You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2010 - Computers - 209 pages
13 Reviews


A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.

Informed by Lanier's experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent.

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Review: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

User Review  - Dan Phillips - Goodreads

When criticizing something as popular and widespread as Facebook, it's hard not to sound and/or feel like you're yelling at kids to get off your lawn. But in the end I have to agree with about 95% of ... Read full review

Review: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

User Review  - Lauren - Goodreads

I think that some of his ideas are sort of interesting and I even agree with some of them. But he is really really arrogant about all of it and that is a huge turn-off. For someone who is trying to ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Jaron Lanier is known as the father of virtual reality technology and has worked on the interface between computer science and medicine, physics, and neuroscience. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Visit the author's website at

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