Digital pioneer Jaron Lanier was once a true believer. As the father of virtual reality and a driving force behind the collaborative ethos of Internet 2.0, he was convinced that information should be free and crowdsourcing was the way to wisdom. He has changed his mind. With his new book, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster), Lanier argues that free information is wrecking our economy and a digital crowd can too easily turn into a lynch mob. He also charts a path toward a new information economy, one where people are rewarded for the work they do and share on the web.
Lanier will explain his change of heart in a conversation with John Summers, editor-in-chief of The Baffler magazine. Summers is the editor of the forthcoming Cotton Tenants: Three Families by James Agee and Walker Evans (Melville House) and other books of cultural criticism.
Lanier is a bestselling author and was included in Time's 2010 list of the 100 most influential people. For decades, he has drawn on his expertise and experience as a computer scientist, musician, and digital media pioneer to predict the revolutionary ways in which technology has transformed our culture. Who Owns the Future? is available for signing at the program.
Read Ron Rosenbaum’s profile of Jaron Lanier in Smithsonian magazine.
Read what Janet Maslin from The New York Times has to say about Jaron Lanier's new book in the article "Fighting Words Against Big Data."