You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

Jaron Lanier

Created on Thursday, December 8, 2022.
Filed under

The design of Web 2.0 and how it changes humans and human relationships.


Technologists don’t use persuasion to influence you—or, at least, we don’t do it very well. There are a few master communicators among us (like Steve Jobs), but for the most part we aren’t particularly seductive. We make up extensions to your being, like remote eyes and ears (web-cams and mobile phones) and expanded memory (the world of details you can search for online). These become the structures by which you connect to the world and other people. These structures in turn can change how you conceive of yourself and the world. We tinker with your philosophy by direct manipulation of your cognitive experience, not indirectly, through argument. It takes only a tiny group of engineers to create technology that can shape the entire future of human experience with incredible speed. Therefore, crucial arguments about the human relationship with technology should take place between developers and users before such direct manipulations are designed.

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
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