Who owns the future pdf

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EBOOK del autor LANIER JARON (ISBN ) en PDF o EPUB book that will have people talking and arguing for years into the future Lee Smolin. PDF | Investment in new energy technologies is inadequate relative to the timescale on which greenhouse emissions need to be reduced. Author Jaron Lanier touches on self-driving cars, financial algorithms, climate change, a fair economic system and dozens of other complex topics.

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Editorial Reviews. Review. An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May Jaron Lanier's last book, You Are Not a Gadget, was an influential. Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier - The “brilliant” and “daringly original” ( The New York Times) critique of digital networks from the “David Foster Wallace. Lanier is not foretelling the slow collapse of one company but of the entire edifice of capitalism THIRD INTERLUDE: MODERNITY CONCEIVES THE FUTURE.

Sharing information freely, without traditional rewards like royalties or paychecks, was supposed to create opportunities for brave, creative individuals. That is unless proposals such as his help us move to an alternative future where data ownership and costs are higher and yet there are more of us who have a piece of the action as part of a middle class that can grow and prosper. While his alternative future may not be "the one," hopefully more will heed his cautions and consider ways to promote middle class growth as the networked information economy continues to advance. Your First Name. Comment on this summary contact us here if you have any questions. Read reviews that mention siren servers middle class jaron lanier silicon valley owns the future thought provoking must read information economy big data googles and facebook virtual reality open source internet companies ted nelson even though digital age anyone interested eye opening social media lanier says.

Is it conceivable to use big data in such a way that both people and their economy get healthier? That is the kind of question addressed by this book.

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The NSA has been hard-pressed to show specific benefits that have come out of algorithmically spying on everyone. Old fashioned intelligence work on the ground has been delivering results, such as locating Osama Bin Laden, while the hope for automatic security through big data algorithms has simply not been realized. The bombing of the Boston Marathon took place the same week as the American publication of this book, and no number of hidden city-sized server farms, metadata analysts, or street cameras prevented it.

The NSA and American health insurance companies fell prey to exactly the same disease, which is a form of institutional addiction. They became addicted to what I call a Siren Server. A Siren Server is a powerful computational resource that out-computes everyone else on the network and seems to grant its owners a guaranteed path to unbounded success at first. But the benefits are illusory and lead to a grand failure before too long.

The Snowden leaks made people all over the world feel violated. It feels bad, and if we ever get used to that feeling, that would feel even worse. But at the same time, why was everybody in the world pouring all their personal information into computers owned by big corporations? The NSA forced its way into those private computers in secret, but why did anyone think that near unanimous consumer support of a titanic surveillance industry would not eventually morph into a surveillance state?

The dramatic cliffhanger of our age is whether we—meaning all of us, not just those who tend the Siren Servers—will learn to overcome the lure of Siren Servers. This is the overarching drama that unites otherwise contradictory trends. Who Owns the Future? eBook: Jaron Lanier: Kindle Store

Here is another instance: On the one hand, computer networks are said to be disrupting centralized power of all kinds and giving it to the individual. Customers can bring corporations to their knees by tweeting complaints. A tiny organization like WikiLeaks can alarm the great powers with nothing but encryption and net access.

Young Egyptians were able to organize a nearly instant revolution through their mobile phones and the Internet.

Inequality is soaring in rich countries around the world, not just in the United States. Money from the top 1 percent has flooded our politics. The job market in America has been hollowed out; unpaid internships are common and entry-level jobs seem to last a lifetime, while top technical and management posts become ever more lucrative. The individual appears to be powerless in the face of tough prospects. The disruption and decentralization of power coincides with an intense and seemingly unbounded concentration of power.

What at first glance looks like a contradiction makes perfect sense once you understand the nature of modern power. We thought the world would be a better place if everyone shared as much information as possible, free from the constraints of the commercial order.

It was an utterly reasonable idea. We were building the drums that could not be silenced. Surely an ability to route around the artificial blindness that has traditionally sealed brutality in place would bring about an era of improved fairness and decency.

Why did the ideal of free information sharing fail? Because it ignored the nature of computation. If a bunch of precomputational people are sharing openly, there might be problems—as the history of socialistic experiments has taught us. If those same people have a computer network, however, then there is a guarantee that whoever among them has the most effective computer will gain information superiority.

People are created equal, but computers are not. In the past, power and influence were gained by controlling something that people needed, such as oil or transportation routes. Now to be powerful can mean having information superiority, as computed by the most effective computer on a network. In most cases, this means the biggest and most connected computer, though very occasionally a well-operated small computer can play the game, as is the case with WikiLeaks. Siren Servers are usually gigantic facilities, located in obscure places where they have their own power plants and some special hookup to nature, such as a remote river that allows them to cool a fantastic amount of waste heat.

This new class of ultrainfluential computers comes in many costumes. Some run financial schemes, such as high-frequency trading, and others run insurance companies. Some run elections, and others run giant online stores. Some run social network or search services, while others run national intelligence services.

The differences are only skin deep. The motivation for Sirenic omniogling is that it leads to marginally effective behavioral models both of inanimate phenomena, such as financial events, and of human beings.

Who Owns the Future?

These models are far from perfect, but are just barely good enough to predict and manipulate people gradually, over time, shaping tastes and consumption in even more effective and insidious ways than subliminal advertisements could supposedly do. A slight, sessile advantage accumulates and amplifies, like the soaring tide of compound interest. Manipulation might take the form of paid links appearing in free online services, an automatically personalized pitch for a candidate in an election, or perfectly targeted offers of credit.

While people are rarely forced to accept the influence of Siren Servers in any particular case, on a broad statistical basis it becomes impossible for a population to do anything but acquiesce over time. This is why companies like Google are so valuable.


While no particular Google ad is guaranteed to work, the overall Google ad scheme by definition must work, at least for a while, because of the laws of statistics. Superior computation lets a Siren Server enjoy the magical benefits of reliably manipulating others even though no hand is forced.

Since networking got cheap and computers became enormous, the financial sector has grown fantastically in proportion to the rest of the economy, even though it has done so by putting the rest of the economy at increased risk.

This is precisely what happens naturally, without any evil plan, if you have a more effective computer than anyone else in an open network. Your superior calculation ability allows you to choose the least risky options for yourself, leaving riskier options for everyone else.

A Siren Server gains influence through self-effacement. There is a Zen quality to it. A big computational-finance scheme is most successful when the proprietors have no idea what they finance. The whole point is to make other people take risks, and knowledge means risk. The new idea is to have no idea whether the security you bundled is fraudulent or not.

Once this principle is understood, the seeming contradiction—that power is being more and less concentrated at the same time—melts away. An old-fashioned exercise in power, such as censoring social network expression, would reduce the new kind of power, which is to be a private spying service on people who use social networking.

We must learn to see the full picture, and not just the treats before our eyes. Our trendy gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets, have given us new access to the world. We regularly communicate with people we would never even have been aware of before the networked age.

We can find information about almost anything at any time. But we have learned how much our gadgets and our idealistically motivated digital networks are being used to spy on us by ultrapowerful, remote organizations. We are being dissected more than we dissect. Back at the dawn of personal computing, the ideal that drove most of us was that computers were tools for leveraging human intelligence to ever-greater achievement and fulfillment.

I remember early Apple brochures that described personal computers as bicycles for the mind.

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This was the idea that burned in the hearts of early pioneers like Alan Kay, who a half century ago was already drawing illustrations of how children would someday use tablets. But the tablet is no longer just a physical form for a device; it enforces a new power structure. A tablet, unlike a computer, only runs programs approved by a single, central, commercial authority. A personal computer is designed so that you own your own data.

PCs enabled millions of people to run their own affairs.

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The PC strengthened the middle class. In most cases, you cannot even turn them on without giving over personal information. By the time tablets finally found success in reality, Steve Jobs announced that personal computers were actually like trucks. They were tools for vaguely burdened working-class guys in T-shirts and visors; most consumers would surely prefer cars. Flashy cars. This formulation suggests that sexy people prefer the superficial gloss of status and leisure to the actual attainment of influence or self-determination.

Microsoft once upon a time saw itself as a tool company. This triumph of consumer passivity over empowerment is heartbreaking. It does seem that consumers for the moment prefer not to be as smart or empowered as I am sure they, meaning we, could be. This would be a bleak enough observation even without the concurrent rise of the surveillance economy.

Not only have consumers prioritized flash and laziness over empowerment, but we have also acquiesced to being spied on all the time. The two trends are actually one. The only way to sell a loss of freedom, so that people will accept it voluntarily, is by making it look like a great bargain at first. Consumers were offered free stuff such as web searches and social networking in exchange for acquiescing to being spied upon. The only power a consumer has is to look for a better deal.

The only way to say no to that deal is to transcend the role of consumer once in a while. To be free is to have a zone around you that is private, where you can be with your own thoughts, your own experiments, for a time, between confrontations with the larger world. When you are wearing sensors on your body all the time, such as the GPS and camera on your smartphone, and constantly piping data to a megacomputer owned by a corporation that is paid by advertisers to subtly manipulate you by tweaking the options immediately available to you, you gradually become less free.

In order to make tech into something that empowers people, people have to be willing to act as if we can handle being powerful.

We must demand an information economy in which a rising tide raises all boats, because the alternative is an unbounded concentration of power. A surveillance economy is neither sustainable nor democratic. The Internet has often been compared to the Wild West, with its dreamers and schemers, its glimmering promise of free land primarily accessible, of course, through a monopolized railway.

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We have evolved out of these something-for-nothing schemes before, and we can do so again. The story of our times is that humanity is deciding how to be as our technological abilities increase. When will we grow proud enough to be a match for our own inventions?

An odd thing about this book is that you, the reader, and I, the author, are the immediate protagonists. The very action of reading makes you the hero of the story I am telling.

Maybe you bought, or stole, a physical copy, paid to read this on your tablet, or pirated a digital copy off a share site. Whatever the prequel, here you are, living precisely the circumstances described in this book. If you paid to read this, thank you! This book is a result of living my life as I do, which I hope provides value to you.

If you paid to read, then there has been a one-way transaction in which you transferred money to someone else. If you got it for free, there has been a no-way transaction, and any value traded will be off the books, recorded not in any ledger but rather in the informal value systems of reputation, karma, or other wispy forms of barter. That sort of activity might benefit us both. The clamor for online attention only turns into money for a token minority of ordinary people, but there is another new, tiny class of people who always benefit.

Those who keep the new ledgers, the giant computing services that model you, spy on you, and predict your actions, turn your life activities into the greatest fortunes in history. Those are concrete fortunes made of money. This book promotes a third alternative, which is that digital networking ought to promote a two-way transaction, in which you benefit, concretely, with real money, as I do. I want digital networking to cause more value from people to be on the books, rather than less.

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When we make our world more efficient through the use of digital networks, that should make our economy grow, not shrink. They even invented the first digital camera.

But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in , it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? Tell us what you like, so we can send you books you'll love. Sign up and get a free eBook! By Jaron Lanier. Trade Paperback. Price may vary by retailer. Add to Cart Add to Cart.

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