Jaron Lanier – You Are Not a Gadget

Reading the above – brilliant so far but this passage especially struck a chord.

The deep meaning of personhood is being reduced by illusions of bits. Since people will be inexorably connecting to one another through computers from here on out, we must find an alternative. . . . Next to the many problems the world faces today, debates about online culture may not seem that pressing. We need to address global warming, shift to a new energy cycle, avoid wars of mass destruction, support aging populations, figure out how to benefit from open markets without being disastrously vulnerable to their failures, and take care of other basic business. But digital culture and related topics like the future of privacy and copyrights concern the society we‟ll have if we can survive these challenges.

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.
  • Create a website that expresses something about who you are that won‟t fit into the template available to you on a social networking site.
  • Post a video once in a while that took you one hundred times more time to create than it takes to view.
  • Write a blog post that took weeks of reflection before you heard the inner voice that needed to come out.
  • If you are twittering, innovate in order to find a way to describe your internal state instead of trivial external events, to avoid the creeping danger of believing that objectively described events define you, as they would define a machine.

These are some of the things you can do to be a person instead of a source of fragments to be exploited by others.

Comments 1

  1. piotrek wrote:

    czy robot to też gadżet? :P

    Posted 20 Mar 2011 at 12:29 am

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *