Shout-Outs: Lanier, Wendig and the Robots

Enter The Matrix by kirainet
Enter The Matrix by kirainet

“The combination of hive mind and advertising has resulted in a new kind of social contract. The basic idea of this contract is that authors, journalists, musicians, and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising.”

Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget

I’m knee-deep in final preparations for Digital Book World next week (look for the new website to relaunch by Tuesday, built by me!), but I wanted to give a quick shout-out to two people who are blowing my mind right now.

First, to Jaron Lanier. I’m in the middle of reading and enjoying You Are Not a Gadget, not just because it elaborates on my own thoughts about tech fetishism, but because it does it so intelligently and convincingly. Kudos to Stephanie Anderson for bringing it to my attention with her excellent, must-read review.

Second, to Chuck Wendig, blogger extraordinaire, who writes engagingly and entertainingly about writing practically every day, with a unique energy and style that so few writing bloggers can match. I anxiously await his first novel.

Chuck gave me the opportunity to stretch my legs on his blog while he was out of town last week doing very cool things, with a guest post about The Future of the Blog that went up this morning.

Here’s an excerpt:

[The Cluetrain Manifesto is] the only book about the Internet that’s worth reading, because most of the other ones that have been published ever since are crap rehashes of what Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger had to say way back then.

Back then, in 1999, before blogs really existed and AOL ruled the Internet.

Today, blogs are everywhere. Like assholes and trolls, they’re everywhere and everyone has one. (Or is that vice versa?)

The Huffington Post is a blog.

The Atlantic is a blog.

The NY Times has a bunch of blogs.

CNN wants to be a blog.

Even William Shatner has a blog. (Very loosely defined.)

I should have included AOL instead of CNN, as it has effectively morphed into a collective of blogs of dubious quality and questionable need, existing primarily to attract bottom-feeding advertising revenue, which circles back to Lanier’s excellent point I quoted above.

Please go read the whole post and leave me a comment there so I can beat out the hilarious “Penis,” by Eddy Webb for the most popular guest post in the series.

Don’t let the robots win!

6 thoughts on “Shout-Outs: Lanier, Wendig and the Robots

  1. A Cluetrain Corollary:

    The robots *can't* win.

    Hope I'm right.

    Meanwhile, thanks to you and Chuck for the kind words.


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