[ExI] Jaron Lanier's new book, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Mon Jan 11 18:42:49 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 12:41 PM, Max More <max at maxmore.com> wrote:
> Presumably Emlyn and some others here will strongly disagree with Lanier's
> new book -- at least based on the interview included on the Amazon page...
> http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Not-Gadget-Manifesto/dp/0307269647/ref=pe_37960_14063560_as_txt_1/
> From that interview, his views are worth pondering, but he does seem to be
> excessively anti-Web 2.0/collective wisdom.

>From the interview:

  "Collectivists adore a computer operating system called LINUX, for
instance, but it is really only one example of a descendant of a 1970s
technology called UNIX. If it weren’t produced by a collective, there
would be nothing remarkable about it at all."

Nobody is arguing that Linux's design is innovative, so, yes, what's
remarkable about it is that it was produced by a collective. That's
like saying there'd be nothing remarkable about Mozart if he wasn't a

  "Meanwhile, the truly remarkable designs that couldn’t have existed
30 years ago, like the iPhone, all come out of "closed" shops where
individuals create something and polish it before it is released to
the public. Collectivists confuse ideology with achievement."

Now that's just bullshit. The iPhone is a *good* design, but it's not
remarkable. It's the almost inevitable result of a long string of
technological developments. Apple's "closed shop" enabled it to beat
the "collectivist" competition to market, but not by much.


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