Jaron Lanier: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (2010)

30 March 2010, dusan

Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse.

The current design and function of the web have become so familiar that it is easy to forget that they grew out of programming decisions made decades ago. The web’s first designers made crucial choices (such as making one’s presence anonymous) that have had enormous—and often unintended—consequences. What’s more, these designs quickly became “locked in,” a permanent part of the web’s very structure.

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.

Lanier also shows:
How 1960s antigovernment paranoia influenced the design of the online world and enabled trolling and trivialization in online discourse.
How file sharing is killing the artistic middle class.
How a belief in a technological “rapture” motivates some of the most influential technologists.
Why a new humanistic technology is necessary.

Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defense of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.

Publisher Knopf, 2010
ISBN 0307269647, 9780307269645
224 pages

review (Adam Thierer, Technology Liberation Front)
review (Clive Thompson, Bookforum)

author (incl. web resources related to the book)
google books

Download (updated on 2012-7-15)
Download (EPUB; added on 2012-7-15)

3 Responses to “Jaron Lanier: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (2010)”

  1. Miksi kaikessa, jos sen avaa, on “file” ? « V E R K K O P R O O S A on July 2, 2010 9:33 am

    [...] teoriaa hänen spekulaationsa “Et ole koje” (Terra Cognita) manifestissa kaipaisivat.  You are not a Gadget on ladattavissa täältä. [...]

  2. secret on November 14, 2010 2:18 pm


    i’m trying to download this book, but the url doesn’t seem to fly.

    buena onda from nyc.


  3. monoskop on November 14, 2010 2:53 pm

    hi f,
    link updated!

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

Recent comments
Recent entries
More resources