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Who owns the future?

Who owns the future? / Jaron Lanier.
Lanier, Jaron.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013.

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TextUse in libraryRequestJBE 18-476Schwarzman Building M2 - General Research Room 315


xvi, 396 pages : illustrations; 24 cm
Bibliography (note)
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 371-375) and index.
  • Hello, hero ; Terms -- pt. 1. First round. 1. Motivation : The problem in brief ; Put up or shut up ; Moore's Law changes the way people are valued ; Essential but worthless ; The beach at the edge of Moore's Law ; The price of heaven ; The problem is not the technology, but the way we think about the technology ; Saving the winners from themselves ; Progress is compulsory ; Progress is never free of politics ; Back to the beach -- 2. A simple idea : Just blurt the idea out ; A simple example ; Big talk, I know -- First interlude: Ancient anticipation of the singularity : Aristotle frets ; Do people deserve to be paid if they aren't miserable? ; The plot --
  • pt. 2. The cybernetic tempest. 3. Money as seen through one computer scientist's eyes : Money, God, and the old technology of forgetting ; The information technology of optimism -- 4. The ad hoc construction of mass dignity : Are middle classes natural? ; Two familiar distributions ; Tweaks to network design can change distributions of outcomes ; Letting bell curves be bell curves ; Star systems starve themselves, bell curves renew themselves ; An artificial bell curve made of levees ; The senseless ideal of a perfectly pure market ; Income is different from wealth ; The taste of politics ; Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry ; How is music like a mortgage? -- 5. "Siren Servers" : There can't be complexity without ambiguity ; A first pass at a definition ; Where sirens beckon -- 6. The specter of the perfect investment : Our free lunch ; Candy ; Radiant risk ; You can't see as much of the server as it can see of you ; Waiting for Robin Hood ; From autocollate to autocollude ; Rupture -- 7. Some pioneering Siren Servers : My little window ; Wal-Mart considered as software ; From the supply chain's point of view ; From the customer's point of view ; Financial Siren Servers -- Second interlude (a parody): If life gives you EULAs, make lemonade --
  • pt. 3. How this century might unfold, from two points of view. 8. From below: mass unemployment events : Will there be manufacturing jobs? ; Napsterizing the teamsters ; Flattening the city on a hill ; Factoring the city on a hill ; Education in the abstract is not enough ; The robotic bedpan ; A pharma fable that might unfold later in this century -- 9. From above: misusing big data to become ridiculous : Three nerds walk into a bar ; Your lack of privacy is someone else's wealth ; Big data in science ; A method in waiting ; Wise or feared? ; The nature of big data defies intuition ; The problem with magic ; Game on ; The kicker ; The nature of our confusion ; The most elite naïveté -- Third interlude: Modernity conceives the future : Mapping out where the conversation can go ; Nine dismal humors of futurism, and a hopeful one ; Meaning as nostalgia ; Can we handle our own power? ; The first high-tech writer ; Meaning in struggle ; Practical optimism --
  • pt. 4. Markets, energy landscapes, and narcissism. 10. Markets and energy landscapes : The technology of ambient cheating ; Imaginary landscapes in the clouds ; Markets as landscapes ; Experimentalism and popular perception ; Keynes considered as a big data pioneer -- 11. Narcissim : The insanity of the local/global flip ; Siren Servers think the world is all about them -- Fourth interlude: Limits are for muggles : The endless conversation about the heart cartel ; The deadly risk of not being a shapeshifter ; The first musical "any" ; Climb any "any" --
  • pt. 5. The contest to be most meta. 12. Story lost : Not all is chaos ; The conservation of free will -- 13. Coercion on autopilot: specialized network effects : Rewarding and punishing network effects ; For every carrot a stick ; Denial of service ; Arm's-length blackmail ; Who's the customer and who are all those other people? -- 14. Obscuring the human element : Noticing the new order ; Who orders the data? ; The human shell game -- 15. Story found : The first act is autocatalytic ; Since you asked ; Why the networked world seems chaotic ; When are Siren Servers monopolies? ; Free rise ; Make others pay for entropy ; Bills are boring ; Coattails ; The closing act ; Stories are nothing without ideas -- Fifth interlude: The wise old man in the clouds : The limits of emergence as an explanation ; The global triumph of Turing's humor ; Digital and pre-digital theocracy ; What is experience? --
  • pt. 6. Democracy. 16. Complaint is not enough : Governments are learning the tricks of Siren Servers ; Alienating the global village ; Electoral Siren Servers ; Maybe the way we complain is part of the problem -- 17. Clout must underlie rights, if rights are to persist : Melodramas are tenacious ; Emphasizing the middle class is in the interests of everyone ; A better peak waiting to be discovered -- Sixth interlude: The pocket protector in the saffron robe : The most ancient marketing ; Monks and nerds (or, chip monks) ; It's all about I ; "Abundance" evolves ; Childhood and apocalypse --
  • pt. 7. Ted Nelson. 18. First thought, best thought : First thought ; Best thought ; The right to mash-up is not the same as the right to copy ; Two-way links ; Why isn't Ted better known? --
  • pt. 8. The dirty pictures (or, Nuts and bolts: what a humanistic alternative might be like). 19. The project : You can't tweet this ; A less ambitious approach to be discouraged ; A sustainable information economy ; A better beach -- 20. We need to do better than ad hoc levees : Keep it smooth ; Not enough money grows on trees -- 21. Some first principles : Provenance ; Commercial symmetry ; Only first-class citizens ; Eschewing zombie Siren Servers ; Only first-class identity -- 22. Who will do what? : Biological realism ; The psychology of deserving ; But will there be enough value from people? ; A question that really isn't that hard to answer ; Nothing more to offer? ; To the dead their due -- 23. Big business : What will big companies do? ; The role of advertising -- 24. How will we earn and spend? : When will decisions be made? ; Dynamic value ; Earning a little money by living well or interestingly -- 25. Risk : The cost of risk ; Risk never really goes away ; Puddle, lake, or ocean? -- 26. Financial identity : Economic avatars ; Economic avatars as an improvement on the forgetfulness of cash ; Interpersonal economic symmetry through theatrics ; Economic network neutrality ; Symmetry as a disincentive to game the system ; Faith and credit ; Tax -- 27. Inclusion : The lower half of the curve ; The lowly tail of the curve ; Wealth and civility -- 28. The interface to reality : How great are our powers? ; Waiting for technology waiting for politics ; What can we do about big data and the reality problem? ; Carbon copies ruin carbon credits ; How fighting "fraud" might also fight "scams" ; Feeding the frenetic mind of the networked person ; It's all in the timing -- The treachery of toys -- 29. Creepy : Three pervasive creepy conundrums ; A hacker's paradise ; Creepiness thrives on the quest for utopia ; Once upon a time I hoped to wish paranoia away ; The 'Net is watching ; Some good reasons to be tracked by the Cloud ; The creepiness is not in the tech, but in the power we grant to Siren Servers ; Maslow's pyramid of blackmail ; The weird logic of extreme creepiness -- 30. A stab at mitigating creepiness : Commercial rights scale online where civil rights don't ; Commercial rights are actionable ; The ideal price of information equals the minimization of creepiness ; Individual players will also be motivated to set prices to minimize creepiness -- Seventh interlude: Limits are for mortals : From social network to immortality ; Supernatural temptations in tech culture ; Just for the record, why I make fun of the university ; Will the control of death be a conversation or a conflagration? ; The two tiers of immortality planned for this century --
  • pt. 9. Transition. 31. The transition : Can there be a digital golden rule? ; The miracle's gauntlet ; Avatars and credit ; The price of antenimbosia -- 32. Leadership : Audition for the lead ; A thousand geeks ; Startups ; Traditional governments, central banks, etc. ; Multiplicities of Siren Servers ; Facebook or similar ; Confederacies of just a few giant Siren Servers -- Eighth interlude: The fate of books : Books inspire maniacal scheming ; An author's experience of a book ; It's not about paper versus ebooks ; The book as Silicon Valley would have it ; What is it about a book that is worth saving? -- Conclusion: What is to be remembered? : All this, just for the whiff of possibility ; The economics of the future is user interface design ; The tease of the tease ; Know your poison ; Is there a test for whether an information economy is humanistic? ; Back to the beach -- Appendix: First appearances of key terms.
Call Number
JBE 18-476
  • 9781451654967 (hardcover)
  • 1451654960 (hardcover)
  • 9781476729862 (paperback)
  • 1476729867 (paperback)
  • 2013007987
  • 40022449277
Lanier, Jaron.
Who owns the future? / Jaron Lanier.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Type of Content
Type of Medium
Type of Carrier
Includes bibliographical references (pages 371-375) and index.
Evaluates the negative impact of digital network technologies on the economy and particularly the middle class, citing challenges to employment and personal wealth while exploring the potential of a new information economy.
Other Standard Identifier
Research Call Number
JBE 18-476
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