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You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

Hardback

By (author) Jaron Lanier

List price $31.33

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Paperback $10.40
  • Publisher: ALLEN LANE
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 240mm x 24mm | 444g
  • Publication date: 28 January 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846143411
  • ISBN 13: 9781846143410
  • Sales rank: 248,225

Product description

Something went wrong around the start of the 21st century. Individual creativity began to go out of fashion. Music became an endless rehashing of the past. Scientists were in danger of no longer understanding their own research. Indeed, not only was individual creativity old-fashioned but individuals themselves. The crowd was wise. Machines, specifically computers, were no longer tools to be used by human minds - they were better than humans. Welcome to the world of the digital revolution. Yet what if, by devaluing individuals, we are deadening creativity, endlessly rehashing past culture, risking weaker design in engineering and science, losing democracy, and reducing development - in every sphere? In "You Are Not A Gadget", Jaron Lanier, digital guru, and inventor of Virtual Reality, delivers a searing manifesto in support of the human and reflects on the good and bad developments in design and thought twenty years after the invention of the web. Controversial and fascinating, "You Are Not a Gadget" is a deeply felt defence of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.

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Author information

Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' and creating the world's first immersive avatars to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today. Linked with UC Berkeley and Microsoft, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the IEEE in 2009. A musician with a collection of over 700 instruments, he has been recognised by Encyclopedia Britannica (but certainly not Wikipedia) as one of history's 300 or sogreatest inventors and named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Prospect and Foreign Policy.

Review quote

Fabulous - I couldn't put it down and shouted out Yes! Yes! on many pages ... This is a landmark book that will have people talking and arguing for years into the future. Lee Smolin Lucid, powerful and persuasive ... Necessary reading for anyone interested in how the Web and the software we use every day are reshaping culture and the marketplace Michiko Kakutani, New York Times A remarkable book punctuated by expansive ideas ... For those who wish to read to think, and read to transform, You Are Not a Gadget is a book to begin the 2010s Times Higher Education A pioneer in the development of virtual reality and a Silicon Valley veteran, Mr. Lanier is a digital-world insider concerned with the effect that online collectivism and the current enshrinement of "the wisdom of the crowd" is having on artists, intellectual property rights and the larger social and cultural landscape. In taking on such issues, he's written an illuminating book that is as provocative as it is impassioned. -- Michiko Kakutani's Top 10 Books Of The Year 2010 New York Times In the world of technologists, Jaron Lanier is that rare combination: a pioneer and a skeptic. A legendary computer scientist, he did crucial early work in the field of virtual reality (the phrase is his). But he now recoils at the way Web 2.0 and social media sell us short as human beings, both in our relationships and in our sense of who we are. In purposeful, reasoned steps, always informed by a profound understanding of how software really works, he lays out his vision of where it all went wrong and champions the power of the human brain in an age of ever smarter machines. -- Lev Grossman Time Magazine Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010