Wikipedia are frequently the fiercest critics of the privacy violations and copyright policies of social network platforms like Facebook. Among other effects, this rampant lumping together obscures the complex sociology and history of some digital projects—a surprising omission given that a number of quite prominent citizen media and free software projects, like Indymedia and Debian, were at the forefront of organizing themselves into institutional forms years before the rise of so-called Web 2.0, by 2000 and as early as 1998.


pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Justin.tv, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

They’re cutting jobs, and with them the ability to create and market new work. Those search engines and players won’t be nearly as valuable without them. The current situation is slowly robbing the Internet of its potential. Rather than encourage innovation and excellence, it rewards cost cutting and crowdsourcing. The effects can be underwhelming. In his book You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, the computer scientist Jaron Lanier points out that two of the most widely acclaimed results of the remarkable technological advances of the Internet are Wikipedia and Linux, a free encyclopedia and a new version of the Unix operating system. We can do better. No one believes that piracy could be stopped by a law like COICA or an agreement between media companies and Internet service providers. And even stopping it completely wouldn’t solve all of the culture businesses’ problems.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Dror recognized that Silicon Valley can be a little too navel-gazing, and told me that 90 percent of the region’s entrepreneurs focus on 10 percent of the world’s problems. With Farm2050, he is trying to bring Silicon Valley’s A game to agriculture. Silicon Valley’s history as a home to apricot and plum orchards is long past, and if it does establish itself as the source of winning investment or innovation for precision agriculture, it will contradict the idea that domain expertise will drive the industries of the future. Instead, it would suggest, as futurist Jaron Lanier has argued in his book Who Owns the Future?, that those who hold the most data, the fastest servers, and the most processing power will drive all growth from here on out. It’s basically the idea that Google could do my job and your job—and everyone else’s job—better if they wanted to simply by applying their top-of-the-line analytics abilities. There is an increasingly large audience, however, that holds a different view from Charlie Songhurst.


pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

John Gilmore, one of the pioneers of Sun Microsystems, immediately offered his own extensive financial and personal support. Gilmore, an ardent libertarian, was to prove an eloquent advocate of electronic privacy issues, especially freedom from governmental and corporate computer-assisted surveillance of private citizens. A second meeting in San Francisco rounded up further allies: Stewart Brand of the Point Foundation, virtual-reality pioneers Jaron Lanier and Chuck Blanchard, network entrepreneur and venture capitalist Nat Goldhaber. At this dinner meeting, the activists settled on a formal title: the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Incorporated. Kapor became its president. A new EFF Conference was opened on the Point Foundation's Well, and the Well was declared "the home of the Electronic Frontier Foundation." Press coverage was immediate and intense.


pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

If 1 million citizens from at least four EU countries sign a petition inviting the European Commission to bring forward proposals in an area where it has the power to do so, the commission is obliged to examine it. However, only one proposal has so far reached this stage—partly because of how cumbersome it is to collect and verify signatures, and because most petitions have been on subjects outside the commission’s competence. Further discussion is in Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future (Simon & Schuster, 2013), p. 199. On the role of political parties, a good historical view is offered by Francis Fukuyama in his excellent Political Order and Political Delay, p. 139. Fukuyama argued that political parties still play a vital role in allowing collective action on the part of like-minded people, aggregating disparate social interests around a common platform, articulated positions and politics and creating ‘a stability of expectations’. 55.


pages: 404 words: 115,108

They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy by Lawrence Lessig

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Cass Sunstein, Columbine, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair

See Robert Shapiro and Yaeli Bloch-Elkon, “Political Polarization and the Rational Public,” paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 18–21, 2006, available at link #95. 44.The optimistic: Mike Godwin, Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998); Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006); Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (New York: Penguin Press, 2008). The dark: Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008); Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Knopf, 2010). 45.The quote is from John Gilmore, one of the founders of EFF. See “John Gilmore,” Wikipedia, available at link #96. 46.Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think (New York: Penguin Press, 2011). 47.Zeynep Tufekci, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017), 31, 270. 48.David W.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

It’s letting us digitize experience and teleport our senses into a computer-generated world where the limits of imagination become the only brake on reality. Much like AI, the concept of VR has been around since the sixties. The 1980s saw the first false dawn, when the earliest “consumer-facing” systems began to show up. In 1989, before the iPhone, if you had a spare $250,000, you could purchase the EyePhone, a VR system built by Jaron Lanier’s company VPL (Lanier coined the term “virtual reality”). Unfortunately, the computer that powered that system was the size of a dorm room refrigerator, while the headset it required was bulky, awkward, and only generated about five frames a second—or six times slower than the average television of that era. By the early 1990s, the hype had faded, and VR entered a two-decade deceptive phase.


pages: 312 words: 93,504

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Qualitative Research, 9(2), 161–179. Tresch, J. (2001). On going native. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 31(3), 302–322. Trist, E. (1983). Referent organizations and the development of inter-organizational domains. Human Relations, 36(3), 269–284. Tumlin, M., Harris, S. R., Buchanan, H., Schmidt, K., & Johnson, K. (2007). Collectivism vs. individualism in a wiki world: Librarians respond to Jaron Lanier’s essay “Digital Maoism: The hazards of the new online collectivism.” Serials Review, 33(1), 45–53. Turek, P., Wierzbicki, A., Nielek, R., Hupa, A., & Datta, A. (2010). Learning about the quality of teamwork from wikiteams. In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE Second International Conference on Social Computing (pp. 17–24). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society. Turner, F. (2006). From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism.


pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Of course, any errors in transmitting their thoughts are mine. Chris Anderson Gordon Bell Katy Borner Stewart Brand Eric Brende David Brin Rob Carlson James Carse Jamais Cascio Richard Dawkins Eric Drexler Freeman Dyson George Dyson Niles Eldredge Brian Eno Joel Garreau Paul Hawken Danny Hillis Piet Hut Derrick Jensen Bill Joy Stuart Kauffman Donald Kraybill Mark Kryder Ray Kurzweil Jaron Lanier Pierre Lemonnier Seth Lloyd Lori Marino Max More Simon Conway Morris Nathan Myhrvold Howard Rheingold Paul Saffo Kirkpatrick Sale Tim Sauder Peter Schwartz John Smart Lee Smolin Alex Steffen Steve Talbot Edward Tenner Sherry Turkle Hal Varian Vernor Vinge Jay Walker Peter Warshall Robert Wright Annotated Reading List Of the hundreds of books I consulted for this project, I found the following selected ones to be the most useful for my purposes.


Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

(Weiser 1995, 78) If, or rather, when that happens, a personal computer and its interface with its user will not necessarily be individual objects that belong to a person, but ma- terial and symbolic devices that allow their users to act and interact as persons in whatever" reality" these actions and interactions might take place. If that is so, we will indeed need a new conception not just of the personal computer, but of the person as such. KINESTHETIC MEDIA AND THE FUTURE OF THE PERSON Like Jaron Lanier, I believe that what was once a research tOpIC has become a controversy where practIcal deci- sions must reflect a fundamental ontological definition about what a person is and is not, and there is no middle ground.. . . . I have long belIeved that the most important question about information technology is "How does it affect our definitIon of what a person is?" . . . We cannot expect to have certain, universal agreement on any question of personhood, but we all are forced to hold an an- swer in our hearts and act upon our best guess.


pages: 459 words: 140,010

Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine, Paul Freiberger

1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Google Chrome, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Jony Ive, Loma Prieta earthquake, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Among others, we are grateful to the following individuals: Scott Adams, Todd Agulnick, David Ahl, Alice Ahlgren, Bob Albrecht, Paul Allen, Dennis Allison, Bill Anderson, Bill Baker, Steve Ballmer, Rob Barnaby, John Barry, Allen Baum, John Bell, Tim Berners-Lee, Tim Berry, Ray Borrill, Stewart Brand, Dan Bricklin, Keith Britton, David Bunnell, Nolan Bushnell, Maggie Canon, David Carlick, Douglas Carlston, Mark Chamberlain, Hal Chamberlin, Roger Chapman, Alan Cooper, Sue Cooper, Ben Cooper, John Craig, Andy Cunningham, Eddie Curry, Steve Dompier, John Draper, John Dvorak, Doug Engelbart, Chris Espinosa, Gordon Eubanks, Ed Faber, Federico Faggin, Lee Felsenstein, Bill Fernandez, Todd Fischer, Richard Frank, Bob Frankston, Paul Franson, Nancy Freitas, Don French, Gordon French, Howard Fulmer, Dan Fylstra, Mark Garetz, Harry Garland, Jean-Louis Gassee, Bill Gates, Bill Godbout, John Goodenough, Chuck Grant, Wayne Green, Dick Heiser, Carl Helmers, Kent Hensheid, Andy Hertzfeld, Ted Hoff, Thom Hogan, Rod Holt, Randy Hyde, Peter Jennings, Steve Jobs, Bill Joy, Philippe Kahn, Mitch Kapor, Vinod Khosla, Guy Kawasaki, Gary Kildall, Joe Killian, Dan Kottke, Barbara Krause, Tom Lafleur, Jaron Lanier, Phil Lemons, Phil Levine, Andrea Lewis, Bill Lohse, Mel Loveland, Scott Mace, Regis McKenna, Marla Markman, Mike Markkula, Bob Marsh, Patty McCracken, Dorothy McEwen, Patrick McGovern, Scott McNealy, Roger Melen, Seymour Merrin, Edward Metro, Vanessa Mickan, Jill Miller, Dick Miller, Michael Miller, Fred Moore, Gordon Moore, Lyall Morrill, George Morrow, Jeanne Morrow, Theodor Holm Nelson, Robert Noyce, Tom and Molly O’Neill, Terry Opdendyk, Adam Osborne, Chuck Peddle, Harvard Pennington, Joel Pitt, Fred “Chip” Poode, Frank and Susan Raab, Jeff Raikes, Janet Ramusack, Jef Raskin, Ed Roberts, Roy Robinson, Tom Rolander, Phil Roybal, Seymour Rubinstein, Sue Runfola, Chris Rutkowski, Paul Saffo, Art Salsberg, Wendell Sanders, Ed Sawicki, Joel Schwartz, John Sculley, Jon Shirley, John Shoch, Richard Shoup, Michael Shrayer, Bill Siler, Les Solomon, Deborah Stapleton, Alan Stein, Barney Stone, Don Tarbell, George Tate, Paul Terrell, Larry Tesler, Glenn Theodore, John Torode, Jack Tramiel, Bruce Van Natta, Jim Warren, Larry Weiss, Randy Wigginton, Margaret Wozniak, Steve Wozniak, Larry Yaeger, Greg Yob, and Pierluigi Zappacosta.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

Whether for reasons of politics or politesse, the web would suffer a lot of ruin before many critics, who’d fallen in love with its openness, would admit that things had gone awry. Even so, by the mid-2010s, more and more ordinary users had their own impression of the emperor’s new clothes. Perhaps the first sign of elite revolt was the idea best articulated by Nicholas Carr that the web was making us stupider. Maybe it was the growing talk of an “information glut,” or Jaron Lanier’s argument, in his manifesto You Are Not a Gadget, that the culture of the web had resulted in a suppression of individual creativity and innovation. Even the incredibly powerful tools of sharing and communication—email, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram—once employed by entities like BuzzFeed, didn’t seem so magical, having collaborated in building an attentional environment with so little to admire.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

While the “death of distance” has been proclaimed for decades, today’s combination of urbanization and transportation, communication and digitization, capital markets and supply chains, together make a powerful case against geographic determinism. Each infrastructure investment and technological innovation advances our connected destiny. Indeed, the Internet is not merely a conduit for simple signals but the repository of complex data. It is becoming, as many scientists have analogized, something of a “global brain.” The virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier argues that digital globalization “repatterns” the world, shifting our collective organizing protocols toward a new kind of network efficiency. The question is not whether this shift is happening but rather the degree to which everyone participates. In the beginning, the Internet was a place to which we went; now it is a space where we are, a universal norm as pervasive as having a medium of exchange (money), system of belief (religion), or political regime (government).*6 Yet the Internet has more netizens than any country has citizens and more participants than any religion has believers.


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If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

He rhapsodizes, “The more information and trends you are able to mine and analyze, and the more talented human capital, bandwidth and computing power you apply to data, the more innovation you’ll get.” See “So Much Fun, So Irrelevant,” New York Times, January 4, 2012. 35. The stark dualism of views about new cyber technology is reflected in the titles of the many books that have appeared about it. Put The Civic Web: Online Politics and Democratic Values next to Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto; or contrast the celebratory Democracy.com: Governance in a Networked World with Lee Segal’s dour Against the Machine: How the Web Is Undermining Culture and Destroying Our Civilization; or try to align Beth Noveck’s Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful, with The Myth of Digital Democracy. 36.


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Game Over Press Start to Continue by David Sheff, Andy Eddy

affirmative action, air freight, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, game design, HyperCard, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, pattern recognition, profit motive, revision control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak

I’d also like to thank Robert M. Callagy, Vladimir Pokhilko, Vadim Gerasimov, Howard Phillips, Nolan Bushnell, Robert Stein, Ron Judy, Suzuki Eiichi, Miyuki Grace, Jim Mackonochie, Steve Arnold, Elliot Luber, Deborah Brown, Phil Adam, David Ellis, Ben Myron, Mark Smotrof, Les Inanchy (Sony), Greg Zachary of The Wall Street Journal, Casey Corr, Tim Healy and Tom Farrey of the Seattle Times, Rich Karlgaard at Forbes ASAP, Jaron Lanier (J.P.L.), Sharon Fitzpatrick (The Learning Co.), Lynn Hale and Sue Sesserman (Lucasfilm and LucasArts), Marty Taucher (Microsoft), Linda Goetz, and Jenifer Van Horn. In Japan: Keisuke Ono, Yukio Miyazaki, Tsunekazu Ishihara, Yoshio Ito, Koh Shimizu (Sony), and Nishi Saimaru. Special appreciation goes to Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of “Tetris.” Also to many sources who spoke under the condition of anonymity.


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