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Publisher Description

The “brilliant” and “daringly original” (The New York Times) critique of digital networks from the “David Foster Wallace of tech” (London Evening Standard)—asserting that to fix our economy, we must fix our information economy.

Jaron Lanier is the father of virtual reality and one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers. Who Owns the Future? is his visionary reckoning with the most urgent economic and social trend of our age: the poisonous concentration of money and power in our digital networks.

Lanier has predicted how technology will transform our humanity for decades, and his insight has never been more urgently needed. He shows how Siren Servers, which exploit big data and the free sharing of information, led our economy into recession, imperiled personal privacy, and hollowed out the middle class. The networks that define our world—including social media, financial institutions, and intelligence agencies—now threaten to destroy it.

But there is an alternative. In this provocative, poetic, and deeply humane book, Lanier charts a path toward a brighter future: an information economy that rewards ordinary people for what they do and share on the web.

Computers & Internet
May 7
Simon & Schuster

Customer Reviews

Amo Roma ,

Insider's perspective & worth your time

Lanier is occasionally frustrating but his reflections on the reach and thinking of Silicon Valley persistently return to me since finishing this book. There are some stunning revelations, but his characterization of 'Siren Servers' and the general lack of concern or sense of social responsibility by the key players holds true with every new headline in the news. I have no doubt the inner elite of the 'Siren Servers' scoff at this kind of scrutiny, thoroughly enveloped in their neo-enlightenment self-justification. As you read you can hear how close statements get to "all the best for this, the best of all possible worlds".

Electroman76 ,

Chicken little

Typical fanaticism from a politically motivated fanatic. The author seems to lack an understanding of the very capitalist system that enabled him to pioneer new things. The reason he thinks this modern wave of technology will put everyone out of work is that finally the old trimmer can not envision what comes next. Perhaps it's all the medical Mary j clouding the brain of one of the 1980's great innovators I don't know. In the end what he puts fort for the future amounts to realization of 100 years of socialist dreams come to fruition through the internet turning humans into a currency of the global order where we are paid to be used by the silicone valley instead of innovating and coming up with new jobs the way the tech revolution did in the 90's This is the same kind of paranoia put out by big labor in the 1970's as they resisted modernization of their factories for fear that robots would take all the jobs.

DoonRunner ,

Audio book?

Please make this in an audio version, publishing people. Please!

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