Summary of You Are Not a Gadget

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You Are Not a Gadget summary
Computer scientist Jaron Lanier proposes a new human-centered approach to technology.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


From playing a Laotian wind instrument to discussing his shifting relationship with various ideas about technology, Jaron Lanier’s oration lacks a clear focus, and some viewers may get lost in his train of thought. Nevertheless, Lanier offers a cogent counterargument to Chris Anderson’s freemium model. getAbstract recommends this tech guru’s cerebral talk to computer scientists, philosophers, and those keen to keep humans and society functional.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why society must rethink how it uses technology,
  • Why the distinction between people and machines matters, and
  • What general changes humans should make in their culture.


When computers began spreading throughout society, experts speculated about their possibilities. At that time, no data existed. Yet a generation of data can now prove that many of these predictions were wrong. Take the notion that if...
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About the Speaker

Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist and a pioneer in the field of virtual reality.

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