Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Lanier, Jaron (2010-01-28), You Are Not A Gadget, Penguin, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
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    Memes

    03 JAN 2012

     All Technology is Social Engineering

    Stanford University researcher Jeremy Bailenson has demonstrated that changing the height of one’s avatar in immersive virtual reality transforms self-esteem and social self-perception. Technologies are extensions of ourselves, and, like the avatars in Jeremy’s lab, our identities can be shifted by the quirks of gadgets. It is impossible to work with information technology without also engaging in social engineering. [...] When developers of digital technologies design a program that re...
      1  notes

    When a developer designs an interface for a user to interact with a computer, they imply you are a program. When they put up a wiki, they suggest humans ultimately have a single point of view.

    03 JAN 2012

     The Rigidity of Digital

    Before MIDI, a musical note was a bottomless idea that transcended absolute definition. It was a way for a musician to think, or a way to teach and document music. It was a mental tool distinguishable from the music itself. Different people could make transcriptions of the same musical recording, for instance, and come up with slightly different scores. After MIDI, a musical note was no longer just an idea, but a rigid, mandatory structure you couldn’t avoid in the aspects of life that had...
    Folksonomies: music digital analog
    Folksonomies: music digital analog
      1  notes

    MIDI as an example of how a digital version of a musical note boxed in the concept and removed us from the analog freedom of musical notes.

    03 JAN 2012

     How File Structure Affects Our Perception of the World

    The file is a set of philosophical ideas made into eternal flesh. The ideas expressed by the file include the notion that human expression comes in severable chunks that can be organized as leaves on an abstract tree—and that the chunks have versions and need to be matched to compatible applications.
      1  notes

    Files are compact chunks that can be categorized, have versions, and can be matched to applications. But don't we do this with taxonomy in biology? Species are defined, but they are flowing degrees of characteristics that we semi-artificially categorize.

    03 JAN 2012

     The Internet Fosters Collectivism

    The way the internet has gone sour since then is truly perverse. The central faith of the web’s early design has been superseded by a different faith in the centrality of imaginary entities epitomized by the idea that the internet as a whole is coming alive and turning into a superhuman creature. [...] he way we got here is that one subculture of technologists has recently become more influential than the others. The winning subculture doesn’t have a formal name, but I’ve sometimes ca...
    Folksonomies: culture internet
    Folksonomies: culture internet
      1  notes

    The internet was supposed to empower individuals, but instead we see it as a collective, central point of all culture.

    03 JAN 2012

     Jaron Lanier's Suggestions for Taking Action Online

    Every save-the-world cause has a list of suggestions for “what each of us can do”: bike to work, recycle, and so on. I can propose such a list related to the problems I’m talking about: Don’t post anonymously unless you really might be in danger. If you put effort into Wikipedia articles, put even more effort into using your personal voice and expression outside of the wiki to help attract people who don’t yet realize that they are interested in the topics you contributed to.Po...
      1  notes

    These are habits you can adopt to maintain your individuality. Seems like good advice for lots of people on Facebook and other sites.

    03 JAN 2012

     The Bible was Like Wikipedia

    The Bible can serve as a prototypical example. Like Wikipedia, the Bible’s authorship was shared, largely anonymous, and cumulative, and the obscurity of the individual authors served to create an oracle-like ambience for the document as “the literal word of God.” If we take a nonmetaphysical view of the Bible, it serves as a link to our ancestors, a window into human nature and our cultural origins, and can be used as a source of solace and inspiration. Someone who believes in a person...
    Folksonomies: wikipedia bible wiki
    Folksonomies: wikipedia bible wiki
      1  notes

    Written anonymously by many authors, which produced an oracle quality about it that allow it to become a tool for manipulation.

    03 JAN 2012

     We Are Moving to a World Where Only Advertising is Worth ...

    If you want to know what’s really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. If money is flowing to advertising instead of musicians, journalists, and artists, then a society is more concerned with manipulation than truth or beauty. If content is worthless, then people will start to become empty-headed and contentless. The combination of hive mind and advertising has resulted in a new kind of social contract. The basic idea of this contract is that authors, journalists, musicians...
      1  notes

    Artists are being forced to give away their content for free, making it essentially worthless. When content is worthless, people will become contentless.

    03 JAN 2012

     Ted Nelson's Hypermedia Would Empower Content Creators

    So is there any way to bring money and capitalism into an era of technological abundance without impoverishing almost everyone? One smart idea came from Ted Nelson. Nelson is perhaps the most formative figure in the development of online culture. He invented the digital media link and other core ideas of connected online media back in the 1960s. He called it “hypermedia.” Nelson’s ambitions for the economics of linking were more profound than those in vogue today. He proposed that ins...
      1  notes

    By allowing them to hold onto their works in digital mediums and making money as people referenced them. So a single strong work referenced over a long time would be as valuable as a 24-hour hit youtube video.

    03 JAN 2012

     Society Never Escaped the Blandness of Generation X

    At the time that the web was born, in the early 1990s, a popular trope was that a new generation of teenagers, reared in the conservative Reagan years, had turned out exceptionally bland. The members of “Generation X” were characterized as blank and inert. The anthropologist Steve Barnett compared them to pattern exhaustion, a phenomena in which a culture runs out of variations of traditional designs in their pottery and becomes less creative. [...] Here is a claim I wish I weren’t ma...
    Folksonomies: culture art generations
    Folksonomies: culture art generations
      1  notes

    GenX was defined as not having a distinctive culture, but only rehashed previous cultures, but listening to music today, there is nothing new and distinctive. Our society has remained bland.

    03 JAN 2012

     Why Not Creative Commons with a Caveat?

    I realize the whole point is to get a lot of free content out there, especially content that can be mashed up, but why won’t Creative Commons provide an option along the lines of this: Write to me and tell me what you want to do with my music. If I like it, you can do so immediately. If I don’t like what you want to do, you can still do it, but you will have to wait six months. Or, perhaps, you will have to go through six rounds of arguing back and forth with me about it, but then you can...
      1  notes

    Why not a license that requires you to contact the artist and pitch your mashup idea? Why not allow the artist to put a disclaimer that they don't approve of your mashup?

    03 JAN 2012

     Encapsulation Serves a Purpose

    The quintessential example of the open ideal showed up in Freeman Dyson’s otherwise wonderful piece about the future of synthetic biology in the New York Review of Books. MIT bioengineer Drew Endy, one of the enfants terribles of synthetic biology, opened his spectacular talk at Sci Foo with a slide of Dyson’s article. I can’t express the degree to which I admire Freeman, but in this case, we see things differently. Dyson equates the beginnings of life on Earth with the Eden of Linux. ...
      1  notes

    Using the promise of synthetic biology as an illustration, Lanier explains why the ability to infinitely trade ideas or genes results in normalized unremarkableness.

    03 JAN 2012

     The Cuttlefish Uses Art to Hunt

    The cuttlefish is mostly soft-bodied; the crab is all armor. As the cuttlefish approaches, the medieval-looking crab snaps into a macho posture, waving its sharp claws at its foe’s vulnerable body. The cuttlefish responds with a bizarre and ingenious psychedelic performance. Weird images, luxuriant colors, and successive waves of what look like undulating lightning bolts and filigree swim across its skin. The sight is so unbelievable that even the crab seems disoriented; its menacing gestu...
    Folksonomies: evolution art adaptation
    Folksonomies: evolution art adaptation
      1  notes

    It blasts its prey with a psychedelic display before it strikes.

    03 JAN 2012

     There is No "Smell Pixel"

    There is no way to interpolate between two smell molecules. True, odors can be mixed together to form millions of scents. But the world’s smells can’t be broken down into just a few numbers on a gradient; there is no “smell pixel.” Think of it this way: colors and sounds can be measured with rulers, but odors must be looked up in a dictionary.
    Folksonomies: senses odor
    Folksonomies: senses odor
     1  1  notes

    Odors are not analog, they must be looked up in a dictionary.

    03 JAN 2012

     Creating Online Fictions of Ourselves

    The most effective young Facebook users, however—the ones who will probably be winners if Facebook turns out to be a model of the future they will inhabit as adults—are the ones who create successful online fictions about themselves. They tend their doppelgängers fastidiously. They must manage offhand remarks and track candid snapshots at parties as carefully as a politician. Insincerity is rewarded, while sincerity creates a lifelong taint. Certainly, some version of this principle exi...
      1  notes

    Lanier suggests that the most effective users of Facebook will manage their profiles like politicians, constructing a narrative that may have no baring on their real persona.

    03 JAN 2012

     Digital Culture Turns Everything into One Book

    The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world’s books into one book, just as Kevin suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what’s important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, ther...
      1  notes

    If we are allowed to mashup everything into newer expressions so that the original sources are lost and we cannot reference anything, then we essentially have only one book, just like North Korea.