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Jaron Lanier, inventor of virtual reality, critic of progress, to speak Thursday

Virtual reality pioneer (and native New Mexican) Jaron Lanier delivers a public lecture at Albuquerque Academy this Thursday, Sep. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The content of the talk—entitled “You Are Not A Gadget: What Happens When We Stop Shaping Technology and Technology Starts Shaping Us?”—seems likely to be drawn from his new book You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, a highly critical look at how the Internet of today “aggregate[s] the expressions of people into dehumanized data.” Expect fiery rhetoric and large-scale ideas, if his recent op-ed in the New York Times is any indication:

“Nothing kills music for me as much as having some algorithm calculate what music I will want to hear. That seems to miss the whole point. Inventing your musical taste is the point, isn’t it? Bringing computers into the middle of that is like paying someone to program a robot to have sex on your behalf so you don’t have to.”

Tell it like it is, brother. The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Public Comments (1)
  • Quote the next paragraph  [ Wed Sep 29 2010 4:00 PM ]

    It’s heartless to have music chosen by digital algorithms. But at least there are fewer people held hostage to the tastes of bad radio D.J.’s than there once were.

    In other words, many carbon units have already decided to not make the decision.

    My colleague, sexbot15beta4 explains: "The sex analogy is that you've walked out of the room and your gene-exchange partner is either going to exchange with your sexbot, or some other carbon unit. Don't blame us for trying to represent your interests. A detailed recording of the experience will be made available later for a small fee, but please do not try to use this recording in an unauthorized manner."

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