Jaron Lanier: You Are Not a Gadget

Interview

Friday, October 07, 2011

Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, philosopher, and author of the manifesto You Are Not A Gadget.

“The thing about information is that it can hypnotize you. It can make you think you're wise, when you aren't,” he tells Kurt Andersen. “And as long as you have a dose of self–skepticism and a dollop of empathy and a sense of ethics, I think making the world more transparent is a good thing. But the illusions it can bring about are really quite dangerous.”

Lanier explains how our privacy has changed in recent years thanks to social networks and smart phone technology. But he says a certain degree of anonymity is a good thing: “If you were to outlaw anonymity completely, you’d kill a whole lot of culture and personality development — I mean you wouldn’t have Bob Dylan because you’d still see his Facebook page from when he was [Robert] Zimmerman in Minnesota … you’d kill the romance.”

(Originally aired: December 17, 2010)

→ More with Jaron Lanier

    Music Playlist
  1. Subterranean Homesick Blues
    Artist: Bob Dylan
    Album: Subterranean Homesick Blues
    Label: Columbia Europe
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Anthem for Keyboard Solo
    Artist: Wendy Carlos
    Album: Tron original motion picture soundtrack
    Label: Walt Disney Records
    Purchase: Amazon

Guests:

Jaron Lanier

Produced by:

Derek John

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