Social media is supposed to bring us together - but it is tearing us apart. The evidence suggests that social media is making us sadder, angrier, less empathetic, more fearful, more isolated and more tribal. Jaron Lanier is the world-famous Silicon Valley scientist-pioneer who first alerted us to the dangers of social media. In this witty and urgent manifesto he explains why its toxic effects are at the heart of its design, and, in ten simple arguments, why liberating yourself from its hold will transform your life and the world for the better. WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR
Named a Best Book of the Year by the Economist, Wall Street Journal & Vox 'The father of virtual reality' (Sunday Times) explains why virtual reality presents the ultimate test for humanity. 'Essential reading, not just for VR-watchers but for anyone interested in how society came to be how it is, and what it might yet become' Economist Welcome to a mind-expanding, life-enhancing, world-changing adventure. Virtual reality has long been one of the dominant cliches of science fiction. Now virtual reality is a reality: from the startling beauty of lifelike video games to the place where war veterans overcome PTSD, surgeries are trialled, and aircraft and cities are designed. VR is, in fact now, the most effective device ever invented for researching what a human being actually is - and how we think and feel. More than thirty years ago, legendary computer scientist, visionary and artist Jaron Lanier pioneered its invention. Here he blends scientific investigation, philosophical thought experiment and his memoir of a life lived at the centre of digital innovation to explain what VR really is: the science of comprehensive illusion; the extension of the intimate magic of earliest childhood into adulthood; a hint of what life would be like without any limits. We are standing on the threshold of an entirely new realm of human creativity, expression, communication and experience, and as we use VR to test our relationship with reality, it may test us in return. 'Vivid and absolutely extraordinary' Evening Standard
Random House presents the audiobook edition of Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier, read by Oliver Wyman.Jaron Lanier, the world-famous Silicon Valley scientist-pioneer and 'high-tech genius' (Sunday Times) who first alerted us to the dangers of social media, explains why its toxic effects are at the heart of its design, and explains in ten simple arguments why liberating yourself from its hold will transform your life and the world for the better.Social media is making us sadder, angrier, less empathetic, more fearful, more isolated and more tribal. In recent months it has become horribly clear that social media is not bringing us together - it is tearing us apart. In Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now Jaron Lanier draws on his insider's expertise to explain precisely how social media works - by deploying constant surveillance and subconscious manipulation of its users - and why its cruel and dangerous effects are at the heart of its current business model and design. As well as offering ten simple arguments for liberating yourself from its addictive hold, his witty and urgent manifesto outlines a vision for an alternative that provides all the benefits of social media without the harm. So, if you want a happier life, a more just and peaceful world, or merely the chance to think for yourself without being monitored and influenced by the richest corporations in history, then the best thing you can do, for now, is delete your social media accounts - right now. You will almost certainly become a calmer and possibly a nicer person in the process.'A blisteringly good, urgent, essential read' ZADIE SMITH
As you read this, thousands of remote computers are refining secret models of who you are, using the information to make huge fortunes for a few people. Does the future have to be this way? How can we change it? In this visionary book Jaron Lanier imagines an alternative, where economic power is given back to creators. Drawing on sources ranging from ancient philosophy to the latest technology, he proposes a radical system that truly rewards endeavour - whether it's in the media or manufacturing - and ultimately preserves human dignity.
In You are Not a Gadget digital guru and virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier reveals how the internet is deadening personal interaction, stifling genuine inventiveness and even changing us as people. Something went wrong around the start of the twenty-first century. The crowd was wise. Social networks replaced individual creativity. There were more places to express ourselves than ever before... yet no one really had anything to say. Does this have to be our future? Showing us the way to a future where individuals mean more than machines, this is a searing manifesto against mass mediocrity, a creative call to arms - and an impassioned defence of the human. 'A provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book ... Lucid, powerful and persuasive' The New York Times 'There is hardly a page that does not contain some fascinating provocation' Guardian 'Short and frightening ... from a position of real knowledge and insight' Zadie Smith, New York Review of Books 'Poetic and prophetic, this could be the most important book of the year' The Times Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' and creating the world's first immersive avatars to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today. A musician with a collection of over 700 instruments, he has been recognised by Encyclopedia Britannica (but certainly not Wikipedia) as one of history's greatest inventors and named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Prospect and Foreign Policy.
A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.Informed by Lanier's experience and expertise as a computer scientist,You Are Not a Gadgetdiscusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choicessuch as the nature of user identitythat were ';locked-in' at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the ';wisdom' of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent.