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You Are Not a Gadget 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post You Are Not a Gadget
This book by Jaron Lanier could entice Jim into proposing marriage. It's a well-written polemic against the breathless fawning over the Internet and social networking in particular. If the language had been written to a lower level, and a tad less dry and academic, I think it would have struck more of a popular nerve. The author is, however, a computer geek (styled "the father of virtual reality" - this was news to me), which gives him the creds to call bullshit on his own kind.

He takes aim over and over at the sacred cows of Web 2.0 and scores every time. Of particular interest is his attention to the field of music, pointing out that in the new era of "release your stuff for free or dirt cheap," the only people making money are those who had already hit it big before this brave new business model. He also notes how until the last 15 years or so, you could easily peg music as belonging to a particular decade, whereas since the '90s, it hasn't really had a distinct temporal identity.

Jim, this is, like, your bible; you should fall in love. Lanier really annihilates the notion that a thousand uninformed and boorish comments are somehow superior to a single well-researched, thoughtful article, and has a special dose of venom for Wikipedia - you can get some more ammunition there.


Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:20 pm
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Post Re: You Are Not a Gadget
Ordering info from Powell's Books <http://www.powells.com/>:

ISBN:
9780307269645
Subtitle:
A Manifesto
Author:
Lanier, Jaron
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Copyright:
2010
Publication Date:
January 2010
Binding:
Hardcover

A trade paperback is available for preorder, probably coming out in January 2011, a year after the hardback.

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Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:49 pm
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Post Re: You Are Not a Gadget
PeterScott wrote:
This book by Jaron Lanier could entice Jim into proposing marriage. [...] The author is, however, a computer geek (styled "the father of virtual reality" - this was news to me)...
He was everywhere you looked in the media, back when virtual reality was going to be the next big thing, by which I mean, just before the World Wide Web became the next big thing.

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Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:53 pm
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