Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Web, Jaron Lanier and the Disappearing Middle Class

TODAY I have a long and I hope substantial Q+A with web visionary-turned-skeptic Jaron Lanier. Here it is. We get into some ideas that reflect on my investigation of the fate of the creative class in the 21st century, including the growth of a tiny digital plutocracy at the expense of the imperiled middle class.

The piece is provoked by his powerful and odd new book, Who Owns the Future?


C Andrews said...

I submit:

an incomplete thought-experiment of 10 years ago, but still highly suggestive and has the potential to deal with the problems Lanier is writing about.

Jacques T said...

The owners of the future have already cut a deep path through our economy and culture. I suggest that you read Jason Benlevi's "TOO MUCH MAGIC: Pulling the Plug on the Cult of Tech." It is a better read than Lanier...and no dreads are involved.

Morgan said...

Good interview!

I tend to really like Lanier's analyses of the problems, but his solutions leave me wanting more. They feel too utopian to me, which is ironic given that he says utopias are too unrealistic.

Nate Howard said...

As a photographer, one who Lanier claims is destroying the middle class, I respect and agree with many of his thoughts and positions but it seems he is assuming the economic side of the creative class without experience. He asked about artists marketing themselves on the internet? Several hundred? Is he being sarcastic? In sharp contrast to Lanier, I suggest readers consider "Free Agent Nation" by Daniel Pink, which blows Lanier's ideas back to the privileged, utopian desert they were born from. In short, the creative class is busting their asses to engage in local economies and undo the isolation and disparity gap from technology. And yet we are all hypocrites. Here, on the screen. Writing for no one.