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View Full Version : OT - A book everyone here should read "You are not a Gadget"


broncosteven
06-23-2010, 07:02 PM
Anyone here who has ever, created an online forum account, been a troll, incited/fed a troll, acted like a troll, or had a fight on the InTErNets/Interwebz should read this book:

You are not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

I checked it out from the library and just started it, it is hard to put down. He talks about the Hive, Trolling, Bullying, How sites like Facebook and Twitter are generalizing and reducing our lives to fit software and how hard it will be to change once we are reduced.

He is not a Luddite and while at times it is hard to belive he is not one his Bio will prove he is a great Computer Scientist among other things.

Being a user of Midi from it's inception I really like his argument how we get software Lock-in designed and how it is hard to get changes accepted.

After reading the 1st half of the book he really describes the changes the Orange Mane has experienced after Shanny was fired, in some cases it has been here all along but they were more isolated. Once everyone had an opinion and expressed it and were no longer open to change pandoras box was opened.

I really recommend anyone who spends time on any forum on the internet, especially Facebook types/twitter/Web 2.0, should read this book.

It is an easy and fast read that leaves one feeling that they are not alone online.

Popps
06-23-2010, 07:54 PM
Sounds cool.

Requiem
06-23-2010, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the recommendation.

Boobs McGee
06-23-2010, 10:11 PM
is it relatively new? Like, library should have it? and ps thanks for the recommendation

Killericon
06-23-2010, 10:30 PM
I'll definitely read, but I'm not of the opinion that Web 2.0 is causing harm to us.

broncosteven
06-24-2010, 11:14 AM
is it relatively new? Like, library should have it? and ps thanks for the recommendation

I checked my copy out of my local library.

bfoflcommish
06-24-2010, 11:18 AM
I will ask my facebook and twitter friends thing and then make a choice from there....hehe

broncosteven
06-30-2010, 10:09 AM
I finished reading it today, the title was misleading as it didn't talk much about gear lust. He didn't have much to say about platforms other than use what works for you.

He talked a lot about MIDI and how software lock denies future change in programs. His fear is Web 2.0 will get mired in software like like MIDI is and there will be no way to "fix" our way out.

He said the trend of 140 characters or less is reducing/compresssing our lives and with the new web 2.0 interfaces it is harder to be individual.

TROLLS:
I thought the chapter on Trolls (P.60) was timely as I had a run in with a member here who goaded me into an exchange. I tried to handle it as best I could but the point I lost from the book is that (from P.60): "I've also found that I can be drawn into ridiculous pissing matches online in ways that just wouldn't happen otherwise, and I've never noticed any benefit. There is never a lesson learned, or a catharsis of victory or defeat."

Later on p.61 he states: "What I am saying though, is that the user interface designs that arise from the ideology of the computing cloud make people-all of us- less kind. Trolling is not a string of isolated incidents, but the status quo in the online world."

A lot of the mCd vs Cutler or mCd vs Bmarsh arguments here were stoked by the fires set by trolls who have no other excitement in their real lives that they need to pick a fight to feel alive, they may also get stimulated by the give and take so much that it becomes a drug to the person trolling. Like any drug use they don't notice a problem until it is too late.

VIRTUAL REALITY:
I liked his closing chapter on how true immersive VR is the model the internet should be approaching. Studies Lanier had been on showed that humans adapt to lobster like bodies in VR and learn subtle body movements to actually use the extra limbs in VR. Kinda like Avatar minus the geneticly engineered body controlled remotely.

His point is that we are stuck in decades old tech (MIDI from the 80's) and command line searches from the dawn of the mainframe age. He rails against the Wiki and Google models and believes that our online experience in an immersive VR world would be more intutive and rewarding than typing words into blogs/forums/searchs.

Lanier believes that trolling in a VR based online experience would decline because in peoples minds they would be face to face and most people do not like face to face confrontation. There would always be those who still troll or those who are so damaged that they would lash out in the VR world but he believes the incidents would decline.

I highly recommend for anyone who spends time on the IntErNet Tubing system of Information Superhighway to read this book.

Play2win
06-30-2010, 10:37 AM
VIRTUAL REALITY:
I liked his closing chapter on how true immersive VR is the model the internet should be approaching. Studies Lanier had been on showed that humans adapt to lobster like bodies in VR and learn subtle body movements to actually use the extra limbs in VR. Kinda like Avatar minus the geneticly engineered body controlled remotely.



The Avatar you should really be talking about is the Last Airbender. Even though you might think of it as just a child's cartoon, its really a well developed story, with many great lessons on life. It is on Netflix Instant, and I just got done watching the entire 3 season series not too long ago.

It was great, because it is really an anti-thesis of what the web is becoming nowdays.

broncosteven
06-30-2010, 11:14 AM
The Avatar you should really be talking about is the Last Airbender. Even though you might think of it as just a child's cartoon, its really a well developed story, with many great lessons on life. It is on Netflix Instant, and I just got done watching the entire 3 season series not too long ago.

It was great, because it is really an anti-thesis of what the web is becoming nowdays.

I will check it out.