You Are Not A Gadget

You Are Not A Gadget

A Manifesto

Summary

In You are Not a Gadget digital guru and virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier reveals how the internet is deadening personal interaction, stifling genuine inventiveness and even changing us as people.

Something went wrong around the start of the twenty-first century. The crowd was wise. Social networks replaced individual creativity. There were more places to express ourselves than ever before... yet no one really had anything to say.

Does this have to be our future?

Showing us the way to a future where individuals mean more than machines, this is a searing manifesto against mass mediocrity, a creative call to arms - and an impassioned defence of the human.

'A provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book ... Lucid, powerful and persuasive'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;The New York Times

'There is hardly a page that does not contain some fascinating provocation' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Guardian

'Short and frightening ... from a position of real knowledge and insight'

Zadie Smith, New York Review of Books

'Poetic and prophetic, this could be the most important book of the year' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;The Times

Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' and creating the world's first immersive avatars to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today.

A musician with a collection of over 700 instruments, he has been recognised by Encyclopedia Britannica (but certainly not Wikipedia) as one of history's greatest inventors and named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Prospect and Foreign Policy.

Reviews

  • Fabulous - I couldn't put it down and shouted out Yes! Yes! on many pages . . . This is a landmark book that will have people talking and arguing for years into the future.
    Lee Smolin

About the author

Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier is one of the most celebrated pioneers of digital innovation in the world, and also one of the earliest and most prescient critics of its current trajectory. His previous books include the international bestsellers Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget, both chosen as best books of the year by the New York Times, and most recently Dawn of the New Everything: A Journey Through Virtual Reality, chosen as a best book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Vox. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, one of the 100 top public intellectuals by Foreign Policy, and one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more