Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jaron Lanier

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.

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