Emily's Reviews > You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier
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Mar 13, 12


I think this is required reading for residents of this century. The world is changing very quickly; I cannot deny that what with computers and ipads and social networking, my life has changed very significantly and not always for the better. The tools of this age make a huge impact on our human lives and this book helped me think about it all in a new way.
Jaron Lanier is a forefather of the tech that we use every day and his thoughts about how it has developed were surprising and enlightening. He has a sense of "It doesn't have to be like this" that I find refreshing. He's a constant advocate for humanity over technology (while simultaneously being one of the most tech savvy guys around.) I didn't always understand everything he was talking about but I appreciated the tech history lessons and I learned to question some of my assumptions about where we're going with all this internet stuff.
Lanier advocates for slower, more considered thought, for an internet that compensates the vanishing creative class and for better behavior on-line. His suggestions for being a better internet citizen are refreshing and immediately applicable. (Things I never thought of, like: Never be anonymous on-line unless it will endanger you.)
He's a passionate advocate for another way of doing things and he's got some really remarkable things to say. He's not afraid to throw down controversial ideas. (There's been no truly new music in the last couple of decades, for example.) He's a very human writer advocating for human qualities and a more human world. Read it.
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