*You are Not a Gadget*

That is the new book by Jaron Lanier, a humanist critic of how the internet is shaping our lives and cultures and providing a new totalizing ideology.  Of all the books with messages in this direction, it is the one I would describe as insightful.  Here is one bit:

It breaks my heart when I talk to energized young people who idolize the icons of the new digital ideology, like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and free/open/Creative Commons mashups.  I am always struck by the endless stress they put themselves through.  They must manage their online reputations constantly, avoiding the ever-roaming evil eye of the hive-mind, which can turn on an individual at any moment.  A "Facebook generation" young person who suddenly becomes humiliated online has no way out, for there is only one hive.

And this:

People live longer as technology improves, so cultural change actually slows, because it is tied more to the outgoing generational clock than the incoming one…So Moore's law makes "generational" cultural change slow down.

It's still a book I mostly disagree with.  You can buy the book here; too bad it isn't on Kindle yet.  Reviews are here.


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