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Who Owns The Future? [Anglais] [Relié]

Jaron Lanier
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Who Owns The Future? + You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto + Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
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Revue de presse

Lanier has a poet's sensibility and his book reads like a hallucinogenic reverie, full of entertaining haiku-like observations and digressions (James Harkin Financial Times)

One of the triumphs of Lanier's intelligent and subtle book is its inspiring portrait of the kind of people that a democratic information economy would produce. His vision implies that if we are allowed to lead absorbing, properly remunerated lives, we will likewise outgrow our addiction to consumerism and technology (Laurence Scott Guardian)

Jaron Lanier is a digital visionary with a difference (John Kampfner Observer)

Many will be captivated by Mr Lanier's daringly original insights ... You Are Not A Gadget (2010) was a feisty, brilliant, predictive work, and the new volume is just as exciting (Janet Maslin New York Times)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Who Owns The Future? is the new masterwork from the prophet of the digital age, Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not A Gadget.In the past, a revolution in production, such as the industrial revolution, generally increased the wealth and freedom of people. The digital revolution we are living through is different. Instead of leaving a greater number of us in excellent financial health, the effect of digital technologies - and the companies behind them - is to concentrate wealth, reduce growth, and challenge the livelihoods of an ever-increasing number of people. As the protections of the middle class disappear, washed away by crises in capitalism, what is being left in their place? And what else could replace them?Why is this happening, and what might we do about it? In Who Owns the Future? Jaron Lanier shows how the new power paradigm operates, how it is conceived and controlled, and why it is leading to a collapse in living standards. Arguing that the 'information economy' ruins markets, he reminds us that markets should reward more people, not fewer. He shows us why the digital revolution means more corporations making money and avoiding risk by hiding value off their books, which means more financial risk for the rest of us. From the inner workings of the 'sirenic servers' at the heart of the new power system, to an exploration of the meaning of mass unemployment events, the misuse of big data, and the deep and increasing erasure of human endeavour, Lanier explores the effects of this situation on democracy and individuals, and proposes a more human, humane reality, where risk and reward is shared equally, and the digital revolution creates opportunity for all.'Lanier has a poet's sensibility and his book reads like a hallucinogenic reverie, full of entertaining haiku-like observations and digressions' James Harkin, Financial Times'One of the triumphs of Lanier's intelligent and subtle book is its inspiring portrait of the kind of people that a democratic information economy would produce. His vision implies that if we are allowed to lead absorbing, properly remunerated lives, we will likewise outgrow our addiction to consumerism and technology' Laurence Scott, Guardian'Jaron Lanier is a digital visionary with a difference' John Kampfner, ObserverJaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today, and is linked with UC Berkeley and Microsoft. A musician with a collection of over 700 instruments, he has been recognised by Encyclopedia Britannica (but certainly not Wikipedia) as one of history's 300 or so greatest inventors and named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Prospect and Foreign Policy. His first book, You Are Not A Gadget, was hailed as a 'poetic and prophetic' defence of the human in an age of machines.

Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 384 pages
  • Editeur : Allen Lane (7 mars 2013)
  • Collection : ALLEN LANE HB
  • Langue : Inconnu
  • ISBN-10: 1846145228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846145223
  • Dimensions du produit: 23,6 x 15 x 3,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.8 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 31.766 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Brief Summary and Review 29 mai 2013
Format:Relié
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

The main argument: Not so long ago the Internet was seen as the next great economic engine. The optimism was never higher than at the peak of the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, of course; but even after the dot-com bust in the early 2000s, many believed that this was but the growing pains of an emerging industry, and that in the long run the Internet would yet provide the foundation for a new and improved information economy.

Since that time, it is certainly the case that the Internet has spawned a few major successes (such as Google, Amazon, eBay and now Facebook), as well as a host of hopefuls (such as Twitter, Kickstarter, Pinterest and Instagram). However, it cannot be said that the economy has enjoyed a great boost since the Internet exploded. On the contrary, the economy has, at best, stagnated—and it currently shows no signs of escaping its slump. So what went wrong?

According to Silicon Valley luminary Jarion Lanier, the problem is not so much with the Internet per se, but with how it has been set up, and how the major Internet companies themselves are organized. To begin with, major Internet companies tend to form monopolies, or near-monopolies, and on a global scale (mainly because Internet networks are able to reach a global audience and undercut local players, but also because these networks are more valuable to their users as they grow larger [for instance, it is most convenient to just join Facebook to connect with friends because this is the platform that most people, for whatever reason, have come to use—it just simplifies things]).
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 classic piece 17 août 2013
Par vecek
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Un livre qui aurait énervé Guy Debord ou peut être qui l'aurait ravi.
Jaron Lanier nous amène à une meilleure compréhension du monde numérique et de comment l'appréhender. C 'est une suite à "la société du Spectacle"
Indispensable à ceux qui veulent comprendre la monde d 'aujourd'hui. Chaque page vous fera dresser les cheveux sur la tête
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book! 30 septembre 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is one of the most interesting book about the "future" that I have ever read. The author misunderstands bitcoin though when he writes that the 21 million limitation of the bitcoin money supply is inehrently flawed. He misses the infinite divisibility of bitcoins that allows this technology to map to an expanding economy. Other than that the book is filled with brilliant demonstrations and insights.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best book about the digital economy 30 août 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A real view about the digital economy's effect on our life and the impact on our futur. A lesson and a message: place people at the heart of the digital, not the server :-). Agreable to read, smart, interesting by the differents point of view.

Thanks a lot, Mr Lanier.
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139 internautes sur 151 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The internet destroys more jobs than it creates. 1 avril 2013
Par Orin Thomas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
If you've read "Race against the machine" and "The lights in the tunnel" you'll be familiar with part of Lanier's thesis, though Lanier also goes further and ties in the demonetization of information in his predictions about the future. There are some quotable lines in the book, one of which stayed with me even though I hadn't thought of it precisely in this way - something like "the internet destroys more jobs that it creates". In a nutshell, by introducing efficiencies, by disrupting existing markets, the internet makes things more efficient so that a greatly reduced number of people can perform the same tasks. What Lanier also highlights is that the "new jobs" that were meant to replace the ones lost to automation aren't appearing. In part because there has also been as strong push to make "information free", so jobs creating that information that "wants to be free" won't put the bread on the table. Lanier suggests that the Internet is shrinking the economy because by making information free, it's taken the value/wealth that once existed in creating that information out of the economy. That the number of jobs that the internet creates is a fraction of the number that it has automated away.

Lanier proposes some solutions to this problem which would involve a seismic shift in the way that current users of the internet consider the cost of information. He suggests that the Internet could create jobs if only the creation and distribution of information could be monetized. He provides some ideas in this direction. He also makes some predictions about what happens if something doesn't change.

I felt that Lanier described the problem well without going into an approach where he over did it. While I agree with the problem and think his predictions make sense, I also suspect that the people who have pushed hard to demonetizes information are about as likely to change their policies as the oil industry is in light of "peak oil". That is that the problem is understood in an academic sense, but they are still making truckloads of cash, so why change the system?

At the moment the received wisdom is that the internet creates jobs and that anyone who disagrees is a luddite. I think books like Lanier's, Race Against the Machine, and Lights in the Tunnel are providing a different interpretation of the future, but one that won't be seen as prescient for a decade or so.
209 internautes sur 248 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Too Many Fallacies Here. 21 mai 2013
Par Kevin Currie-Knight - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I REALLY wanted to like Lanier's new book, as I liked - and positively reviewed - his previous work, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (Vintage). I like and admire several points Lanier made there, but alas, there are simply too many fallacies in this book for Lanier's conclusion to hold. Also, stylistically, the book is poorly laid out, very repetitive, and prone to meandering.

First, the positive: as with Lanier's last book, I think he is on the right track in criticizing the insane mantra that "informatoin wants to be free." (First, information isn't sentient enough to want anything, and second, those who produce information often want to be paid because the production isn't costless.) Second, several of Lanier's points about siren servers' ability to lock customers into their particular ecosystem to access content (think Apple's ios, or amazon's cloud for ebooks and mp3 music) are very well taken and need to be taken seriously. Third, as big an "open source" enthusiast, I can see at least some danger in allowing (or encouraging) individuals to create and make available information "for free" (though I don't think the results will be nearly as dire as Lanier predicts).

Now, for the negative. First, his argument is premised on the idea that for economies to be healthy, the existence of a middle class is required. I am not an economist, but I know enough economists to know that this is a contentious point and very probably a tautology (the truth seems to be that an economy where products can be geared toward a middle class needs a healthy middle class.) Not that there aren't good reasons to want to see a healthy middle class, but "economies need them" is either not a good reason, or a good reason that requires more argument than Lanier gives.

Second, Lanier is certainly no luddite, but his argument is identical to the luddite arguments of the past...the ones which have all proven wrong - that the new technology will simply destroy more jobs than it creates. Why have these arguments proved wrong? Because they are based on the assumption that the current marketplace (and the demand consumers express in it) is what the future economy will just look like, and that our lack of ability to guess at what people may demand in the future (once technology renders some current occupations and products obsolete) means that those possibilities probably don't exist. Take his brief discussion of how technology will destroy, or seriously dent, higher education. He talks about how new technologies that can scale instruction in a way that will render the existing model of higher education largely irrelevant spells doom for the higher education industry.That may be, but if this new education costs less than current education, we must imagine that the money that people WOULD HAVE spent on higher education will go somewhere - either saved (and invested) or spent. Where? We can only imagine. Lanier really does write as if he believes that people will just stop demanding things when present demands become easier to satisfy.

Second, he writes that people should be paid when they contribute information to, say, Google, Facebook, etc, because they are providing these companies with valuable information (remember, facebook's users ARE NOT the customers; the businesses that use user's information are.) But, is the fact that they don't receive money payments mean they are not paid? What about Google providing me a free word processor, helpful calendar program, a free website creation service, and other things? Yes, Lanier may have a point that users may not realize exactly what information they are giving up, but I do have to imagine that a great many of them would still see the services "gives" them as a payment, even if they were made aware of exactly how much Google benefits from their information sharing. (Even in cases like Youtube, there must be a reason people are willing to create videos and share them freely; maybe the payment is just the knowledge that others are benefiting.) Simply put: just because money doesn't change hands doesn't mean payment doesn't exist.

There are some other flaws in the book, such as Lanier's bizarre talk of how siren servers undermine the idea of free will by creating better and better behavior-prediction software, as if the fact that I can predict what choice you will make means you actually didn't make a choice. (Even if a company can predict what advertisement or price point it would take to 'nudge' you to buy x, that doesn't mean that you had no choice in buying x.)

Stylistically, the book is very rambling and somewhat disorganized. It may well be that Lanier's case is much stronger than I am giving credit for and he just wasn't able to properly express it in this book. He is a very smart man indeed, but reading this book was much like reading someone who had so many intricate thoughts (and saw synthesis between just about every field on the planet) that he had difficulty limiting himself to one cogent argument. I skipped or skimmed a good many pages in the book largely because there were tangents and repetitions throughout.

As I said, I wanted very much to like this book, and pre-ordered it months ago in anticipation. Unfortunately, there are many bad assumptions and arguments here, and the lack of structure just pushed it over the edge into the "disappointing" category.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 How to avoid the lure of the siren servers 28 mai 2013
Par haig shahinian - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I've read many books on society's current economic predicament resulting from networked information technologies clashing with outmoded political economic systems, but Jaron Lanier tries tackling the problem from a prescriptive engineering approach which I find refreshing and fruitful. To clarify, by taking an engineering approach I don't mean simple technocratic reductionist thinking which presupposes technical fixes to be silver bullets that trump political or social advances, I mean a holistic and humanistic engineering of technosocial systems that incorporates social and political dynamics into the foundation of our networked technologies. Larry Lessig coined the phrase 'code is law', and Lanier builds on this idea in his new book to show us that 'code is economics'.

Ironically, one of Lanier's major gripes is centered precisely on the free/open source/creative commons ideology that Lessig helped popularize and which has become a dominant mindset of information technology designers, entrepreneurs, and activists. While filled with good intentions, this movement, according to Lanier, is the seed of much of the problems we are facing and can only lead to a dystopian future. This movement wants information to be free because information is abundant in a digital network where the cost of copying bits is close to zero. However, when information is free, the only way to make sustainable profits within the information economy is to become spying platforms and gatekeepers of information that act as intermediaries between consumers and producers/advertisers, exploiting both in the process. For those lucky enough to be close to these gatekeepers, which Lanier calls siren servers, huge benefits can be had, but for most people any significant economic benefits from producing information becomes either a crap shoot within digital markets dominated by winner-take-all power law distributions or promotional material for unsustainable offline activities such as singing for your money. As our society increasingly transforms its activities into information processing (software is eating the world as Marc Andreesen put it), the logical conclusion of a free information economy dominated by siren servers is a drastic shrinking of the overall economy, huge social inequalities, and massive civil unrest.

Lanier's proposed solution to this nightmare is to revisit an old idea by Ted Nelson that predates the internet and personal computer revolutions by decades. Nelson was one of the first people to sketch out a vision for hypertext and a networked information system, but the main differences between his ideas and what eventually became the web was the bidirectional nature of the links that form the networks instead of the one-way links of the current www, and the persistence of single identities of information objects with cached local images instead of the copying and duplication of disparate data in use today. With two-way links to atomic chunks of information, metadata that identifies the ownership and use rights of each atom, and a micropayment system that compensates actors at all levels of the information economy, the remixing/mashup dreams of the creative commons can be had while still enabling a true information economy that grows instead of shrinks, and with a large portion of that growth happening in the middle. People will become active and compensated actors within all information processes they engage in instead of being exploited passive users of spying gatekeeper siren servers. Not only those who engage in commercial transactions will profit like they do now with e-commerce, but micro-royalties will propagate to each individual whenever their information property is used in those transactions, enabling not only income generation but wealth generation for the masses. If you're going to have a capitalist society, might as well digitize capital completely, not just the markets. Lanier's outline of such a system is just a rough draft vision document, the devil surely is in the details, and bootstrapping such a system within the current regime is a nontrivial task to put it mildly, but as a plausible vision for how to move forward I find it an optimistic and worthy direction to pursue.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 An Inquiry into the fairness of wealth distribution in the Era of Social Media 17 mars 2014
Par Raghu Nathan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Jaron Lanier is a creative person, known as the father of Virtual Reality, as a musician and also as a contrarian thinker among computer scientists in the Silicon Valley. He also has the image of one who transitioned the chasm between a computer nerd and a 'rock star-like figure' seamlessly. So, he has all the credentials to advance provocative ideas on the information age and he does so in this book. Here, he takes on the imbalance that exists in the unequal monetary exchange between the information producers and the information aggregators/disseminators in the era of the rise of Social Media. The book is thought-provoking and makes us pause before we sing the praises of the 'Promising New Digital Age'. However, as I reached the end of the 370-page discourse, I felt somewhat underwhelmed because his propositions seemed to be incompletely thought-through on the one hand and also felt that they strike at the heart of the free and open world of computer software and the internet.

The core of Dr.Lanier's thesis starts out on a powerful argument as he introduces the term 'Siren Server' to illustrate his point. Siren Servers are those massive cloud computing infrastructures which are owned by organizations like the NSA, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc. He says that a society, which aspires to be fair to its citizens, must have an income distribution that approximates to a bell curve. This means that the people at the fringe - both very poor and very rich - must be on the left most and the right most flat parts of the curve while the majority should be in the burgeoning middle. But this is not what is happening in the information economy. Dr.Lanier says that it is the owners of 'Siren Servers' who make the money with the 'donation' of valuable information by all of us in the form of our consumption patterns, varied cultural and intellectual interests, demographic data, and other behavioural signatures so that we would be allowed entry into the social networks created by these Siren Servers. A company like Instagram, whose entire value comes from the photos and videos and postings that we contribute for free, is bought for a billion dollars by Facebook. But it is the 13 employees of Instagram who make most of the money whereas all of us who contributed the core value make zilch. Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon are other examples cited by the author. To counter this neo-feudalism, Dr.Lanier suggests a form of micro-payment for our contributions each time they are made use of. This is a more humane exchange between the producers and consumers of 'Big Data'. The author also laments the sustained loss of jobs even as the Siren Servers gobble up more and more domains like Music, Books, Films etc.

Though I agree with the author on the disproportionate wealth and economic clout accumulated by the companies as a result of our 'donations', I have a couple of misgivings with his arguments. One of the things dear to the software community is the 'Open Source Movement' it pioneered. No other industry seems to have anything comparable and as idealistic, where hundreds of man-years of work is given away for free for the greater good of the industry, society as well as the individual. As a result, we programmers do not tend to think immediately in terms of monetary gain when it comes to helping someone over the net in solving their Linux development problems or putting up an elaborate tutorial on a subject for free to help the programming community. It is this same spirit that is in evidence when I write a review of this book on Amazon. Though I wouldn't complain if Amazon paid me for it, I have to admit that Amazon and Goodreads do provide me a free platform where someone unknown like me can reach many thousands of readers through my reviews. I also have to acknowledge that many of my opinions are also shaped by reading many other authors and bloggers and journalists on the web on any given issue. Once I start asking compensation for my reviews, the question arises as to whether I should compensate others who have influenced my views. This seems to lead to the possibility of the web becoming less open and more commercial, harming all of us in the process. Dr.Lanier also talks about 'accurate and fair compensation' for the data provided by us. It looks to me that in order to be accurate and fair, we would simply need to monitor all transactions even more and specify even more regulations, resulting in even more loss of privacy and proliferation of intrusion. It is perhaps good to remember in this 25th year of the creation of the World Wide Web, the enormous benefits we have received as a result of Dr.Tim Berners-Lee and Dr. Ted Nelson making their work freely available to all without any patents on the WWW and the Hypertext.

Having said this, from another standpoint, I am still drawn to support Dr.Lanier's idea of fair compensation for all our work. In this era of Digitization and Globalization, one of the unfortunate consequences is the loss of many low-end jobs and the impoverishment of the working people in the US. At the same time, these people do own smart phones and browse the internet and upload valuable content to many of the web sites, which have prospered through such content. So, it seems only fair to say that compensating these people for their content is one way of combating the increasing problem of 'growth without jobs'. The challenge, however, is to make all this happen without compromising the ideals of an open, cyber environment. I feel that Dr.Lanier has started off a key debate and it is for the rest of us to carry on the discussion and seek a fair, viable and non-invasive solution.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Serendipity 6 septembre 2013
Par Frank Blank - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Let's say three and a half stars. Who ever invented the cut down, five star ranking system is a whole lot of stars short of a constellation.
-----

Since the people who run big internet companies are dedicated and predictable a-holes, I know something would come along that would fit Lanier's book like a glove - with a great big foam finger pointing at the company. And dang if it didn't come along:

The Washington Post ran an article about privacy groups latest complaints about FaceBook's recent proposed change of the user agreement. One of the new wrinkles is this:

"You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it."

(From: facebook.com/legal/proposedsrr)

Boiled down, this means "Your images and opinions = our money. Not your money. NEVER your money."

So Lanier's critique of the existing system of big servers, or "siren servers" as he calls them, and the companies that control those servers is right on point. They are pulling off a massive, "victimless" scam on their users. Lanier is right, and every additional voice in the chorus of protest is beneficial.

But then we have the problem of the second half of the book - the solution. As other reviewers note, Lanier proposes micro-payments to users each time a company uses their data commercially. This is indeed technically possible but, once lots of people are involved, it seems inevitable that it would blow up into twenty million battles per year over who owes what to whom.

Add to this that the internet companies would resist till the last lobbyist lay dead in the street. And the last Superpac was disbanded, as the funnel for bribes it is.

Add to this the sorry fact that half the people in congress don't know how anything works, as, for example, the Princeling of the Unknowing, Rand Paul, who said data collection and use was copacetic because users signed a contract agreeing to it.

As if. As if Paul had ever read a EULA or a User Agreement. As if Paul knew whether or not users ever read a EULA or User Agreement. As if Paul had the intelligence to know that if users did read those things, they'd have no time for their spouses, kids, or jobs, let alone time for banging away at their keyboards to provide monetizeable data. Paul's was merely the default response of the right to agree with _anything_ entrenched, concentrated money desires.

So Lanier made a good start, or a good addition to the start of a critique of this aspect of the ongoing privatization of profit / increased socialization of risk, labor, information, and everything else. IMHO, more work is needed to figure out a solution

Recommend.
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