Lanier writes about people and technology (in that order) and their relationship. His perspective is worthwhile to explore, even or especially if you believe the crowd will solve all of the world's challenges. The early internet carried those promises, but its progress has disappointed Lanier. He observes an odd lack of curiosity about the limits of crowd wisdom.
Just a few quotes: "Wikipedia, for instance, works on what I call the Oracle illusion, in which knowledge of the human authorship of a text is suppressed in order to give the text superhuman validity." "The most tiresome claim of the reigning official digital philosophy is that crowds working for free do a better job at some things than paid antediluvian experts", "I long to be shocked and made obsolete by new generations of digital culture, but instead I am being tortured by repetition and boredom", "But the politically correct dogma that holds that open source is automatically the best path to creativity and innovation is not borne out by the facts."
Lanier (yes, he coind virtualy reality) brings in many interesting details as well ("why do we have files on computers? the first Macintosh didn't have files"). I second his views on quality over quantity. Will use his writing for an article to be and hope to come up with a real review by then....Continua
Very nice reading. What Lanier says on technology, lock-in, social networks, web 2.0, human behaviors on the internet, designs, etc, is very interesting and meets my point of view; well, it actually made my point of view sounder, giving me very nice inputs. However, since he rejects Marx I reckon he is stuck in some fetishism: that a relevant part of Silicon Valley is driven by some crazy ideology may be true, but imho there is a clear lack of a materialistic (Marxist :P) foundation of Silicon Valley, technology, social networks, and so on. Anyway, a must-read....Continua