Our very own educator turned bookseller, Mike, recently read and enjoyed Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. Check out his review below for this hot, new title.
Arguing for humanity, individuality, and creativity, Lanier exposes a variety of problems with Web 2.0 design, cloud computing, and the hive-mind trends of the twenty-first century. Though I barely understand many of the details he employs (a strong understanding of the history of the Internet, computing, and artificial intelligence would enrich the read), he presents a fairly straight-forward concern. Are the current computer engineering and Internet trends moving us toward a devaluation of the individual and all that makes each and every one of us unique?
If you feel there is a paradox here--what with blogs, web pages, wikis, and Facebook accounts seemingly celebrating individual voices from within the soup--I suggest you explore Lanier's book. Highly recommended.