A Conversation with Computer Visionary Jaron Lanier [8.29.11]
"If you aspire to use computer network power to become a global force through shaping the world instead of acting as a local player in an unfathomably large environment, when you make that global flip, you can no longer play the game of advantaging the design of the world to yourself and expect it to be sustainable. The great difficulty of becoming powerful and getting close to a computer network is: Can people learn to forego the temptations, the heroin-like rewards of being able to reform the world to your own advantage in order to instead make something sustainable?"
"I strongly urge you to read this truly epic interview with Jaron Lanier at Edge. ... It's an extraordinary interview, packed with insight and often grimly funny." Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon.com
"Fascinating conversation with Jaron Lanier, influential computer scientist. On economics of the Internet – implications of networked technology, destruction of middle class and dark side of new media". — Writing Worth Reading, The Browser.com
by John Brockman
We used to think that information is power and that the personal computer enabled lives. But, according to Jaron Lanier, things changed about ten years ago. He cites Apple, Google, and Walmart as some of the reasons.
In a freewheeling hour-long conversation, Lanier touches on, and goes beyond the themes he launched in his influential 2006 Edge essay "Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism." What he terms "The Local-Global Flip" might be better expressed as "The Lanier Effect".