Jaron Lanier

Blog Assignment: Read material regarding Web 2.0. Read selections from You Are Not A Gadget available in the library or find information about Jaron Lanier online blog about what you read. Rather than writing a school report, simply strive to find an interesting part of the article and comment on it.

You Are Not a Gadget (2010) In his book You Are Not a Gadget (2010), Lanier criticizes the hive mind of Web 2.0 (wisdom of the crowd) and describes the open source and open content expropriation of intellectual production as a form of “Digital Maoism”.[14] Lanier argues that Web 2.0 developments have retarded progress and innovation and glorified the collective at the expense of the individual. He criticizes Wikipedia and Linux as examples of this problem; Wikipedia for its “mob rule” by anonymous editors, the weakness of its non-scientific content, and its bullying of experts. Lanier also argues that there are limitations to certain aspects of the open source and content movement in that they lack the ability to create anything truly new and innovative. For example, Lanier makes the observation that the open source movement didn’t create the iPhone, but it did create Android. In another example, Lanier claims that Web 2.0 makes search engines lazy, destroys the potential of innovative websites like Thinkquest, and hampers the communication of ideas like mathematics to a wider audience. Lanier further argues that the open source approach has destroyed opportunities for the middle class to finance content creation, and results in the concentration of wealth in a few individuals—”the lords of the clouds”—people who, more by virtue of luck rather than true innovation, manage to insert themselves as content concentrators at strategic times and locations in the cloud.

What a crock of BS!  I’m sorry but I just don’t agree.  Generally, as things improve, they tend to become less complicated and more simple.  In my opinion, this is not a bad thing.  Because technology is becoming simpler to use, it also becomes much accessible.  Now Grandma, who previous vowed to never touch a computer, has no issue using her smartphone.  The smartphone doesn’t intimidate her, allowing her to get past her fears and, in the end, find ways to better her connection to others.

One is still able to get as nerdy as they like, with they’re operating system of choice.  But don’t chastise technology (and its future as a whole) simply because you think it should stay alienated for the true nerds out there.