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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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-28
- Reviewer: Staff
Lanier recognizes that the Internet isn’t going away, but also provides a critical analysis of how it operates today (increasingly on mega-servers such as Google and Facebook) and the negative ways it impacts our economy. The author also offers alternative ways users can better enjoy the benefits of the digital age. Narrator Pete Simoneilli’s reading initially comes across as excessively nasal. However, his voice will quickly grows on listeners and feel natural and appropriate by the audio production’s end. Simoneilli conveys Lanier’s cautious but sincere tone throughout, and he does well with emphasis and timing to tease out the sometimes-complex ideas the author presents. Lanier’s prose is non-judgmental, and Simoneilli works hard to show this, shifting between a matter-of-fact tone and one of sympathy. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Aug.)