Summary of You Are Not a Gadget

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You Are Not a Gadget summary

Editorial Rating

7

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  • Applicable

Recommendation

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.

About the Speaker

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

Summary

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 you give the “fruits of your brain” away for free, the web community will reward you amply. Journalists, musicians and others have tried this for an entire generation. It has failed. Many earlier concepts, ranging from Web 2.0 to the singularity movement, took a skeptical view of human potential. Turning away from them and declaring that people are “more than machines” is a kind of optimism.


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