My next book: Jaron Lanier’s “You Are Not a Gadget.”
The Geek FreaksWhy Jaron Lanier rants against what the Web has become.
Updated Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, at 8:11 AM ET
Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget has one of the more sobering prefaces to be found in recent books. “It’s early in the twenty-first century, and that means that these words will mostly be read by nonpersons,” it begins. The words will be “minced into anatomized search engine keywords,” then “copied millions of times by some algorithm somewhere designed to send an advertisement,” and then, in a final insult, “scanned, rehashed, and misrepresented by crowds of quick and sloppy readers.” Lanier’s conclusion: “Real human eyes will read these words in only a tiny minority of the cases.” My conclusion: Is that really such a bad thing?
And from the cover:
Lanier discusses the technical and cultural problems that can grow out of poorly considered digital design and warns that our financial markets and sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are elevating the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and judgment of individuals.
This sounds interesting.