Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So one of my early hero's in the field of arts and technology is Jaron Lanier, the Virtual Reality guy who helped invent the power glove. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Lanier back at the first CyberArts festival in Los Angeles in 1989. I was there with sculptor D. A. Therrien and the crew of Comfort Control Systems, a machine art performance art group, of which I was a member. When I met Lanier, I was awestruck by this big dredlocked guru who exemplified counterculture fusion with arts and technology. As the years passed after the conference, and virtual reality disappeared as an industry I always wondered what happened to him.
Well I recently discovered what he's been up to. After an interesting HCI class discussion about who are the John Connors of our generation, I found that Lanier may be one. He recently published his first book called You are not a Gadget. While I haven't read it yet, I have read a lot about it, including a review by Eugeny Morozov. Apparently Lanier hasn't drunk the web 2.0 Koolaid and has come to the conclusion that the modern internet is deforming us humans. I plan on picking iit up when I get a break.